Lakeland medic's new steps to tackle "mystery pain"
Cumbria-based Dr Peter Bennett has become one of the first chiropractors in Britain to offer a new lifeline to sufferers of feet, leg and back pain.
Dr Bennett's practice, Alive Family Wellness in Penrith, is now accredited to administer a high-tech diagnostic system which pinpoints the cause of chronic aches and "mystery complaints".
There are presently only a handful of other clinics in the UK providing the recently developed scanner and software which analyses a patient's feet and walking patterns.
The results, says Dr Bennett, can help identify the correct treatment of conditions with which people may have lived for many years, and perhaps abandoned hope of ever finding a cure.
Called GaitScan, the system represents a substantial investment by Dr Bennett's in the chiropractic clinic he first opened in Penrith five years ago.
Since then, patient numbers have continued to grow substantially, largely through referrals - and Dr Bennett has himself won a reputation as one of Northern England's leading chiropractors.
But despite the standing he has achieved within his profession, Dr Bennett's specialisation is not the one for which he originally trained.
After gaining a degree in molecular biology at Edinburgh University, he spent three years researching vaccines at the London School of Tropical Medicine - followed by ten years running clinical trials on behalf of leading pharmaceutical companies.
Dr Bennett's life changed, however, after his GP suggested that a chiropractor might be able to help with his long-standing medical complaints involving aches and feelings of sickness.
"I was frankly amazed at how effective the treatment was in relieving these mysterious symptoms I'd lived with for years - and decided I wanted to know more about this subject," said Dr Bennett.
"As I researched and studied the results, I became convinced that chiropractic could provide a genuine and preferable alternative to drugs or surgery in many cases," he added.
"Problems as diverse as sore legs, headaches, hip pain and ear infections can often be rooted in disorders with the nervous system and treated successfully," says Dr Bennett.
After four years of study, he qualified as a practitioner and worked for a short while in Oxford before moving with his wife Janet and seven children to Appleby, Cumbria.
Dr Bennett admits that his choice of location was partly influenced by the family's love of sailing and fell walking - but now believes he couldn't have chosen a better location than Penrith.
His clinic's new GaitScan screening system, he says, will be used in conjunction with other diagnostic equipment at the practice to provide even faster and more accurate patient assessments.
More information is available from the clinic on 01768 899036, or www.alive-chiro.co.uk
More press information from Dr Peter Bennett on 01768 899036 or PR consultant Jon Boston on 01768 895225
Address: Alive Family Wellness, The Office, Mardale Road, Penrith CA11 9EH.