I’ve had a pain in my right knee for several weeks. I strained it because I thought I was invincible. Like many people who get injured I figured the pain would go away eventually, but after a couple of months I became concerned. Walking is my main physical exercise—taking long walks jogs the brain so it produces stories, and when I’m writing I pace a lot. The stiff knee was getting in the way of my writing.
A friend recommended that I consult Dr Bodhise, a chiropractor. He assists the Artists Welfare project, and his patients include dancers with Ballet Philippines. If there’s anyone with an intimate knowledge of bodily pain, it’s ballet dancers. Also, I’ve always been curious about chiropractors—they figure in so many New York novels and movies. So I made an appointment.
Dr. Paul Brown Bodhise studied at La Salle University in Philadelphia and the New York Chiropractic College. He is a Vietnam veteran who first visited the Philippines in 1973. He was standing on a street corner in Angeles when a bus whizzed by him and two girls yelled, “Hey, soul brother!” After he left the air force he studied alternative medicine. When he retired he decided to move to Asia, and remembering the soul sisters he came here.
Before the treatment, he asked me to watch a video about the natural healing therapies he practises. He combines chiropractic and naturopathic techniques and herbology. The treatment addresses the immediate pain, and figures out the root causes of the pain. Among the common causes are poor diet, too much salt and/or sugar, stress and adrenal reactions. Adrenaline enabled the fight or flight response of early humans who had to deal with large predators. It increases blood flow, breathing, carbohydrate metabolism. Today the probability of running into a hungry direwolf on Edsa is low, but our adrenaline gets going anyway when we get into a bad traffic jam or read provocative comments on Facebook. So the body reacts in a disproportionately big way, and it wreaks havoc on our systems.
On to the treatment. First, ultrasound therapy for the stiff knee. “I’m not gonna crack your bones,” Dr Bodhise told me. He asked me how I injured myself and explained that even before the incident, my knee was already vulnerable due to wear and tear. He massaged the knee and put pressure on the uncomfortable area. The point, he said, was to encourage the muscles and bones to fix themselves.
Then he applied his neuromuscular reintegration technique, essentially a deep tissue massage and traction, to realign the skeletal frame. This harmonizes the nervous system and the muscular system, he explained, to restore their normal function. He pointed out the areas on my back, elbow, and the base of my neck that were misaligned and could cause future discomfort. The therapy usually takes 30 – 45 minutes.
Afterwards my knee was better and my stride was closer to normal. It was still stiff, but I no longer felt like one leg was shorter than the other. What I like about the treatment is that Dr Bodhise doesn’t just write a prescription for the pain. He looks into the causes, advises you on how to prevent illness, and advocates a holistic approach to good health. For more information, visit TheUrbanSage.com.
Next week I’ll tell you how my knee feels. In the meantime I’m taking my sister to this chiropractor because she has two PhDs in stress.
Dr. Paul Bodhise’s clinic is on the second floor of Seibu Tower, 6th Avenue corner 24th Street, Bonifacio Global City. Call or text 0908 449 7673 to make an appointment. The consultation fee is Php2000.