In the relatively short existence of the Milwaukee Record, I’ve made it my business to keep a chronicle stupid adventure they have damaged my mind, checked my eating stamina, and exhausted both mine physically and emotionally Wellbeing. I have no regrets (except maybe that George Webb one), but with the arrival of a new year, there are new perspectives and a new opportunity to take a different path. Throughout 2018, I will seek inner peace, personal growth, and healthy choices as I document my experiences in a series of columns below ’18 and life to go Umbrella. Will it work? Probably not, but I’ll try anyway.
Iam 33 years old. I am not old, but it is slowly becoming clear that I am no longer young. Last year came the discovery of the two-day hangover. I now have antacid pills. Another thing that seems to occur by mid-thirties is the introduction of subtle aches, pains, and general discomfort that build up from time to time – often for the most common reasons. I’ve officially reached the point in my life where it hurts to go bowling. I don’t even want to tell you how many days it will take me to recover from a whopping four games of my summer baseball league season.
Aside from the pain from activities that never hurt before, I also feel the excruciating pang of inactivity. I’ve learned that it is actually possible to sleep “wrong”. Spending most of my waking hours at my desk wasn’t exactly easy on my joints, either. Typing has affected my hands, wrists, and my circulation. Seemingly small things like my posture, sitting on my wallet, and either standing or sitting for too long can come together to gradually (but consistently) strain my body. It’s by no means severe, but it does seem like moderate discomfort is simply part of getting older. It sucks, but that’s how it has to be.
What if it didn’t have to be that way? After accepting mild discomfort as a part of my life for months (in some cases years), I looked for a treatment option that I hoped would act as a kind of reset button for my body. With some ardent recommendations from patients, I decided to put my judgment and preconceptions aside and pay the chiropractor a visit.
Chiropractic is a highly controversial treatment option. Some swear by it while others claim it’s a lot of crap with no permanent benefits. There doesn’t seem to be much mediocrity. I honestly didn’t know what to believe, and if I’m honest, I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. However, since the pain in my wrists and hands has been at an all-time high lately and I was at a point where I cracked my knuckles dozens of times every day, I thought it was worth trying to see if adjustments were made and whether a polarizing treatment modality might really suffice.
I made an appointment with Z chiropractic, the practice of Dr. Michelle Zitzke. Almost as good as testimonials from friends, it was in my neighborhood and the price was right. In addition to graduating from Northwestern Health Sciences Nutrition School, Zitzke is a certified nutritionist practicing hands-on healing. When I made an appointment, I was told that the first interview would take about an hour. I arrived on time and the receptionist gave me a clipboard with two double-sided pieces of paper that I had to fill out before the doctor would see me. The forms ask for the usual information: name, address, medical history, and so on. Similar to my acupuncture experience, there was also a list of complaints that I should flag if they applied to me. Another site asked me how often I drank alcohol and coffee, my family history of things like cancer and heart disease, and other significant personal or family ailments. One sheet also had a diagram of the front, back, and sides of a human body that I was asked to mark where I felt pain or discomfort.
After the paperwork was done, I met Dr. She and Zitzke took me to her office. We talked about all of the reasons for my visit that I mentioned above, as well as the fairly new need to crack my neck a few times a day and my left front toe which had had to be adjusted a bit since I injured it at six before Years. She examined each form and asked follow-up questions about me, my life, my diet, and changes in the last few months or years that could have caused some of these ailments. I was in the middle of my appointment and still needed to be touched. The doctor also repeated information on one of the forms stating that I have the right to refuse any proposed treatment and she encouraged me to tell her if I was ever in pain or felt in any way uncomfortable about what was happening. I told her I would be in touch if necessary, but I was pretty much on board for whatever she thought needed to be done.
I was asked to get up and up as I normally would. She asked me to bend down and grab my toes. I sat on the treatment table and was asked to turn my head left, right, up and down to show the freedom of movement in my neck. Not particularly shocked or disappointed with everything I had shown, Dr. Zitzke to lay me on the table. She tugged at my legs and told me that my right left leg was an inch shorter than my left. When she was pressing on my lower back, Dr. Zitzke that the cracking sound made by the body is actually released gas. She also said that the joint my lay people have broken is often not the joint causing the pain, but one near the source that is loose. That seemed to confirm the fact that “cracking” rarely helped me.
After some searching, the doctor found a problem in the lower back. After asking if I would agree to her pushing hard, I took a deep breath in and out. On the way, she gives a strong push to my spine a few inches above my tailbone and I heard an audible crunch from an unfamiliar spot. As uncomfortable as that sounds, it felt pretty great. She pulled up to my shoulders – the region she said because of my desk job played a role in my hand and wrist problems – and made a few small adjustments there too. I moved to my sides to pull my legs, squeeze my hips and back with modest kickbacks. Then I rolled over on my back and the real fun began.
With his head held high, Dr. Zitzke around my neck and rubbed his surrounding muscles until she found what she was looking for. Again, I consented to the upcoming adjustment, breathing in and out as I waited for what was to come. Like an action star who breaks someone’s neck with a quick twist, Dr. Zitzke turned my face to the left, let go of a noticeable bang and immediately relieved head and neck tension that I didn’t even know I had. Then she did this on the right. It felt amazing.
There was no pain in any of the procedures. Instead of flinching, I greeted each instance with zeal and a “Whoa! That was a big deal! ”When warranted. Finally my appointment ended when I was told to sit up and hold out my hands. The doctor held one hand and felt around my fingers, wrist and forearm with her free hand. I was told to relax my arm and breathe in and out. Distracted from the simple task, my arms (with Dr. Zitzke holding one hand) were torn one by one, which gave my ankles and wrist a rare relief that I hadn’t felt in years. She repeated with the other hand and almost as soon as my appointment had started, it was over.
Dr. Zitzke warned me of the pain I was likely to experience, but when I got up to pay I felt like I was on a cloud. I knew it wouldn’t take As when driving a new car from the parking lot, I had to face problems and general wear and tear. I knew my condition would lose value the next time I sat at my desk. Three days later, I declined her request for a follow-up exam, but I knew I would be back at some point. I think $ 40 two or three times a year is worth the renewal and relief I felt … and mostly still more than a week later.
Say what you want about chiropractic care. No, it is not a proven cure for major existing problems, but when it comes to wellness procedures, it is a relatively inexpensive and completely natural treatment option that has immediate results for improving the patient’s quality of life. I won’t be a weekly visitor, but I am a believer now.