Give Me Something to Believe In

Anytime I get to use a song lyric in my title, I get excited. Oh, good old Poison. This post is about how having a belief system is good for you. I came upon this idea by the practice of Oil Pulling. After a motor vehicle accident left me with severe TMJ, a condition in the joint of my jaw that sucks. I mean, it sucks. TMJ limits what I can eat. For real. I can’t eat a hamburger or an apple because I can’t open my jaw wide enough. Yawning is excruciating. My jaw clicks and shifts and shooting pain and sound of this is intolerable. But I have to tolerate it anyway. There are 2 ways I can get back to my former jaw state of bliss. One is to be fitted with a retainer and wear it for a year. And folks, that just is not happening. How do I go a whole year without eating popcorn or chewing gum? The other is to have jaw surgery. Dr. Dentist Guy will have to break my jaw, reset it and then for 6 to 8 weeks, I drink through a straw as my jaw will be wired shut. This whole thing terrifies me. And I’m not doing it. Nope. I decided to google TMJ Relief and bang! Oil Pulling? What is this crazy concept of oil pulling? You take some organic, cold pressed sesame or coconut oil and swish it around your mouth for 20 minutes in the morning. The oil binds to toxins in your mouth, through the spaces in between your teeth, and all of the tissue in your mouth. When you spit the oil out, the toxins are expelled. You rinse with salt water and brush your teeth as normal. The health benefits are crazy! Everything from clearer skin and better oral health, (less cavities, gingivitis and sensitivity) to getting rid of that nasty hangover and yup, TMJ relief. Holy moly. Swishing oil in my mouth for 20 minutes can give me some relief? I went out and bought some organic, cold pressed coconut oil and started swishing. For real, it’s been a week, my teeth are whiter and the pain in my stupid jaw is less. Already. (People, google this – it’s insane)

So I have been a little obsessed with this. I’ve done my fair share of research and as it turns out, the science behind the benefits of oil pulling are true. Sort of. TMJ is relieved do to the muscles in your mouth being exercised more. When you swish, saliva is stimulated and more saliva means less bad bacteria, and so on. In my research I have also found some researching which tries to debunk the other health benefits that oil pulling claims.

But it’s something I do because I believe in its benefits. I also believe that doing yoga has far more health benefits than just the physical ones. Whenever I do it, I feel more centered, more aware, more empowered and so on. These are all beliefs that I have. What are some beliefs that you have? Burning champa incense wakes up your creativity? How about reading tarot cards or not eating before bed?

Whatever positive beliefs you have, it is so good for you to have them. We form our beliefs from a mix of emotional, physical and subjective reasons stemming from our culture, families, friends, and our society. When we have formed our beliefs, we will find proof, defend, explain, rationalize, and hold dear. When we believe in something, it truly strengthens ourselves. These skills that we exercise (defence, rationalization, research in finding proof, loyalty to our beliefs, etc.) by having beliefs and even discussing them are such amazing skills to have. Reality exists outside of our minds, however it is our perception or our beliefs about reality that is as individual as each of us. One could argue that our beliefs is key in making us all unique. There’s also the placebo effect. And the whole manifest destiny thing. The Secret. Mind over matter.

So I believe that oil pulling is good for me. That belief, in a week, has lifted the weight of the TMJ issues that I have. That belief has kept me committed to oral health, strengthened my muscles, my will power, my glands and I even sleep better. Perhaps burning champa incense scientifically stimulates your senses and excites your creativity. Other’s may think this is a ridiculous notion. I may offer my arguments, my proof, my research findings and in doing so, I am having stimulating conversation – which is always good.

Thanks so much for your time!

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