Visiting a Chiropractor(Seikotsuin) in Japan 2020.03.13
Neck so stiff you feel like karate chopping it just to feel better.
An urge to twist and pop just about every joint in your spine or neck to "relieve the tension"...
Anyone understand what I'm saying?
If you don't, congratulations, you must be one of the lucky 10-20% (just my estimate, non-statistical) to not suffer from some sort of muscular pain. If you do, you are far from alone in today's world, where long hours and/or desk work have taken a serious toll on our bodies not built for this sort of ergonomic strain. Other reasons might be past injuries from sport and activities. Or both, like me. I suffered from an ACL tear and had surgery. It still hurts post-surgery.
To relieve the pain (or try to anyway), I decided to give the seikotsuin(整骨院) a shot. The kanji literally means "clinic for adjusting bones", and I seen them referred to as "bone setters" or chiropractors. If you've been to Japan, you might've have seen these signs all over town, there's usually at least 2-3 around every suburban metro train station and loads more in the residential areas.
A sign with the last three characters - 整骨院 is what you're looking for
The first time I went was about 2 weeks back, to a local clinic right at the doorstep of the nearby Tokyu Miyazakidai train station. I had 3 clinics to choose from, so I went on to trusty google maps and decided to visit this one because it had the best reviews of the 3 and also happened to be have the best hours for me.
Having been half a dozen times since, my experience with this seikotsuin has been great. My therapist was able to identify the problem and explain clearly (in simplified Japanese) his recommended course of treatment, which would be based on the manipulation of my knee and hips for the time being. I was hooked up to an electric stimulation device once that provided a low current to my knees - pretty similar to what I got back in the rehab post-knee surgery. Overall, it seems to be helping (slowly), and the massage feels good on my knees during each session.
Pricewise, that depends on whether you have Japanese national health insurance, which you will apply for if you are in Japan on business or school. If you have the insurance, the seikotsuin I am going to charges 2200yen for the first session, but with fees dropping with each session. I currently pay 600yen for every 20 minute session. If you do not have the insurance, you have to continue paying 2200yen every time.
This isn't an advertisement, so it's really up to you if you would like to try out a seikotsuin. I also cannot speak for the results of every clinic out there, but I do enjoy my treatment with the seikotsuin I visit and will continue for the time being as I think it will help my knee recover.
You'll find their opening hours at the door.
They open really early and I go before work.
I'm an aspiring architect pursuing/living my dream of working in Japan.
I work in Tokyo, but live across Futagotamagawa in Oakhouse Kajigaya, Kawasaki.
Working in Japan is hard, but there's lots of opportunities to play hard as well.
I hope to share a little of my experience with everyone through this blog.