What does it mean to be a ‘holistic dentist’?

by Dr Rachel Hall B.Ch.D (Uni Leeds UK), LDSRCS(Eng), MACNEM, Dental Surgeon, Brisbane, Australia

I have worked as a holistic dentist for the last 12 years, and recently I have been pondering what it truly means to be a holistic dentist/practitioner. Is it purely a philosophy that influences how one works or views patients and their conditions or is it something more? Is it having a bag full of different ‘holistic healing modalities’ to use on clients? I have tried numerous ‘alternative’ modalities: homeopathy, NLP, EFT (emotional field therapy), kinesiology, bio-resonance therapy etc but I found that none of them offered my patients or me what I was looking for. In 2004 I went to my first heart chakra workshop, and it was here that I met Serge Benhayon and was introduced to the teachings of Universal Medicine. What Serge presented made so much sense; more sense than anything I had ever learnt or heard from other practitioners, science or medicine. As such, not once did I doubt what was being presented by Serge and Universal Medicine and I could feel how amazing the esoteric healing modalities were in my body. Through the esoteric teachings I now have a new appreciation for what it truly means to be a holistic dentist. I now realise it’s not about the bag of tricks or ‘alternative’ healing modalities I have acquired, it’s not about regurgitated information and knowledge that I’ve stored in my mind but instead I have discovered that it is about how I live every day, in every way.

Anyone can learn and regurgitate information and then claim to be holistic but I would now say that is not enough.  We all know the phrase “practice what we preach”, yet how many of us know doctors who smoke, naturopaths who drink alcohol, practitioners who choose unhealthy lifestyle habits and lack true vitality and health or are burnt out from working too many hours, seeing more clients than they can handle and are desperately trying to “save” others at their own expense. To me this doesn’t feel like a holistic approach at all as I too used to be that way – working long hours and not truly caring for myself or my body and then trying to educate my patients on how to care for themselves. Surely if we don’t “practise what we preach”, then all the information we pass on or share with our clients is hollow and lacks any basis or foundation and is in fact little more than empty words backed up by the fact that you have a qualification or title when it should be backed up by the quality of how you live and all that you are.

One of the major tenets of holistic dentistry is to use materials that will not harm or be toxic to the body and thus we do not use mercury based fillings nor fluoride and are very focused on and committed to nutrition, prevention, oral hygiene and gum care.  This is a great starting point for health care but what if being holistic goes deeper than this and has to be more encompassing?  What if the way we are living and the way that we are could be as, if not more, harming to our patients as the materials and chemicals we avoid using?

If the way we live has the potential to harm another then it makes sense to me that to be truly holistic would mean choosing to live in a way that supports the practitioner to be clear both physically and energetically so as not to harm or be toxic to our clients. But what would this way of living be, what would it look like and what would it require?

If we come from an understanding that everything is energy, then everything we do, say and think is energy (as discovered by Einstein and presented by Serge Benhayon). Then if this is so, not only are we a physical being made up of flesh and bone but we are also made of energy and, if that is indeed the case, then what if that energy could and does affect others?

If everything is energy, then the energy that is in me is in everything that I do and say, and in every needle I give, in every filling I place, in every gesture I make, in every interaction that I have and so on. If this is a possibility then would it not be wise to ensure that the energy within me is also harmless so that when I work holistically with a client or patient my energy is not harming them?

Could this be what being holistic is truly about? If we give consideration to energy then a true holistic practitioner would choose to live in an energetically responsible way to ensure first and foremost that the quality of the energy they are is totally clear, harmless and non-imposing so as not to affect or alter the energy of another so that the way they are comes with energetic integrity.

The Ancient Greeks and many other philosophies and cultures taught that equally with-in us all is an energy that is our natural essence which resides in our inner-heart, it is our natural way of being, our inner-most or esoteric, that which comes from love. These tenets are also at the core of what Serge Benhayon presents. Left to simply be we can connect to this essence and be who we are in full and express from that fullness or energy. Our natural essence would express love, joy and harmony and never impose upon or harm another as it knows and sees all as equal to itself.

