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Health and Wellness

The Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) Dentist Health and Wellness Committee (DHWC) serves to provide resources and services to MDS members to improve their overall health and well-being. We invite MDS members to join the MDS Health and Wellness Facebook group dedicated to the discussion of wellness. If we are in a good place physically, mentally, and emotionally, then we are better equipped to help those around us. 

Dentist Health and Wellness Programs

Community Service—MDS Cares Program

Join your colleagues and give just a few hours of your time to make a big difference to your community. Volunteering is a wonderful way to give back and have a tangible impact on someone in need. Consider becoming a part of the MDS Cares Program and make a difference today!


Confidential Services for Alcohol and Substance Use

The Wellness Benefits of Meditation and Yoga

It is easy for us to feel overwhelmed with what we can’t control. When that happens, we should shift our energy and tap into what we can control. One of our greatest anchors at times of stress exists in all of us, and that anchor is our breath. By slowly breathing in and out, and making our exhales longer than our inhales, we can calm our nervous system and relax the body. 


  • Increase strength
  • Purify self
  • Improve self awareness
  • Overcome challenges

Yoga helps you overcome challenges by:

  • Acknowledging the challenge
  • Accepting the challenge
  • Having compassion for the challenge
  • Moving through the challenge

Five-Minute Meditation:

Join Dr. Christina DiBona Pastan for a short breathing meditation exercise that can help bring ease and tranquility to your day.


The members of the dental team are among several health care professionals at high risk for developing musculoskeletal disorders. This is due to the unique and, at times, awkward positioning of their bodies during work-related tasks. The key to preventing musculoskeletal disorders is to employ proper ergonomics—the science of tailoring the work environment to the worker.

Common musculoskeletal injuries:
  • Mid- and low-back pain
  • Premature disc degeneration
  • Increased chance of radicular symptoms in the legs
  • Chronic neck and upper back musculoskeletal problems
  • Carpal tunnel and/or fingers

Decreasing musculoskeletal injuries:
  • Use an ergonomically correct stool
  • Sit with feet flat on the floor and keep the hips slightly higher than the knees
  • Maintain mid-line head/neck posture
  • Stretching the hands, fingers and wrists between dental instrument use and between patients
  • Learn how to engage and strengthen the transverse abdominal muscles

Stress Management

It's important to take the necessary steps to relieve stress as much as you can through physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral actions.

Top stressors:
  • Patients defaulting/no-showing
  • Bureaucratic workload
  • Time pressures
  • Difficult patients
Consequences of accumulation of unhealthy stress:
  • Neglect of basic living activities
  • Dysfunctional habits
  • Quick fixes for self-care habits
  • Derive less rewards from pleasures and thus neglect them
  • Lack of empathy and interest in others
Four basic steps to reduce stress:
  1. Monitor yourself
  2. Set a target daily arousal level
  3. Plan your interventions wisely
  4. Implement and assess the impact
Strategies for offsetting your stress:


  • Autonomic relaxation (e.g., diaphragmatic breathing)
  • Muscle relaxation (e.g., progressive muscle relaxation)
  • Yoga
  • Appropriate exercise
  • Enough sleep
  • Healthy eating
  • Reducing substances that tax your nervous system

  • Meditation (e.g., mindfulness meditation)
  • Distraction

  • Social comfort
  • Experiences of trust (e.g., confiding, prayer)
  • Distraction

  • Stress breaks/days off/time-outs
  • Fun/pleasurable activities