Life as we know it …. a McTimoney Animal Practitioner

Next in the series of free Webinars from the McTimoney College of Chiropractic: Thursday 10th June 2021 @7.00 – 8.30pm

The McTimoney College of Chiropractic is delighted to announce their next webinar focused on the effective use of the McTimoney Chiropractic in the veterinary industry on Thursday 10th June at 7pm.  The webinar will give an insight into the McTimoney technique and it’s benefits and is ideal for those interested in adding McTimoney Chiropractic to their skillset.  McTimoney graduate, Tegan Hemmingway, explains her journey, qualifying and working as a McTimoney practitioner.

Following your dreams can be a hard decision to make. How long will it take? What will it cost? Will I even succeed? These are questions so many face and it takes dedication and determination to take even that first step on the road to resume education and onto a new level of training. For our McTimoney Animal Chiropractic graduates though, it has all been worth it. Being able to set up their own business, working with animals they love in a career where professionalism and animal welfare combine, is immensely rewarding and it pays the bills as well. Animal chiropractic is constantly increasing in popularity with the McTimoney Animal Association (the professional organisation for all qualified McTimoney Animal Practitioners,) receiving regular requests for practitioners across the UK – their message is that we need more trained professionals to support the demand. The McTimoney College of Chiropractic, part of the College of Health, is based in Abingdon providing a central base for students to access their animal studies, but also utilises a wide range of venues across England providing a diverse and exciting range of animals and highly experienced tutors to deliver the training they receive. Graduates achieve a Master’s in Animal Manipulation (Chiropractic) from the highly regarded Ulster University.

One recent graduate is Tegan Hemingway-Wood who at 26 years of age, is already busy in her new practice TC Equine Therapy based in Selston, Nottinghamshire. Tegan was keen on animal therapy prior to attending the McTimoney College, as she was working part time as an Equine Sports Massage Therapist and part time on an Equine Rehabilitation yard. When she joined the MSc course, Tegan says, “it was definitely a challenge because I find exams of any form massively daunting and I tend to go to pieces, but on the whole I really loved the course. The support from the lecturers was brilliant and you never felt like you couldn’t ask for help with something. The small group sizes on practical days in year 2 were massively beneficial too. The second year passes so quickly that having such a small group means that you can make the most of each practical day and you’re never stood with nothing to do.  I found some of the neurology lectures in year 1 quite difficult to get my head around, but the mix of classroom and practical sessions meant that these were quite well spaced out so it wasn’t all thrown at you at once and you had time to go over it and work through it again between sessions.”

Tegan describes her first case after qualifying as an “out of the frying pan into the fire” case, with a horse that was known to have multiple issues, had been seen by and treated by several vets but just wasn’t coming 100% right. Tegan explains, “It was daunting to say the least, particularly when his owners, the yard owners and a few of the liveries watched the whole thing. I spent the first 15 minutes worrying about treating such a complex case, but it was so exhilarating once I started to treat and he proved to be so receptive to the treatment and gave some great releases. He has to have regular treatments, but he is back in full work and out doing a bit of everything (including taking his owner for an unplanned gallop around the fields whenever it takes his fancy!).”

Tegan has now been qualified 2 years and loves the variety of clients that she sees. “I have a massive range from people’s elderly pets to horses that are out competing every weekend at various levels. They’re all completely different and I love that I get to be a part of their journey and see them improve and develop, whether it’s helping to keep them mobile and comfortable as they potter around, helping to maintain them at their peak performance or being a part of their rehabilitation from an injury or condition. They’re all completely different and it means that every day is different.”

For many graduates of the McTimoney College, the attraction of the career is that they are self-employed which enables them to work the hours they want to and build the business they desire. However, this does also mean working on the promotion of the business and building a good reputation. Tegan says, “I have done a lot of marketing on social media and in local tack shops and feed stores, but to be honest, most of my business has come from word of mouth or recommendations on social media. McTimoney animal chiropractic is popular and I have quite a variety of clients- I have a couple of riding schools, breeders that have their broodmares treated, competition yards/riders and a few dealers that have horses treated as they come in to be sold so that they can go with a full MOT, but many of my clients are leisure riders that just like to keep their horses comfortable and ticking over, or have horses that need treatment to help maintain their comfort with existing conditions.”

Of course, building your own business isn’t all roses. The hardest part of running a business is having patience whilst building up a client base and not becoming disheartened when there are quiet weeks. “It takes time to build a client base and it is important to remember that when you’re starting out! It’s also quite difficult to learn to balance your diary,” reflects Tegan. “There’s definitely a temptation when starting out to work every hour under the sun, but that is a very quick way to burn yourself out and it has taken me a little while to learn to pace myself and learn my own physical limits.”

Support is always important, and for Tegan her family has been so supportive, in particular her mum who has been a real role model for her. Tegan is also still in contact with some of the girls that she did the course with too, and they are always there to bounce ideas off and offer advice and support. Tegan is also quick to point out that, “the lecturers have been very approachable since graduation too and have been able to give me advice when I’ve had a case that I’ve been troubled by or stuck on which is so comforting.”

When asked if she had any advice for those considering McTimoney Animal Chiropractic as a new career, Tegan advises, “Whether you start your journey with lots of experience in the physical therapy side of things or not, the most important thing that you will need is the drive to work hard and keep learning. This is the most incredible career and I love it, so follow your dreams and take that first step to find out more.”

For more information on the MSc Animal Manipulation (Chiropractic) at the McTimoney College, visit www.mctimoney-college.ac.uk/post-graduate-studies/msc-animal-manipulation/ or attend our upcoming webinar on the 10th June on the Use of Chiropractic in the Veterinary Industry www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/online/mctimoney/

There are online information evenings available on Eventbrite too if you wish to know more about how to train.