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Life is sweet in this relaxed neck (of the woods)

Hey guys, I started going to a bio-geometric integrator.”

“Oh good! Well …. welcome to California!” my S.F. friends reply, laughing companionably.
They actually know what that is – bio-geometric integration – or at least are willing to recognize whatever it may be and its place in the culture here.

If I was back in NYC and announced, “Hey guys, I started going to a chiropodist,” there would be silence. My NYC friends would smile, but wonder why I’d bothered to share. They wouldn’t say “Welcome to Manhattan!” as a comment on the urban culture we all shared, though they certainly could have, given the miles of daily pavement pounding we all did. They’d be more likely to say “Welcome to Manhattan!” after hearing a horror story of the pushing, shoving and lack of courtesy on New York sidewalks. Or hearing tales of a bad cab driver. And they wouldn’t laugh.

But here? I speak of the healing pleasures of this integrated chiropractic approach, BGI, and with a rueful smile of self-recognition, every one of my fellow San Franciscans said “Welcome to California!”

Unstated: “Where else but here, right?”

But it goes deeper, this willingness to try more holistic approaches to physical problems. I love S.F. for that.

Back East, I had good experiences with traditional chiropractors. Often faster and more effective than traditional doctors, my chiropractors were vital to my routine as I tried to stay strong for an eight-show week at Les Misérables, or whatever show I was doing. Broadway performers sustain injuries often, due to rigorous staging, fatiguing schedules, and the increasing use of raked scenic platforms. In Les Mis, climbing the second act barricade caused injuries like clockwork. The center stage turntable alone was responsible for more diverse injuries than you can imagine. Midtown chiropractors worked at breakneck speed to keep us healthy. I recognize the irony of “breakneck,” but so it was. They were our MASH unit, our medics on the front lines of the performance wars. It was the chiropractor’s job to do a quick assessment, a practiced wrench of adjustment, electric stimulation, soothing heat, book a follow-up appointment, and throw us back on stage.

I always wondered how the body could heal so fast. Now I know it was only partial healing. The “tip of the iceberg” pain might have been alleviated, but there was deeper, rooted pain remaining in the muscles and bones; pain I might not have felt then, but pain that was building up until, one day, I would feel it.

But here? This new approach, at the same time gentler and more probing, is a symbol of our new way of life.

I walk into Dr. Eric Rubin’s studio at North Point Chiropractic Clinic and discover (in the words of Susan Brown, who started BGI in 1988) that “the art of chiropractic is much more than the application of a technique or an introduction of a force. It is a melding of substance and being!” I experience this how? By first talking with Dr. Rubin about who I am and what my life is like. Then, this gentle man observes how I walk and move. I relax on a padded table. He puts his hands on my back, reads my body like Braille, sends me palpable gentle energy, pushes a bit here, prods a bit there, and things move in my body that I’d forgotten could move! I feel deep layers of tension dissolve. Pain floats up and drifts away. The earth seems to shift under me, but only because I’d been standing crookedly on the earth for so long.

I was made to feel profoundly better, easily, quickly. It felt miraculous. It felt like “a synergistic flow beginning toward growth and evolution” (again, Brown’s words and God knows what they mean, but I felt it). I walked back to my car, laughter bubbling up inside me, and I felt, once again, grateful to be in this city.

Left Coast living gets better and better.

As I floated out of North Point Chiropractic Clinic, euphoric with relief, the smell of sweet, magnificent chocolate wafted by. Right across the street? Ghirardelli Square. I mean, come on! My relaxed body felt a craving, my mouth began to water, and soon I was sitting in front of a large cup of rich, warm cocoa. I felt each sip as much as tasted it.

I do love this town. A view of the bay, my body in healing mode, and chocolate! I felt so good I told them to spare the whipped cream. Who needs it? I’ve found bio-geometric integration, and it’s not nearly as fattening.

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