Livingston Chiropractic. 01506 238384.
What we Treat
Here are some personal thoughts by Astrid on life as a chiropractor and details on the training required to become a chiropractor in Britain. These are opinions rather than hard facts and should be treated as such.
How can I became a chiropractor?
In order to become a chiropractor you need to study for a degree in chiropractic. Courses normally last for four or five years during which time you cover many subjects including biology, physiology, and anatomy. You also learn chiropractic adjustment techniques and patient management.
Within Britain you can study at AECC in Bournemouth, the University of South Wales and the McTimoney College of Chiropractic. See the end of this page for contact details of these organisations.
Which subjects should I study at Higher or A-Level to prepare for a chiropractic course?
Biology, chemistry and mathematics are perhaps the three key areas to focus on. You should contact your chosen institution for more details on their particular preference.
Where can I work after graduating?
Most chiropractors work within an existing clinic after qualifying. This could be on a self employed basis or as an employee / associate. Starting out within an existing clinic will give you guidance and mentoring opportunities. The jump from student to professional is a big step and having more experienced chiropractors around can ease the transition, making life easier for you.
What about working in your own clinic?
Setting up your own clinic is relatively straightforward. You have the option of being self employed or creating a company and being an employee for the company. Either way you will need to rent or buy a clinic and think about staff, overheads and taxation. This is both rewarding and a little daunting at first.
What costs are involved?
The price of training is dictated by the individual institutions. In order to practice as a chiropractor within Britain one must register with the General Chiropractic Council. In order to maintain registration there is a requirement to undertake a certain number of training hours each year; typically achieved through self study and seminar attendance. In addition to GCC registration you are also required to hold malpractice insurance. Most chiropractors are members of a national chiropractic association such as the Scottish Chiropractic Association or the British Chiropractic Association.
What is a typical working day like for you?
I work by myself most days and employ a receptionist on Saturday's. Normally I see patients from 0900 but my day begins a little earlier so I can prepare patient files and answer e-mail or telephone messages from the previous evening. During the day any gaps between patients are spent doing paperwork, such as updating patient notes or writing reports. I see a wide variety of patients; new babies, children, adults and the elderly. It is very rewarding to help people and see the improvement in health that chiropractic can bring.
What is the best part of your job?
The patients. I love talking to people and helping them. It is great to see the sparkle appear in people's eyes as their body heals. Once people begin to feel better they become more active, eat healthier food and exercise more, which strengthens their muscles and their immune system and this makes people feel even better.
What is the worst part of your job?
Paperwork. Each patient has a file and the General Chiropractic Council quite rightly requires accurate records to be maintained. This benefits both patients and chiropractors but it does take up a lot of time. As a small business owner I also have financial records to keep but luckily my husband likes spreadsheets so I leave the number parts to him.
What are the qualities of a good chiropractor?
You need to like people and have a wish to help them. Everyone is different and you need to have good listening skills. You also need to be quick at learning and confident in making decisions. I think it helps if you have been a chiropractic patient yourself because you will have direct experience of what chiropractic care can achieve.
Any final tips for would-be chiropractors?
Go and speak to some chiropractors. If you are a chiropractic patient and seriously considering this as a career then ask to shadow your chiropractic doctor for a day or two. Most will say yes and you will see the wide variation in patients and learn how a clinic functions.
Institutions offering chiropractic studies:
13-15 Parkwood Road
1 Kimber Road
Chiropractic organisations for further information: