Teresa Mann is a McTimoney Chiropractor, who practises in Marlborough. She has two sons, Matt, 34, and Josh, 27, and lives in Hungerford with her youngest.
Tell us about yourself
I’m from Newbury originally, I moved away when I started Nursing Training with the view to becoming a midwife. I gave up training when my eldest decided to come along, and concentrated on being a mum and retraining. I live in Hungerford and work in Marlborough.
How did you become a Chiropractor?
When I was pregnant for the second time I had a really bad back, and was looking for help to manage the pain. I found a McTimoney Chiropractor who sorted out the pain for me, and I was really impressed. She took me under her wing a bit, and having got to know me suggested that I would make a good chiropractor.
That planted the seed, and a few years later I undertook the training to become a chiropractor. There are two different types of training in the UK, McTimoney Chiropractic is a particular branch of chiropractic developed by the late John McTimoney. Chiropractic is holistic and concerned with the welfare of the whole body with an emphasis on causes as well as symptoms. Many people like McTimoney because they feel that the low force, high speed techniques are gentle.
How long does it take to train?
Initial training was over 4 years to qualify as a Chiropractor, with a BSc(Hons) Chiropractic. I feel it is important to continue learning, and over the years I have added to my skills, which include Cranio-sacral therapy, the use of chiropractic instruments, and most recently electrotherapy and acupuncture. Keeping up with developments through Continuous Professional Development is a requirement of the profession.
Is there such a thing as a typical patient?
Not really, I treat both sexes and all ages, it is part of what makes my work so interesting. I treat a wide range of conditions from back pain, through to headaches and some sports injuries and people come to see me for many reasons. I really enjoy treating both children and adults. I do a lot of work with the elderly, who are a pleasure to treat – they can be surprised by how much their condition improves, as they have often put their pain and discomfort down to an inevitability of old age. Having been a carer for my parents it has made it easier to empathise and work out what they need to be as good as they can be.
Many years ago, I trained as a Doula, and also as a breast feeding counsellor with the La Leche League. This developed an interest in working with pregnant and post-natal women and I have attended some patients giving birth.
I feel I have been fortunate to have such a wide range of ages and type of patient in my clinic – from sports person to pregnant mum, to the 94 year old who improved so much.
What many of my patients have in common is the fact that they have tried lots of different things before they come to me.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Even after around 15 years, it is still a real passion for me. I love dealing with so many different people and their issues – each one is different because each person is different. I enjoy getting to know patients and find it incredibly rewarding to see people get better. Often people tell me that I am their “last resort” and it’s a real pleasure when I can make a real difference to their lives.
I also like the fact that chiropractic treats someone as a whole person. I have learned much myself about nutrition and rehabilitation so can give good advice and direction. If needed I will refer people to others that can help them – for example nutritionists or yoga teachers.
What would you say your strengths were?
I feel that my 15 years of extensive experience and ongoing training are a real strength. I also think that I am empathetic, and very comfortable dealing with a wide range of people and conditions. I am sensitive to people’s needs and feel that my job is a combination of science and art.
You’ve just moved into your own clinic, what prompted that?
It’s been a goal for a while now to have my own space, rather than renting from someone else. It gives me more flexibility and control, and a place to keep all my equipment, not having to worry about packing and unpacking it! I still work out of the GP surgery in Market Lavington one day a week, but the rest of the time I am at Axholme House, which is next to TH White on London Road.
I have a spacious room, which allows people to bring someone with them if they want to eg a partner or their children. I also now have plenty of space to demonstrate exercises for people, which is a big advantage. Parking is brilliant too, and I can be available between 8.30am and 8pm for appointments.
I’ve really enjoyed getting the room together so it’s right for both me and my patients. It has a lovely fresh, light and airy feel to it, which is perfect.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I don’t get a lot of spare time. I spent some time caring for my elderly parents who have since passed away –it is taking me a while to get back to some of the activities that I enjoy.
One thing I enjoyed was Arabic Dancing (also known as Belly dancing). I used to take part at quite a high level in a group and we performed a lot. I even did a solo on a boat down the Nile. I first started after seeing a group with a belly dancer at Glastonbury Festival years ago – I loved the music and sought out a class. This form of dance was developed as a way for women to get together and keep fit – it’s great for your back – and is great fun – where else do you get to dress up to exercise? One of the best experiences I had was taking part in a TV programme where principal ballet dancer Deborah Bull was trying out different forms of dance, and she came to learn with my group. I’d love to start dancing again, and also to get back into yoga.
I like to travel, and have spent some time in Finland as I have a friend who lives there. I enjoy the outdoors and nature, and like gardening (I grow flowers, and leave the hard stuff of growing veg to my son Josh).
Do you enjoy eating out?
When I get the chance. I’m mainly a vegetarian, so it can be a challenge finding a really good choice. One place I love is Eliane’s in Hungerford – they have a fantastic choice of organic food with a great choice for veggies and vegans. Meat eaters are catered for too. I would definitely recommend it.
What are you reading?
I read all sorts – a novel I thoroughly enjoyed recently is The Bees by Laline Paull. Set in a bee hive, it’s a really original story. As well as fiction, I enjoy reading books on health/nutrition/chiropractic – I don’t just see it as work.
What sort of music do you listen to?
I listen to a huge variety of genres – from World to classic, to reggae to 70s to Indie Rock and more. My son’s late father was a musician, and I have been around musicians most of my life. My son Matt took up the mantle to become an excellent bass player. Hence Years ago I used to get into Glastonbury Festival and many top gigs free which was fantastic.
I enjoy going to the theatre occasionally, and I like live comedy. Open mic nights are good, and if I had to choose a particular comedian I like I’d say Stewart Lee (he’s such a clever man, and makes controversial topics into a great laugh)
Going to the cinema is a treat – it was a real experience visiting one of the independent cinemas in London with plush seats and drinks service too, although usually I go to Newbury or Swindon!
If you’d like to find out more about how Teresa could help you, you can call her on 07904366968 or visit her website at www.chiro-healing.com