The first time I went to a chiropractor in the United States was in 1996. I had a slipped disk in my low back, the X-Ray at the Bakersfield, California clinic showed. The chiropractor proceeded with the session, putting me on all sorts of machines that seemed to do what yoga did. Then on the table “crack!’ the sudden snapping the chiropractor administered me scared and shocked me so much I cried out loud in tears. I never went back.
I cried again when I decided to try out the Japanese chiropractor on my street here in Osaka. I cried back at my apartment not in fear, but in joy and gratitude, for finally someone understood what was wrong with me and begin to heal me when no other Western doctor could.
Let me tell you my story. Yoshiyasu Ueda runs Reflex Chiropractic on my block in Shinmachi, Nishi-ku, Osaka-Shi. What I experienced was so different than any therapy I’ve ever had. Walking around Osaka, I have noticed these small chiropractic clinics around, and many locals stopping in for a session. My sacroiliac joint was out on my left side and bothering me with low back pain, so I thought, let’s give this a try!
I am trained in yoga therapy, and practicing hatha yoga has done me a lot of good for everything from herniated disks to car accidents and post-traumatic stress, but I’ve been teaching kids yoga for 14 years, so apparently I know nothing!
I had a couple of sessions of acupuncture in 2005 by Western practitioners, but it didn’t do what Ueda at Reflex did for me!
And as for the Western doctors, even with so called “great insurance” I get via my husband’s work, that insane nightmare will take an entire blog post to tell you what happened, even recently trying to get help!
In all fairness, my son went to Palmer Chiropractic Clinic in Port Orange, Florida four years ago to get a school physical, and the school offered low-cost adjustments for kids. I had sent him to an Outward Bound program and he came back with a hurt back. I thought, “Oh, my god! I sent him out to be a man, and he came back an old man!” The chiropractor there did their snapping and cracking and removed the pain, he said. I just was too terrified to do that snap, crackle, pop again!
So at Reflex in Osaka, I used Google translate on my I-Phone to fill out his intake sheet best I could. Relating that I have had a lot of stress and been having headaches and more from many things – my father died the day I moved to Japan. Then I had to go back to the U.S. a week later, then back to Japan. There’s stress of moving to a new country, not knowing the language, being isolated, and then there’s Osaka’s summer heat! SWELTERING!
I changed my outside shoes at the door for the white indoor slippers and then into the provided T-shirt and loose slacks in the changing area. Ueda doesn’t speak much English, but enough to function well and say basics of movements to turn up or down on the chiropractic table, which looks like a massage table. I knew to use some isometric holding and resistance to his movements when he said, “Hold, please,” so that was helpful beforehand to know what to do.
Some nice aromatherapy misted in the background, as did some new-age sounding Japanese music that was soothing and relaxing. During the first session, not knowing anything about his work, it felt like a cross between some Thai massage, Chinese medicine and acupressure, and even some rolfing, structural integration, which I’d had a complete series twice in my life, considering it originated in my hometown of Boulder, Colorado. I have a high threshold for physical pain as he broke up some very tense muscles in my left leg, which some people may not be able to handle, but he can use other techniques if you can’t.
Then he flipped through a big bilingual reference book to show me the English words for what was up. “Tight, adductor” on my left thigh. “Tight hamstrings,” something I’ve had my whole life no matter how much yoga I did. My sacroiliac joint and walking around Osaka a lot likely contributed to that.
He didn’t use electric appliances at all. All the treatment was done by his incredibly strong hands alone, which is not how things are in the United States. He worked up from my feet, legs, having me flip over occasionally, “Up, please. Down, please,” No cracking! No snapping! No sudden movements that would freak me out! It was relaxing. He then worked on my head, throat and neck, where it felt good to relax as he worked.
What he did next amazed me. He sprang up and flipped through his book, “Large intestine.” Next page flipping, “Small Intestine.” Flipping through more pages, “Valve syndrome.” In a flash I remembered a problem that started about a year after my first husband died 14 years ago. It hasn’t been bothering me lately, and I didn’t even imagine a chiropractor could treat it so didn’t mention it as I had forgotten about it. How did he even know?!?!
Thirteen years ago I had gone to a Western Doctor who didn’t even look me in the eye when he spent the 15 minutes with me and ordered an ultrasound in the appendix and liver area where I was having this inflammation pain. An assistant of his called me a week later with the results saying, “You have kidney stones. “Drink more water.”
I took that to heart in the dry Colorado environment I spent my whole life in, going on cleanses, drinking parsley tea and tons and tons and TONS OF WATER! Still the pain persisted, and considering how impersonal the whole thing was, I swore to go to alternative medicine, like an Ayurvedic doctor from then on. She helped me enormously in many ways, especially adult acne I always suffered from and changing my diet and lifestyle. She knew my liver was congested, and my body’s vitality was low. I also did blood tests with a regular doctor in Buenos Aires, Argentina when I lived there in 2010 who confirmed a congested liver. My nurse midwife who I had always gone back to for my annual exams until she retired, gave me to closest clue what was going on. That it was my ascending colon and that there was a kink or something which food was getting stuck, she said. Plus adrenal overload from all my stress.
