Thursday, October 12, 2006


I wondered last night at TKD if I were the only adult in the building who didn't go to a chiropractor.

In the midst of a discussion of aches and pains Brian and I were joined by Master Hughes. He thought Brian should see a chiropractor about his back (Brian already has), and recommended one.

"He had me fold my arms across my chest," Master Hughes demonstrated and had me do it. "Then he grabbed me in a big bear hug--don't be offended" (here he wrapped his arms around mine) "and lay me back along the table. Each of my vertebrae cracked, one at a time!"

Where I'm from, a chiropractor is seen as one step up from a quack. But here at the dojang, everyone's got a chiropractor story.

I remain skeptical. I mean, my son cracks his knuckles and his neck, but that doesn't make his joints healthier. I have a hard time believing that joint cracking and spine "alignment" can make a person healthier.

Besides, despite the "Doctor of Chiropractic" degree, chiropractors are not doctors in the same way our family doctor is a doctor--in fact, some don't even like to use common medical tools like, oh, say, x-rays. I've always understood that their "manipulations" can cause damage if someone really has a problem. And I've heard stories of them recommending dicey nutritional advice--like megadoses of vitamins, etc.

But I suppose they can't all be bad. WebMD says "Research has shown chiropractic therapy to be effective in treating low back pain and to be helpful in treating neck pain and headaches."

The people who go to chiropractors at TKD all have jobs where they're on their feet all day. Master Hughes, Ms. Pryor, Jim, and Kevin all work at the Quaker plant. I hear them talk about steel-toed shoes and concrete floors, so they're doing serious stuff. And Brian's a police officer--that involves a lot of sitting AND a lot of being on his feet, I'd imagine. Perhaps chiropractic helps with the strains of a physically punishing job.

For me, occasional massages are enough. Maybe chiropractic is like a massage for the joints. And if it helps people feel good enough to get to TKD, that's a good thing.


Miss Chris said...

I used to go to a chriopractor but I found that I only had relief as long as I was getting treatment, then it was back to the beginning.

Justin said...

I also used to go to a chiropractor and it always felt really good after he finished, but it never solved the problem, just put it off to the side. Coincidentally, at job training today we learned about how to work the back muscles and talked about the affects of not working them.