But we live in a world that does not want or ask us to be who we are. Instead our world bombards us with ideals, beliefs and education that tell us that we are what we do and the roles that we play. It tells us and teaches us who to be rather than letting us know who we are from what is naturally there to impulse us forth. We then live life from the outside in rather than from the inside out, so that we then act in a way that allows us to take in what suits us to best give us the recognition, acceptance and identification that we then believe to be love which isn’t love at all but us pandering to and pleasing others by behaving in way that gets us the attention we so desperately seek to make up for losing our true connection to self.

What if we were able to live in a way that assisted us to re-connect to our essence or inner-most and know who we truly are? If we were able to live in such a way then would what we naturally express energetically be an all-encompassing livingness that could allow us to truly claim that we are being holistic?

Can we live in a way that allows us to re-connect to that natural essence with-in and how would we go about it when the world is set up for us to not know who we are?

In-truth it is actually quite simple. It is as simple as making a choice, a choice that says I know I am already love, that I come from the divine (God) and then applying some tools to re-confirm and bring you back to that. I agree initially it seems far-fetched and unconventional. For me these tools and awarenesses came from the presentations, teachings and books of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine that were resonating with a knowing with-in that was already mine but which until then I had yet to give a voice to.

I began to apply these tools and teachings to my daily livingness, in my way, and I got to feel who I am again and live from what my body feels and not that which my mind has been fed. It has not been something that has happened overnight but more a gentle unfoldment of me and a discarding of that which gets in the way of me being me. At first it was challenging as it brought up so much of what I had buried, denied and tried to numb myself from feeling and being aware of. It has required a willingness to be honest, to be aware, and to seek true healing, not relief or comfort, and a commitment to me living me to the best of my ability. Through a loving dedication to self and an unwavering commitment to be a student of me I feel I have found a way of livingness that supports me to be who I truly am. Now I am not perfect, and thankfully no perfection is sought, and there are times when I have “wobbled” and had my ups and downs but it is about the ability to acknowledge when I am with me and when I have lost myself and then be able to utilise the tools to bring myself back to me and my livingness.

The first step in re-connecting to self is the gentle breath meditation (as taught by Serge Benhayon), which allows you to feel where you are at, and have a marker that you can live from and feel when you are no longer being gentle. Gentleness then becomes a way of being and the more gentle you are the more self-love you begin to experience. Self-love and gentleness bring us back to the love that we naturally are. It is about making choices to be who you are and to deeply honour and nurture your body. For me this means choosing not to consume foods that make me stimulated, numb or dull or change my biochemistry, physiology or my energetic quality. Over time I have been able to feel that certain foods no longer support me to be me; these foods include gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and starchy carbohydrates (which used to be my staple diet).

Self-love means caring for my body, not pushing beyond what feels comfortable or gentle in the way that I do things. In this way I have found what feels right for me and what doesn’t, and to honour that feeling rather than ignore it. I actually listen to what my body wants and needs and not what I think it does from what I have been told or taught from others. By listening to my body I have come to realise that it has a natural rhythm and that I need to go to sleep early so that my body can recharge, regenerate and heal so as to awaken feeling refreshed with true vitality to go about my day.

I also have check points during the day to allow me to be aware of my body and how I feel, like stopping to sit quietly for a few minutes, whilst I’m eating or having a cup of tea or just taking a few gentle breaths before I move on to my next task during the day. I also choose to be present in all that I do which means that my mind is with me in what my body is doing; my mind is concentrating on the task at hand paying attention to even the smallest detail. Presence allows me to be connected with myself and stops me becoming drained by living two or more situations at the same time, one in my body (the now) and one in my mind (the past or the future). I can feel if I am not with me and regather myself to arrest or be aware of any ill energy that was running in my body.

These simple tools or techniques, as presented by Serge Benhayon, along with being willing to deal with my issues and reactions and look at my ideals and beliefs and live more from my own inner impulses have assisted me to reconnect with and live the real me.

I have been working as a practitioner for 20 years and have come to understand the importance of living with true vitality in my life as a way to not only enjoy my life to its fullest but also because it is only in the reflection of the way one lives that the same love and care can be inspired in another. After much time spent studying both dentistry and the other ‘alternative’ modalities, which never felt quite right, I found the level of care and integrity and the truly whole-isitic approach I was looking for in the work of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine. And thus from living in such a simple way, a way that can be truly considered whole-istic I feel that I can claim to be both an esoteric and holistic person, not merely a holistic dentist.

