Sunday, July 27, 2008

New Chiropractor

July 21, 2008

I’ve never been Rolfed. But I understand it’s quite unpleasant. Something about digging deeply into tissue. Something Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, would dole out as a pleasant past time treat. “You Vill Tell Me Ewvreting I vant to know!”

No, that never appealed to my idea of alleviating pain. But currently I’m being Grastonated. Not merely satisfied with using one’s hands to do a deep massage, some skier who'd hurt himself, named David Graston, came up with state of the art stainless steel torture devices. The object is to break down scar tissue - which is bad for you because it inhibits movement and causes pain. But nothing like the pain of going through this process. Imaging someone taking the backside of a strong steel hunting knife - the EDGE, not the flat part - and rubbing it fast and as hard as they can at a 45 degree angle over various portions of your body. Which are already sore, because that's why you're going to get treated, right? Sound like fun to YOU?

The chiropractor, a sweetheart of a guy named Daniel Becker (828) 817-5524 (if you live in NC), told me that the pain level should be kept at 7 or under. Now I can take a lot of pain. We women have much higher pain thresholds then you men (generally speaking). After all, you faint when a needle goes in your arm. We open our pelvises and human beings pop out. But pain like this I have never experienced. Then again, I’ve never given birth, but I think I might prefer it.

He told me I might bruise from his work. That when tissue has been in a trauma state for a long while, capillaries pool around it. (I also have heard blood tend to pool around certain areas of a dead body - but what of that.) And when you press on this scar tissue those pooled capillaries tend to come to the surface. Well, yeaaaaah. If you press hard enough on your skin tissue, it’s gonna bruise. I looked like I should go to the battered woman shelter down the block when I got out of there. Thank goodness he wasn’t working on my face. I can imagine attempting to audition looking like my husband clobbered me with a baseball bat.

Buy hey, this guy was recommended (as was this technique) by two people I know. I’d call them “friends,” but now I’m beginning to question that. And they were helped by him. So it must work. Right?

He wants to see me two days later. TWO DAYS LATER? Oooookay. I am so sore when I walk into his office that I tell him he is not laying hands on those bruised areas. Oh he has no intention of doing that. Today he’s going to do manipulations. Ah. Good. I’ve had that done before. Doesn’t hurt at all. YES IT DOES. I’m not sure what he did to my neck, but it felt fine before I went in. Maybe after the Ibuprofen kicks in I’ll be able to sleep tonight. He took the shoulder that was bothering me (with the bruises now all over it) and manipulated my arm in ways that only a contortionist should know.
Let’s see if we can slowly rip it out of it’s socket! Ilsa, She Wolf, has NOTHING on this guy. This, apparently is known as Active Release.

He finally finishes and I’m not sure where my body went. I try to grin. It’s a bit lopsided. “Well, I guess you’ll want to see me again next week,” I say. “Friday,” he replies. “THIS FRIDAY???” “Yes.” Shouldn’t there be some healing time here? The bruises probably won’t even be gone by then. “It’s better to do it all up front. Otherwise it’s maintenance, and this is not maintenance.” He’s a sadist. Right? Gotta be. I must be mad, but I say okay. Well, this is as it should be. He’s the sadist, and I’m the masochist. Can’t have one without the other.

I ask him if I can play tennis after, assuming that I can’t. I mean every other chiropractor that has ever worked on me has told me to take it easy for the rest of the day. Not Herr Mengele. “Yes, go, it’s good to keep working muscles and tendons.” I almost cried.

Am SO looking forward to my next visit. What new and wonderful torture will he have in store? Read it all in the next chapter!

Chapter II

As you might imagine I was not particularly looking forward to my third visit. What new torture was going to be perpetrated by Dr. Mengele this day? I figured there wasn’t much left that could be considered new. WRONG!

He was running a bit behind by a fellow masochist and so told me to lie on what I call the Tsunami. Looks like one of those typical chiropractic manipulation beds where they do their adjustments. (Actually called an Intersegmental Traction Table

He told me to lie on my back and then kindly put a pillow under my head. Most people who put a pillow under your head do so in attempt to make you feel better. Not Dr. Mengele. Showed me where the adjustment dial was, which in order to reach I had to bend my arm out of it’s socket. “This will open the joints of your spine,” said he gleefully. Oh? Uh huh! Can’t wait! “Each time you press this switch up, it will increase the wave. (not his term). If you want to decrease it (why on earth WOULD you I could hear him thinking) press the switch down. If you start to hear a grinding noise you know it’s at it’s upper limit.” Or I am, I thought. And he’s gone.

OK. Imagine a ball, the size of a big man’s fist, rolling under your spine from your lower back to your neck. A hard ball. A very HARD ball. And each time you press the up button the ball gets bigger and thrusts your spine in more of a convex wave. I began to feel like I was on my back in a small dingy in a Force 7 Gale with a cannon ball running under my back. I thought, well, gee, then if this opens my spine I guess he won’t need to do any more adjustments. WRONG.

At this point I don’t remember the order to the torture. But I still got to kneel on the “beheading chair” in the guillotine position. That’s the only way to describe it. It might be considered a praying position but your butt’s sticking out too much for that. At least I don’t tend to pray with my butt sticking out, although your back is kept in a flat position. At least I think it was flat, before he mashed it into submission.

