FORTY YEARS A CHIROPRACTOR - A pictorial history

Michael Copland-Griffiths first encountered Chiropractic in 1968 when working for a British publishing company in the Easter Mediterranean and struck up a lasting friendship with Dr Dinos Ramon who had just opened the first Chiropractic clinic in Cyprus.

Michael in the foothills of Mount Troodos



Michael in 1967 in the foothills of the Troodos Mountains overlooking the Paphos District (left)


...........and in 1971 inviting  Archbishop Makarios III, President of Cyprus, to his British stand at the International Trade Fair. The President made a point of stopping by every year from 1969

President Makarios at Michael's trade stand







After working for himself and for other businesses in Greece, Cyprus, Jordan, Syria, Bahrain and Lebanon Michael found himself longing for something more fulfilling in life.


As the only chiropractor in Cyprus, Dinos Ramon was unable to treat himself or maintain his Chiropractic care. Michael's rather timid, unskilled attempts at chiropractic adjustment, even under expert instruction from the Master, left a lot to be desired.

Consequently Dinos invited Dr Sidney Hudson-Cook, an inspiring Palmer School lecturer during Dinos's days as an undergraduate, to holiday with him in Famagusta in return for the chiropratic treatment he so desperately needed.

Meeting Sidney (who was by then the Clinic Director of the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic in Bournemouth) was the trigger for Michael's return to the UK three years later and, in September 1973, at the age of 26, he enrolled at the AECC.

British AECC Graduates 1977British Students made up a third of his class. Michael stands in the centre in a picture, published by the British Pro Chiropractic Association, at their graduation on 14th July 1977

Having been involved in the establishment of a Students Union at the AECC in 1973, Michael attempted to represent students against considerable and often bitter resistance from the Dean. Two years later he and fellow mature student Michael Davidson, an Oxford MA graduate, succeeded in formalising its existence.  Michael went on to forge links with the Osteopathic colleges, the National Students Union and the British Chiropractic Association.

Although only members were then officially allowed to attend Conferences of the British Chiropractic Association, Michael made a point of attending every meeting during his student years from 1973 until a formal invitation was extended to him as the sitting President of the Students Union, a position he held in his last two years as an undergraduate.

Having graduated as the Best All-round Student, Michael was offered a position teaching palpation and spinal analysis to new entrants and he rapidly progressed to teach other subjects in the coming years. He joined the Governing Council of the AECC in 1978.

Lecturing at AECC

Michael was featured in the 1981 Anglia TV series, Medicine Men, teaching palpation skills and demonstrating adjusting techniques to his class.

teaching the toggle recoil technique

He remained on the AECC faculty until 1982 when his growing professional practice and work for the British Chiropractic Association led him to sacrifice lecturing, which had become a passion he really enjoyed and, later, often regretted leaving.

Wingfield Chiropractic Clinic Trowle House

Michael opened Wingfield Chiropractic Clinic at his home,Trowle House, straight after graduating at the age of 30.

Trowle House (left)

He  saw his first patient at Wingfield on 26th July 1977.

In those days the only advertising permitted by heathcare professionals in the UK was an opening announcement in the local paper.  However, word of mouth spreads rapidly and within his first year there were over 500 patients registered at Wingfield Chiropractic Clinic. He went on to open a second clinic in Blandford in 1980, half way between Wingfield and Bournemouith where he was still teaching.

After organising the lecture programme for the British Chiropractic Association’s 1979 Spring Conference in Liverpool  Michael was elected onto the BCA’s Executive Council as its Assistant Secretary and Registrar in the Autumn.

BCA President and Vice President 1985Six years later, at the Association's 1985 Diamond Jubilee in Bournemouth, he was elected President with his close friend from student union days and fellow graduate, Michael Davidson, his Vice President (right).

Cutting the Jubilee cake with George Walker


Before the hand-over Michael is shown cutting the BCA Diamond Jubilee Cake (left) with George Walker, the Past President


                With his Vice-President, Michael Davidson (above)



the first speech as BCA President



Michael delivering his first speech as BCA President at the Jubilee Dinner - the first of many over the coming years (left).

During his two years in office he restructured the Association, bringing in new young graduates to work on specific projects and, when they had shown their mettle, promoting their election to positions on the BCA Council.

One of these was Peter Dixon who had joined Michael as an Associate at Wingfield and Blandford after graduating in 1984 and who took on Michael Davidson’s Editorship of the BCA journal, Contact. Peter joined the BCA Council soon after, marking the onset of a long and distinguished career serving the Chiropractic profession.