Have I, and my life changed since my first experience of the esoteric teachings?

 Yes, for the better. I have the person back that I knew I was when I was a child. My relationships are more honest and real, not full of emotional ups and downs and neediness, my health is amazing and my life is simple.

Has the way I practise dentistry changed in that time?

Not really. The mechanics and treatments are essentially the same the only thing that has changed is me. I have become more gentle and caring, less stressed, rushed or anxious, there is purpose to what I do and from that I am more playful and there is joy in how I work and in my life. I no longer need coffee and sugar to get through my day or alcohol and certain foods to numb myself or take the edge off life. I am more vital, connected and engaged in the people I work with, both staff and patients who I treat with the utmost respect and tenderness and by way of this they get to see and feel that I walk my walk and live my talk.

I am ever thankful to Serge Benhayon, Universal Medicine and most of all myself for allowing me to see and feel that there is indeed more to life and more to me.

142 thoughts on “What does it mean to be a ‘holistic dentist’?

  1. I am already love, I am already enough, I am the Son of God…taking all of this into my every day, knowing that my value does not come from what I can do or have done, but that it is with love that I do everything.

  2. “I no longer need coffee and sugar to get through my day or alcohol and certain foods to numb myself or take the edge off life.” Drinking coffee is so normal and so is eating sugar and drinking alcohol that we maybe can not even imagine how to live without it and how to have truly vital practitioners looking after us which is something that is truly delicious to receive. So thank you for making these choices and sharing it with us.

  3. “Through a loving dedication to self and an unwavering commitment to be a student of me I feel I have found a way of livingness that supports me to be who I truly am.” Which is what we all are ultimately longing for. It’s amazing when you realise it’s actually so simple, which was reflected to me by Serge Benhayon and which I and many many others now reflect out to all we meet – it’s a beautiful science.

  4. I am with you too Rachel that I did not once doubt the truth Serge Benhayon was presenting. It was it. If anything I was jealous that a man in front of me was living what I already knew. It is responsibility I was avoiding to express the truth I feel and, not holding back has supported my evolution back to me.

  5. Yes Rachel the way we live every day affects the patients. I can feel if my dentist is superficially nice, but has underlying anger or frustration, it does not feel good! ‘What if the way we are living and the way that we are could be as, if not more, harming to our patients as the materials and chemicals we avoid using?’ The way we live does have the potential to harm others.

  6. ‘ What if the way we are living and the way that we are could be as, if not more, harming to our patients as the materials and chemicals we avoid using?’ Great point Rachel. And this also applies to all of us and everything we do.

  7. “Through the esoteric teachings I now have a new appreciation for what it truly means to be a holistic dentist. I now realise it’s not about the bag of tricks or ‘alternative’ healing modalities I have acquired, it’s not about regurgitated information and knowledge that I’ve stored in my mind but instead I have discovered that it is about how I live every day, in every way.” – A wholistic approach has to be so much more than just ticking the box of all the natural and alternative ways, it has everything to do with what you bring as a person from the way that you live your life and the harmony (or not) that is in your relationships all around you. This wholism is deeply entwined with your approach to life and how you are in every day and every moment. Thank you Rachel for this gorgeous reminder!

  8. “I have discovered that it is about how I live every day, in every way.” It is a beautiful realisation that it is the way we choose to live that changes how we are in everything and anything we do.

  9. “Presence allows me to be connected with myself and stops me becoming drained by living two or more situations at the same time, one in my body (the now) and one in my mind (the past or the future).” I agree Rachel. Through experience I know that to be living or thinking about anything other than what I’m doing at the time is exhausting.

  10. A beautiful transformation Rachel, one which is possible for all of us and in any profession should we choose it.

  11. Any profession that you are working in, it is great to take a step back and connect to what it is that is needed in the industry and what you have to offer the industry as an individual. The care that you live your life in is reflected in your work and it is a dedication to life that can people can feel that makes a true difference. If that is the foundation, then all other choices come from this space. So lovely to read Rachel.

