That Voodoo that You Do

Each of us have basic tenets of belief that guide us. Some are passed down from generation to generation and others come to us through experience during our push through this great, big world.

For instance, I will never order a fish at a steakhouse. Yes, they might offer it on the menu but experience has taught me that a steakhouse is in business because they know steak. Therefore, steak offers me the best opportunity at an optimal dining experience at that restaurant. This has become a tenet of my existence.

Likewise, there are things I avoid because I have come to believe they are scams. I don’t want to argue with anyone about these voodoo-magic things. I’m not here to proselytize and force people to my way of thinking. I usually keep these things to myself until something happens to prove I’m right. Then I might crow about it a little… or a lot.

I don’t mean to brag, but I was totally right about the whole raw juice detox cleanse craze. Five years go it was all the rage at my office. People were buzzing about how the stuff jump-started their immune systems to lose weight, but I knew better. And just to make sure, I decided to run a little experiment since bottles of it filled the fridge. Run is the right word because I may have ignored the recommended dosage. There was a definite jump-start, but nothing that could ever be sustainable. In fact, I would estimate one would have to eat twice his normal intake to keep up with the throughput! The good news is that after my little experiment, all of my co-workers soured on the stuff, too.

Here are some other things I am extremely dubious about:

  • Anything sold exclusively by Facebook friends
  • Sorbet
  • Emails from Nigerian princes
  • Veggie Pizza
  • Chiropractors
  • Ohioans who drive
  • brussels sprouts
  • People who like brussels sprouts
  • Magicians

There are many more, but you get the point. Avoidance of these things supports my outlook on the world and the way I navigate life. So if I were to have a positive experience with one of these things, I would be left amiss. Like a table with leg out of kilter, I’d totter until balanced by shoving a matchbook under the short leg.

One thing omitted from the list is Physical Therapy. It has been on there for decades. A shoulder injury took me to PT once and the second I showed up, the receptionist informed me that she had gotten approval for twenty sessions. My radar went up instantly. They hadn’t even seen me and yet they knew it was going to take the maximum my insurance would allow? Some smarmy kid showed me three exercises and sent me home. I never went back.


I’ve been having severe knee pain lately and finally went to see the doctor (Doctors aren’t on the “extremely dubious” list, but just below). Fortunately, he said my knee was in great shape for my age and the amount I’ve run. Then he wrote me out a referral for, you guessed it… physical therapy. Ugggg.

I drove home thinking, “So this is what it’s come to. I’m just going to live out my days in pain.”

My lovely wife prodded me to go and at least see what they had to say, which I did. Armed with skepticism, I sized up this scam artist with a “doctor” title. He’s too young to be a real doctor.. mail order? As we discussed treatment and he bent me this way and that, I slowly started to think he might know what he is talking about. Some of his torture hurt, but no worse than my knee was hurting before. He gave me exercises to do at home and after about two days there was a noticeable improvement in my knee.

It’s been a couple of weeks now and I think I’m actually getting better. What do I do with that?

I’ve got to find something else to distrust – a matchbook to shove under the wobbly leg because it is conceivable that I maybe, possibly, potentially, might have been wrong about Physical Therapy… perhaps.

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