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The run club for future chiropractors

Some of Canada's future chiropractors are becoming runners for the first time, thanks to Chantelle Maryuen

Have you ever struggled with an injury and been reluctant to consult a health professional who isn’t well educated in running injuries–or worse, thinks running is unhealthy and that you should stop? Thanks to  Chantelle Maryuen, a student at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto, a few more future chiropractors will be experienced runners by the time they are treating their own patients.

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When Maryuen, who had been training and racing for years and had both worked at and led clinics at various Running Room locations began her chirorpractic studies in 2017, she was surprised to find the college didn’t have a run club, so she recruited a few fellow students to help her start one. The club has since grown to include more than 270 members, between 20 and 30 of whom show up to the club’s regular twice-weekly runs, and between 40 and 60 attending the runner-specific educational seminars Maryuen also organizes on a regular basis.

The CMCC program is one of two that are recognized by the Federation of Canadian Chiropractic, the being the program at l’Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. The program involves three years of in-class study, with a clinical internship in the fourth year, and students must have at least three years of undergraduate study before applying.

 

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Athletes are likely to be part of any chiropractor’s practice, and it just stands to reason that someone with running experience will have insights into how to treat runners that a non-runner may not have.

“Like any club, it provides a sense of community,” says Maryuen, “But for us at CMCC, it’s also… a way to learn more about runners in a chiropractic practice. Our club has both activity and education–not all clubs offer both,” she says. “It allows an immersive experience, so those that graduate have not only learned from chiropractors who have treated runners, but also have run themselves.”

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The club offers recreational and performance groups, with approximately one quarter of the regulars being new runners, and the level of experience ranging from beginner to national-level competitors like Jeremy Coughler, who competed in the 3,000m steeplechase and the 5,000m at the 2017 Francophone Games in Ivory Coast. Many members also train for the college’s annual Backs in Motion 5K and 10K races at the end of April every year.

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Maryuen sees great benefit for runners in seeking out a health professional who is also a runner: “These health professionals know the specifics of common running-related injuries, and what needs to be focussed on to prevent injury recurrence. If you are in the middle of training for a race, you want to know that your health professional of choice understands your running journey, and will empathize 100 per cent while working with you to get back running, and not just tell you to take time off. Time off isn’t necessarily bad (some do need it), but not every injured runner does. Their goal is your goal: to get you back to doing what you love as soon as possible.”

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For Maryuen, who had trained and raced and worked in the running world for many years, starting a running club at the college just made sense. “We have a beautiful trail beside the school and a high school track right down the street,” she says. “It was easy enough in conception, but there was no one leading at the time. I also felt that running was more than a sport–it was a way of taking a mental and physical break from reality, which I felt the student population would benefit from. The program can be overwhelming at times, and our run club is one healthy coping mechanism for all that pent up stress! One of our club members mentions running to be a form of meditation for her, and it most definitely is.”

Your health as a runner is in good hands with Canada’s future chiropractors.