Posted by Steve Lettau on Apr 26, 2018

By By Joe Queenan

A few years ago, when I was suffering from severe back pain, I consulted a local chiropractor, a practitioner of a medical technique I do not actually believe in. After several predictably fruitless visits, she asked me to lie on a long, vibrating bed that would help me relax by putting my body in harmony with the vibrations of the planet.

“That won’t work with me,” I told her, gathering up my things. “I’m from Philadelphia.”

As an alumnus of the Quaker City working class, I held on to my disdain for all things esoteric and mystical and Eastern – yoga, tai chi, transcendental meditation, chutney – for many years until my back pain got so severe that I finally broke down and saw an acupuncturist. I would never have dreamed of doing this were it not for the intervention of a friend, a man as conservative and straitlaced as they come, who handed me Dr. Lee’s card, recommending him most highly.

“Wait a minute,” I objected. “Guys like you don’t believe in stuff like acupuncture.”

“If your back hurts enough, you’ll believe in anything,” he replied.

The treatment worked; for me, it was a miraculous cure. I am not exaggerating by saying that acupuncture saved my life. This got me to thinking about how hard it is to get a person to change his mind about something unless some sort of personal crisis erupts.