David Arioch – Jornalismo Cultural

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What I did not know about herniated disc

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I liked the suggestion, and encouraged myself with the possibility of being cured


After my confirmation, he straightened his lab coat and told me to lay my face down (Art: Copy)

I’ve had a herniated disc since I was 20 years old. Despite this, I live normally. I do many exercises that require a lot of my lumbar spine. But, like any other person who has an intense weight training routine, occasionally, I make a mistake and I feel the consequences the next day.

Once, in 2014, I spoke with a friend about my misfortune, explaining that in situations like this, I must take it easy until I recover completely. Supportive, he suggested that I look for a specialist known as Torino Masseur, an excellent professional who lived a few years in Nanjing, China, where he studied millennial techniques for the treatment of herniated discs, osteoarthritis and scoliosis, among other spinal problems.

I liked the suggestion, and encouraged myself with the possibility of being cured, without having to worry so much about the lumbar, in case of soft injuries during the exercises. I called the massage therapist on Wednesday morning, and scheduled a session for 4:00 pm on Friday. At 3:40 pm, I press the intercom of the clinic located in a residential neighborhood of Paranavaí.

I was greeted by a smiling young man, with a dubious expression, who gestured more than he spoke, reminding me of a mime. “Welcome, sir”, he said behind a counter, holding a self-help book. Inside, I saw two middle-aged men sitting in very comfortable single chairs. There was a third vacant armchair, so I settled in and I began to watch the environment since I was not yet attended to.

The place was extraordinarily clean and exuded a lenient perfume that I could not identify; a supposed and pleasant combination of herbs. The clear arabesque granite floor glistened, drawing my eyes and allowing me to see my own reflection on the floor. On a coffee table, also granite, there were many health magazines, especially about alternative therapies. The most surprising thing is that it was not old like most that we found in offices.

During my distraction, I heard some strange short sounds, albeit low and indistinguishable, coming from two different directions of the clinic. Someone seemed to be in a lot of pain. Maybe the treatment will be beyond my expectations, minimizing my vile condition.

Suddenly, I heard footsteps coming from the corridor on the right. A man of medium height, about 40 years old, walked with satisfaction, displaying short teeth in a wide mouth. He approached the reception on my left, and, before he said anything, the receptionist asked if he would want to come back on the same day and at the same time the following week. “You bet I do!”, he replied, keeping his voice relatively low and looking at me suspiciously.

As soon as the man left the clinic, a comrade I’ve known for more than ten years, with whom I have dined in his house with his wife and children, left a room in the hallway on the right. When he saw me, the serene expression and laconic smile was replaced by a serious physiognomy – I even noticed a startled look. I did not understand his reaction and I kept silent. To my surprise, he ignored me, opened the door, and left.

Waiting for his turn, a bearded man greeted me and asked if I had been there before. I said no, and he told me that he started attending the clinic two years ago. “Young man, this place has changed my life. Today, I am another man, much more accomplished in every way”, he said, adding that he had always had the support of his wife.

The man kept praising the clinic, when the receptionist picked up the phone and called me, without saying my name. “He will attend to you now, sir. Shall we?” I got up and followed the guy. As soon as he opened the door, he asked me to take off my clothes, just wearing my underwear, and I lay down on a massage table, so comfortable it looked like a highest quality bed.

As I undressed, I realized that there was great instrumentation in the place, even hanging on the clear walls with practically pictorial inscriptions, and I had no idea what it was for. It seemed unusual to me, but I concluded that perhaps it was tools brought from far-off places in Asia. Until that moment, I interpreted everything that I saw, that was different in the room, as a result of a unique service.

A minute later, I lay down, and then, the recommended Torino Masseur approached me, introduced himself and questioned whether the reason for that session was a herniated disc. After my confirmation, he straightened his lab coat and told me to lay my face down. Although the position was uncomfortable, I did not want to sound impolite or foolish, and I agreed.

Across the room, he turned on a small stereo that played a transfigured moody song, a curious kind of lethargic pop. Then, I noticed that the ambient fluorescence dropped considerably. There was also an exotic, fruity scent in the air. I do not know how, but the place was no longer so clear. “Close your eyes and feel the energy flowing. Let it all happen”, he said.

Silently, I felt a foreign body, something damp, warm and grooved, leaning against my right arm. When I opened my eyes, the masseur was wiggling, wearing black synthetic leather briefs with a zipper, where his own phallus stood out and rested on his hand. “You are crazy, man! What is this? What’s wrong with you?”, I asked. Surprised and equally embarrassed, the man argued that this was not a real clinic.

Without wanting any further explanation, I jumped off the table, wiped my arm with a paper towel, I dressed into my clothes in seconds, and walked down the hall. In the waiting room, the man I talked to earlier stated with an indecorous smile, followed by a wink: “Didn’t I say the service is premium?” I did not answer. I simply opened the door and went home, aware that herniated disc is also a code for something else. I never wanted to know exactly what it is.

Written by David Arioch

December 21st, 2016 at 3:39 pm