Hawaiian Wisdom – Ho’oponopono
So many of my patients grind their teeth at night and often clench during the day. This can result in chronic ear and jaw pain, headaches, sinus pain, and a plugged or moist sensation in the ears. For some people this is not an issue of how the teeth come together (their occlusion) but a problem of being overloaded by difficult feelings.
One of these problematic feelings is anger. Anger being repressed can often be turned against oneself and be expressed physically by grinding the teeth. There are many tools for dealing with overwhelming anger but one that I have found quite effective is the Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono.
This is a simple process of experiencing one’s feeling about someone or oneself and at the same time thinking four simple phrases: I love you, I am sorry, Please forgive me, I thank you. The order in which they are thought does not matter. It is surprising how powerful this practice is, especially in the heat of intense feelings.
For people that grind their teeth, I suggest that just prior to going to sleep, do a quick emotional inventory. If anger, frustration, annoyance, or any other dark feelings are present, try this practice and see what happens. And if grinding and clenching the teeth are not an issue, try the practice anyway, there is nothing to lose.