More traditional veterinary career…
I qualified from Glasgow University School in 1983 and have worked in different branches of the veterinary profession including small animal and mixed practice; obtained my PhD researching antibiotic resistance in E.coli and the possibility of transfer from animals to people; carrying out pathological examination and diagnoses of farm animal disease in the Scottish Borders as a Veterinary Investigation Officer and then as Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Bacteriology at Massey University Veterinary School in New Zealand.
Discovering complementary therapies…
It was while in New Zealand that I realised complementary therapies were becoming more available for both animals and people and I tried massage for myself. I was amazed at its benefits and began a course in complementary therapies at Manawatu Polytechnic which included the study of human anatomy. Despite my university role being fascinating I realised I just had to work with my hands and decided to come back home to Scotland and return to veterinary practice.
But it was on route home in 1999 and meeting and listening to Dr Allen Schoen, American acupuncture expert and author, at the Australian Veterinary Conference in Tasmania that finally changed my direction. He described the success that acupuncture could have in so many different conditions and I was amazed that Australian vets were using acupuncture along with conventional medicine as a routine part of their work and I felt I had to find out more. There are few options for vets to train in the UK so after a short veterinary course I began attending British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS) courses.
During my three years at Ryan and Calder Veterinary Surgeons (now Albavet) I was able to develop my skills in acupuncture. In 2003 I became self-employed to concentrate fulltime on acupuncture –encouraged by my family and friends and veterinary clients who were so impressed at what it did for their pets to treat them as well! I completed a Diploma in Therapeutic and Foundation Remedial Massage for people with the Scottish School of Professional Massage and Remedial Studies and a Foundation Course in Homeopathy for animals at the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital.
Where am I now??!!
I now have sixteen years experience of treating both people and animals having studied with the British Medical Acupuncture Society since 1999 and obtaining my Diploma in Medical Acupuncture in 2006 and Post-Graduate Certificate in Western Medical Acupuncture from the University of Hertfordshire in 2012.
I also qualified as a yoga teacher with the Anahata Teaching School in 2006 because I appreciate the importance of maintaining flexibility and core strength and being able to relax! Yoga has added to my understanding of the stresses and strains on the human body and the use of exercise to help in many muscular problems. I enjoy the variety of my working week with veterinary locum work, massage and acupuncture for people and veterinary acupuncture in conjunction with conventional veterinary medicine. After all that’s happened I’m back to where I started – living close to my hometown of Cowdenbeath and Beath High School – married to a schoolfriend with two grown-up step-children and a greedy cat called Guinness!