Chiropractic Conundrum

The picture here has nothing to do with the following story lest it perhaps underscores the situation as a whole. It was just one of those odd little moments life likes to show off now and again. In this particular case, the advertisement bag holding the Sunday Times and the Times itself were in cahoots in an atempt to be naughty, and naughty they were. For shame, Sunday Times.

Two weekends ago while my wife, Miranda Kopfschmertzen, was suffering from her muscle flu, we decided to bring in some tasty food for dinner. I am always in favor of local business and so all the usual fast food choices were right out. We settled on the lucious Pizza and Salad for $12.95 from the Italian joint down the road. For reasons of grand adventure, I chose to go straight to the restaraunt and order rather than phone in my order. (This is silly and a waste of time. Always call the order in.)

While waiting 20+ minutes for the pizza pie to cook, I milled around the establishment looking for distractions. One such distraction was a contest for a free thirty minute back massage. Having little else to do, I entered. Much to my confusion, I won. However, before my free massage could be had, I was required to have a pre-massage consultation. Skepticism starts.

So, today I went in for my consultation. When I gave my name to the receptionist, she whipped a wad of contest winners filled out forms. Why were there so many winners? Not that I felt as if I were no longer “special,” it just seemed like they took all the forms and called everyone hoping anyone would come in. Is business that bad for them? Are they that good? Skepticism sets.

I filled out the requisite paperwork and read some pamphlets that were handed to me. They were laminated. Skepticism brews.

Begin the consultation. I was put into a small room with two chairs and a television. The chair I sat in was the magical message chair and sure to be the most delightful portion of the visit. While in the comfy chair I was shown a seven minute video. The power chord from the television dangled freely down the wall to the socket. “That’s a tad shoddy,” I think. When my view reaches the outlet I notice the outlet covers are a second choice. Whatever covered it before was obviously larger since the old paint color (yellow) left an outline not hit upon with the new paint color (off-white). The new color was not necessarily new; only more recently applied than the yellow. The walls were riddled with scuff marks and scratches. I found this untidy to say the least; and untidiness in a doctor’s office naturally leads to worry. I question the cleanliness of the comfy chair. Mmmmmm, comfy. This unease did not overpower the charisma of the chair. So exquisite were the chair’s delights, that I can not tell you what the video was about. I assume something to do with the holistic ideas of the chiropractic practice. However, skepticism bubbled.

From the comfy chair and into the fire. I was moved into the consultation room, more shoddy walls and dingy conditions and bizarre, highly out of place Victorian chairs. Why would a chiropractor have such uncomfortable chairs? In came the doctor with a pad of paper and a pen ready to take notes on my spinal history. There is something that strikes me as odd about her, though I could not be specific at the time. She seemed either frazzled (perhaps it was a long day) or a spaz (perhaps she is always like this). At any rate, her hair was lopsided and this really threw me because I fixated on it. To my utter surprise, she whipped out the laminated pamphlets I was supposed to have read and handed them to me explaining we were going to go over them. To my utter chagrin this doctor actually had me read passages out loud and then asked me questions about what I had read. “When vertebrae become disjointed, nerves can be pinched causing necessary nerve impulses not to make it to their intended targets,” I read, wishing I could see this situation from a third-person point-of-view through a one-way mirror. “So what do you think happens if your vertebrae become out of line?” I was not ready for the question, nor did I realize I was a five-year-old child who needed to be brow-beaten with a particular fact to ensure its permanency in my memory. Now I am sure there is a one-way mirror somewhere, and behind it there are aliens taking notes on human behavior. “Well, crap, Lady. I am still getting used to this body and I’ll be hog-tied if I can figure out the whole nerves and feelings thing,” I want to say. Instead I give the right answer. “That’s right. Please read the next paragraph.” She points her pen to the intended passage. The aliens are really impressed with how long I entertain this ridiculous charade. We do more questions and some range-of-motion tests with my neck and back. Wouldn’t you know it, but I can’t do most of them to her liking. It is recommended that X-Rays be taken which will usually cost $200 – $300, but as a contest winner they will be only $35. Skepticism cements.

Now I am not claiming to have a stellar spine, and will wager that indeed I probably do need chiropractic attention what with all the hours I spend sitting at work, but I’ll be damned if I am going to let a doctor treat me like a child in a dingy office with lopsided hair and svengali me into letting her be my chiropractor because she “frightened” me with her spine models. But I will let her give me a free back massage.

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