So I was astonished that Ueda in Japan knew what was going on internally, just by feeling my head, glands, pulse, etc! A lot like Ayurvedic doctors can tell from your pulse. He also pointed out, “Lungs – metal, Kidney – water.” I thanked him profusely after my first session, and booked another for next Friday, same time!
I went home to research it all. The ileocecal valve is often overlooked by doctors. It can be caused by a great deal of emotional stress, such as I have had. It is a sphincter muscle situated at the junction of the ileum, (last portion of your small intestine) and the colon (first portion of your large intestine.) Its function is to allow digested food materials to pass from the small intestine into your large intestine It can cause a whole host of problems if it’s not functioning correctly. Like all of mine! Like overloading the liver and more.
We communicated via Facebook too, as easier to write and have it instantly translated via computer. Also Google Translate on the I-phone is amazing tech. Ueda started studying chiropractic 17 years ago and in practice for nearly 12, he explained. He majored in chiropractic applied kinesiology and in 2015 acquired qualifications for acupuncture and moxibustion treatment.
He outlined his procedures and what he thought was going on with my body. He mentioned my adrenal glands and fatigue were likely contributing to my hot flashes (and I thought it was menopause, among other things going on with me. Menopause symptoms caused by stress in which adrenal glands can’t function any more and allow ovaries to produce estrogen, I researched online. There’s no such word in Japanese for “hot flash!” These things are not normal parts of menopause! It’s a stress nightmare out there! Relax everybody!
The second session I booked for two hours, and the first thing he did was show me a skeletal form of the foot, and had prepared in English beforehand that my left foot had some kind of sprain or trauma in past. Once again, in a flash I remembered something I had forgotten about. Something I hadn’t thought about in 45 years was when I was 4-years old I sprained my ankle stepping out of a shop in Santa Fe, New Mexico when we lived in Albuquerque. Obviously it didn’t heal right or my mother didn’t follow up with the doctor. She was that type of mother. Same thing with my orthodontics. She stopped them, but I have some TMJ that has caused a lot of facial pain over the years, and more! So it’s been amazing. No one else has ever pointed this out to me. They just threw prescription drugs at me! Which I take none of. Things are related! One part of the body affects the others. Or your nervous system, adrenal glands, ankles – you name it! Holistic approaches work!
He also manipulated the area of the small and large intestinal valve, and my naval area. Again, I had forgotten that I had a herniated belly button, likely related. I never realized a chiropractor could do so much! I thought it was for the spine and bones, but it’s all related! I had told a Western doctor a few months back about the herniated belly button and she said, “So, it’s a herniated belly button.” I ditched her and went to another doctor. Guy didn’t even address it!
After my second session with Ueda at Reflex I woke up the next day without a migraine, my face and neck feeling good. My back feels great and things feeling overall balanced. I still have healing work to do, and am back to restorative yoga. But here I watched from Japan the insane nightmare of the Health Care debate in the U.S. Poor Americans! If only they could benefit from the great Universal Health Care in Japan and other parts of the world the U.S. encourages! My insurance via my husband says, chiropractor covered 100% and I can go to anybody I want, but if I go to the U.S. and need a doctor, have to go to their “In Network” doctors. So much for freedom! SICK!
According to an article in The Atlantic, “Dating back to the Marshall Plan in post-WWII Europe, General Douglas MacArthur’s 1945-1949 occupation of Japan, and then the Korean War, it has been a matter of U.S. foreign policy to invest in the creation of universal health systems. More recently, the Marshall Plan was cited by AFRICOM in support of a Department of Defense engagement in health systems construction across Africa. This year, South Africa was the number one recipient of health aid from the United States, totaling nearly $470 million, much of which is supporting the country’s 14-year program to build universal health coverage.”
Of course, you must make up your own mind about which health care doctor to visit, as everybody has individual needs. But If you are an expat or Japanese or ANYBODY who wants high-quality health care at an affordable price that gives you relieve without all the gobbledygook mess of “in network” doctors who just want to pump you full of pharmaceuticals and are just in it for the money, visit Reflex! Ueda Yoshiyasu is truly concerned about healing you! I can’t wait for this Friday’s session!
Of which I must say, to update this, he did do a “thrust” as the Google translate called it, for my mid thorasic area where a yoga teacher had pointed out to me before where I as “Stuck.” But Ueda asked permission first to prepare me, and it was completely different, using his whole body behind mine on the table. So there is some popping, just not scary as I experienced it in the West!
Osaka City Nishi-ku Nishi-ku Nishimachi 1 – chome 21-3 Kobayashi Building 1 – E
Business hours: Monday from 11 am to 21:30 Tuesday 11: 21: 30 Wednesday from 11 to 21: 30 Closed on Thursday Friday from 11 o’clock to 21:30 Saturday from 11 to 21: 30 Sunday from 11 to 21: 30