My teddy bear goes everywhere with me. Whenever I leave the house, my bear is attached to my handbag. So it’s not unusual that when I go to the dentist, my bear goes with me.
If something goes wrong, if I need a filling or expect to have a little bit of ‘work’ done, then it becomes a 2-bear appointment.

BooBooBear is there, as always, keeping an eye on the dentist, and Jingle Bells (who rarely leaves the house these days) is the bear I’m cuddling. Jingle Bells came to live with me on my first Christmas, so it’s fair to say he is an elderly bear and has been well-loved over the years, which means he’s a bit squished. No matter, he does his job well on a 2-bear dental appointment.

Last weekend I began to experience the most excruciating toothache. That gnawing,
eye-watering, brain freezing kind of pain. It was constant. I tried every technique I could think of, traditional and not so traditional, to alleviate the pain but to no avail.

Luckily, I got an emergency dental appointment on Monday. A 2-bear appointment as pain may be involved.
A course of antibiotics was prescribed along with another appointment for Friday to extract a wisdom tooth.

Oooh! Errrm, well now, that will necessitate some serious bear cuddling. This was to be my first THREE Bear appointment

Now as a Master Practitioner of NLP I’ve been asked why on earth I need to take bears with me to the dentist – why don’t I just do the Fast Phobia Technique and remove my phobia of going to the dentist. It’s a valid question.
But here’s the thing: I don’t have a phobia of going to the Dentist.
I’m not afraid of it. Nothing about it scares me. I don’t have an irrational fear of visiting the dentist. OK, it’s not on my list of ‘fun things to do this week’ (or ever). But I’m not scared.
I don’t think I have ever visited the Dentist without having a good laugh (no laughing gas involved I hasten to add).

So why the bears?

Well, BooBoo Bear has always acted as a reminder to me to be silly each day, not take myself too seriously and generally look after myself. I look at him and smile.
In NLP terms, he became an unconscious positive anchor. When I see him, I automatically tap into helpful feelings.
Jingle Bells is clearly associated with my childhood and has been hugged and cuddled for over 50 years!. A sense of security, hugs and cuddles. Again, another unconscious and extremely powerful anchor.

But why is it so effective?

Hugging, cuddling, stroking a pet or a teddy bear all release Delta Waves in the brain. These are the slowest recorded brain waves in human beings. They are found most often in infants and young children, and are associated with the deepest levels of relaxation and restorative, healing sleep.
Hugging a bear “evokes a sense of peace, security and comfort,” according to psychologist Corrine Sweet in 2010.
During hugging, your body releases oxytocin and serotonin, the ‘feel-good’ hormones. Oxytocin is known as the trust or cuddle hormone. Oxytocin causes a reduction in blood pressure and the stress hormone norepinephrine, lowering anxiety and acting as a stress reliever. Meanwhile, serotonin stabilises mood, thus contributing to feelings of wellbeing and happiness.
Studies have shown that a comfort object like a teddy bear increases emotional wellbeing, coping skills, resilience, self-esteem, and sleep because the object triggers self-soothing behaviour

OK, so that explains a TWO bear appointment – why 3?

I don’t think any tooth extraction is fun and memories of my last wisdom tooth extraction are certainly far from pleasant. I defy anyone to spend 4 hours in a dentist’s chair without taking unhelpful memories and emotions away with them.
Whenever I teach or install helpful anchors for clients, I always recommend that they continue to add to it. That they continue to develop it and make it stronger.
Well, a wisdom tooth extraction requires my super boosted anchor, so a third bear was required, Lancelot!
So on Friday morning I headed to the dentist, although by this stage the pain had abated substantially and I was able to isolate the pain to the tooth next to the wisdom tooth. The upshot was that an extraction wasn’t required. I did have a little wobble when a root canal was mentioned – but I popped myself into peripheral vision, which immediately allowed me to remain calm and centred.
Then the news got even better, only some filing down of the existing filling was required.

I may not need a fast phobia technique for the dentist visits, but I utilise other key aspects of NLP to enable me to deal with the situation with humour, calm and balance.

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