Are Chiropractors Evil?

In January 2003, my great friend Carlos and I sat down and drank a whole bottle of cointreau, finishing proceedings at 5am in the morning. It was a great night. Unsurprisingly when I woke up I had a headache. Then for five days after that, I had a headache. Everyone suggested that maybe I’d put my neck out and recommended a chiropractor they’d all been using and were happy with. OK I said, I’ll give it a go.

The chiropractors’ name was Brett and if I saw him now, I’d probably want to rip his testicles off and shove them down his throat. Brett was your typical evangelical chiropractor with such belief in his practise that he convinced me to give it a go. So I had the X-rays and not surprising to me, he noticed I had a slight curve in my spine. It had always been there and was no big deal as far as I was concerned. Being the third child, you tend to get bundled around in baby carriers, mashing up your spine as your parents are forced to chase after more mobile older children. That’s life.

Brett was completely focused on straightening me out and after a few visits I stopped going. I was in BLOODY agony and my right hip and the middle of my spine was constantly spasming and seizing up. Sleep was impossible, life was gruelling, but I couldn’t go back to a chiropractor and get it fixed. I vowed never to do it again.

Then I got busy, travelling back and forth across Asia Pacific for work, partying hard on weekends, and the pain diminished but never went. I have an ability to live with pain, which is a bit silly, but there you go. It’s a gene thing.

So I met Steve, had a whirlwind romance and life, and the issue came up full force when I got pregnant. By this time there was practically nothing I could do that wasn’t potentially damaging for the bubba, so I had a shit pregnancy. But it wasn’t as shit as my second pregnancy – holey moley that was a crap time! I was constantly having muscle spasms, couldn’t sleep on either side (‘cos both hips were screwed now) and it was an exhausting nightmare. My only saving grace was Julie Gledhill who did Jin Shin Juyutsu on me – hands on energy healing – and this stopped the mega pain. It didn’t fix it though, just alleviated the pain – I needed to do something pretty serious to reverse the damage.

The next few years continued to be shit, because with two boys 15 months apart, a manic life, painful pregnancies, no time to address my issues, an inability to prioritize me over my little needy loves... well I didn’t do anything about it.

Before leaving Singapore nearly two years ago I knew I had to do something, so I embarked on an intensive remedial massage program and while it improved my situation, the consecutive 16 moves put me back where I started... actually I was in a worse situation. Now I had rotator cough injuries and tennis elbow too. How? I don’t bloody know!

In the last six months, tackling these physical issues has been a big priority for me (mainly because I’m sick of being a moaning pain in the arse) and I decided to focus on osteopathy. My early attempts failed because I ended up writing a book with the osteopath rather than sorting me out. See always putting me last. It was worth it though and helped me with some other stuff – like calming down my frantic mind.

When we came back to Singapore I decided it was time to get serious. As such, for the last two months I’ve been seeing this osteopathic dude and for the first time in two years I can raise my arms above my head. AMAZING. In fact, I’ve been able to swim again – woohoo.

I know I’m my own worst enemy, I also know I’ve let this stuff get worse and worse and worse, but the reality is, if I didn’t go to the chiropractor in the first place, and if I didn’t drink too much cointreau that night, I wouldn’t be where I am. So it’s all my fault.

Another significant lesson I want to share is if you do take the chiropractic path – and many love it – make sure you get a massage immediately after. If they’re going to be moving bones around, then you need to make sure the muscles are being massaged to complement any bone changes. As a body builder for many years, I still have muscle density. I love having muscles and strength. Brett didn’t take this into account. A great chiropractor will and should massage you as they crack your bones. Then you’ll know you’re on to a good one. I definitely appreciate that they’re not all bad.

But the chiropractic practise came out of osteopathy. The difference between the two is chiropractors were so marginalised for so long that they’ve gotten really good at marketing. Osteopaths are crap at marketing so you don’t hear much from them. After my experiences with both, I’ll tell you this much for nothing, osteopathy is where I’ll focus my efforts now. For me, chiropractors will always be representatives of evil.

On I go, with a focus on being pain free, strong and nimble. That’d be lovely.

Yours, without the bollocks
Andrea
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