Physical therapy

I’ve been getting physical therapy for neck problems, and every treatment I’ve received since February has been therapeutic and refreshing. Except today’s.

The head chiropractor gave me a thorough consultation the day I was referred to him by the clinic’s doctor. It’s hard to find a good chiropractor, but he felt trustworthy and the prices seemed standard. So after some thought and financial assistance from my brother, I started treatment there.

I was very fortunate that the head chiropractor took me in as one of his long-term patients, because he is talented and treats me with the utmost care and attention each time. You could say he spoils me; when he’s not busy, he gives me extra treatments that normally cost more.

But today, I didn’t receive the usual friendly welcome. The clinic was packed and one chiropractor was “in the weeds”; he had three patients waiting for physical therapy, and both stations were occupied. Extra services (electrotherapy, ultrasound therapy, sling exercise) were being given to patients left and right to buy time for the stations where actual hands-on therapy takes place.

I was in a particularly bad mood as well and in considerable pain from pulling a muscle. As soon as Head Chiropractor started treating me, I could tell he wasn’t having a good day either. He was uncharacteristically rough and impatient.

I’d never felt so vulnerable. This medical professional whom I’d seen twice a week for the past five weeks and grown to trust with my body and physical well-being suddenly treated me with no regard for my physical and emotional security.¬†Everything hurt, and at one point, I was close to tears.

It’s amazing and a little bit frightening how much vulnerability and trust play a part in physical therapy. Even the slightest difference in touch and pressure can make you extremely uncomfortable, and in turn, physically vulnerable, which makes you feel unsafe and emotionally weak.

Until today, I always looked forward to these treatments. There is certainly a bit of pain and discomfort involved, but overall, the experience is rejuvenating. Nonetheless, I don’t know how I feel about going back.

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