I’m Jennie and I work as a Chiropractor in two clinics in Maidstone & Rochester. I graduated from university (the AECC) in 2014 with a Masters degree in Chiropractic.
The thing that first drew me in to a profession like this was the fact I knew I wanted to be doing something that was directly helping people every day. I love meeting new people and wanted to be doing something where I was in direct contact with others. I looked into being a doctor, but was drawn much more to the hands on element of care, with less emphasis on medication to treat symptoms and more emphasis on getting to the route cause, helping musculoskeletal issues by changing function and lifestyle.
My mum had suffered from years of lower back pain episodes since childbirth so I was pretty familiar with how back pain can affect people’s lives.
I looked into a few different courses and I think the thing that just tipped me into Chiropractic a bit more was how in depth the course was in regards to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. I’d always loved science and the biology of movement/performance so felt the course was right for me!
Interestingly, what I discovered at university was that I actually have a scoliosis (sideways curvature of my spine) like my mum’s (as well as less than ideal hip structure) and therefore could be more predisposed to back discomfort (if we're looking at things from a structural perspective alone). However, looking at function, with the knowledge I have gained, I have been able to maintain a level of flexibility and core strength with chiropractic treatment, massage and home strengthening exercises to keep any tension/discomfort down day to day.
Even with the 4/5 years of studying within the degree, there’s still so much more to learn with interesting new research emerging regularly! I am always reading factual books, listening to podcasts and attending new seminars to expand my knowledge. I love seeing a varied patient base, from young sports players, pregnant women and new mums to the elderly population and use a number of different assessment and treatment techniques due to this. I have done extra courses in Dry Needling/Acupuncture, Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT), Functional Muscle Testing and more.
Through the years I’ve definitely learnt that each individual can respond very differently to different techniques, so it’s all about finding what works for that person whether it’s spinal manipulation, mobilisation, massage, dry needling or more emphasis on an exercise program.
In the last few years in particular, since graduating, I’ve seen close family members (as well as a number of patients) go through other issues such as depression, high stress, breast cancer, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome and eating disorders. I think it is this that has led me to look more and more into lifestyle factors and how they play a massive role in our health and overall wellbeing too.
One of my favorite books, The Four Pillar Plan, by Dr Rangan Chatterjee, a GP, looks into Nutrition, Movement, Sleep and Stress and how they all influence each other. As well as these topics, I continue to read a number of books and look into research within neuroscience regarding Mindset, Motivation and Habit Formation.
I believe that having a good quality of life is about a balance of:
Health (both physical and mental)
Social / Relationships
Holidays and/or Hobbies!
Tricky at times, but I believe through goal setting and habit building we can give ourselves the best chance.
My main expertise obviously lies within health, in particular musculoskeletal/nervous system health and I like to think this is one of the most important factors listed above. After all, without health we may not have the energy to put into these other parts of our lives.
I’m optimistic that (with some exceptions) we can often do tiny things each day that could prevent not only musculoskeletal issues from building up, but also other lifestyle diseases from building up to the point that we have to rely on medication every day.
I believe we all have one life and we should be able to feel fulfilled, try new things and have fun! Although there is sometimes a lot we cannot completely control, why not work on the things we can control.
If I can be of any support in your management, please feel free to be in contact. I would love to help.
Interests & Hobbies...
In 2017, after saving up little by little, I packed up work for six months and travelled the world with my sister. We made it to thirteen countries from Australia and New Zealand to Borneo, the Komodo Islands, India and China. We climbed a lot of mountains, bungee jumped and sky dived, tried some great food and met some lovely people!
Since then I have taken to as many adventure packed holidays as possible, including driving our own rented Tuk-Tuk around Sri Lanka, hiking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, road tripping and hiking through Europe and now also getting away as much as possible in our campervan Gwen!
Travelling and hiking is definitely a big driver for me to stay healthy and have as much energy as possible!
When I am back to the reality of day to day life I play netball once a week in a local league, use the gym where I do resistance training and a mix of Pilates/Yoga moves, go for occasional short runs (no marathons for me though at this stage!) and recently have been getting into indoor climbing/bouldering!
Aside from loving to read to learn about anything health related, I will always schedule in time to socialise with friends and family at the weekends.
I’m attempting more and more mindfulness and meditation each day and keep up my regular gratitude diary.
And to have the energy to do these extra bits I keep striving to maintain the other basics of a solid 7-8 hours sleep a night and a pretty solid routine around healthy eating.