I'm supposed to be posting pictures of Christmas here but I got bored and distracted and now there's not enough time before I go to bed.
So instead I'm going to regale you with the story of my latest "doctor" appointment for my back.
In case you didn't know, I've been having back problems again. I think it has something to do with crashing down the side of a mountain in my truck but I could be wrong. It flared up again back in December right around the time I was shopping and cooking and trying to make Christmas happy for everyone.
So anyhow, I've been sceptical of doctors down here ever since that Chinese fellow tried to light me on fire, but this new guy was recommended to me by some friends who said he really helped them after their car accident. So you know...why not?
The first mistake I made was assuming that we were talking about a physiotherapist.
Actually...now that I think about it...that was really my only mistake. Everything else kind of flowed out of that decision. I knew there was a problem when we found the guy's "office" and there was a big sign that said "Terapias Holisticas" (holistic therapies). I'm not against holistic medicine in theory but I do happen to live in a country where that could potentially mean a number of different things.
We rang the buzzer (one of the guys was with me) and were met by a fairly normal looking Bolivian guy who it turned out, spoke excellent English. That was a bonus. The Chinese guy didn't and I didn't know what was happening until he lit me on fire. So you'd think I'd be better prepared for what was going to happen this time.
You'd think so wouldn't you.
We chatted for a bit and I explained what had happened and the problems I was having. He talked about some of his therapies and what he does. He didn't seem like a wackjob. I was mostly on-board (or at the very least curious and ready to be entertained) so we went into his...I don't know...therapy room? There was a computer and one of those electric glass ball things that looks like there's lightening inside and your typical massage bed and books kind of piled all over the place.
I expected to be told to lay down on my stomach but he laughed and said that everyone thinks that's what they should do (uh...yea) but he does things differently and so I should lay on my back.
He explained a bunch of stuff about what he was going to do but honestly I didn't really get much of what he said. I mean...I understood the words...I just didn't have a clue what he was talking about. There was a lot of talk about my body's electromagnetic field and magnets and bad bacteria and whatnot.
In my head I was like, "Okay sure....let's get on with this."
So I laid there as he held my feet and tapped my ankles together and started talking to my body's electromagnetic field. I kid you not. He ran through a list (in Spanish so apparently my electromagnetic field understands Spanish better than I do...) of all my different body parts and I guess my body told him what the problems were.
Then as my body talked to him (in Spanish?) he put magnets on the areas that had problems. My eyes...my arms...under my legs...on my stomach. I guess I had a lot of issues. Either that or my electromagnetic field speaks Spanish like the rest of me does.
So there I was lying on this table with magnets all over me and with this guy mumbling away down by my feet. Honestly it felt a little strange. I admit that I did say a little prayer at one point and asked Jesus not to let me get any demons.
Now to be honest, he did get a couple of things right. He asked if I'd had my appendix out (I have) and if I'd lost a lot of weight lately (again, I have). But those are fairly broad questions and I'm not sure they're very indicative of his accuracy.
After we were done with the magnets and whatnot, he did start manipulating my body in directions it doesn't normally go and then was happy when he heard popping noises. He kept asking me if I heard them and sometimes I did and sometimes I didn't but I said I did because I'm a nice guy and he was so excited and I didn't want to disappoint him. That also happened when he got me to walk around to see if I felt any better.
So the question remains...did it work? Well, that's a tough call. If my brothers and I ever complained about something that hurt my Grandpa would punch us in the shoulder and tell us that he'd healed us because now we didn't feel the original pain anymore...just the new pain.
There may have been some of that at work here. But...who knows. It's a couple of days later and I think maybe I feel a bit better. The pain kind of comes and goes so I'm reserving judgement for a few days longer.
At any rate, I have another appointment on Tuesday and yes I'm going back. He told me that he also does acupunture and I've always wanted to try that. So...you know...why not?
Besides...he didn't set me on fire.