Day 483, October 21, 2021

Adjustments

I visited a my chiropractor for the first time since 2008 today. He acted as if I was an old friend, and asked if I was still teaching, a note perhaps, typed into my file. He had a new articulating bed, that bent and adjusted in more directions than a dentist’s chair, and he also employed electronic stimulation by way of adhesive patches, that was new. But he still used a metal adjustment tool that looked something like a StarTrek hypospray, and to adjust my neck, he did an old fashioned crack. 

After my session he asked if I felt better. 

To be honest, I felt a little like after I attended a healing service as a child with a priest who had a miraculous touch. After being pushed on my forehead and lying back into the arms of an assistant, and resting on the cool marble floor of the cathedral, as I rose, a woman asked, “Do you feel better?”

I am reminded how rarely that we center our thoughts on ourselves and our bodies. Even exercising, our thoughts are often elsewhere, or tied up in determination to achieve something, or reach a destination. Rarely are we attentive to resting, relaxing, releasing tension, allowing ourselves to be manipulated by the hands of another person.

Perhaps, more than the adjustment of a spine, or the popping of bubbles in the synovial fluid, is this practiced attention, this practiced letting go, the trusting of one’s self to someone else. It is almost like allowing one’s self to become a child again. I think I’ve experienced something similar when faced with medical care that extended beyond the ordinary, surgery, or similar procedures. It is vulnerable to be put under, to wake disoriented, the allow a nurse to place a warm blanket on your nearly naked body. I remember one particularly kind nurse, either before or after throat surgery, I can’t remember which, held my hand and stroked it. Her fingers were surprisingly soft and warm and soothing. It felt like an extra measure of kindness that went beyond what one might ordinarily expect for a bedside manner. I was thankful for it.

To a certain degree, visiting the chiropractor today was like that. Here is someone whose job it is to care for you for approximately thirty minutes. I have never been someone who has regularly received body work, except for a period of time recovering from a fall while hiking. Ok, maybe more accurately, it has been a long time since I’ve regularly received body work. 

Perhaps we are all touch starved. 

Perhaps, sometimes, we all need to be cared for. 

And more than adjustments or popped synovial fluid, maybe what we need is to periodically let ourselves go into the care of another.

Take care and be well,

Leo



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