That was the first word that came to my mind, followed by some colorful metaphors – but I will keep those to myself. I do not know exactly when the pain started on Sunday, but by Monday morning, everything but lying perfectly still felt excruciating.
Even breathing deeply sent my back throbbing in pain (middle right for those keeping track of details). Stretching only hurt more and ice didn’t help, so I did what any sane Beijinger would do: I went for a massage, this time at Dragonfly. About five minutes into my massage, the masseuse informed me that what I needed was a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) doctor and a good deal of rest.
Rest. I declined to explain that I had two babies (9 months old and counting) who liked to tag team at night in order to disrupt anything resembling rest. On top of that, my daughter was sick, so that created more nighttime drama.
No, rest was not forthcoming, but a TCM doctor – that I could do. For months, I had been waiting for an excuse to see Dr. David Zhang, a TCM doctor who trained in Texas as a chiropractor to become, what seems to me, the perfect blend of Eastern and Western medical science.
I had heard about Dr. Zhang from Dr. Melissa Rodriguez, a great friend, naturopath, and health columnist for beijingkids, who injured her back a while ago and went to see Dr. Zhang with stunning results.
Dr. Zhang is the owner of the Joyful Bliss Massage Center in Liangmaqiao, just east of The Canadian International School of Beijing. He also works out of the CBD and Shunyi branches of Beijing United Family Hospital.
I’d been to chiropractors where X-rays were needed before any treatment, and I expected the same with Dr. Zhang. However, for my back woes, there was no need. “I can see the problem just looking at your back,” he said. “You have a rib out of place.”
He did a few physical checks and had me breath deeply (more colorful metaphors ensued) and then set my treatment in motion: deep tissue massage followed by chiropractic treatment to reposition the offending rib.
Let me state for the record that I have enjoyed head to toe massages for years, but never before have I enjoyed such a deep and relaxing back massage. Dr. Zhang studied therapeutic massage in China and Japan, and spoke English well enough to explain the techniques and how they affected the bosy. The result was a very relaxed – though still in pain – patient.
Afterwards, Dr. Zhang made the adjustment in a matter of minutes and my treatment was complete. Even though he only had to adjust one area, by using therapeutic massage before doing the bone manipulation, the soft tissue was able to relax and less likely to dislocate the rib all over again. All in all, a short experience, but a great one, and happily, I can breath deep again.
To find out more about Joyful Bliss Massage Center visit www.caclinic.com. You can call 136 1125 2085 to make an appointment in English or Chinese.
photo from healthystuffu.com