Tuesday, May 30, 2017


The first time I experienced chiropractic treatment, it was in exchange for free movie rentals. Next door to the video  store at which I worked, there was a  doctor offering up adjustments in the same way the pizza place one door further down offered slices. I could get a couple pepperoni or a thumping by handing over a copy of Top Gun on a Friday night, the one everyone was clambering for earlier in the evening. A three dollar value. I honestly don't know what the going rate for an adjustment was at that  time, but a slice of pepperoni went for about three bucks. I don't think that's was what the good doctor was charging folks who had an appointment.
What I'm saying is that I never really had a socially accepted value associated with going to a chiropractor. I would say that my trading practices as a youth infected the love and respect I may have had for this corner of medicine. I would go so far as to say that it made me sneer. A little. Which meant that when I moved in with my girlfriend to be wife and mother of my child who was a devotee to the practice of popping and locking joints I was in for a bit of friction. Not that I sought it out. It meant that when she was ailing and her choice for having a nagging cold was having someone rearrange her spine, I made my own adjustment by biting my tongue.
Several years passed. Then several more. And I started getting a pain in my shoulder. I have a history of sucking such things up as annoyance with the expectation that it too shall pass. It never kept me from my appointed rounds at school or lifting and schlepping things at home. But it earned its reputation as as "nagging." Then a month passed. My shoulder kept nagging. This is when I surrendered.
I asked my wife to make me an appointment with her chiropractor. I did this with no particular expectation beyond this: I did not want to have a conversation about the nagging pain in my shoulder that killed me to include, "If only you would have gone to my chiropractor." Come to think of it, this is probably not a conversation in which I would have participated, having succumbed to the pain. I didn't want my friends and family to have this as a topic standing around the urn of my ashes.
So off I went to the doctor's office. When at last it was my turn to be examined, he was quick and thorough, explaining his pokes and shoves as he manipulated my muscles and bones and made a lot of knowing "ahas" and "hmmms." Most of what he told me folded into terminology that could easily apply to car parts or knitting. I nodded and appreciated the pops, crackles and snaps that came with certain twists and turns. When I walked out of the examination room, the pain in my shoulder had subsided, as had my sneer.
Was I converted? Not exactly, but I am completely willing to offer the good doctor a free movie rental.

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