After I had complimented the array of baubles sufficiently, we returned to the dining room to sit.
Thankfully, it was only a few minutes until the doctor came out and said goodbye to the last client.
It was my turn.
I followed her through the short hallway into the treatment room.
The first thing I saw was a wall of bottles of every size and shape, from olive oil and wine to Jägermeister and Heineken, stacked on shelves with natal charts and books of notes and scrolls containing who knew what.
I knew then that I was in the right place. The anxiety ran out of me like water down a drain.
I said, indicating the shelves, “Medicina?” and she answered, “Si, todo natural.”
She told me to take off my pants and shirt and lie down on the table.
This wasn’t a fancy break-away table like the usual chiropractor’s office has. (I’ve been in a few.) It was a wooden contraption with a thin mattress and a pillow wrapped in a flannel infant receiving blanket.
I didn’t hesitate to do what she asked.
And oh my god she worked me over like I’ve never been done before. She cracked every joint in my body, including my fingers and toes. She told me that most of my problems were on the right side of my body (yes, of course, I already knew that).
The appointments I’ve had with chiropractors in the past have lasted an average of ten minutes (excluding the electrical stimulation therapies that were performed by machines). Dr. Martha spent forty minutes with me, exploring, massaging, and folding my body. When she finished, I needed five minutes to recover my equilibrium.
I walked slowly up the street toward El Pereferico. Breakfast was taking place under a tent next to the park. I sat for a few minutes collecting myself before I opened the UBER app.
Finding what we need to improve our life isn’t fast or easy. There are no quick fixes, even though our consumer-driven culture is continuously telling us the opposite. It takes time and effort and sometimes a few wrong turns to figure it out.
I’ll be seeing the healer again.