8 - Jan 2022
It is summer time. It’s lunchtime and I’ve travelled to London for my first appointment at the chiropractors.
The streets are not as busy as usual because we are still in a pandemic. It’s not lockdown but most passengers were wearing face coverings on the tube. I am surprised to see how many people are wearing face masks above ground in the open air.
I’ve never been to Harley Street before. First, I must have X-rays taken.
After I’m done, I step from air conditioned comfort, rip off my mask and draw my sleeve across my upper lip. I am sweating more than usual.
Nervous anticipation is normal
As I enter the building, I check my phone once more. Fourth floor. Apartment 23. It seems more like a block of residential flats than a medical premises. The lift opens onto a pristine corridor, all white walls, every dark-brown door identical, except for the number.
I find the flat I’m looking for, ring the bell and wait. The door is opened by small dark haired woman. She welcomes me in. Her English is laced with a charming French accent. I’d done my research but am still a little surprised. ‘Bonjour’, I stammer. She smiles and leads me into her treatment room.
The room is small and has a not-unpleasant, medicinal smell of lavender. Beneath the window stands a tiny desk. My X-rays are displayed on the computer. Along the length of one wall is a low bench upholstered in a rich green fabric. The only other furniture in the room is the chair on which I now sit.
We talk at length about my medical history. I feel very at ease and can open up about how I am feeling, not just physically. “You know the body and mind really are connected’ she says. I sense that we have already established a meaningful relationship.
It essential to feel that you have found a ‘good fit’
Anyone who works on you physically or mentally is just another human being. There are too many stories about health professionals who profess to have all the answers and are ready to absolve themselves of any responsibility if treatments don’t work.
When you are desperate for help, your mind grasps onto any hope of any improvement. You are at your most vulnerable. You’ll agree to most anything. That’s when you have to be careful. You have to do your research. You have to have an exit plan for if at any point, it’s not working out.
‘There are no guarantees. No promises’, she explains, when outlining the treatment plan. ‘I am hoping for a 50 - 70% improvement - given time’.
I leave pleased and relived feeling lighter, taller, free-er. Happier. It is difficult to explain. All I know is I can’t wait until to my next appointment and am looking forward to where this might lead.
That concludes my first visit. Needless to say it was a success.
Don‘t get me wrong there‘s a long road ahead. I have some strict instructions to ice the treated areas repeatedly for the first few days. To remove a pillow to allow my head and neck to be in a better position as I sleep. To think about avoiding wearing any shoes with a heel.
‘Had I looked at barefoot shoes?’
I am also dehydrated, which is no surprise to me, and know I have to drink lots of water. Oh and avoid yoga for a while, which was another surprise, as it may undo the work she has done.
Avoid stress as much as possible
I can do all that.