One of Michael’s last duties as BCA President was to host the first World Congress at the Commonwealth Institute in London. This was to lead directly to the founding of the World Federation of Chiropractic in Australia the following year.

Welcoming Delegates to World Chiropractic Congress

Inviting several thousand Chiropractors from across the world to the Commonwealth Institute in London (right)

 Speech at Commonwealth Institute



Afternoon Speech at the Congress (left)







Delegates at Congress include Peter Dixon





Delegates at the World Congress included Peter Dixon, here shown 2nd from left on the front row





Bill Cash and Dickie Davis


During his time of office Michael had been active in promoting regulation for the Chiropractic profession and the BCA had taken on board the services of Parliamentary lobbyist and later MP, Bill Cash, who attended the World Congress at the Commonwealth Institute.

Michael with Bill Cash, left, and ITV's World of Sport Presenter, Dickie Davis, right, at the Congress Dinner (right)


Answering questions on the podium







On the podium with Bill Cash (answering questions), Tim Jay (later first President of the Royal College of Chiropractors), Arne Christensen (Dean of Anglo-European College of Chiropractic) and Louis Sportelli (Chairman of the American Chiropractic Association)


  Presidents from across the world


With Presidents and leaders of the profession from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Eastern Mediterranean, Africa, Asia and Europe (right)




On retiring as President in 1987, Michael remained on the BCA Council, concentrating on securing Government support for a Chiropractors Act to regulate the profession.

Petition Health Ministry


Michael (far left) joined the delegation that presented a petition signed by several thousand patients to the Department of Health in 1989, accompanied by individual letters of support in the patients’ own words. This was significant as it  emphasised the strength of public support for regulation.

(Picture, Chiropractic Patients' Association newsletter)


CPA1990Having fostered the Chiropractic Patients’ Association for many years Michael joined their table at the 1990 AECC Silver Jubilee celebrations in Bournemouth. (Picture, Chiropractic Patients' Association newsletter)

The CPA had been very influential in expressing the desire of patients to see an Act of Parliament enacted that would establish in law the protections afforded to patients in the regulated healthcare professions. Led by Penny Copland-Griffiths, the CPA made great strides in advancing the cause.

Wessex Chiros Health Minister


With other key members of the profession (Peter Dixon is third from left), Michael remained at the forefront of negotiations with the Ministry of Health. Here he is shown at a meeting in Gloucester with Secretary of State Virginia Bottomley with chiropractors and patients from across the Wessex region.

(Pictures, Chiropractic Patients' Association newsletter)


MCG with Healthm MinisterMichael's patient Ena Dunbar is the focus of this Press photo standing between Secretary of State for Health, Virginia Bottomley, and Michael

As a profession only a few hundred strong it was essentisal that the power of our patients was harnessed to secure legislation.

At that meeting Virginia Bottomley set aside her carefully prepared, somewhat evasive, Civil Service statement to offer her personal support for the initiative to enact legislation.

Rhodes BoysonMeetings were regularly held in Parliament sponsored by parliamentarians from all Parties and both Houses. Michael is shown (left) talking to Sir Rhodes Boyson, Secretary of State for Education & Science and minister in Margaret Thatcher's cabinet. The meeting was sponsored by Lord Ennals, a past Secretary of State for Social Services in James Callaghan's Labour Government and later Shadow Secretary of State for Health, a keen supporter.

With Sir Rhodes Boyson (Chiropractic Patients' Association newsletter)


1990 was an active year for Michael. In addition to maintaining a busy practice and working for legislation Michael found time to research and write his book on Chiropractic. Dynamic Chiropractic Today - the the complete and authoritative guide, was published in hardback by Thorsons Press, a division of Collins.

book portraitThe culmination of three years research it was considered the most authoritative book on the Chiropractic profession written for the layman and prospective Chiropractic student.



In addition to explaining what a new patient might expect from treatment, it covered the history of the profession, its legal status throughout the world, international standards of education and research into its effectiveness.


                                                                                                                           (Michael as shown on fly-leaf)

Michael at work in 1990. A few of these found their way into his book

SI checkfundus exam

 neck exam

































lumbar rollneck










Michael left the BCA Council for the first time in 1991 to concentrate on his new clinic in Chippenham, which opened in the Summer, although his absence was only to be for one year

 presidents award


At the 1991 BCA Autumn Conference President Graham Heale presented Michael with the President’s Award for Services to the Profession.





