Cheltenham chiropractor-turned-animal therapist on her way to Crufts
FORMER chiropractor Paula Stokes will use her healing hands to help some of the UK's finest canine athletes reach their peak performance next week.
The animal therapist who lives in Great Norwood Street, Cheltenham, will be journeying to Crufts in Birmingham to offer her fairly unique service.
The 49-year-old, who used to work as a chiropractor for humans, will be on hand at the world's most famous dog show from Thursday until Sunday helping her clients to do their very best.
Paula uses the McTimoney technique, which is a very gentle form of skeletal and muscular manipulation to help the animals feel great. She said the process is 'very, very comfortable for the animal'.
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"I work on competition animals who may be competing in agility or flyball and they get muscular injuries, just like human athletes, so what I do is get the dogs into top shape before they compete," she explained.
"I mostly deal with joint realignments and muscular problems. It is basically treating canine athletes.
"I am trained as a human chiropractor but I do not practice as one. I was a chiropractor for 17 years but I always wanted to do something with animals.
"I made the switch permanently about eight years ago.
"The difference is that the animals can't tell you what you are looking for so you have to look at how they are moving and performing.
"We only work on the animals after we have been given veterinary permission."