I am gradually losing bone in my mouth. It’s possible that in a few years some of my teeth may fall out because there won’t be enough bone to ground them. Other than taking excellent care of my teeth and gums, I’m still trying to figure out what to do.
The original cause of this may have been an unavoidable event in my childhood when I had a large number of teeth pulled from my mouth to facilitate my braces. Unfortunately, when a tooth goes, sometimes the bone below it, feeling no pressure upon it, will take that as a cue to bow out. I think that’s where this really began.
So I am working with a strategy recommended to me by a Bones For Life practitioner. While paying attention to the sensation, I push on the sad little nubs in the huge gap at the back of my mouth where my teeth once were. The idea is that perhaps once my body actually relied on, or made use of the pressure on those bones, and by sending it a message that the bones are still needed, I might be able to halt the bone loss.
I have a profound experience when I gently push on those bones. It’s like someone takes a magic marker and circles a part of me that isn’t there anymore, saying, “See? That’s where **** used to be!” After I stop pushing, I can feel that part of me, where those teeth were, as if they’re back again.
What’s most amazing is that after doing this, my posture and my eyesight improves. There are a lot of muscles that attach in the vicinity of those bones, muscles that operate my eyes and the back of my neck. Getting sensation and awareness back into that forgotten part of me seems to awaken those muscles to better functioning.
If you’re reading this, should you care? Does it have any relevance beyond my life? Let’s consider this whole thing from a larger perspective to see if there’s anything we can take from it.
First, I lost a part of me (my teeth). Second, I didn’t think the loss was significant and I “wrote off” that part of me. Third, years later I began experiencing problems I couldn’t explain and had no control over.
Fourth, I came to realize that the problems were happening because my body still needed the connection that missing part provided. Fifth, I remade the connection in that part of my body, at least in my imagination / self-image, acting as if the teeth were still there so the bone could once again feel “called to serve.” Sixth, I experienced a rejuvenation in my functioning.
What if you lost a “part of you” that was someone you loved? What if at the time you “wrote off” that person because you knew they were never coming back and you didn’t want to live with the pain? Then, what if years later you began experiencing strange problems you couldn’t explain and had no control over?
What if you came to realize that the problems were happening because you still needed the connection that missing person provided? What if you found a way to tolerate the loss, so you could explore the ways in which that connection touched on so many aspects of your life? Is it possible you might experience a kind of rejuvenation?
Today my wife handed me a little silver spoon my Mom used with me as a baby…it said “Adam” on it. I lost my Mom to MS at age 11 or so and watched her die a slow death for the next 20 years. When I saw the spoon, I sat down and cried.
News From a Jazz Musician Who Writes Books
Decades, the first and long-anticipated album from my band, the Front Porch Session Players, is coming out tomorrow, July 2! I will send a rare non-Sunday blast to announce it. I hope you'll listen, because it's the best thing I've ever been involved with.
There are also two new articles in our Press tab, one on How to Think Bigger, and one on the Creative Process. I hope you'll check them out! Keep in touch.
Adam Cole is a Jazz Musician Who Writes Books. Author, educator and performer, Adam chats weekly on the subject of listening, creativity and living your best life. To take a quiz on what kind of music warrior you are, please visit www.mymusicfriend.net