It is also valuable to be mindful of body position in the time between seeing patients. Oftentimes, workstation tops as well as the arm that holds all of the handpieces, instruments and suction devices are located at a level that causes stooping to wipe and clean. Taking the few minutes (a few minutes adds up by day’s end) to even sit and wipe down the equipment will make a big difference in the long run. If the bracket tray has the ability to be raised and lowered, then perhaps remain standing and lift the tray to access it for cleaning. Be mindful of the body, where the shoulders are in accordance to the breath. Consider standing as well when working on a few patients throughout the day (Figure 15).
It is also wise to notice the body in motion during often “hurried” movements on a busy day of seeing patients. When tension is felt in the body or mind, stop to take 1 or 2 slow deep full breaths while finding a gentle mountain pose. At the end of the day, one will feel more at ease, comfort and likely improved mood. Two breaths take less than 30 seconds. Another key movement that will help when done several times during the day is to draw the shoulder blades together and down gently. It is important to keep the low back from overarching while doing this motion, as the ribs may lift up if this move is overdone. Remember, always move gently. Begin at the level of focus on the breath. Listening with the ability to keep that slow deep breath steady, without hearing a change in it. If beyond that edge, the breath will be felt as a forceful hold on the inhale and overexertion upon an exaggerated exhale. Over time, the 4 count inhale and 4 count exhale will feel natural and a welcome practice at different times of the work day as well as the non-work day. Focusing in on the breath brings awareness of the stillness, the peace and the balance we are looking for.
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