In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 22, 2007 / 3 Nissan, 5767

Therapy session is painful, instructive

By Marybeth Hicks

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I always thought physical therapy would feel good for my bad back, but I'm starting to wonder. I'm lying on my stomach on an exam table, staring at the dust on the table legs through the opening designed to accommodate my face, when I realize this isn't going to be comfortable.

Carl, my physical therapist, is tugging on my ankle, pulling my hip off the table and stretching my leg from west to east. He says he's realigning my hip. It feels as though I should tell him something important — the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, perhaps — or else I can expect a similar fate for my other leg.

I breathe deeply, the breath of a woman who has endured childbirth and kidney stones and late-night conversations with crying teenage girls.

Hee hee, hoo hoo, hee hee, hoo hoo, then a cleansing breath to wash away the strain. As if on cue, Carl picks up my other leg and pulls from east to west.

Just how this contortionist exercise is supposed to cure my bad back, I don't know, but at least the pain in my quads is taking my mind off the ache in my lateral muscles.

Carl changes gear and starts massaging. Fortunately, he can't see the surprised look on my face as he rubs the spot where the nerve in my back sends pain messages. There's nothing else to do with a person who's working the knots out of your glutei maximi but make small talk, so I strike up a conversation.

"How are your kids, Carl?"

"My kids?" Carl asks. "My kids?" he says again. I'm thinking there's a Rodney Dangerfield punch line coming ("My kids are so mean they tape worms to the sidewalk just to watch birds get hernias"), but instead Carl says, "Don't get me going about my kids."

Carl has seven children, a large, blended family over which he seems to exercise passionate leadership. On a previous visit, he told me about a "chat" he had with a male friend of his teenaged daughter whose behavior he found inappropriate.

Apparently, the chat included a discussion of the many ways in which a physical therapist can realign a person's body. The young man hasn't been around since he and Carl "made nice" on the driveway.

Today, the topic on Carl's mind is his son, a high school junior who this weekend was discovered sneaking out of the house after hours. "You won't believe what this boy says to me." Carl's voice is getting louder and his fingers are digging deeper into my sore muscles.

"Um, what?" I'm a little tentative, given that I already was in pain when I got here.

"He says, 'Dad, at least 60 percent of all high school kids sneak out at night. That's just the way it is.' Can you believe that?"

Actually, I can believe it. Not the statistic — the fact that his son tried to argue his way out of trouble by pointing to a supposed immoral majority.

Carl recounts his entire lecture to his son, a diatribe that included time-honored parenting phrases such as "Actually, that's not the way it is," and "You're not 60 percent of all high school kids" and "If 60 percent of people jumped off a bridge..."

He ends with a few phrases that no longer are used as much as they ought to be: "Welcome to the other 40 percent" and "I'm not here to be your buddy; I'm here to be your father."

Carl tells me about the consequences he devised for his son, all of which require a whole lot more work on Carl's part. He even has set his home alarm system to let him know if someone is leaving the house as well as breaking into it.

"It's too bad I have to resort to that," Carl says, "but that's the way it's got to be. There's no way I'm putting up with a kid who takes off in the middle of the night to do Heaven-knows-what."

Carl rhythmically presses on my back, forcing air out of my lungs in short pulses. "I'm imPRESSED, Carl. There aren't many PARents like you these days. Takes a lot of GUTS."

He doesn't think so. "It's not guts," he tells me. "This is the job. This is what it means to be a parent. It's not easy or pleasant, but that's what it takes to raise a kid."

Carl knows his hands-on parenting will work. His older sons challenged his authority when they were teens, and Carl understands it's part of growing up. "But just because a kid will question your authority doesn't mean you can just throw up our hands and give up," he says.

By now my physical therapy session is nearly done. After all his tugging and pressing, Carl has somehow enabled me to move more freely and without the stiffness I had when I came in.

"Feeling better?" he asks, returning to the pleasant, professional voice he had when our session began.

"Oddly, yes." Suddenly I'm aware my back isn't aching as usual. Funny what a little manipulation will do to turn things around.

Then again, Carl knows it sometimes is painful to make a body straighten up. Just because it hurts doesn't mean it's not good for you.

Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

"The Perfect World Inside My Minivan -- One mom's journey through the streets of suburbia"  

Marybeth Hicks offers readers common-sense wisdom in dealing with today's culture. Her anecdotes of her husband and four children tap into universal themes that every parent can relate to and appreciate. -- Wesley Pruden, Editor-in-Chief, The Washington Times
Sales help fund JWR.

JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of 19 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2006, Marybeth Hicks