Published: 00:00, 05 July 2017
| Updated: 14:55, 06 July 2017
A muscleman who turned building bodies into an artform has now started fixing them.
Former gym owner Ben Claringbold – a familiar face on the doors of nightclubs in Canterbury – has embarked on a new career as an osteopath.
After years of competing in bodybuilding and strongman contests, the 34-year-old had experienced his fair share of injuries and niggles.
So he threw himself back into the classroom, qualifying with a Masters degree after four years studying at Kent’s European School of Osteopathy.
He now runs his own clinic in Cornwallis Avenue, Beltinge – South East Osteopathy – and already has a long list of happy patients given a new lease of life.
Speaking on World Osteopathy Day, he said: “I didn’t want to work on the doors for the rest of my life and had a passionate interest in the human body and how it works, so decided it wasn’t too late for a career change.
“It was hard work, though. I’d finish studying, go to the gym and then to work on the door. I wouldn’t finish until 4am and then I’d be back at uni at 8.30am. I even bought a blow-up bed and slept at the club sometimes.”
But it has all been worth it for Mr Claringbold, who says the rewards of treating those struggling with injury matches any achievement in the gym.
“I genuinely get so much satisfaction from it,” he said.
“When someone comes here and says they can’t play with their grandchildren because they have a bad back, or have had to give up a sport because of a troublesome knee, it’s so rewarding to get them back to full health.”
Mr Claringbold says sometimes there are more sinister underlying issues that can often go missed or ignored. He said: “One patient during my training had a bad back but it was clear something wasn’t quite right so I advised him to go to his GP and have a scan.
“It turned out he had tumours on his spine. Luckily, they were still able to operate.
“Knowing I had played a part in helping him is actually quite humbling. Sometimes you just can’t take a chance with your health.”
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