if it walks like a duck

A few weekends ago, when the kids had just left for the East Coast, the hubs and I went to a street fair in the neighborhood. There was a chiropractor there, giving out free exams. Or so he said. It was really free in the sense of “let me sit you down and talk to you for a sec and then convince you to  come into my office and get an exam and some x-rays for $30.” But whatever. I took the bait.

My dad always said that chiropractors were quacks. I’m not sure how he knows b/c I’ve never seen my dad actually go to any doctor, except the time he broke his toe playing in his job’s basketball tournament, but that’s another discussion. But me? I’ve always been into alternative medicines, especially ones that are about systemic solutions to systemic problems.

Although I didn’t know chiropracticors were actually about systemic solutions. Did you? I thought they only worked on the back. And that’s partially true. They do work on the back. But they work on the back because they believe that in fixing the back, or more precisely, by aligning the spinal cord correctly within the vertebrae, that the nerves that are connected from the brain to the rest of the body will work correctly. So if you have stomach pain, or headaches, or bladder pain, or foot pain, that can all be caused by abnormalities in how the spine and its nerves are positioned in the back.

For someone like me, this approach is really appealing. I have been to urologists, neurologists, gynecologists. I’ve seen doctors for my back, for my migraines, for my allergies. I see a psychologist and a psychiatrist. Every day some part of my body hurts.

But I had been sort of done with the doctor thing. I was starting to come to a place of acceptance, a place that was thinking that perhaps, even if this state of being was not normal, it was my normal. It was the best I was going to get. It was what I had to deal with in my life, and whatever the systemic issue was, I wasn’t going to find The Answer. So I surprised myself by agreeing to go see this chiropractor.

But I have to say, the “quackiness” of the specialty jumped right out at me as soon as I stepped into the office. First, the doctor was behind the desk, but acted like he couldn’t help me until “Fernando” got back from walking a woman across the street. <side-eye> When Fernando got back, he sat with me in the room as he explained each form, one by one, and had me sign them, one by one. With a less sophisticated customer, that is an incredibly intimidating practice, to have someone sit there while you are being asked to sign a long form in which you are signing away some of your rights. It took us an HOUR to get through that part, mostly because I was not appreciative at all of how they did that. They were very nice, but almost too nice – being nice like a salesman. I don’t like salesmen.

Furthermore, during that hour, the doctor must have seen at least 10 patients. TEN people in 60 minutes. Spinal adjustments in less than 10 minutes a patient? And he’s charging patients/insurance how much?

I allowed him to take x-rays as part of the deal they gave me (an exam and x-rays with followup for $30), but I refused to give my insurance information because I’m pretty sure that after the follow-up, I won’t be coming back. It bothered me that they even asked.

I’ll probably be sticking with yoga as my wellness routine. I don’t think there are any duck poses.

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