Not many business owners in Shropshire commute to Barry in South Wales.
But for Tony Phillips, who runs Sansaw Chiropractic Clinic, he’s still a lot closer than his previous office…in Northamptonshire.
“I’d been a pharmacist for 24 years or so but it was repetitive – 10 hours a day in a little room, hundreds of prescriptions lined up, so I trained to be a chiropractor,” he explained.
“That pharmaceutical background has proved immensely useful when treating clients holistically and observing the impact of the medication they are taking in relation to their varying health conditions.
“I now stay up here in the week and then drive back down to my house on Friday. It takes about four-and-a-half hours but at least by the time I arrive in Barry the stresses and strains of the working week are behind me.”
Tony’s transition into complementary therapy, along with a four-year diploma in traditional Chinese medicine, enables him to work across a range of disciplines and ailments.
“I have made two post-graduate trips to Hangzhou in Southern China to further my knowledge in traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese culture and gain deeper insights in the practice of acupuncture.”
He reels off an impressive list of woes he is working on, from people with jaw and facial pain to issues with the spine and peripheral joints.
“No two patients are the same, so just because one remedy works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for another. We all have different neurology, physiology and pharmacology, so I enjoy working out a treatment plan for each and every person. It’s fascinating.”
Tony also practises what he preaches – staying fit and focusing constantly on his body and what it’s telling him.
“I have no injuries because I look after myself,” he says. “I target my body: I stabilise my back by doing exercises like planks and side bridges. I strengthen shoulders and scapula muscles, adopting a holistic approach to my own health.
“I do a lot of walking which I enjoy but I have to keep fit and supple because it’s easy to injure yourself in this job if you don’t look after your own health.
“But now I don’t need to be 24/7. A four-day week is enough because I want some balance in my life. It’s important to give everything I can to my patients but also to enjoy some self development. After all, I’ll be a much better practitioner if I’m in good physical and mental health.”