San Diego practice limited to treating Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ) and Orofacial Pain.

William Halligan, DDS

We offer a safe, non-surgical approach to rapid & long-lasting relief from orofacial pain and TMJ disorders.

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halligan-3upl-homepage390WELCOME, you are our greatest concern! We are dedicated exclusively to the treatment of orofacial pain and TMJ disorders. We provide you with special, individualized care delivered by a highly qualified staff.  Dr. Halligan has treated hundreds of patients with TMJ dysfunction, headaches and neck pain.

We offer many treatment options based upon the personal diagnosis of each individual. Should you have any questions or comments, let us know. We understand you have a choice of practices from which to choose, and we look forward to offering you the experienced, excellent care you deserve.



Kite Surfing at Windblown Jalama Beach

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A brilliant turquoise-blue day in mid May, the wind is blowing hard out of the northwest like God’s own hair dryer. There’s no escaping the wind that’s a steady 25 knots down from Lompoc and Vandenberg Air Force Base. This is Jalama Beach and seems ideal for one thing and it’s not for taking the kids out on boogie boards. Nor surfing either and not windsurfing. The deal here is kite boarding, and even then just for the experts.


Kite surfing or Kite boarding is a rather new kid on the block having only been invented in 1986. Yet it already has its own magazine and a cadre of star celebrity athletes.


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Once a surf spot, Jalama Beach here on California’s central coast, is now primarily home to kite boarding. It’s not for the faint of heart though. In fact, most of the year beginner and intermediate kite boarders are not allowed in the water here. The beach is long, mostly deserted, beautiful and nice for bird watching, but something in the curve of the shoreline here has created a wind tunnel that creates a force that never gives up.

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Understated Kiwis

 

andrea-bridge-360After she reached the Travers River Bridge, Andrea took one horrified look up at the featureless rocky bowl that towered above–no real trail, just orange poles every few hundred yards to mark the way–and asked our Kiwi guide, Gary, “Just what are my options at this point?”

“Well, you could walk back down to the van, but it’s about five hours away, and there’s nobody there. I could give you the keys, but you’d be on your own for the best part of two days. So I think you’d better marshal on. It’s not that far to the Angelus Hut. It’s just over that ridge.” He pointed to a lip of rock that looked like it was a few thousand feet above.


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“I really was exhausted at this point. Couldn’t turn around. Couldn’t look down. Where the heck is the trail? I was afraid for my life. Now I am pleased with the accomplishment and wonder how I did it.”
~ Andrea Halligan

 

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Photo courtesy Steven Fishman.

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Photo courtesy Gary Roberts.


So, given her options she indeed marshaled on. There were a few tears, a few words you wouldn’t hear in church, but she did make it to the hut in time for dinner and we staked out a place on the thin mattresses in one of the sleeping halls.


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Angelus Hut. Photo courtesy Steven Fishman.

Like many mountain huts from the Italian Alps to here on the South Island, the Angelus is a plain and rustic hut with 14 of your new closest friends sleeping shoulder to shoulder and hip to hip in one large room. I slept better than I’d hoped.


The next day was to take us back down to Lake Rotoiti. I say “down” reservedly. Gary gathered our little Canadian and American group outside the hut in the morning and pointed up into the mist above us. “You’re heading down today, but first you’ll climb that ridge up there. Actually a couple of ridges. Oh well, maybe three or four. And there are a few little rocky bits along the way. But then mostly easy down to the lake maybe seven miles away.”

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And the Southern Cross

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January 2016, at a sheep station on New Zealand’s South Island.


I pitched our tent yesterday on a grassy hilltop just yards from the shoreline of Lake Pukaki; we had a marvelous view of snow covered Mt. Cook a few miles north. Rain was forecast last night, but though the cloud cover was heavy and the weather cold, there was no rain. We slept warm in the peace of our very private space.


Andrea and I, along with a New Zealand based tour group, took a drive to the base of Mt. Cook this morning and we walked to a glacier-fed lake where icebergs floated. Then a cold rain started and we put on our coats. We were out most of the day. Back at the lodge a few hours later we toured the Mt. Cook museum and warmed ourselves with flat whites in the café before heading around Pukaki to the campsite. The dirt and gravel road beside the lake was slick with mud, but when we got to our tent site we found that the rain had stopped.


