MEXICO CITY – They use their fingers and the sides of their hands to identify with precision any part of the body. They are blind Mexicans who read perfectly the state of the back, shoulders or neck of patients with acute muscular aches and pains.
The group of blind chiropractors and massagers meets on weekends in Mexico City’s historic downtown area to relieve and even heal all kinds of muscular agonies.
The group has gathered for four years to treat the crowds of people they attract, some on the advice of a friend or family member, others totally unaware of their blindness.
Many who come to ease the accumulated tension in their bodies discover once the session is over that their massager is blind, usually when they ask for the diagnosis or are about to pay the bill.
“When they’re about to pay us is when they realize we’re blind,” the sightless chiropractor and masseuse Abigail Vanessa told EFE.
The special sensitivity of the blind gives them a singular talent for discovering the muscles’ secrets.
What patients do first when putting themselves in the hands of these masters of massage is explain in detail their pains, so through their patient’s words and the touch of their fingertips they detect injuries that no one’s eyes could see.
Vanessa, trained as a chiropractor at a regular school, remembers that she began this work because she needed to make some money, something not that easy for the visually disabled.
“We’re just like other people, it’s just that we can’t see,” she said with pride, “but when you don’t have one sense, the others get stronger.”
When it comes to serving clients, the blind place special chairs in the street for them.
The first thing they do then is read the body with their fingertips from the gluteus to the neck muscles.
“It’s our way of connecting with the other body. Through our touch we do X-rays,” Vanessa said.
The chiropractor said that personalization is vital in the treatment one gives patients, taking into account their past history and previous aches and pains.
University student Pamela Arrieta, who suffered a fall several days ago, told what happened when “I couldn’t stand the pain any longer.”
She went to her usual doctor, but his treatment didn’t get rid of the hurt. Then she tried Vanessa and “it was super good, I feel more relaxed with no more pain.”
What’s more, massage prices are very affordable – from $2 to $5 depending on what the patient needs.
The price is undoubtedly the other great attraction of the service offered by the blind chiropractors, who have converted the loss of one of their five senses into a strength for detecting and soothing the agonies of the human body.