Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The chiropractor

Today as I visited our local farmer's market, I struck up a conversation with one of the oldest members of the group. I mean this farmer was old when I was 30 and had just moved to Cincinnati. Now, he's 85, and you can tell he's hurting. I talked to him last week a little bit, but he told me he was feeling better since he went to the chiropractor and that it was his sciatic nerve that was causing the problem. I can relate to that. How he can stand and serve people with that pain is beyond me.

But that got me thinking. Did you all know that my father was a chiropractor? Oh, yes, he was. He was taught how to do the "tweaking" (that's what he called it) by our family chiropractor, Dr. Feldman.

He was a genius with homoeopathic treatments and decided to "upgrade" I suppose and so Dr. Feldman taught him how to do several of the manipulations.

I recall going to Dr. F's office (in Philadelphia) and Dr. F came to my wedding, by the way, in fact, Dr. Feldman came to visit us at our home in Runnemede several times because I believe he and dad were true friends. But back to going to his office.

When I was little, I didn't mind going, because I wasn't the one being treated, I was just an appendage to my father's hand -- you know that one that would grab on tightly when he felt his blindness coming on. Anyway, I loved going there because we had to go up to his office in a elevator, one you could see through! They (the see-through elevators) were a rarity at that time, most elevators were all enclosed, but the elevators in that building were open in the front and back, and the doors were glass, and you could see it coming and going and see the gears and ropes moving as the elevators moved up and down in that building. It was a special treat for me.

Dr. Feldman started his work on me when I was in high school and had several injuries when I was in gymnastics. Back in those days chiropractors weren't in favor with the medical community, and Blue Cross certainly didn't cover any visits to them. In fact, I had an unexcused absence one day when I had to go see Dr. F. I guess that's why daddy learned how to do the "tweaking." I mean when I and my brothers and sister started having injuries it would have become very expensive to go to the "doctor" every time we had an injury.

The only thing was, that dad decided that if homeopathy didn't help, then the only solution to a medical problem was a chiropractic adjustment, said adjustment given to us on the piano bench which was placed in front of a chair thus extending its length, and batta-bing you had a chiropractic adjustment table. Ugh!

I'll tell you, when I had a headache, if the pills didn't work, then dad would try a neck tweaking. I hated them. They didn't really hurt, but I thought they would, and so I would always tense up. Dad would make me relax by moving my head back and forth and he could tell when the tension left, then he would TWEAK. Same with back problems, which were common when I was a teen -- he would put me on that bench and then start the back pressure adjustments. I didn't like them very much either.

I do appreciate NOW what my dad did to keep us healthy with the little to no money he had to do it with. My father was very intelligent and that was evident in most everything he said and did. I miss my father and I wonder if he would "tweak" my back now because of my sciatic nerve problems.

Just to add a footnote: Dad also had the side roll maneuver in his repertoire, he had the back pressure tweaking in his bag of tricks, and he had a maneuver where you would cross your hands across your body by grabbing your right arm with your left hand, and vice versa, then he would lift you by your elbows onto his chest and that would somehow move things and straighten things and that was my favorite adjustment because I knew it wouldn't hurt at all.


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