A Dentist Balances Science and Spirituality
Tribeca Dental Club on Chambers St. seems like a typical dental practice: waiting room, reclining chairs, spit sinks, white lab coats. But during my intake, Dr. Azar Boujaran asked me if I had ever heard of Ayurveda and yoga. And my ears perked up. I’d never met a dentist who acknowledged any form of spirituality, let alone
Born in Iran in the early Sixties, Dr. Boujaran focused on the sciences. After the Shah fell in 1979, she fled to Turkey. In 1984, the States granted her political asylum and she came to NYC.
While at NYU College of Dentistry, a professor introduced her to Ayurveda – and one thing led to another. Now she practices yoga, meditates, is a certified hypnotherapist, and uses energy and other techniques to offer her patients “a new approach to dentistry.”
I sat down with Dr. Boujaran to chat about how everything came about
Michael Laskaris: What are your thoughts about Western medicine?
Dr. Azar Boujaran: I don’t like it. And this was confirmed during my time working in an emergency room, before I found dentistry. I just couldn’t handle the suffering. Here in the States, everything is so detached. There’s no individual attention, and doctors just look at what the machine shows. They’re not interested in healing people; they just want money.
ML: How does Tribeca Dental Club offer “a new approach to dentistry”?
Dr. AB: During an intake, I try to connect with each person’s vibrations. I’m very intuitive and I can sense if we have a connection or not within seconds. I’ve turned people away before if we don’t connect. Otherwise, what’s the point? If they’re resistant to me, all the work I do on them would be awful.
So many people are medicated in this country. For depression, for anxiety. And a lot of it is social conditioning. I try to step in and encourage other forms of healing with the many tools I’ve accumulated over the years.
I look at the whole person. It’s not just a body, and it’s not just a mouth, and the body isn’t a machine. I take everything into consideration. For instance, if you have a cavity, it could be the result of a bigger issue.
ML: Like what?
Dr. AB: It could be a combination of many different things. An imbalanced diet. Or an imbalance in your doshas. For instance, if they were out of balance, oral inflammations such as canker sores could be present in your mouth. If this is the case, I might refer you to my own Ayurvedic consultant Dr. Naina Marballi. Issues in your mouth could even be related to something from a past life that has come into the present to teach you something. You experience it as a lesson.
Our biggest enemies are ourselves. We carry the baggage of our past lives on our shoulders, and any anger you presently have is going to effect future lives. So you must unpack that baggage.
ML: How can we do that?
Dr. AB: This is where spirituality comes into play. It can help answer questions that science cannot because it gives us meaning to our lives.
I’ll use myself as an example. I was raised in a very religious part of Iran, but it didn’t feel right to me. I knew something about me was different. Even then I was questioning my existence, without any outside influence. When I look back, this just reaffirms my belief in past lives.
When I came to the States, I was depressed and very unsettled. “Why do I have such a difficult life? Why me?” I kept asking. Then I realized I was just replaying my past traumas instead of confronting them. I owe much to Dr. Marballi and shamanistic healer Dr. José Stevens who brought this to my attention.
When I opened my practice, I learned about past life regression through hypnosis. This led me to study with Dolores Cannon in France, becoming a certified hypnotherapist. I now offer sessions through Pegasus Hypnosis and Healing Center, which shares space with my dental practice. If it’s appropriate, I might recommend that a patient try a hypnotherapy session, to work through past traumas.
Everyone is different and I help guide people as much as I can. But at the end of the day, only you can take charge and cause your own liberation. People need to realize this at their own pace.
ML: Were you always spiritual?
Dr. AB: No. I completely rejected religion for most of my life because it didn’t provide me with anything physical to relate to. I was constantly looking for a reason to do it.
In middle and high school, I discovered science and suddenly it all made sense. There was no God. It was logical. And at the time, it answered my questions…or at least some of them.
After the Shah fell, I was arrested and interrogated. And this made me hate religion and spirituality even more. “Religion leads us to this?” I thought. When I look at the conflicts we have in the world, I now know that’s not spirituality; that’s fanaticism. No prophet or saint would want us to harm other people because they don’t believe what they believe.
Later on, after I came to the States, I found that the worlds of science and spirituality complete each other. Science is important, and we can do great things, but at the same time, one cannot live without the other. You need a balance of both, and if you take either one too seriously, that balance isn’t possible.