a few words about miss chelsea elizabeth...

she likes: making kites, dancing in the rain, adventures, little-while friends, letters, whole-leaf tea, crayons, bare feet, jumping in rivers/streams/creeks/waterfalls, language, catching the clock as it changes numbers, sleepovers, trains (big or small), cuddling & waking up before the sun rises, among other random things.

oregon-born, seattle-raised, bellingham-bred and franco-refined, she had moved back to the states from her affairs across the atlantic & now resides in columbia city with french husband & love of her life rémy. they spend most of their time taming the garden, taking care of their three chickens & two cats, and preparing the urban homestead for a new little chick of their own.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I had my first experience ever with a chiropractor yesterday, and let's just say it was nothing I have ever experienced before.

I've been having this crazy hip/butt pain for about three weeks that just keeps getting worse. Everyone here in France has been telling me, "Go see a chiropractor! It will change your life!" I had many excuses not to. A) I hate cracking joints, or knuckles or backs. I hate it, with a passion, and my idea of a chiropractor was sort of like a kid's view of a dentist -a scary man that uses crazy tools to crack your bones. B) I was pretty sure it was muscular and thought that issue should be addressed before moving on to bones (although I do recognize they are all connected, that was just my excuse...) C) Chiropractors are not covered by most insurance here, so I used money as an excuse (although it turns out our insurance is really awesome and it is covered, so that quickly turned into a moot point). D) The idea of some old creeper massaging my butt was a bit of a turnoff, which I was able to use to convince Rémy not to call a few times. E) Most waiting lists were over a month long.

But the pain got more and more unbearable and when it became debilitating that's where I drew the line. Fine, Rémy, call your stupid chiropractor.

So I was quite surprised when I walked in to my appointment yesterday and was greeted by a young woman who could not be much older than me. She was smiley and friendly and we chatted for a bit before she told me to strip down & lie on a massage table. I tried to relax as I prepared for pain & cracking, but no pain & cracking were to be had. Instead... well, it was weird.

I have always been a fan of anatomy. It find it sincerely and thoroughly fascinating and is one of my weird random passions. I have quite a few anatomy books lying around and I love knowing how my body moves, during yoga for example. But this, this was movement I could not understand. She would lightly press certain spots all over my body, poking and prodding and caressing and what felt like snapping her fingers over my skin. Then sometimes she would pull my arm or leg a bit, sometimes she would poke at my butt cheek. Sometimes it felt like she sort of was giving a massage, but more like someone who has never given a massage before and doesn't particularly like physical contact, so it doesn't feel very good & doesn't last very long. And it threw me off. I was not sure how to relax because I had no idea what was going on. I could not possibly fathom how by touching my forehead she could tell if my spine was aligned or not. It felt like a very serious eight or nine-year-old girl was trying to play doctor on my back.

After forty-five minutes of this intense touching, she told me to stand up and then bend over and touch my toes. I still had searing pain in my hip when I reached my toes, but ohmygod I touched my toes!!! It had been weeks since I had been able to bend over at all!!! She told me I had tension in my right lower back and left shoulder and that it created a triangle of pressure and tension that caused my hip to go out of whack. So she realigned my spine and my pelvis and told me to take it easy for a few days while my spine figured itself out. My hip is inflamed, but once the inflammation goes down, there should be no reason it doesn't heal itself, she explained.

I went home feeling drugged, like after a full body massage, and promptly laid down in Savasana to help let my body process what had just happened. I tried to take it easy, and it's true: there was less pain. I tried to sleep on my back the whole night, and we moved our mattress to the floor so it would be a bit more solid, and amazingly woke up this morning almost pain free!!!

There's still a little hint of pain, and I can tell if I overwork it it will just cramp up again and start hurting like crazy. So I'm taking it slow. Again. Another two to three days of rest. Of me being a blob. And then (hopefully) I will be able to do physical activity again!! I cannot wait to work up a good sweat!!

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