Dustie Houchin is a clinic owner and a creator of Animal Osteopathy International.
I had always wanted to work and treat animals but didn’t want to become a veterinarian. I had always leaned toward more holistic approaches to medicine and felt that there had to be an option to treat animals this way too. Resultantly, I went in search of other options and during my search for the right pathway of study, I was fortunate enough to attend a course with the late Anthony Pusey, who introduced me to animal osteopathy, and the rest of history.
My career path
I qualified in 1998 from the BSO in London. At the time, one could not treat animals osteopathically, without an undergraduate degree in human osteopathy, so, I first studied a BSc (Hons) Osteopathy and then went on to study animal osteopathy directly afterwards. Once qualified, my practice consisted of 60% animals and 40% humans.
From an animal perspective, I worked mostly with horses, travelling up and down the country with the Western equestrian fraternity. In 2012, I started work at the ESO, where I wrote a Masters in Animal Osteopathy. The first of its type to be run by an osteopathic educational establishment. In 2018, I formed Animal Osteopathy International and became a consultant for the ESO, continuing to run and oversee their animal osteopathic courses. In addition, I teach animal and human osteopathy internationally and am also a Registraton Assessor for the GOsC.
Additionally, in 2018, I qualified with a paediatrics specialty from UCO and fully intend to expand my international teaching into the realm of paediatrics over the coming years.
Who I work with
I live and work in Dorset, from where I run Animal Osteopathy International. I also treat human and animal patients on a regular basis and frequently spend time with my team filming lectures, teaching and talking to potential students. In addition, I spend time researching and developing new strategies and overseeing academic projects and policies. There is never a dull moment.
Osteopathy is both an art and a science, so it suits many types of people/students. It is also a very sociable programme of study, which makes it much more interactive than many other degrees. This suits those who like working with people from all walks of life.
It isn’t an easy degree – the hours can be long, but I’ve always felt that if you want to do amazing things with your life, it’s going to take a little effort and courage.
The best thing about being an osteopath is
Positively changing someone’s life, will never cease to put a smile on your face.
Advice to those wanting to study osteopathy
It is a challenging degree, but so are most things worth doing. Give yourself space to study, don’t juggle too many balls and make sure that your family understands the commitment that you are undertaking.
2 Hale Farm Cottages