She's come the long way back
SINCE opening her practice in Goonellabah one month ago, chiropractor Bridie Cullinane has been flat out.
"Even in these tough economic times people realise that they have to look after themselves," she said.
Dr Cullinane grew up in Lennox Head and went to school at Trinity Catholic College in Lismore.
But between school and starting Goonellabah Family Chiropractic Practice she has travelled a long way and brings a wealth of experience.
Shortly after graduating from RMIT in Melbourne, she worked in India with a charity supporting an orphanage in Rajahmundry for children rehabilitating after surgery to correct polio.
"The experience was really amazing," she said.
Then in 2002 and at the age of 21 she started chiropractic practices in Melbourne at Mentone and Bulleen, employing 12 staff.
Many of her clients were Australian swimmers preparing for the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Then in 2003 Dr Cullinane wrote a book called 'The World's Best Kept Health Secrets Revealed, Volume Two', that went on to sell 35,000 copies.
According to the book the three most important things to do were to have the health of your spine checked regularly, avoid physical, chemical and mental stress and be active.
In 2007, after selling her Melbourne practices, Dr Cullinane worked in Ireland and the UK for four years.
She also worked in Cuba and despite the US embargo of the country she was amazed at the health of the people.
"Because of the embargo Cubans had to walk everywhere and grow and eat seasonal fruit and vegetables that were grown without pesticides," she said.
"There are no western drug companies there and the health system focuses on preventative health care.
"It was remarkable to see that there were much lower rates of diabetes, cancer and heart disease than in the West.
"It really reinforced my belief that the focus should be on preventative care and not treating sickness."
Despite living in a Facebook and social marketing age, Dr Cullinane kicked off her new business with a good old-fashioned letterbox drop of the area.
Her busy practice is proof that the old methods still work.