The McTimoney College of Chiropractic is proud to announce that a new 4-year programme in Veterinary Chiropractic is available to undergraduates, so those without a previous degree can undertake the training and education required to enter this sought-after career.
Over the past 50 years, the McTimoney College of Chiropractic has been training and educating human chiropractors to the highest standards of regulation. For the last 20 years, animal chiropractic has developed to fulfil the requirement for this gentle and holistic treatment in the veterinary world. To date, animal chiropractors were required to have either a prior human chiropractic qualification or degree in relevant sciences.
College Principal Christina Cunliffe says, “This is a very exciting step in the development of chiropractic care for animals. Building on our decades of experience of graduating safe, competent, and highly qualified animal chiropractors, now is the time to open this exciting career opportunity to undergraduates’’.
The new programme, starting in September 2023, is accepting applications now. Students will attend the College based in Abingdon and a variety of practical venues, enabling the development of academic knowledge and application of practical skills in tandem. Modules include anatomy and physiology, veterinary sciences, practice and professionalism and clinical skills, with a research dissertation which builds throughout the 4-year course. Recent graduate of the current MSc Animal Manipulation (Chiropractic) programme, Pollyanna Fitzgerald says, “The McTimoney College is a welcoming and supporting learning environment, that has allowed me as a student and future practitioner to grow and develop. There is always someone to talk to and offer encouragement when needed. As a student I have learnt a great deal and have been encouraged to believe in myself and it has been a wonderful place to learn.”
McTimoney chiropractic for animals identifies areas of stiffness, asymmetry, and poor range of movement within the skeletal system, particularly the spine and pelvis. This impacts the muscles surrounding these structures as well as the nerve impulses passing from the central nervous system to the periphery of the body. Adjustments are very light and quick, stimulating an instant response in the soft tissues and joints affected which promotes a relaxation of muscle spasm, improved nerve function and helps the skeletal frame resume better symmetry and movement again. In many cases, animals are suffering underlying conditions such as arthritic changes or degenerative diseases which cause them to compensate in their posture and movement to try and remain comfortable. However, these compensations then become more and more ingrained, and can be painful or uncomfortable in their own right, necessitating chiropractic care to bring some relief. In other cases, animals are working hard or competing and as such build up tension and asymmetries as a result of the demands of their work. Again, chiropractic care helps to alleviate soreness and promote performance, be it faster speeds over fences for racehorses and eventers, better jumping style in showjumpers or more flamboyant movement for the dressage stars.
Previous graduate from the MSc programme, Beatrice Boyles from Kent completed the MSc Animal Manipulation (Chiropractic) programme in December 2009. She was 6 months pregnant at the time so built her business up gradually around being a new mum and going full time with McTimoney animal chiropractic work after she had her second child in early 2013.
Bea says, “The most enjoyable thing about my job is being able to see the positive changes I can make for animals and their owners. I feel very lucky to have a job that I look forward to doing each day. So many people seem to dread their working day whereas, even when the weather is bad or I’m setting out or getting home in the dark, I really love what I do.”
If you have ever wondered what a day is like for a McTimoney Animal Chiropractor, it can be very busy but with the flexibility to fit round your own schedule. Like many of us, Bea has her own animals so at 6.30am she is up and out to walk her young Labrador and geriatric Jack Russell. She is home by 8am to prepare packed lunches and get the kids out to school. By 8.45am Bea is heading out to work. She explains, “I treat a range of animals from pet dogs to sport horses and everything in between. A lot of my day is spent travelling around to different yards and people’s homes. I will see a mixture of dogs and horses throughout the day, meaning every day is interesting and different. Sometimes I get to treat other animals too, including cats, farm animals and small animals such as guinea pigs and rabbits.”
Bea returns home by 4pm to either take her daughter riding on her loan pony or take her son to rugby training, although twice a week her husband does the school runs and Bea will stay out working until around 7pm. Bea states, “One of the great things about being self-employed is the flexibility to make it fit around the rest of my life.”
With a rising demand for practitioners in the UK and with graduates in a number of countries across the world now, there has never been a better time to consider training as an animal chiropractor. If you are wondering if this might be the career step you have been waiting for, then get in touch with the McTimoney College of Chiropractic and join us at an Open Day where you can meet staff and practitioners alike. Recent graduate Natalie McQuiggan explains, “I’ve wanted to do McTimoney Chiropractic from a young age but the process of doing it always seemed really daunting! But from the start, the staff and teachers were lovely and welcoming, and queries were answered promptly. I’ve really enjoyed my 2 years on the MSc Animal Manipulation (Chiropractic) programme and would recommend to anyone thinking about it, to just do it!”
Established animal chiropractor, Bea also advises, “If you’re passionate about animal wellbeing and health, then go for it! Plan to give yourself time for your business to build up. Most of my work has come through word of mouth so taking the time to build rapport with potential clients and vets in your local area is key. This can begin whilst you’re doing your training – finding local yards or vets who can offer you time and animals to practice with.”
Now is the time to start on your new career – your future is in your hands!
Contact info for those interested in learning more:
For more information on the McTimoney Animal Association and to find a practitioner go to https://mctimoneyanimal.co.uk/