Thursday, September 30, 2004

Needles, Quacks, Perverts and Snake-Oil Salesmen

I have returned from the hospital via the osteopath / acupuncturist. The hospital confirmed that there is little they can do except monitor my dodgy arm, but recommended physio. Since I have also had a pain in the neck for over 3 weeks, I decided to visit David Charlaff.

I first went to him in 1991 after a horrible accident left me with 3 compressed vertebrae in the neck. A thick heavy outside door fell on my head... (cries: "that explains a lot...!") I could have been killed. It was dangerous. I was lucky.

I was advised to see a cranial osteopath. This first turned out to be a more of a terminal psychopath. This is not a joke.. he took advantage of his position and of my vulnerability due to serious injury, with designs upon my tender arse. Now having a superb arse, I can understand his temptation, but he was lingering far too long around my nether regions considering my head and neck were bruised and throbbing, and it later turned out, my skull had a hairline fracture. After some preliminary inspection of my head and neck, he got me to sit on his hands, then rock back and forth. After a few minutes, he started muttering slightly closer to my ear than was really necessary a stream of barely inaudible words which included the phrase, "...something about the skin of the buttocks..." I gave it some more seconds to check my reality, but catching sight of his face in a mirror on the opposite wall confirmed my suspicion. I was being groped by the man.

Thankfully, generally speaking, I have not had to resort to overt threats or actual physical violence with members of the healing profession. For a second in this case I was sorely tempted. I was not well enough to exercise the famous Scots Kiss, which response would have been in any case a sledgehammer to crack a nut, and which would have probably opened up the crack in my nut into a fissure and converted me from walking wounded to instant intensive care. But then I saw him for who he was - a rather sad and sexually fustrated middle-class elderly man in a white coat who just happened to fancy me, and who had overstepped the boundary of propriety for a couple of minutes. See how pain enlightens us and gives us compassion, and in this case, robbed me of faintly homophobic repulsion. Actually no, it was just repulsion - I'm sure I would have felt just as bad about it had it been a woman. Anyway, as "yuk" moments go, it scored high.

I stood up, said firmly, "well, I think that's quite enough for today." He seemed surprised - I think he thought I was putty in his hands. Arse-putty. After paying him, I shook his hand very warmly whilst looking him right in his watery blue eyes, and I am satisfied to say, he looked crestfallen and rather shamefaced as I said, "you do understand don't you, I won't be booking another session..."

I was luckily able to exit the situation without coming to any harm or having to resort to defensive measures. He's not the only healer I have met who had ulterior motives, urges little to do with healing, and whose understanding of client care could use some revision. More of that later.

I then found David Charlaff, and I was so glad to have persevered. He was remarkably effective and quick, and I found him knowledgeable, intelligent and relaxing. When I was skint, he let me pay less. I respected him a lot for this. I sent him many people over the years, all of whom have have reported back satisfied.

I am an advocate of preventative medicine and have always been interested in Eastern methods and philosophies, so Mr C's particular skillset very much appealed to me. He straightened out my neck and I grew 1/4 inch allowing me to reach my full and towering height of 5' 10".

Having decided at age 6 or so that since most General Practitioners are overworked pill-merchants and to be trusted only as a last resort, I knew I could definitely benefit from having a relationship with a genuine healer. I started going regularly, minimum 4 times a year, more if injuries or stress dictated, and noticed the benefit and general improvement as the energy of my body started to flow unblocked, my drug-enhanced swings (coffee, tea, alcohol, etc., never mind the illicit ones) from overworked tiredness to hyperactivity began to level out, and I found my life more manageable as my natural energy became more available to me.

When I visit, generally the pattern is this: I get my stiff neck loosened, my spine and hips re-aligned, and then needles go painlessly in, depending upon where I am at physically, to different parts of my body, for example today, 3 around the left elbow, one upper arm, one in each foot, one top of the head. I lie flat in my underwear on a special table in a warm, pleasant treatment room like a human specimen, dozing off, looking at the art on the walls, feeling oddly secure despite my semi-naked state. You don't have to strip off, it helps if he can see you though. I've gone in dead tired and come out really happy and buoyant. I've gone in feeling pretty damn chipper and come out feeling like crawling into bed and sleeping for hours.. and done so ! What he achieves is specifically balancing, remedial to aches pains and discomfort, as well as being such a good all-round boost to the system that I have for the last 13 years remained remarkably disease-free.

Tip: wear nice underwear.

Tip: acupuncture does not have to hurt AT ALL to be very effective. If it does, find someone who can do it without the sadism - there is absolutely no need for it.

Tip: don't rush into the next thing. Give yourself a while to adjust afterwards.

Tip: Cycling home is not advised unless it's done extremely slowly. This stuff can s p a c e y o u r i g h t o u t . . . .

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At 10:38 AM, Blogger Kate Ford quoth...

This sounds good. Gosh it sounds much like something I should do. It seems I ache all the time. It gets irritating, frustrating and rather embarrassing as well since I haven't done anything specifically to injure myself. There are just so many charlatans here, it's dangerous to trust them. So I’m left with hoping to find one that is genuine and knows what they are doing. If I could get away with seeing one since Pete thinks it’s all a load of bollocks. :o/

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Léan quoth...

I've been to David Charlaff too-- I found the treatment excellent. Immediate improvement in my back (very painful before treatment). I came to this blog via a google search for David Charloff (was slightly concerned that the first bit of your post referred to him and very relieved to find it did not!)

At 11:27 AM, Blogger davidcharlaff quoth...

Dear Deek,
Flattered as I am by your comments, I have been directed to your website by a number of patients who have been nonplussed, to say the least, on searching for my name online and seeing the words 'needles, quacks, perverts...' appear. Would you mind putting this to rights, please. Kind regards, David Charlaff

At 11:56 PM, Blogger backcare quoth...

very good site!.I’d like to exchange idea with you about your subject.and Can I introduce Bristol Chinese backcare therapist website to give you a wealth of information about back pain as well as educate you about Chinese backcare therapy.It is about Dr Han--Chinese exarmy doctor,(TCM doctor)specialises in lower back pain relief (eg.sciatica),adopting acupressure massage therapy and acupuncture,he worked in China army hospital over 20 years as medical practitioner.if you like contact him,ring:07967525168; 01179730364. by appointment only!

At 10:54 PM, Blogger coppertop quoth...

If you want to read a good description of what to expect from a cranial osteopathic treatment check out this link from a D.O. in Santa Monica, CA.


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