Saturday, April 11, 2009

Health Care on the Chi

A strange man has grabbed my wife by the armpits and lifted her off the ground. He rearranges her limp body, pushing and twisting, while I sit helpless in the next room.

In a few moments he will jab her with metal sticks and send electric currents through her body, and, again, I will just sit there, unable to escape the influence of People Magazine.

This may sound like a nightmare, or a typical experience of guests dining at the Blaine House, but it’s actually just another visit to our chiropractor, who uses an electrical acupuncture machine to supplement his spinal wrenchings.

Don’t scoff. There are plenty of things you don’t understand but don’t question.

If you spend any time at your local playground, for instance, you know that the absolute worst possible crime against humanity a child can commit is to climb up the slide.

I’ve seen 18-month-olds allowed to wander precariously toward openings ten feet off the ground, rambunctious boys throwing things with reckless disregard for smaller children, and more than one precious snowflake left to curse and drop garbage all over the place.

But if one kid starts up the slide, the nearest adult jumps in to scold him for his brutal act of treachery.

Does this make sense to any thinking human? Of course not. Same goes for Google, telecommunications, the financial world, earned run average, and structural engineering. These things may function on pure pixie dust, as far as most of us know. But we see them work, so we assume there’s an expert somewhere who understands it all, and we’re happy to reap the benefits.

Yet, inexplicably, some people remain skeptical about acupuncture.

Consider my story:

Since she allowed me to reproduce with her more than four years ago, my wife has experienced more body issues than a 1989 Nissan pickup.

She threw her back completely out of whack, her shoulder endlessly smoldered (from the baby carrier), her bladder went mad as a hatter, and her regular hormonal cycle did something that rhymes with “run for cover.”

Super Chiropractor-Acupuncturist Man cured all these problems. After the “regular” doctor said she might have to take medicine for the rest of her life for interstitial cystitis, our hero relieved her symptoms it in about four half-hour sessions.

If he manages to increase her libido, I will build a shrine in his honor.

How does it all work? A pamphlet in the chiropractor’s office describes “fourteen major energy channels” in the human body, through which “a subtle energy called Chi” flows.

“Any misdirection, blockage, or other derangement of Chi may result in pain, dysfunction, and ill health.” Acupuncture needles “restore normal balance and flow of Chi.”

To a scientist, this sounds rather absurd, since it is impossible to detect “Chi” empirically without eating certain kinds of mushrooms.

The Scientific Method is a relatively newfangled contraption in the eyes of the Far East, whose ancient medicinal traditions can be traced back thousands of years to doctors who grew tired of treating sick people with herbs and started poking them with needles just to see what would happen.

(This should sound vaguely familiar to anyone who has been prescribed antibiotics, “to see if that clears it up, and if it doesn’t, we’ll order some tests.”)

If you want to do your part to curb health care costs, try “alternative” treatments first (unless you’re bleeding to death or something), then seek help from the traditional MD.

And stay away from the Blaine House, for God’s sake.


Anonymous said...

Guess how many physical therapy treatments Maine Care will allow per year? TWO! Not two a month or even every six months. Just two in one calendar year. I can understand they want to keep costs down, but cripes. Thanks Maine Government!

Jeve said...

Hi there,
Recently came across your blog. Funny! Let me know if chiro-accu man helps increase libido!