We had dinner and some fine New Zealand red wine at the sheep ranch then headed up the hill. We walked through tall wet grass and went to sleep in the best accommodation for miles around, our own tent with air mattresses and warm down bags.


Sometime after midnight I awoke and went outside, barefoot and shirtless. The weather had turned mild; a gentle breeze blew off the lake and the sky was clearing. Without ambient light the sky was very dark and the stars came out. And I saw the Southern Cross for the first time.


Andrea was asleep in the tent and I considered waking her, but decided to let her go on sleeping.


The Southern Cross is not a large or even particularly bright constellation. Mark Twain when first seeing it was clearly not impressed. And yet standing in the tall grass on that little hilltop in the perfect quiet beneath the Southern Cross, I was touched as if there were some magic there in four stars describing a lopsided cross pointing the way to the South Pole.

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Life and Teaching: Searching for the Mystic in the High Sierras

Andrea and William Halligan in the High Sierras.

Andrea and William Halligan in the High Sierras.

I pulled our dirty gray Subaru into the Mosquito Flat parking lot at about 3:00 in the afternoon. We’d driven up from San Diego, and the plan was a quick backpack trip of just three or four days. Our packs were stashed in the back of the Subaru; mine held the tent and rain-fly, down quilt, Thermarest sleeping pad,  stove, fuel, and a bear canister jammed tight with enough food for both of us for a few days.


There was also the book. Many people of my generation had read it years ago as it was part of the new age-y compendium back then. It snuggled cozily on 1960s and ’70s bookshelves alongside Thus Spake Zarathustra, Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Electric Kool-aid Acid Test. Somehow I’d missed it, but I owned the boxed collection of all five volumes and they had been gathering dust untouched for some time. For this trip I brought the first two volumes along: Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East. The thin paperbacks tucked neatly into a side pouch of my pack.

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The Torrents of Spring—Attenuated and Abbreviated in 2015

Nature can create a drought, but only government can create a water shortage.  ~ Anonymous


Thousand Island Lake

Thousand Island Lake

I’m sitting at the edge of Thousand Island lake; it’s the 28th of May, 2015 a few minutes after noon on a clear and sunny spring day. The lake is largely frozen over and just beyond its white and splintered surface towers Mt. Banner, its slopes lightly dusted with a powdered sugar coating of fine snow.


In most years, late May would find this spot buried under several feet of snow, but I’m sitting on bare earth. I listen to the three-note song of the mountain chickadee and the high pitched whistle of a fat brown marmot just recently aroused from hibernation and now doing his best to sneak a bag of Fritos from my pack.


A boots-eye view of Thousand Island Lake while a marmot observes my backpack.

A boots-eye view of Thousand Island Lake while a marmot observes my backpack.

It is an early spring and the Sierras have their lightest snowpack since the winter of ’76-’77.


I recall those years and think about state and federal government. I think about the lack of action, the lack of response.


The severe drought of the 70s must have made for a million dinner time conversations. Restaurants displayed little plastic signs on every table, “Due to the drought, water will be served upon request only.”

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Wild!

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Is this the face that launched a thousand hiker’s boots?


Spoiler alert: I might spoil the ending of the book and movie Wild here. If you don’t want to know about the endings, I suggest you skip this.
Last year I bought the Kindle version of Cheryl Strayed’s book, Wild. Much as I admired her rather fine writing, it didn’t take me long to decide that she was doltish and inane, her hike ill-considered, her past–though perhaps titillating to some–injudicious at best. In short, I didn’t find her someone I wanted to hang out with through all the pages of the book.
I put it down.
My wife though, stuck it out, through blisters and blackened toe-nails and days of rain. In the end she was disappointed. “It just didn’t come to enough,” she told me.
Eventually I picked it up again and slogged my way through. In the end, Ms. Strayed seems to know that 1100 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail may have taught her something–she can feel some inkling of it inside, but she can’t articulate it. There is a lesson, but it is like, she says, a fish glimpsed briefly in the water of a sunlit pool, but when trying to reach into the pond to grasp it, it slips away.

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Money, Gold and Promises

Burro race, Rhyolite, Nevada, July 4, 1908. Photo courtesy Orange County Archives.

