After years of study and dedication, Dr. Catherine Langford is a successful Chiropractor who specialises in pediatrics and pregnancy. Catherine not only looks at the physical elements but all aspects of health including diet and nutrition. Catherine has a strong focus on providing information that empowers families to live a life of complete health and wellness, which she firmly believes has a great impact on preventing disease. I can personally say that Catherine’s is a, hands down, passionate and dedicated health professional, giving outstanding advice all with a down-to-earth attitude and truly beautiful care and practice.
What a career so far, I am so excited to share Catherine’s journey and passion for health and wellbeing.
Catherine Langford, Chiropractor at Santosha Health & Wellbeing Centre (and Integrated Chiropractic)
Brief description of your role:
I’m a natural health care practitioner. First and foremost I am a chiropractor, but I have built on that with studying Applied Kinesiology which allows me to get deeper into the cause of health issues, whether they be structural, physical or biochemical. I also use a method called NeuroEmotional Technique which is a mind-body technique which also allows me to address physical and behavioral conditions associated with stress. Sounds complicated but it’s fun!
So… what do you actually do?
Well I only work in clinic in total about 3 days a week, but this is spread over 4 or 5 days. That clinic time involves seeing patients. People are booked in for 10-15 minute consultations (45 minutes if it’s their first time) and we address any health concerns they have. Because of the range of techniques I use, people come to me for literally any health problem you can imagine. A lot of headaches and back pain, but also a lot of digestive system complaints, hormone imbalances, behavior problems or learning difficulties in children, babies with colic or reflux, stress relief, sleeping problems, and the list goes on.
My days off are not days off, they usually involve bookwork, banking, checking emails, study, more study, ordering supplements, marketing planning and general business organisation.
But let’s be honest, I choose my own hours so there are a lot of coffee and brunch dates in there too!
Every day is so different. Generally at about 6:30am I am awake and going for a run or doing yoga. 7:30am is breakfast which is usually fresh fruit, activated nuts and seeds and yoghurt, or a green smoothie in the summer time. 8:30am I’ll be at work if it’s a morning shift, or I’ll be at my computer if I’m not in clinic until the afternoon. Most computer work is checking emails and reading relevant health articles. At the moment I’m studying nutrition so I’ll be watching lectures online. I’ve also just started to get into blogging, so I’ll be researching or writing articles. Lunch is usually around 12-12:30pm which will involve leftovers, a fresh salad, or something from one of my favourite organic cafés. If I’m in clinic in the afternoon I usually get to work around 1:30pm to check the afternoon schedule, clear up any paperwork or messages that need attending to, ready to start with patients at 2pm. I finish the day anywhere between 6:30 and 7pm, usually starving hungry. Winter time is easy because I’ll put dinner in the slow cooker in the morning, and then call my husband on the way home so he knows to dish up very soon. In summer time when we have more light, we usually go for a walk for some fresh air after dinner. Then I’ll usually get back on my computer to squeeze in a little more reading and email sorting before bed at 9:30-10pm.Getting enough sleep is important because I have to be energized and focused for patients each day.
Have you always wanted to work in the Medical Industry?
I was always fascinated by how the human body works but also had a passion for helping people. I went through various stages of wanting to study medicine and be doctor in third world countries, and then I thought nursing would be fun, but eventually (right at the end of year 12) I decided on chiropractic. From birth I have always visited chiropractors, not for any particular reason but our whole family did as preventive health care. Working in this industry fitted with the philosophy I had been brought up with, which was to get to the cause of health problems or prevent them in the first place!
How did you get to your position of being a Chiropractor, I understand you cannot study Chiropractic in any university?
To be a chiropractor it takes 5 years of university. We study much the same content as medical students as far as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and even pharmacology (drugs and medicines) but obviously we also learn the chiropractic treatments, natural alternatives such as herbs and vitamin supplements and also some more “physio” type treatments such as massage, stretching and rehabilitation.
Most first year graduates begin in a position as an associate, where they work alongside another experienced chiropractor. This allows a good transition from uni into working life and it means that if you have questions about patients or anything you are unsure of, there is always someone more experienced to help you out.
I worked as an associate for three years, which helped me gain a lot of experience both with chiropractic and with the business side of things. I then branched out and built a patient base of my own, within another business and now after nearly another 3 years, I have recently taken the leap into my own clinic.
Some chiropractors jump straight into their own business, often if they have other back ground qualifications or just prefer the freedom. Others are happy to work as an associate for years and years, without the responsibility of running a business, managing employees, premises, etc.
What do you love about your role?
I get to help people EVERY day. Making people feel better physically, mentally and emotionally is so rewarding. Even just the simple act of sitting down with someone and allowing them to tell you’re their problems is therapeutic in itself. The fact I have the knowledge and skills to fix those problems or explain in simple terms what is happening with them, makes it even better.
Aside from dealing with patients, my role as a business owner is amazing because I choose my own hours. I can work as little or as much as I want. It’s a great lifestyle for work-life balance. Being in the natural health care field too, there is a big emphasis on looking after yourself and practicing what you preach, which is the perfect excuse to have that extra massage
In your current role, what has been your biggest achievement?
As a chiropractor, finishing my paediatric diplomate which is an internationally recognised qualification in chiropractic for children and pregnancy would have to be my favourite. I’m fairly proud to be the only South Australian with that qualification too.
As a business owner, seeing my very own new clinic open and people walking in the door is pretty satisfying.
Over your career, what has been your ‘love this’ moment?
When patients look at me, often with tears in their eyes, telling me how I’ve changed their life and that they don’t know where they’d be without me.
What would be the least favourite aspect of your role?
People do whinge. A lot. They come to me to complain, but that is what I’m there for.
Any advice for anyone aspiring to work in the medical / health & wellbeing industry?
Obviously being in the complementary and alternative (natural) part of the health care industry, I would recommend finding something in that area. My biggest piece of advice is to find something that works for you. If you’ve had good success with chiropractic, it makes it easier to speak with patients as you’ve been in their position. But if you’ve had more success with a naturopath or a massage therapist, maybe one of those modalities is for you.
Visit these practitioners; get a feel for what they do and the kinds of people they work with. The health and wellbeing industry is growing so rapidly there are opportunities everywhere.
Find out more about Catherine and her practice by visiting her beautiful website Santosha Health & Wellbeing. Or join the conversation below…