My first experience with chiropractic took place at some point in late 1996 or early 1997 while walking through the mall with my husband. One of the many local chiropractors had a display and was offering to do a quick evaluation of your spinal alignment. I don’t recall why we decided to stop and participate, but we did. Predictably, the results were horrendous! Next thing I know I am dragging two pre-schoolers downtown, so we can all get our regular adjustments. I continued these regular visits through pregnancy. At some point, dragging three young children to regular appointments lost its’ appeal, and we stopped going. There wasn’t anything particularly offensive about that chiropractor. I just never really felt like there was much point to our visits and no real benefit to our health.
A few years later through the athletic pursuits of our children, we were introduced to two more local chiropractors. I did see one professionally a few times, but those appointments were just more in a long line of ‘what a waste of time’ appointments. To be honest, neither of these two chiropractors were people I truly liked. On the sports field, my dislike was quite intense actually. They carried themselves with an attitude of arrogance and poor sportsmanship that I have a difficult time overlooking in children’s activities.
My next chiropractic encounter came in the fall of 2007 after I was rear-ended and suffered with a headache that lasted for more than half a year. I don’t remember why I went to this particular chiropractor. If I hadn’t been in so much pain and if ICBC wasn’t footing the bill, I doubt that I would have continued beyond an appointment or two. This chiropractor wasn’t as off-putting as the previous two, but, like all the ones before, there was an over-the-top, in your face attitude that chiropractic care was the miracle cure for anything and everything that might ail you. Of course, to be in the best health possible, you also should have 3 appointments a week for at least the next 6 months, although that would really only just get you up to a semi-normal state of health.
Oh yes, my skepticism of chiropractors was high! By the way, my never-ending headache continued on past my time with that chiropractor. It did eventually disappear. So in 2008, I stopped seeing chiropractors and never thought I’d visit one again.
In May of 2014, I woke up one morning with pain in my shoulder that wouldn’t go away. Of course, by that time, I had already been training for several months and was preparing for my first powerlifting competition. My trainer suggested that I see his chiropractor, Dr. Ben. Michael assured me that Dr. Ben was familiar with powerlifting and treating athletes. I listened politely, strangely willing to consider the advice, yet extremely skeptical because Michael was talking about a chiropractor. To be perfectly honest, if I had injured myself at any point in time prior to training with Michael, I would never have even considered going to a chiropractor. I’d be hard pressed to even go see my doctor! But I trust my trainer…
Still, I like to know what I am getting myself into, so I did a little research first by checking out Dr. Ben’s website. He didn’t look like a jerk. He didn’t look smug and arrogant. I liked the way he “spoke”. And so I thought I could make an appointment, try this chiropractor thing one more time.
I can’t recall what I was feeling as I sat waiting for that first appointment to begin. Undoubtedly I was a little nervous, probably feeling skeptical and anticipating the typical ‘marvels of chiropractic’ speech. Within minutes of meeting Dr. Ben, my nerves were gone, my skepticism was being dispelled, and he had me ensnared. Here is a chiropractor who I trust and actually like as a person, so much so that I actually feel like I can be myself in his presence. Believe me when I say that I am an expert at hiding behind masks, so showing the real me is not something I generally do with strangers, mere acquaintances, or those people who must be tolerated.
Last Friday when the pain in my knee flared up again, I couldn’t wait for Wednesday to arrive so I could see Ben. As wonderful as he is, he is not Mr. Miyagi. There was no magical, Japanese healing of my knee. There was a whole world of pain as Ben did his thing on both the back and front of my knee. There was the application of Rock Tape and the expected Gollum joke regarding the now wrinkly knee cap. The knee pain itself didn’t go away, but I was able to go down the stairs in my house without pain. I am especially thankful for the ability to go downstairs pain-free today as I am making multiple treks up and down doing laundry.
It sounds strange on my lips to say the word chiropractor when I am talking about Dr. Ben, because he does not fit into my preconceived mould of what a chiropractor looks like. That is not a bad thing! I might call him my torturer extraordinaire, because he does on occasion inflict a fair bit of pain and some bruising and he sometimes gives me exercises to do that are not so enjoyable; however, there is always a purpose for the torture. He’s helping me to become a supple leopard! I will continue to call him my chiropractor, because now I’ve been spoiled and couldn’t ever go back to one of those other chiropractors. And I will also call him Ben…because I actually do like him! He’s a great guy!