Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Chiropractic: Hocus Pocus or the Magic Touch?

I've been going to the chiropractor for nearly 5 weeks now, and, for the first time in my life, I'm toying with the notion that it's actually working. But don't call me a convert just yet. 

Now, I'm no newbie to the chiro scene, and a month ago, you could've said I was a little more than skeptical. Don't get me wrong - I do believe chiropractic is effective for some people. My sister swears by it; it's helped her daughter's posture, making her a better rider of horses; and Amanda gets immediate headache relief whenever she gets adjusted. Not to mention that Brad has felt a lot better since he started going. I do question, however, its effectiveness for me

Dr. L., my current chiropractor, is the fourth guy I've gone to since the beginning of college, and in the past I've never been more than minorly and temporarily impressed with the results. When I made my first appointment in February, I'd had a headache every day for about a week and a half. A pretty bad headache, too. Neck and shoulders so tight it felt like there were rocks under my skin. And no matter how I stretched, used heat, rubbed; no matter how much Brad rubbed and pressed on the knots in my neck, back, and at the base of my skull, this headache wouldn't go away. 

I almost never take Advil for anything other than cramps (and even then, sparingly), but I was tossing two back several times a week just to be able to sit through class and do my work at home. Call it stress (it's stress), call it too much sitting in front of the computer with incorrect posture (it's too much sitting in front of the computer with incorrect posture), call it lack of sleep (it's lack of sleep), call it drinking insufficient water (it's that, too) - call it whatever, but man, oh man, call it wicked above all else. 

So, I was definitely willing to give the chiropractor another try (fourth time's a charm, maybe?). And it certainly didn't hurt that our insurance covers it completely - no annoying co-pay. 

At first, I didn't notice any real improvement even, as Brad (who started going around the same time as me) was feeling immediate relief. I was quite jealous. 

But I said I'd give the thing three weeks before throwing up my hands and calling bullsh*t. And, at just about that time, my shoulders started to ache less and my forehead felt less acutely in pain, although the daily terrible headache did not subside. 

Not until last Thursday. My head hurt Thursday, but not in a debilitating fashion. Friday it hurt even less. Monday was the first day in a month and a half when I didn't have a headache. And I can't tell you how amazing that felt. My shoulders and upper back are loose in a way I only ever experience during the summer - that is, when I'm not stressed beyond belief. Yes, my neck is still sore a bit, esp. on the left side, but it's a huge improvement. 

Next week, Dr. L. wants me to cut back from 3 to 2 times a week. So we'll see how this goes. I'm reserving judgement for a little while longer. But, I've got to say, the results I'm currently seeing are making a pretty good case for chiropractic.

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