I kept trying to relax, but after my previous visit my neck was none too happy and an actor’s sense memory is very keen. So I was awaiting the disintegration of every vertabra in my back and that, yeah, kinda tensed me up. Snap Crackle Pop rice crispies!

I made the mistake of telling him my elbow was hurting. Stupid. I now have a new bruise going the entire length of the underside of my arm (that’s the soft part) to my elbow. I think that occurred AFTER he tried to manipulate my ulnar by bending my elbow BACKWARD. Great if one were double jointed. Perhaps now I shall be?

I didn’t really think he’d re-work any of the areas he’d already Grastonated because they were still bruised. HA. WRONG. The thing that really puzzles me is that I LET him???!!!!! Obviously I have a deep need for abuse somewhere in my psyche. I must feel guilty about having a happy childhood.

So now I’m sitting on the “bednch” (well it’s not really a bed, seems more like a bench don’t it) and he’s digging into my right ankle and it’s HURTING LIKE HELL. And I’m trying to distract myself. So I start singing. LOUDLY. I think he was rather surprised. His eyes looked rather bright. Was that surprise or glee? I’m sure mine were too. Bright with pain.

But there was more fun to come. He puts me on a wobble board. No, not one of those manual disks with a ball underneath that YOU can control. Are you kidding. That’s child’s play to this guy. No, this is an electronic cutie known as the I Joy Board . I’m telling you, all these devices were thought up by people who are into whips, chains and blindfolds. At least they had the decency not to name it the I Enjoy Board.

He asks me if I have a sense of balance. Stupidly I say yes. (I think I’m just beginning to learn that you want to lie to this guy whenever possible.) How can I even begin to describe this machine. Thank God I did have a sense of balance, is all I can say, else I’d be on my ass on the floor and he’d be manipulating THAT next. It’s your basic two foot long teeter totter that sits eight inches off the floor. You know, you put your feet hip distant apart and lean right and left and.... Only in this case you don’t do anything. Except hang on for dear life. He hands me the remote (not dissimilar to a car lock remote) and says, “This button controls the wobble, and this one is the emergency shut of. Make sure you point it down toward the ground if you want to shut it off.” Oh. Ok.

Yowza and we’re OFF! Holy Cow. Give me a hula hoop and I wouldn’t have had any trouble keeping it up on my hips. I mean I’m being WOBBLED. Well, big deal, you might say. Yeah, well, Dr. Mengele has only just begun. WHILE I’m being wobbled, he’s got his happy stainless steel hunting knife and he’s rubbing it as hard as he can on my ankle - I think it was. At this point all I remember is pain. AND then he asks me to do slow squats DURING the process. “If I want.” IF I WANT???? I’m not kidding here. Honest to God. I wonder if he’s as demanding on the octagenerians? I don’t even what to imagine what he does to folks thirty years of age and younger.

Well of course, being the patsy masochist I am, I do nice slow squats while he's scraping on my wobbling ankle tissue with all his might. I’m not sure I actually fully grasp the concept here, but I think it has to do with the wobble board and the squats making your muscles work in certain ways that he can only torture with his device that couldn’t be reached else.

Then he proceeded to work on certain of the areas that he’d previously worked on that were already bruised. I could easily now walk into the local battered women’s shelter and have my husband arrested should I so desire.

I hope I don’t have an audition soon. Because I’d have to wear pants and a long sleeved shirt. Really.

I asked him, (because he’d made the comment when I’d told him I’d had physical therapy elsewhere and they’d used sonar on me and it had hurt like Hell....actually burned, and he'd said if it were done properly it shouldn’t hurt) I asked what I thought was a very logical question given his previous response: "Why should one turn black and blue and suffer enormously during your technique then? Hmmm?

That was when he handed me the butcher’s knife and said, “Here, feel for yourself. The instrument will tell you. Scrape along here.” And he placed it against the lower part of my wrist. And I scraped. Then he moved it up eight inches to my forearm and said, “Now do it here.” And I did. “Do you feel the grittiness?” Oh yeah. Oh yeah, I did. And he said, and proved it by rubbing against the lower part, “if the tissue is well, it will not bruise. It is only when there’s scarring underneath that you’ll find the capillaries coming up.”

I asked him if HE knew what this all felt like. He said indeed he did, because when they were learning and practicing the technique they did it on each other. He was not looking forward to the arm pit area. I didn’t want to go there so I didn’t inquire about that. I just pray I don’t have any symptoms that lead me to that area.

The bottom line for all of this crazy agony seems to really work. I may only feel this way at present because the pain of the techniques he’s using oer’pass the pain of my original complaints. Sort of like if you have an ache and you hit yourself in the head with a hammer you no longer feel the original ache. But I don’t think that’s the case. I may have discomfort because of the bruising but the interior parts of my body that were bothering me actually feel better.

Time will tell. And you can be sure I’ll relate it. I expect to end up with the ability to be able to do this. Well, at least pain free. Which one wonders if these contortionists are, eh?


Dan said...

Oh my! That is soooo funny! And it DOES sound kinda kinky if given the wrong context. LOL. Thanks for sharing!

RebJam said...

You know it takes all my strength to go to the acupuncturist which has truly helped with backpain for months at a time but this. . no way!You were brave! Thankfully my back is still at peace after my Ocracoke,NC vacation--now to the sunburn. .