Many dental professionals are
afected so deeply that their stress
levels negatively interfere with their
usual daily activities and interpersonal
relationships up to fve days a month,
and often lead to early retirement
from the profession. 3 Burnout, mood
disorders (particularly depression and
anxiety), alcohol abuse, and physical
health issues such as cardiovascular
problems can all be tied back to stress
levels in dental practices. 2, 3
When it comes down to it,
reconciling the clinical, operational,
entrepreneurial, and organizational
aspects of a dental career can result
in dangerously high stress levels.
Many dental professionals, for many
reasons, fail to practice adequate
self care to mitigate this. Te impact
of this unrelenting personal and
professional strain can be debilitating
and, for some, ultimately fatal.
Like many dentists, I sufered from
severe burnout and exhaustion, which
afected my relationships, mood,
and physical health. And, like many
dentists, I have lost colleagues—some
who were dear friends—to heart
attacks and even suicide. Choosing
to leave the profession in order to
support those who remain was a
matter of survival: mine and others’.
After personally experiencing
the beneft of coaching, I felt I
had found a path to restoring my
spirit. After selling my practice, I
undertook extensive training to
gain certifcations as a life coach
and an Equine Gestalt Coach. It is a
beautiful synchronicity: I have been
able to translate my lifelong passion
for horses into a platform for helping
other dentists sustain themselves and
their practices. Te benefts of equine
Did you know?
• The human heart’s electromagnetic field extends up to eight to 10 feet from the body.
• A horse’s heart projects an electromagnetic field five times larger than the human one.
• The horse’s electromagnetic field can directly influence a person’s heart rhythm, increasing coherence.
– A coherent heart pattern correlates with positive emotional states such as calm and joy.
– It is also a solid measure of well-being, indicating a system that can efficiently
recover and adjust to stressful situations. 4
interactions are profound on all
levels: physiological, psychological/
emotional, and spiritual.
Working with horses has been
shown to impart many physiological
and emotional benefts, including
lowered blood pressure and heart rate,
increased levels of beta-endorphins
(i.e., neurotransmitters that serve
as pain suppressors); decreased
stress levels; reduced feelings of
anger, hostility, tension and anxiety;
improved social functioning; and
increased feelings of empowerment,