Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Last week, a new chiropractic office opened down the street from my office building. In an effort to bring in new business, they set up chairs and offered free 15-minute massages to everyone in the building. Having never experienced the relaxing and healing hands of a professional massage therapist (stop being dirty, you scandalous kids!), I signed right up.

I have never had to sit through anything so uncomfortably painful in my life, except maybe The Time Traveler's Wife. That crap was horrible.
Not only did the massage therapist frown at my knotted shoulders and admission of the occasional stressful day (just the ones that end in 'y'), but she spent the entire time using mostly her elbows.

"Ow! That's kind of hurty!"

"Well, I'm trying to work all the knots out of your back, you have a lot of tension," she said, all frowny-like.

"Yeah, but you're worsening the tension by stressing out my knots. Can you just leave them in? I'm sort of used to them. We were kind of on good terms."

She dug harder into my back-flesh and, as one is wont to do in painful circumstances, I tensed up.

"You have to relax," she admonished.

"I can't relax! Aren't you guys supposed to be gentle? And use massage oils and Enya? This is clinical and I don't need clinical torture madames aggravating my knotty muscles. They're gonna get maaad..."

Anyway, it was rough. After 20 or 30 minutes (I probably passed out from discomfort and lost all sense of time), I was ushered to a table where I was instructed (some say, forced) to sign up for a follow-up appointment with their chiropractor. That is how it works - they torture you until your knotty muscles revolt and cause you all kinds of pain, and then you must go see their chiropractor to have him assuage the knotty muscles with holistic herbs and back cracking "adjustments." I'm onto your little scam!

I went yesterday after work, though. I have never had any serious back problems per se, but EM suffers from Migraines of Insanity and EM's boyfriend broke his back doing some kind of stunt and - like a true man - did not go to the hospital. Instead, he suffered and underwent 6 solid months of chiropraction (which is my new word so shut up). I figured if this place turned out to be legit, I could at least recommend it to the two people in my life who *actually* need it.

The experience was... interesting. Here's how it works: they sit you in this massage chair and make you watch a 10 minute video on chiropractic propaganda. It's mostly like, "Chiropractors are so *real doctors*!" This is followed by a lovely chiropractic "nurse" lady taking you into a back room to test your flexibility and give you a fancy nerve scan. Then, the chiropractor comes in and pokes at your back and butt bones, shouts out random bone names and frowns at you when you tell him you don't want X-rays today. Bear in mind, I did not venture to this office for any particular back injury or pain, but I have since learned the following:


Not really, but that's what they make you think. My "low flexibility" in my upper back (what is that part? Cervical?) is "severe," even though I am not really that limber and avoid exercise in a general sense.

"Could my flexibility be improved by stretching and exercise?"

"Well, we really need the X-rays to know what's wrong with you."

"But you just told me. I have tension in my upper back and poor flexibility for someone my age, despite being lazy, drinking somewhat heavily and breaking numerous bones due to innate gracelessness."

"We really need the X-rays. Also, one of your legs is half an inch shorter than the other, your ribs are out of line and your hips are a bit curved," Chiropractor and Nurse frowned in a disappointed kind of way.

"Yeah they're curved! Watch out for these curves ahead, baby! Bow chica bow bow, sex-ayyyy!"

"Not in a good way," Frown frown frown.

"Oh. They're probably compensating for my short-leg pimp walk. See? Like, part pimp, part ho," I shrugged.

More frowning. "I'd like to get you in for another follow-up as soon as possible. If untreated, your spine could look like THIS: (picture of a scoliosis curved back)."

"I don't have scoliosis. I just don't like to get off my couch. Don't worry about the broken bones, either, I got that calcium shit handled. I eat a LOT of ice cream."

They tried to schedule several follow up appointments to my follow up appointment, but I told them I was busy. Frankly, I have a lot of sitting and ice cream eating to do to make up for my bad back.

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