  12. Over the years I have seen and heard the word Holistic and never really respected it, I noticed that if I said it to others they would be impressed but my feeling was it was a hollow word with little substance. Sure it sounded good but what did it really mean? I love that this article asks that exact question and cover everything in its exploration of this question.

    I remember seeing a holistic dentist as a teenager, I loved going to see him, he was cool, he was gentle but he offered me no true healing, because he was still caught in trying to be young when he was not young and therefore offered me no real role model at a time I desperately needed one. Practitioners have a great chance and opportunity to change people’s prospective on life, not by telling them anything but by living in a way that reminds them they are amazing too. I was lost as a teenager but every time I walked into that dentist I was vulnerable and ready to look deeper at why my teeth were rotting out of my head but there was no-one to take me there.

  13. Rachel, you make it abundantly clear that being a holistic dentist is a 24/7 commitment – it is not something that you switch off because how you are in each moment of the day impacts each other moment. Your dedication and integrity is super inspiring!

  14. Rachel, what you have presented is a comprehensive demonstration of how we can live anywhere in the world, regardless of our work roles or personal lives. I had gotten to the stage in my work life where I felt that I had to keep increasing my academic knowledge to prove that I was a good practitioner, yet I have come to realise that this is the illusion so many in the world have fallen for. Our skills and training are important but are just one aspect of living and practicing our ‘trades’. Without a holistic way of living we are only providing a selected, narrow approach when we all have so much more to offer.

  15. You have shown how outrageous it is that we accept anything less than ‘holistic’ in any profession for everyone is affected by every choice we make (and we have a world that is proving it). Your integrity is incredibly inspiring Rachel.

  16. So often do we think of stress as coming from outside of us, to the point that we think we are powerless to do anything about it and the consequences it comes with are therefore out of our control as the phrase goes .. “That’s Life.” You show here Rachel a clear possibility and in fact a very very clear reality that we do in fact have a choice whether we go into stress or not based simply on the way we choose to live, be it in connection to our bodies or not, the resulting quality determines how we are when these moments get placed before us

  17. I love how you present the fact that being a holistic dentist is not just about using materials that are not harming the body. That it is about away of living that is experienced by everyone you treat, and as well outside the dental practice. I can see how we as human beings have settled and accepted so much less than we are and thus deserve. We deserve deep love, care and harmlessness on every level. This includes not being emotional with other people as this is just as harming as using a toxic product in dentistry. Maybe even more because it is so accepted in our society that people are frustrated, unloving or angry with each other yet it is not pointed out as being harming to others. The hidden harms are so much more harming than the obvious ones.

  18. “Yes, for the better. I have the person back that I knew I was when I was a child.” I can so relate to this line Rachel. This is how I feel with the esoteric teachings, I am coming back to how I felt as a child truly joyful, vital and open to people.

  19. Great point about how draining it is to have the mind and body operating separately – the body in the now and the mind in the past or future disconnected from the body.

  20. “I now realise it’s not about the bag of tricks or ‘alternative’ healing modalities I have acquired, it’s not about regurgitated information and knowledge that I’ve stored in my mind but instead I have discovered that it is about how I live every day, in every way.”
    It took me such a long time to let go of ideals and beliefs myself, what you have shared here is amazing and it sums it all, holistic is about how we live every day in every way. Thank you Rachel. 🌺

  21. A very thorough examination of the word ‘holistic’ and the depth you have taken your responsibility. What a blessing to your clients and ‘holistically’ everyone you meet!

  22. I love that you have asked whether the way we live could be more harmful or toxic than the materials and chemicals that practitioners avoid using. This really brings self-responsibility to the fore and a consideration that the true quality of a person’s living is a vital ingredient in any practice or even interaction… for it holds the potential to either harm or heal. Without a doubt I would prefer and it makes sense to see someone who chooses to live a self-loving and caring life over one who doesn’t. It is a great inspiration to the dentistry profession and to others that you choose to live and practise in this way.

  23. Thank you Rachel. What you have written is so extensive and really great to read. I didn’t realise that dentists could be holistic, but it makes sense when you wrote whole-istic. Incorporating everything and treating it as a whole – fantastic.

