There are a lot of strange things in this world; green tomato ketchup; Americans playing rugby; Pete Doherty. But there's not a lot stranger than osteopathy.
Main Entry: os·te·op·a·thy
Etymology: New Latin osteopathia, from oste- + Latin -pathia -pathy
: a system of medical practice based on a theory that diseases are due chiefly to loss of structural integrity which can be restored by manipulation of the parts supplemented by therapeutic measures (as use of drugs or surgery)
Or to put it into my own words: The practice of making a patient strip off to their underwear, bend over in various directions, lying them down on a bench, twisting and leaning on them in various over-friendly positions, cracking their joints and in doing so causing an assortment of worrying sounds to be emitted from the patient's bones. Oh and charging you £35 for the pleasure.
I'd managed to escape this 'therapy' for over two years until today. Unfortunately the last 6 months of alternating between sitting and sleeping has had an effect on my poor M.E. ridden body. So having rummaged into the back of the chest of drawers to find some decent underwear, I headed off to the bone-cruncher's. Thankfully my osteopath is a woman. I don't think I'd ever be happy with a male manoeuvring me in such a way!
Ultimately the experience was fairly painless this time. Other than having to be separated from my £35. Although osteopathy has definitely helped me over the years (not necessarily with the M.E. but with some of the inevitable consequences of the illness) I'm still never entirely convinced that such 'skeletal manipulation' (ooh, get me with the jargon!) can be a good thing. But then again, I suppose that's what the Georgians thought about Alexander Fleming and his mould.