Bend Over

My wife hurt her back and has been going to the chiropractor for the last week or so. They claim dozens of things are wrong with her that will require months and thousands of dollars to correct. I want her to be well regardless of the financial cost. I also realize, however, that the claims of this doctor are largely unverifiable.

The most smiliar situation I can think of is going to the dentist. If you need a healthy dose of guilt, the dentist's office is the place for you. They always point out that the only way to keep your teeth healthy is to never put anything in your mouth except for your toothbrush. The fact that you would soon die of starvation doesn't concern them. No matter how well you care for your teeth, they are constantly decaying. Only the rate varies. It's in the best financial interest of the dentist to keep you coming back. The work of dentist, however, is almost all verifiable.

The chiropractor, too, wants you to keep coming back. This particular doctor actually used the example of visiting a dentist. After all, we are supposed to go to the dentist every six months. Basically everything we do injures our back, even tilting your head down to read a book, according to this doctor. So regular treatments are necessary to keep your skeleton from trying to escape your body.

He also offered a discount if we paid for the entire treatment up front. This seemed like a good deal, except that we have no bargaining position if they already have all the money. At least if we pay as we go, she can stop going if she doesn't feel like it's helping anymore.

This chiropractor appears to passionately believe in what he is doing. That being said, so does your average crackpot standing on the street corner with the sandwich board predicting the end of the world next Tuesday afternoon at 3:15.

Generally speaking, I like doctors. It's not too often that I feel patronized by them, and they are at least knowledgeable people. Usually when I go to the doctor I end up feeling better, at least eventually. If it weren't for doctors, I would have wasted away and died a year ago, if some other disease hadn't killed me years ago. Most doctors, however, have a low opinion of chiropractors. This should set off a little red warning light.

I guess it's best to go into it with an open mind but a closed wallet.


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