  24. This is a gorgeous blog and one that can apply in all walks of life. ‘It is as simple as making a choice, a choice that says I know I am already love, that I come from the divine (God) and then applying some tools to re-confirm and bring you back to that.’ I love the detail you give of some of the tools you use to bring you back to your inner connection. Having recently experienced dentistry in your hands, I can confirm that I felt truly attended to, held and loved.

  25. The way a person lives comes through in what they do. This is foremost when I make a decision on a product or service.

  26. Thank you Rachel for this very insightful article. It makes so much sense that holistic dentistry is about how holistic we actually are with ourselves. There can be no holistic dentistry if the dentist is not connected with himself or herself.

  27. This article was lovely to read Rachel, your loving dedication to self and all others equally so is inspiring. “Through a loving dedication to self and an unwavering commitment to be a student of me I feel I have found a way of livingness that supports me to be who I truly am.” Your integrity and commitment is inspiring for we can all make loving choices.

  28. Rachel in your writing you share so much about how you have evolved as an holistic dentist, what struck me about it was that it was you returning to you and living you that has made the greatest impact. I can feel it is so true that “walking our talk” being and living the real us enables us to live with more joy and vitality and to truly be an inspiration to those around us. Thank you for sharing your return to you, it is deeply inspiring.

  29. Wow Rachel you have shared so much in this post which clearly shows the amazing impact of what you now live on everyone you treat!

    1. Yes, very much agree Sharon Gavioli. What Rachel presents about holistic dentistry and how she practices these days is incredible, as from reading her blog. You can see very clearly that the way she practices gives the person in the dentist chair a head to toe healing, not just working on the teeth. Thank you Rachel for describing the work you do and how self care has made all the difference in the practice of dentistry.

  30. Hi Rachel, I love your blog, there is a commonality to it which I’m sure many studying the esoteric way of life can relate to. I can very much relate to the new way of living of having both mind and body attending to the same thing at once. Through the Esoteric Yoga Stillness Program for Women I’ve recently been very aware of the harmful quality of the energy that affects my body when my mind is elsewhere to my physical activity. When I am really connected to myself I feel so lovely.

  31. A wonderful insight into how you practice, and this approach can be used in all areas of our life. Thanks Rachel

  32. If you had asked me a few years ago, what was my approach to political science, I would have said that I was one who looked at the forest and the trees. So, I would have qualified myself as holistic. A broad view taking all of the elements into consideration. But, did I really take all the key factors into account? No. Like you, the Esoteric made clear to me that what I used to consider the grand picture, in truth was not.

  33. I loved reading this Rachel, bringing all aspects of your life and work together to be lived with love and integrity as you so evidently are doing. It would be gorgeous to be able to have my teeth looked at by you.

  34. Holistic practice is such a buzz word these days and often used to promote a health care practice as having something additional or superior to conventional medical practices. But this blog by Rachel Hall really explains the real meaning of holistic and shows that it is not just a label but a way of life.

  35. Thank you Rachel for sharing what it means to be an Holistic Dentist. What you share makes perfect sense, that first It starts with being aware of the need to self nurture ,and Love the person you are before you can work and call yourself a Holistic Dentist or whatever the position we hold in the moment. You are an amazing example Rachel!

  36. Rachel I used to consider the word holistic to mean alternative and slightly edgy in that perhaps a holistic dentist may use less modern equipment and wear strange clothes. What you’ve presented and my current understanding of holistic is that it encompassing everything – that is medical training, the latest gizmos and tools along with the fact that the care, approach of the dentist, their staff, the office is of key importance. As I’ve also come to understand that everything is energy and therefore if holistic is to cover the whole it therefore must also explore and cover the energetic aspects. What you’ve shared then is a truly holistic dentist is in how they live and in that the dentist practice also takes on a holistic livingness. This gives a whole deeper meaning to me about the word holistic and also how it may be easy for people to say they are holistic but its first from the way they live life that is either holistic or not.

    1. Yes David the word ‘holistic’ has indeed been hijacked and as you say been associated with alternative and a bit edgy… I feel Rachel has given us back its true meaning!

  37. The level of self-care, devotion to your self, should be part of the training that all health care practitioners undertake. For their own sake and the patients, thank you Rachel for sharing your amazing transformations, and the blessing that we all receive from these.

