“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease”.
(Richard Lanigan 1984 & 2020)
Richard Lanigan DC. MSc, lives in Thames Ditton, Surrey, has four children and has been practicing chiropractic successfully in the area for 25 years. He still plays football every week and has been coaching year five and six football at Thames Ditton Junior School since 2015, this has given him a unique insight into promoting health and wellbeing to this generation of children. His memoir “Cancer Drove me up the Wall” describing how he recovered from a terminal cancer diagnosis in 2013, should be published in April 2021.
Richard originally trained as a PE teacher at the Roehampton University in the 70s. Moved to Denmark 1979 to play football, then a serious knee injury got him focused on rehabilitation and fitness techniques. In the 80s injured joints were immobilised in plaster for 12 weeks, resulting in joint degeneration which finished many promising careers. Now it is universally accepted, that joints need to move and maintain their normal range of motion after surgery. The same principle applies to chiropractic and vertebral joint dysfunction (subluxation) and its affect on performance, which underpins the philosophy of chiropractic.
In the early 80s Richard founded “Sweat Shop” in Copenhagen, the type of fitness centre you see everywhere today. Sweat Shop was one of the first in Europe of its kind, and Richard became a fitness and rehab consultant for “Team Denmark” and personal trainer to many of the players on the national badminton and handball teams and many club sides.
Richard was one of the pioneers of the type of warm up, stretching and resistance training programmes which are now the norm in elite sport. He helped prepare many athletes for the 1984 and 88 Olympic Games, World and National Championships. He outlined his progressive ideas in a magazine article which was way ahead of its time in 1984; “Ten Principles of Sports Training”.
It was during this time Richard started working with chiropractor Ole Wessung DC, who demonstrated the effectiveness of Chiropractic on elite athletes, which meant they avoided surgery and performed better. Ole explained what he was doing in terms of spinal joint motion and its effect on nerves, which resonated with Richard because of his own experience post knee surgery.
In 1990 Richard moved back to the UK to study chiropractic at Anglo European College of Chiropractic AECC. Not happy with the way the profession was portrayed in the UK, as an “alternative” to pain meds for medical doctors to refer patients with back pain. Richard wanted chiropractic to be seen as the go to profession, when the body stops functioning optimally, the way you would call an electrician if your lights are not working.
Richard was elected president of the Student Union, twice between 1993-1995, the year of the Chiropractic Centenary and led a number of student delegations to the US, making students more aware of the history of chiropractic and its philosophy on wellbeing. The idea for the Rehab Centre that is in AECC today and the fund to pay for it, was started by that Student Union and many other progressive innovations that students are still benefiting from today. While still studying, Richard and Ole Wessung opened a practice in Kingston Upon Thames which steadily grew as there were no UK clinics Richard wanted to work after graduation.
In 1996 richard graduated from AECC and received his DC ( Doctor of Chiropractic). In 2004 Richard was awarded a Masters in Health Promotion from Brunel University. In 2007 Richard was elected to be the professions representative on the chiropractic regulatory body (GCC) in 2007 and in 2008 was awarded a “Fellowship” by the “College of Chiropractors”.
In January 2009 Richard resigned from the UK’s General Chiropractic Council Register, citing the regulator’s failure to maintain international standards of chiropractic education in the UK and by engaging with the Department of Health’s desire, to broaden prescription rights to chiropractors, what should be an anathema to any competent chiropractor. Richards views on prescribing received much media coverage in 2018, including a debate with Dr Hillary Jones on Good Morning Britain”.
In September 2019 the General Chiropractic Council again invited Richard back on the register, he declined, stating; “there are some very good chiropractors in UK and some bad ones ( to be on the GCC register you don’t need to be able to perform spinal manipulation with any skill ). Chiropractors on the GCC Register, are presented as all the same, you are not allowed to differentiate and the “average” is happy to stand in the light reflected by the really good chiropractors. So unless someone has recommended a chiropractor you have no way of knowing if they are skilled at “spinal adjusting” as its not a requirement to be on the register.
In September 2019 the Minister for Health in Nicaragua asked Richard to set up a chiropractic clinic in the main teaching hospital in Managua, similar to the one in Cuba, it had just started and saw its first patients in March when Covid put the project on hold.
Richard’s goal, is for clients to leave his care feeling better than when they came in and with a smile on their face. That has been the basis of the Spinal Joint marketing strategy since our opening in 1993. Positive “word of mouth” promotes services better than advertising, special offer or any official body could.