Next in a series of flavorless catch-up posts:

When the stress of the day gets me down and I feel the weight of the world settling into my bones, I hang upside down. Really.

Like this; a few months ago my lower back would hurt after I’d been lying down for several hours. The upshot of that would be that after sleeping for a period of time, pain would start to build. I theorized several things: my stomach muscles were not as strong as my back, and when I relaxed my spine bowed backwards; my back muscles were not as strong as my stomach; my work chair was brutal to my posture; my exercise was insufficiently mobility-centric; it was too much so. And so on. I experimented carefully to test each theory, and every experiment was a success; I disproved every hypothesis I came up with.


My sleep was down to 90 minute bursts when I took Shannon’s suggestion and went to a chiropractor. Having someone crack my bones seemed…superstitious. Why would that help? After running (carefully) and yoga and general good habits, I should be stretched and toned and relaxed and shaken into place. Pain, lack of sleep, and trust in the redhead’s opinions led me, in any case, to get ’em cracked.

It worked. Well, good. I don’t have to understand things to note that they work. I went, at the usual ruinous expense for things that are doing one good, until I couldn’t afford the visits.

The thing is, I wasn’t getting better. I was just relieving the symptoms. Not a useful long-range solution by my lights. Further, my chiro felt me up, gave me a gross observation, and determined to crack me. No X-rays, no clever equipment, no careful study, no sacrificing a goat, staring into a pool of water, or spreading his enemy’s entrails over the Liglamenti Times. Just a blind decision that crackin’ me was a good idea.

I found another chiro when I could afford to, one who actually applied some sort of thought rather than blind faith. He X-rayed me, ran me through a series of postures and exercises while he watched and probed with hands and diagnostic equipment. He measured and considered.

Then he cracked my bones, just as the other fellow had done. He was significantly less successful; my symptoms weren’t relieved at all.


The X-rays were wonderfully useful. They showed a wonderfully healthy spine, with an exception right above my pelvis, where I had a pad that was half the width of any of the others. My self-care is probably the only reason it hasn’t spurted out one direction or another. Compressed disk. Fine. Treatment for that?

Crack yer bones!

Uhm. And that helps, exactly, how?

The new chiro ran down some other alternatives, which included traction. Basically, anything that relieves the pressure in the area will permit tissue recovery to some degree, and I will experience relief. His feeling is that crackin’ my bones will do that, although he allows that there are other things. In fact, he said that if everyone practices yoga and uses gravity boots or traction, he wouldn’t have a job.

Well, all right, then. I acquired a pair of gravity boots on ebay.

Boom. Immediate relief. Progressively better sleep this week. Dandy.

Unfortunately, I sort of over-did yesterday, and I’m feeling very over-used today. Very like the feeling one gets from too much vigor at the gym. I’ll be taking a day or two off from hanging like a bat.

So. There you are. No punch line commends itself to this, so we’ll just have to accept that some things are merely reported, rather than related engagingly with a zing at the end that drives the entire thing home and makes it a part of the reader’s soul forever. Sad, but there it is.

4 thoughts on “Next in a series of flavorless catch-up posts:”

  1. Although I cannot provide a zinging post script myself, I can at least concur with everything.

    Chriopracty in general seems to work, regardless of the psuedo scientific explanations that one tends to hear. And in my experience, the more “scientific” a chiropractor appears, the less he seems to be able to help.

    Likewise, a compressed disk hurts.

    Mine was C3, near the base of the neck, and caused me to walk around like I-gor, complete with Marty Feldman eyes, for months after it flared up.

    In my case, my chiropractor, a scientific fellow, told me he would not crack me again until it had gone back to normal.

    So, traction was the solution, although from the other end (not inverted). And drugs– NSAIDs as I recall, nothing major or fun.

    Massage also helped immensely to combat the tendency to hunch, and helped ease the general pain.

    So, my advice is to A) Don’t overdo the work, B) Hang yourself at least 20 minutes a day, although not necessarily all at once, and C) Ask the redhead (nicely) to gently massage the area that is in pain, because it is likely to tighten up and cause further pain or contortion.

    Hang in there, it will get better.

    1. Hang in there….


      In fact, I’m not at all unwell, nor unfit. I can do all the things I can think of to do…except sleep eight hours in a row. I will be happy to do that again.

  2. good to see you posting again. I like the update posts. How goes your writing?

    i have had great luck with my chiro. He’s young – and newly trained in a variety of things. Like you I’ve done yoga – and I’m flexible as hell – but I was having SI joint issues (common for women). After a few weeks I noticed how much better the pain was and how much *more* flexible I was getting. Then I blew out my knee and developed IT Band issues. (hip pain). The chiro basically told me there wasn’t a lot *he* could do for it but gave me a bunch of exercises and sent me to go see a massage therapist.

    I have this idea that some chiro’s are just not as good as others. The guy I got has a very strong and varied medical background and was a professional athlete. Josh’s old chiro though treated him for 6 yrs and never gave him a single exercise. It wasn’t until Josh started working out here that his back got considerably better.

    i’ve never tried hanging upside down. might freak me out a bit at first. lol. Glad to hear that it is working for you.

    1. Good to be posting. 🙂

      The writing…my novel’s first draft is complete. Revision from a very, ah, wandering sort of first draft is a bit of a chore, particularly with as many different starts as I had, and with no synopsis. I don’t actually remember what happened separately from what happened in a different write. I’ve read it twice, but…I may have to go through and take notes. Maybe build a forensic synopsis describing what I actually wrote, revise that, then revise the novel.


      And, natch, the whole job hunt and move thing sort of eats up energy. I’m writing new stuff instead of revising old, just so I can feel that I haven’t given up. I can probably do that for another month without feeling that I’m avoiding the novel.

      Chiros: your experience reflects mine. Some are better than others, and some think better than others. My worse chiro was the better bone-cracker, but I trust the lesser cracker.

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