  38. “Through the esoteric teachings I now have a new appreciation for what it truly means to be a holistic dentist. I now realise it’s not about the bag of tricks or ‘alternative’ healing modalities I have acquired, it’s not about regurgitated information and knowledge that I’ve stored in my mind but instead I have discovered that it is about how I live every day, in every way.”
    What you also show us in your delivery Rachel is through the esoteric teachings there is no room for arrogance in being holisitic in one’s practice; humility is key.

  39. Thanks Rachel for a huge blog covering so much, I particularly like this quoted below:
    “But we live in a world that does not want or ask us to be who we are. Instead our world bombards us with ideals, beliefs and education that tell us that we are what we do and the roles that we play. It tells us and teaches us who to be rather than letting us know who we are from what is naturally there to impulse us forth. We then live life from the outside in rather than from the inside out, so that we then act in a way that allows us to take in what suits us to best give us the recognition, acceptance and identification that we then believe to be love which isn’t love at all but us pandering to and pleasing others by behaving in way that gets us the attention we so desperately seek to make up for losing our true connection to self.”

  40. Rachel, I especially like your practical examples which supports you through the day. Anyone who reads them will realise that they can be applied to everything they do.

  41. Yes, Yes and Yes to all you present here, Rachel. Thank you. What you so beautifully share here is so inspiring. There are many self-appointed ‘holistic’ practitioners of various kinds, and I used to be one of them. I was aware of the hypocrisy lived by many of them including myself, but had no idea as to what a true ‘holistic’ practitioner would look like and the depth of integrity required to offer true healing until I encountered Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon.

    1. Very true Fumiyo. There are many people who call themselves holistic practitioners, but I have met very few in whom I can feel an aliveness that tells me that they are truly living a whole-istic life. A life where care, truth and love is the compass for their whole life and not just a monday to friday nine to five scenario. If we live a truly holistic way, we could have any job and be holistic. Holistic doctor, holistic cleaner, holistic tyre changer, holistic accountant, holistic musician, holistic politician etc.

  42. What a wonderful service that you provide to your patients by choosing to practice what you preach, “backed by the quality of how you live and all that you are”. A holistic dentist – great role model for all to be inspired by.

  43. A great insight on the word Holistic Rachel, in that it takes into account all aspects of the practitioners life, and this is just one inspirational aspect of what Universal Medicine presents, that everything counts.

    1. Yes cjames2012 to be a truly holistic practitioner means to be a practitioner of life – applying and living the same quality, responsibility and integrity in all areas of life equally.

  44. Thank you Rachel. I have been pondering recently on the word holistic myself and had been asking myself very similar questions. I have nursed as well as practiced complementary therapies over the last 20 years. What I found interesting was that I deemed the complementary modalities to be more holistic because I was apparently treating the person and not the disease. This may have been true to a point, but left out a very important component and that was me and what I brought to the person in my care. I did consider that I looked after myself, but the truth was that I was living in a way that was totally disregarding of me and completely unaware of the fact that this does affect not only the care, but patients/clients themselves. So I drank, ate what I liked, I didn’t exercise, I had late nights regularly, I ignored when I felt tired, pushed my body to work very hard – the list goes on. What are we really able to present to our patients when our own living way is the opposite to what they themselves are looking for??

  45. Rachel you have captured the essence of every profession. It is never about our qualifications, job title, roles or things we do. It is about how we live and therefore the quality we bring to everything we are doing. I would have loved to hear this at school. But of course it would have had to come from someone living in this way for me to be able to hear the truth of this.

    1. Vicky, very well expressed. What Rachel shares is transferable to any job we do. And this is then really holistic.

    2. I agree Vicky Geary. So often in professions it is the ones who have studied the most or amassed the most knowledge or qualifications that are deemed the best. Of course knowledge is important in many professions, but if it is used on its own without any true connection or care, then for me it feels empty and cold and lacking true wisdom which comes from the inner heart. We have so much untapped wisdom in our hearts, just waiting to be brought to all professions and anyone can access this no matter what their qualification or intellect.

    3. Not only has the potential for every profession been captured here, but the potential for every single one of us – regardless of who we are, where we live or what we do – to live in a quality that is truly whole-istic (aka living all of who we are from the inside), and not just holistic (aka focussing on the outside). What an awesome full whole way to live whole-istically!

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