Galdang! Have you ever been to the chiropractor? As part of the Flaco Athleticism Reclamation Tour, I headed to Dr. Al "The Adjuster" today for a $40 chiropractic primer.
You remember the "Seinfeld" episode where Kramer played amateur chiropractor for Elaine? Yeah. Picture the eccentric Kramer as the equally eccentric Dr. Al, and me as Elaine, and you get a pretty vivid picture of what went down.
As I filled out my personal information in the cramped office with more plasma TVs than rooms, Dr. Al drew a few smiles with some jokes cornier than the ones I use in class (a true artist has got to give props to other artists in the same field). There was something about him that screamed "Used Car Salesman," but there was also a part of him that made me want to trust him. Hmm...perhaps this gained trust is part of the act to separate schmucks like me from our money.
As a man who always feels gipped by the experience at the doctor (my friend Tony and I joke that today's doctors spend more time looking at their computers than at their patients, more words summing up your visit on your chart than come filtering from his mouth), I was determined to be the aggressor and ask the hard-hitting questions of Dr. Al.
His seeming indifference to my question about how often a prospective client should come in for an "adjustment" made me again feel like I stood in front of a chiropractic Gandhi, an altruistic man whose heart beat fully when helping people to discover their full, spine-lengthened potential.
The clincher for me was his assurance that our session this day would not be painful. "I won't push the pain," he said, giving his best Cal Worthington/Tony Robbins smile.
As I felt the slight man grab onto my neck and twist, I felt confident that there was gain, even with no pain. That is why there is such training for these people, so that they can get results without pain for the patient.
Pain? It wasn't pain so much as bug-eyed shock that registered when he twisted my neck such that the pop it elicited sounded almost fake. The pop in my back; now, that had to be fake, right? The echo it produced, both audibly, and in my short-term memory, though, told me that maybe Kramer and Dr. Al were classmates.
After the peculiar experience of feeling and hearing some more body parts "pop," the session was over. It ended awkwardly, like so many first dates, with one partner trying a little bit too hard to gauge the other's interest in a second date. I assured Dr. Al with an overly cool tone that I would contact him in that murky time period we call "Soon," though I left the office with no intention of calling again, the snaps, crackles, and pops clouding my brain.
Might I reconsider? I might. There is a special bit of potential alchemy for me in that office, with a big part of me assuming that something that awkward, that potentially painful, must have some dose of relief in it for the patient pilgrim. Why else, then, would there still be so many chiropractors in business then?
Alluding to my last question, Dear Reader, you may say that I must be the same guy who thinks that he can actually win in Vegas, despite, or maybe because of, the opulent hotels and furnishings that exist there. Let's leave that one alone...