By Kit FitzSimons

Spinal Destination

By Kit FitzSimons Posted October 5, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Eighth Week: Visit a Chiropractor.

I don’t make it a habit to criticize my younger brother in public, but I will say his posture is atrocious. Not Igor-bad*, but definitely bad enough that, at family dinners, I actively place one hand on his back and one on his forehead and manually straighten his slouch. I have seen far too many old men with St-Louis-like spines to sit by and let my brother sink into the same fate.

Well, they say turnabout is fair play, so, when I recently tried to jog from my desk out to my car and my spine felt like a clanking stack of Coke cans, I decided to take my friend Ted’s advice and visit a chiropractor. I’m fully willing to accept that my posture is terrible; they say sitting behind a desk is one of the worst things you can do to your spine…



…this might trump it, I suppose…

 
…so perhaps all of my threats to my brother of what he’ll end up looking like if he keeps slouching** had been the setup for a hilarious joke where my own mangled spine was the punchline.

Ted recommended Dr. Charles Hecht, whose office just happens to be two blocks from my office, and I immediately set up an appointment. The first thing he did was explain why, contrary to popular belief, chiropracty*** is not addictive.
 

Fiction: You sit poorly. You go to a chiropractor. He cracks your back. It feels good. It doesn’t fix the problem. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Truth: You sit poorly. You go to a chiropractor. He cracks your back. It feels good. You like feeling good, so you go back. He works to fix the problem.

My Theory: You sit poorly. You go to a chiropractor. He cracks your back. It feels good. Because you think you’ve paid someone else to fix your issue for you, you keep sitting poorly and let the chiropractor regularly fix the immediate problem, instead of just sitting up straight, …NATE.


Anyway, Dr. Hecht then laid me on my stomach, pushed down on my left shoulder and right hip, and said, “How does this feel?”

“Weird,” I replied.

“That’s flat,” he said and let go. My shoulder and hip rose again to their normal positions. Apparently, through nature or nurture****, my spine is a bit twisty.

With that in mind, we set up a short-term treatment schedule. Here’s how it’s gone:
1) I no longer have my wallet in my back pocket.*****

2) I’ve been through 4 biweekly****** sessions, where I get electrodes attached to my back that microshock me as I lie on my stomach under heavy warming blankets and listen to the radio.

QUICK DIVERSION: The music is always coincidentally hilarious. Not to steal Ron Stutts’ thunder or anything, but here are the best songs that have played while I’m lying facedown in the dark getting massaged by electricity in a back-adjustment specialist’s office:

Rihanna – Rehab
Lionel Richie – All Night Long
REM – Stand

And the best song by far, which actually played during my first session:

It’s something that’s good for me.

Okay, Diversion Complete.
3) Dr. Hecht returns and does that thing you think of whenever you imagine a chiropractic appointment:

…I’m not doing a good job selling this, am I?

No, but seriously, it’s really awesome. Still on my stomach, I exhale fully and he just pushes down on the spot where my spine is out of alignment. There’s the sort of feeling I associate with either snapping awake on the subway or finally fighting my way out of a paper bag, and suddenly, I feel taller and more relaxed. Repeat with symmetrical spine and neck twists.

4) He introduces some additional stretches that I am to do when I wake up, at some point in the middle of the day, and then again before bed. 18 minutes a day in total, and I’ll be counteracting all that laziness of sitting behind a computer all the time.

Oh, that’s the other thing: I don’t sit down at work any more. No more 8 hours of sitting for me! Some people would use company money to buy an expensive standing desk setup. Not this guy! Not when there are such great Scene-Around-Town-business-card boxes to be repurposed!
 


Standing Desk? More like Stand-In Desk, amiright?

Now, we’re to the 5th step: cutting back on the number of visits******* and making sure I can sustain the drive to do my stretches every day with minimal prompting. Ha! If I could wear my retainer for 6 months after my braces came off in 10th grade, I can EASILY…!

…Bad example.

Hmm…That reminds me: I really need to set up an appointment to get my wisdom teeth removed.

Also, just because I think it’s cool, enjoy Michael Richards as the world’s worst chiropractor:..NATE.

* yet. NATE.
** AKA The Scared Stand Up Straight Program
*** It’s a word; medical dictionaries have my back on this one.
**** FYI, as far as my personality goes, I’m naughty by nurture.
***** For sitting flat reasons, not because I’m broke. Chiropracty is actually very reasonably priced.
****** Twice a week, not once every two weeks. Fun Fact: I hate the word ‘biweekly.’

******* Now, instead of being biweekly, they’re only biweekly. …RAAAAAGH!?
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