Woo? Who?


I was driving home from the community acupuncture clinic yesterday and was thinking about all the people who insist it doesn’t work — that it’s all “woo,” which is the derisive term for any alternative form of “non-scientific” treatment. (Remind me to tell you about the placebo effect in knee surgery.)

And I think it’s funny, because I do have very high sales resistance. Not only would I not spend one red cent on something that doesn’t work, I don’t think I even have the attention span for a placebo effect. I go, get a treatment. If it works, fine. If it doesn’t, I don’t think about it. The nice thing about acupuncture is, if it’s going to help your pain, it works right away.

Because it’s community acupuncture, it’s cheap. Everyone gets treated in the same room, and it’s sliding scale. That means I can actually afford to get treatment. (And when I was out of work, my acupuncturist treated me for free.)

Same thing with chiropractic, which some people continue to insist is quackery.

Now, some chiropractors are quacks. They tell you they can treat anything, they push expensive supplements. But the idea that manipulating your spine can make you function better? Hell, yes.

I have a lot of ergonomic problems. In addition to sitting at a desk 12 hours a day, I can only read with my left eye. So my head is always turned to one side, and that causes all kinds of recurring problems with my shoulder and neck. When my arms start to feel numb, I have a pinched nerve in my neck, or my hip hurts from sitting twisted like a pretzel all day, I go to the chiro. (He also treated me for free when I couldn’t afford it. When was the last time a “regular” doctor did that? When I broke my ankle, and had to deal with all the biomechanical disasters that arose out of my misdiagnosis, my chiro got me walking without pain again.)

And my hands? Oy. Between typing and using the mouse, I have pains galore. I used to reinforce them with elastic tape, and that worked for a couple of years — until I developed a latex allergy.

I am very grateful for acupuncture and chiropractic. I don’t know how I’d function without them. To hear it called “woo” seems ignorant, and insulting.

One thought on “Woo? Who?

  1. I wish my mom had gone to either of those. She had neck pain and debilitating headaches, which a local. very bad, neurosurgeon diagnosed as an atrophied disc from the years of holding her head sideways while typing as a legal secretary. He botched a fusion surgery that nearly killed her, and two years later she received the correct diagnosis: she had an inoperable brain tumor.
    I say be more careful of your doctor’s competence than their specialty.

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