Burro race, Rhyolite, Nevada, July 4, 1908. Photo courtesy Orange County Archives.

Hyperbole: Extravagant exaggeration; language that describes something as better (or worse) than it actually is. (Merriam Webster)


In August, 1904, two men were crouched on the desert ground in semi-darkness before dawn. They held their hands over a small campfire to warm themselves. The morning breeze smelled of the heat that would come later, when the sun was up, but it had been close to freezing overnight and wasn’t much warmer now. They were prospectors and they were camped just over the hills from Death Valley.


They were about to make an historic gold strike. Some even say that their find saved the state of Nevada. You wouldn’t guess any of that if you looked around the town that sprang up as a result of their bonanza. It lies in ruins now, a bit over a hundred miles north of Las Vegas. Perhaps some of you have been there, but not many know its story. The town was called Rhyolite.


An old legend says that while one of the men, Ed Cross, was frying  bacon and heating baked beans over the fire, one of their mules ran off; Ed’s partner, Shorty Harris, scrambled up into the hills above their camp to catch it. When he’d nearly caught up with the mule, the story goes, Shorty tripped over a rock and sprawled out face down in sand that was speckled with gold. History books claim that he shouted then, “Forget breakfast, Ed. This is it! The find of the century!”

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Lines written a few miles above Walter’s Wiggles

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Zion Canyon. The West Rim is on the right; Angel’s Landing is lower right.

There’s no accounting for the passage of time. Clocks and calendars while seeming to measure the flow of moments or years or lifetimes, aren’t really up to the task. How can 600 pages torn from faded calendars explain why some fifty year-old memories seem as fresh to me as last week’s?  How can a canyon take 250 million years to form?  How can re-visiting a favorite old backcountry climb here in Utah cause such a burst of emotion, though it’s been many years since I’ve been here? The very passage of time seems less than real.


I’m on a hike with my wife, Andrea, to the west rim of Zion Canyon and while here, I seem to step into Wordsworth’s famous poem about his walking tour above Tintern Abbey. Even though he wrote of a time and place 216 years in the past and thousands of miles from here, the lines of the poem ring true for me.


The hills above the Abbey held special meaning for Wordsworth, but he had not climbed in that country for five years. He wrote that the place had not been unseen in all that time however; often when the crush of the city strife became too much for him, he would revisit these vistas in his mind and find that it calmed him.


He remembered that when five years younger he could bound over the mountainsides like a deer—not quite the case when he sat writing the most

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Got (RAW) Milk?

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I grew up on whole, raw, unpasteurized, non-homogenized, unaltered milk fresh from our organic pasture-fed herd of Guernsey cows. Now, to be fair, the word “organic” wasn’t  thrown around back in those days, but we did not use any herbicides, pesticides, or artificial fertilizer on our pastures, so I think our green meadows qualified.


You could see the cows grazing on fields of clover on misty mornings, the green pasture looking like a painting by John Constable, a little trout stream, with weeping willow trees along its banks, flowing along the northern edge. Early mornings, often before dawn, we’d head out to the barn and milk our 20 cows by hand, the milk splashing with a metallic ring into pails that we then poured into 3 foot high milk cans—the kind you only see in antique stores these days.

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The Cutest Grandbaby in the World

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For years I’ve seen those ubiquitous—at least in our more senior neighborhoods—bumper stickers urging everyone to, “Ask me about my grandchildren!”


Sure. Fine. Maybe I will. Or not.


Until little Esmee came along.


My youngest, Scott, a child of California suburbia, earned his master’s degree in music from the New England Conservatory (NEC), in Boston. Can you just imagine this Southern California boy commuting from his rented walk-up in Cambridge down to Boston on a clunker bike in the winter in the snow? Perhaps with a cello on his back?


It didn’t seem natural.


Esmee's neighborhood.

Esmee’s neighborhood.

And after his rather artful, jazz improv master’s recital he actually stayed in the cold country of the east. Married to Chelynn in the summer of 2012, with a full teaching schedule and a rented apartment attached to a century-old farm house a few miles outside Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, my son and daughter-in-law have their first child. Yep; the cutest grandbaby in the world. Esmee.


Of course we had to fly back to see the baby. Any grandparent could relate; after all this is only common practice, repeated thousands of times each year throughout the land. But this time it was my grandbaby.

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