Last summer I took my aching back to a chiropractor, and found out that my sacro iliac joint was out of wack. He put it back in and everything was better, except that the next day it came back out. Ever since I’ve been seeing chiropractors at a rather alarming rate whenever I’m in the same place for a few weeks. They put things back, but a day or two later they come back apart.

I have this friend. She is the sort of person who always has something a little weird sounding to say about everything, and just when you think she’s nuts it turns out she’s right. I’m sure you know someone like that. I’m sure a lot of people find me to be like that. Anyways, I was at her house in the big scary city a few weeks ago and she asked how the chiropractors were adjusting me. I showed her and she said it was wrong. See, she’d had the same problem ten years ago, and she went to a chiropractor once, and now she knows about these things.

She ordered me to lay down on the floor and, strange as it might sound, I did. I had a little faith. She twisted me up and popped me in an entirely new way. I mean, you’d think she’d been practicing chiropracty for years. And damned if my back and hips didn’t stay together, all through hanging out in the city, being broke down, driving through Canada, dancing in the next town over, and dancing here.

Everything was peachy until I decided to try a trick I saw Hat-Ma do. You know, the one where you put your head down between the customers knees, your shoulders on their thighs, and kick up into a shoulder stand? Yeah. So after closing I recruited our big burly bouncer and instructed him to catch me if I was about to break his nose or fall on my head. He nodded and sat down. I kicked up once, but it wasn’t quite high enough. You do it kind of in the splits, rather than bringing your legs all the way up in a big arch. I tried a second time, and almost made it but couldn’t quite straighten out my back. The third time I got up and was balanced with my back curved and my legs still a little in front of me. All I had to do was straighten my back and pull my pelvis up and back. And that’s when my sacro iliac joint went all to hell and the muscles all around it started spasming. It sucked.

I took some poplar tincture and some ginger tincture and went to bed. When I woke up in the morning it didn’t hurt at all, until I tried to get out of bed. Getting out of cacoon-ish van beds is a little more involved than getting out of regular beds, I guess, and there’s a lot of bending forward involved. My forward bender wasn’t really working, so I just fell on my pile of books to read.

Hat-ma and I had to drive an hour to another town to have lunch with a regular who makes her some of the best thongs ever. I took some more poplar and added yarrow to the mix (Hat-Ma digging through the herbs while I drove, asking “is this it? What does a poplar bud look like?”).

Eventually I made it to a chiropractor, one who came very highly recommended by several people. He was a little heavy on the NLP, but I took that as a good sign. Before he cracked me I asked about the way my friend had done it and he said that absolutely, that was the way it should be done. All those other chiropractors were wrong. And he snapped me back into place exactly the way my friend had.

It was a miracle recovery. Things were still sore, but I could move again. I went to work and wore flip flops (yeah, I was that girl) and carried a bag of ice. By the end of the night it barely hurt at all, and now it doesn’t hurt unless I do something to it. Since I don’t want to do anything to it, I’m going to stop taking the poplar and let a little pain creep back in. It keeps me smart.

So, lesson learned: Always listen to your crazy sounding friends, and when chiropractors don’t work, find new ones.


  1. I found your site last night, while at work, and spent the better part of 3 hours reading this blog. You are an insanly gifted women, your writing style, wit, and humor are second only to my wife. (who just so happens to be reading over my shoulder 😉 ) I look forward to reading more about you, as does my wife, and we both wish you the best in your adventures.

    As for chiroprators, I always saw them as wanna be doctors who could make it in Med School. I have had several bad expirences, with lower back and knee problems. But as you mentioned, you need to find the right one, and if you ever need one in the Western Ney York area (Buffalo, and Fort Erie Canada) let me know. He is one of the best, and I frequently travel up there to see him from North Carolina.

  2. Just musing on how sore nipples, God and Walmart in a post creats such a plethora of comments, while chiropractor…not so much.

    Hope your back is feeling better, personally chiropractors scare me.

  3. 😈
    Yeah backbreackerss are just great huh? Sometimes their a good idea but most people abuse them. And I’ve been known to crack a few backs in my day……especialy a friend thats a licensed massage therapist.

  4. maybe if i was really really sore i’d change my mind about this, but i’ve watched video of a persyn being adjusted by a chiropractor and it freaks me out. i watched the whole time worrying they were going to do it wrong and break the persyn’s neck. 😯

  5. oy. I know I am more often that crazy sounding friend than I would like to think about.

    Glad it worked out….

    I highly recommend mat Pilates and Yoga for self chiropractic, self healing…strong core abs and stretched hamstrings are vital …

  6. I’m a big believer in chiropractic. I’ve had 3 good ones and 1 that I deemed to not be great so I found the one I have been with for 3 years now. Chiropractic and yoga…my two saving graces!

  7. poplar tincture? never heard of anyone using that for anything, perhaps they have a better use than firewood and preping the forest floor for oak and maple. saw your article in newwitch, drop a line if you are ever in the north part of wisconsin, there’s an off-grid organic pagan community you might like. at the least, a place to park a van and recharge your stock of herbs:-), bb

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