I never used to believe in the power of a good adjustment.
In my mind, chiropractic care was placed in the same category as the existence of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Sasquatch, and Unicorns. When people said that they were going to visit offices where these mythical creatures performed their magic, I would smile, nod, and think, “yeah, right. You’re going to let some guy (or gal) adjust your spine? Your SPINE? That thing that keeps you from falling down and allows you to do things like walk upright?”
This had less to do with the fact that I understood even one thing about chiropractors or whether they could help a person in pain and more to do with the fact that I am, as my family and friends know only too well, a wimp. A WIMP. I don’t even like to think about my spine, much less allow someone to twist it around. I think that seeing the film “The Exorcist” when I was probably too young to see it at the drive-in probably fixed me for anything neck-related, if you get my drift. So much spinning of heads and cracking sounds. Eek.
And so, nobody is more surprised than I am to find that visiting a chiropractor’s torture chamber, er….office, is giving me some relief from some really annoying chronic back pain I’ve suffered from for the last twenty years. Sitting at a computer seven hours a day the past four years as an online college instructor has finally forced me, finally, to address the issues in my creaky old back. And it’s helping. The guy I go to is young and built like a college linebacker. Every time he adjusts my neck and I hear that godawful crunching sound, I fully expect him to utter a ” Well, SHOOT. That wasn’t supposed to happen. I’m so sorry” as he hands my head back to me. This hasn’t happened yet. I’m trying to have faith that it won’t.
All this manipulation of some of the parts of me that have been stuck for a long time has me thinking about all the other adjustments we go through as creatures traveling this wild, twisty road of Life. When we are young and limber, it’s easy. Plans change. People come and go. We adapt. Then, we get older and a little more creaky and a lot less willing to stretch our bodies and our minds. Joe Football is teaching me about something called Muscle Memory and how pain can show up in places where there’s no damage because the muscles are working hard to support things they weren’t meant to support. About how this causes pain and stiffness.
Pain. Stiffness. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could change the muscle memories in the rest of our lives as easily as moving a body part millimeters of an inch? I think that having a career that allows for growth and creativity is part of the antidote. Deeper, more meaningful connections to the people we love doesn’t hurt. And then there’s faith in ourselves, our families, our communities, our government even when things seem hopeless. The belief in some cosmic balance in the universe and a higher power we cannot see that somehow makes the seasons change, creates interesting creatures like babies and old people, and makes our hearts beat, day in and day out.
Sometimes, the concept of Faith eludes me. Sometimes, not. What I know for sure today is that we are both simpler and more complex as both organisms populating the planet and spiritual beings than what we can possibly know. Some days, this comforts me.
There are amazing mysteries within us. Pretty amazing ones outside of us, too, if we really look.
But we’ve got to be willing to bend.