EXPERIMENTS IN CHIROPRACTIC 2: How Being Stood Up Detoured Me To A Miracle
No shit, there I was, at the coffee shop - stood up. OK, not exactly stood up. I don't normally attend my writer's social Meetup on Saturdays, but I had a spare weekend, awoke early, and was inspired. So I threw on some clothes and beelined down to the Hive, only a few minutes late.
Nobody was there.
Fast-forward 15 minutes and I learn that our fearless leader had cancelled the meeting because of a completely understandable dog trauma. Since I'm not one of her normal Saturday people, she hadn't thought to text me. So there I was, caffeinated and shiftless, all dressed up downtown.
Then I heard it. THE VOICE.
"GO TO THE FARMER'S MARKET."
Whaaa--?? I did not wanna go to the Farmer's Market. I wasn't in the mood for crowds. I wanted my peeps and introverted geekly goodness in my familiar setting. I didn't want the weekend herd with their kids and dogs and--
"I DO NOT GIVE A FLYING FIG THAT YOU 'DON'T WAH-WAH-WANNA.' GO TO THE FARMER'S MARKET. NOW, MISSY."
So I went. This will be good for you, I told myself. Break you out of your homebody hermit-crab reclusive ruts. Yeah. Yeah! See? It's not so bad. It's not so--
I do NOT like dodging dogs and capering around kids and--
And the God-Rays shone down upon a corner booth with the angelic choir's glorious, "AHHHH..."
The sign on the booth: Neurological-Based Chiropractic.
I blinked. Blinked again. Some kids had to caper around me this time. I just stood there, gawking. Neurology and chiro in the same booth?
Swiftly, determinedly, I stalked on. I'll never be able to afford a full battery of new chiropractic, and I bet it's the expensive kind. Yes, I know I'm stalled out and plateaued and my body is becoming really pissed off since I've been forcing my neck and spine to weather traditional rack-and-crack since this Knee Incident but I'm STILL waiting to see if Voc. Rehab is going to be able to help me launch this darn online school and I have even less income than--
"GET YOUR CURMUDGEONLY ARSE BACK TO THAT BOOTH, MISSY. NOW. DO YOU THINK I PLANTED THOSE GOD-RAYS AND SUMMONED THE CHOIR JUST TO ADMIRE MY OWN ARTISTIC BADASSERY?"
"Hi. Nice to meet you. Yes, sure, hook me up to your fancy nerve-meter, why not? Let's do this thing! Let the healing begin!"
Blink. Blink again.
Yup. That was an exact picture of my spine on that green-orange-and-red meter. Not only was I looking at the spine I knew too well, I was looking at my spine on that particular day with a more-than-usual level of left-side pain in the neck. NOT my usual MO.
Deep Roots Health Center, huh? Okaaaaay...you have my attention. The $40 special for a full battery of X-rays from skull to hip, including mobility shots, got my attention more so. Take mah money! It would be worth it just to know if my years of Upper Cervical had made any bloody progress. Plus I hadn't seen anything but my neck since 2000.
When I did, I was slightly shocked. Not at all surprised, because these are the things I can feel every moment of every day, and have been complaining about for 2 decades. The shock came from how clearly you can actually see it.
When I got a load of the trauma-induced scoliosis I could see from across the room, my first thought was, "Any fucking questions? Can you hear me now?!" Because I didn't have that before my first car wreck. When I saw my neck, I was actually pleased. At least Upper Cervical was able to restore part of that backwards curve.
To give you a point of reference, this is part of the poster that lives in my the majority of the chiropractic offices I've ever been in:
This is me:
Since I've progressed past a merely straight neck and have bone degeneration, I am in Phase III. I have one single vertebra that does its job correctly. All the others only work in one direction, and several aren't moving anywhere. (You can see the range of motion - or lack thereof - drawn on the clear sheet in photo 3.) The only one able to do its job is C4. *evil laugh* Fine. Let's blow this craptastic pattern up! Because you know what comes next, right? Surgery, drugs, posture collapse, bullshit.
They were surprised that I was happy to see my neck in that state...
"When I pulled up your X-rays over the weekend," my new doc says, "I thought at first that I had the wrong patient. But no, it was you. This is the kind of degeneration you'd expect to see in someone 30 years older."
Yes. I know.
I feel it every second of every day.
"Do you have any questions before we start this conversation?" he asks.
"In fact, I do," I say, leaning forward to look him straight in the eye. "I bet I can tell you exactly what you're going to say. You're going to tell me that I need to come and see you 3 times a week for about 3 months. After that, maybe we can go down to 1-2 times a week, and eventually, depending on how I take to it, I might be able to go onto maintenance as needed, but with the degree of injury I've sustained and the length of time I've been dealing with this, I'm probably looking at a lifetime maintenance of at least once a month."
He stares at me as though I have just whisked the words directly from his mouth.
I shrug. "What I want to know is this. Why should I spend all this money to do this full battery AGAIN? Because my body simply doesn't hold. Two times I've been on the dime of car insurance and been able to come in more than once a month. But it never takes. If money was no object, I could come in here for the rest of my life and have you shove my vertabrae back into alignment every 3 days or so, because that's how long it usually takes for it to pop back out. Sometimes it's more like 3 hours, but I'm on disability so money is an extreme issue. Why should I put myself into debt like that?"
And so he told me.
The description he gave of this instrument, the Integrator (a chiropractic device that actually has FDA approval) and its Torque Release Technique sounded eerily familiar. The words he used sounded like the first time I ever heard of Bowen Therapy.
And what is Bowen Therapy? That would take a post of its own. Suffice to say right now that Bowen is what made the difference between having my MD tell me that I would never be a professional dancer again and catapulting onto the international scene after snarling, "Watch me."
Well, I'm at it again.
Is all this stuff one great, big fat placebo? I truly don't care if it is. Whatever works, man. And as of Day 45 in my experiment with Neurological-Based Chiropractic, it does.
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE:
--UP NEXT: BLACK FRIDAY NEEDS A MAKEOVER