Happy Third Birthday to Spriggs Chiropractic & Nutrition!
February marks three years since our grand opening, and in this post, I will be looking back over these amazing three years and letting you in on our secret plans for the years to come.
From our humble beginnings
We first opened Spriggs Chiropractic & Nutrition in Feb 2017 after two hard years of planning and organisation. We bought equipment, stock and furniture over this time and we saved like mad to scraped the money together so that we could open our clinic with everything we needed from the start. We set one solid rule from the start, which was that we wanted to open the clinic with everything in place from day one, rather than need to add things in later and disrupt things. We made that rule and we stuck to it.
At first, we had a hard time finding premises after losing out on two other suitable locations. However, we didn’t let this hurdle get us down. That being said, we had already committed to moving to Newbury when the first set of premises looked promising. When we found out we had lost out on the premises, we had already moved to Newbury, so we had a house stacked to the ceiling with boxes of clinic stuff. Every room, nook and cranny had something tightly packed in it that was something to do with the clinic. Even the space under the stairs, the kitchen and the kitchen cupboards had either textbooks or some kind of exercise or chiropractic equipment in them!
Then, after months of searching, we finally found Suite 1, The Courtyard, London Road and what a result! It was perfect! Large enough for us to utilise the space well, a small kitchenette for us as a staff room and a large office space for our studies and paperwork. What a win! The only problem was it had no flooring. This was due to a leak from a burst pipe in the sink of the toilets, which had flooded the place and destroyed the carpet tiles. When we visited it for the first time, there was no carpet on the floor but the very strong, sticky adhesive used to glue the carpet down was still there and working very well. It was a terrifying experience to walk across the floor in a pair of loafers as I did for the first time. As I took a step and subsequently left the shoe behind me as a moved forward to take another step, followed by the other shoe, then a sock… It could have been devastating it my trousers had also been long enough to touch the ground. It was like walking on an enormous piece of fly paper, ready to trap who ever fell on it forever. The great thing about this was that we now had our first job to do, get a new floor put down ASAP!
The new floor was installed between Christmas and the New Years eve 2016. We were stunned when we first laid eyes on the new floor! What a difference a week can make! On New Years Day 2017 we immediately started to move all our equipment in! We could finally have our house back after months of living surrounded by stuff, what a relief. We knew this was when the real hard work started.
The Fit Out
On the 1st January 2017 we brought all our clinical equipment and got stuck in to assembling the adjustment tables, exercise equipment, desks, furniture, putting up posters, all the while making plenty of teas and coffees to keep ourselves going. It was a lot of hard work, I think the pair of us can build an Ikea book case with our eyes closed now. Just FYI, Ikae on New Years Day is an experience… not for the faint hearted!
The x-ray engineers arrived to fit out the x-ray room with the appropriate lead lines plaster board for safety. What a messy old job that was!! Our Dyson could barely handle the dust they left behind. Rather them than me though and they did an amazing job, the messy toe rags lol. Once the plaster board had dried, we set to work painting it trying our best not to drip paint on our brand new floor! Shortly after we painted the x-ray room, the engineers returned to install the x-ray machine. That was a site for sore eyes! The most essential bit of kit we had ordered was finally in, and what a relief it was to see it in all its glory. The room is the perfect size for us to use for the many different types of x-rays we need to take in clinical practice. I am unable to describe the feeling of exhilaration when the engineers fired it up for the first time.
Next came the rest of the assembly of the chiropractic and rehabilitation equipment. We have six different types of chiropractic adjustment tables in the clinic, each with different features. The reason for this is simply that I have worked in clinics were the adjustment table has only one, or even none of these unique features that can be used for different treatment methods. No two patients are identical and there are different methods for treating different conditions in the chiropractic literature. Therefore, I want to be able to offer each patient access to the best treatment method for their condition. Whilst there are now tables that have been created with an “all in one” approach in mind. A Swiss army knife of chiropractic adjustment tables if you will. These tables were far outside our budget when we first opened the clinic, and I had basically been collecting adjustment tables since I first started in practice nearly ten years ago. We have three of these tables in the treatment area, a more basic table in the assessment room and a spare, portable adjustment table as a back-up just in case a vital component needs replacing on one of the others.
Our spinal traction equipment was next to assemble. The Universal Traction Unit (UTS) was brand new, never been assembled before. We bought it a few summers before we opened back in the planning phase. We had secretly stored in my parents garage until we needed it. They were on holiday at the time when we brought it to their garage, I don’t know if they ever realised it was there until we arrived unannounced one day and helped ourselves to something in their garage. Thanks mum and dad for the unauthorised use of your garage for a couple of years!
Our 3D Denneroll table and our inversion table had been used on my patients in a previous clinic I worked in after I had purchased then specifically for those patients who needed them. I was the only clinician to use these methods in that clinic with great success. So much so that a few of them even purchased their own inversion tables to use at home! These very large and cumbersome things had been taking up huge amounts of space in our house for months before being assembled in our clinic, so it was a revelation to have them out of the house, as I’m sure you can imagine.
The last things that needed sorting our were our reception desk and our office. The reception desk needed to be perfect, with only a small space to get one in and not wanting to build one specifically for the space in mind, it was hard work finding one just right for the job. Then we found the perfect desk in an office outlet store in Reading. When this arrived and the very kind people working for the store assembled it in the clinic, without any instructions I will add. It took them a while and a good few cups of tea, but they got it done. We had Crescent signs put the amazing signage on the windows and on the reception desk, who also did an amazing job. I do enjoy watching masters as work, they make it look so easy don’t they?
We enjoyed every hard earned minute when setting up the clinic. Throughout this period, I was still working at another practice and Helen was also working part time. We spent every available minute working hard into the night, getting up at the crack of dawn every morning and all day every weekend of January 2017 getting the clinic ready for opening.
The Grand Opening!
Finally, after much swearing, tiredness, tantrums, long days and clearing up after ourselves on the 18th February 2017 we had our grand opening. We Had the Mayor come and cut the ribbon with us to open the new clinic and celebrated it with family and friends. It was such an amazing feeling of pride and excitement to finally show our friends and family our new clinic and all the hard work we had put into it. They could all now see why for the last few months we hadn’t been able to spend much time with them, and they were just as proud and excited as we were to finally see it. With glasses of bubbles and naughty cakes and snacks, the day went very well indeed.
Since then we have been busy building a patient base and working hard with our patients to help them achieve their healthcare goals. Anything from pain relief, finding a diagnosis, self management or achieving optimal performance to improved health and well-being. Above all else, it has been great fun to work with everyone who has entered our doors. We have learned so much in these last three years, I cannot begin to up it into words. Our goals for the future are simple: continue what we are doing, keep learning new skills, learn from each of our patients and continue to build the clinic by adding new facilities and equipment when and where needed for our patients. It is an honor and a privilege to have the clinic, to be our own boss and to work with the patients we have had over these last few years. Long may it continue. Here’s to many more years, to the journey and the adventure!
I would like to say thank you to all our friends and family who have been so patient with us over these last three years. I know Helen will agree when I say this has been the hardest, most challenging thing I have ever done. It takes up a lot of our time and energy to make it work, which results in us having less time to spend with the people we love. We appreciate all the hard work, time, effort, love and support you have all given us. The clinic still demands a lot from us and will continue to do so for a few more years ahead I am sure. I hope you all know that we appreciate you and everything you do for us. Thank you!