Chippenham Chiropractic Clinic, at Emery House in the centre of town, was formally opened by Richard Needham, then a Minister for Northern Ireland and the MP for North Wiltshire.

tape cuttingshowing the clinic

                 Cutting the tape                                               Michael's Associate Chiropractors demonstrate their skills                                                                                                                                                xograph

One of Richard Needham's key interests was promoting local businesses and he was pleased to meet Peter Staff, the CEO of X-Ograph, suppliers of Michael's x-ray facilities (left)

Local paper










Picture from the Gazette and Herald (right)




The next years were taken up with BCA Tours across the UK to promote the profession and secure support for regulation.



Michael is shown with other speakers and local chiropractors at a meeting in Chelmsford attended by over 600 members of the public.

 (Picture, Chiropractic Patients' Association newsletter)




During the 1980s Michael attended meetings of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Colloquia into Complementary and Alternative Medicine set up at the behest of Prince Charles and chaired by Sir James Watts. Its findings published as "Talking Health" set the mood for regulation of some complementary Health Professions such as Osteopathy and Chiropractic

Royal Cooloquia

Michael also explored regulation with other complementary health professions and sat on the Council for Complementary & Alternative Medicine Board between 1984 and 1989, the last three years as its Vice Chairman. Throughout his time with CCAM he wrote regularly for the Journal of Complementary Medicine and was a member of its advisory board.

The publication of research in the British Medical Journal by the Medical Research Council in 1990 demonstrated the superiority of Chiropractic against hospital outpatient management for Back Pain. This helped to raise the profile of Chiropractic as an effective tool at combatting the costs to the economy of back pain.

princess of wales at aecc


The profession was further strengthened when the Anglo- European College of Chiropractic became the first Complementary Medicine college in the UK to secure recognised degree status and in 1991 Diana Princess of Wales became its Patron 

Princess Diana visiting the AECC Outpatients Clinic 1991 (Chiropractic Patients Association)

She was to continue to support the profession in the coming years

Kings Fund

A Working Party on Chiropractic headed by Lord Bingham, Master of the Rolls & Lord Chief Justice recommended regulation in 1993. The presentation of the Enquiry’s findings at the Kings Fund was attended by the Princess of Wales

 (left, Princess Diana with Ian Hutchinson, Chief Chiropractic Architect of the Chiropractors Act)


That year Norman Fowler, a past Secretary of State for Health and Social Services and then Leader of the House of Commons, persuaded David Lidington (currently Minister for the Cabinet Office) to take the Chiropractors Bill through Parliament as a Private Members Bill. It became the longest Private Members Bill ever tabled, was supported by all Parties and managed to secure enough time to pass through both Houses and become law.

with David


Michael celebrating the passage of the Chiropractors Act with David Lidington and Penny Copland-Griffiths (Chiropractic Patients Association), right

The Bill's support in the House of Lords by Lord Walton, a past President of the Royal College of Neurologists, was essential. His observation at a visit to AECC that its neurology was superior to the neurology taught to undergraduates at Medical College guaranteed his enthusiasm and determination to see the Bill become Law


The Chiropractic Regulation Steering Group was formed to unite the wings of a divided profession and guide it to the successful commencement of the Act. Michael was appointed to Chair the CRSG and his first duty was to address the Reception held at the House of Commons held to celebrate the passage of the Act.

preparing speechPreparing the House of Commons Speech (left)

delivering the speech




Delivering the speech (right)







With Tom Sackville, Under-Secretary of State for Health (below)

Tom Sackville


Lord kindersley






Lord Kindersley had arranged influential dinners with the Prince of Wales in the early stages, above


Not only did the whole profession, then divided into four groups, have to remain united but the CRSG had to ensure the satisfactory completion of work to establish Standards of Education, Practice and Competence. Once agreed, they had to be supported by the Department of Health before a Statutory Instrument could enshrine these agreed standards into law. Funds had to be raised to guarantee that the General Chiropractic Council could operate free of the public purse.

McTimoney meetingsDuring this time Michael took every opportunity to visit the smaller associations and their colleges to maintain unity. McTimoney meeting

At a conference held by the McTimoney College in Aylesbury with Ian Hutchinson to his right (above) and with Deputy Principal of the McTimoney School, Dr Giri Rajagopalan (right)


July 1995 saw the largest ever gathering of Chiropractors at the Centenary celebrations held to honour the establishment of the Chiropractic Profession at a World Conference in Washington

British delegation WashingtonMichael with the British Delegation in Washington (left)

A second conference followed in September at the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport.

Site of first adjustment


Michael was pictured in front of the plaque commemorating the first adjustment on September 18th 1895 at a building on that site exactly 100 years ago to the day (Right)


In 1995 Chippenham Chiropractic Clinic was invited to join what became known as “The Wiltshire Study”, cooperating with Hathaway Surgery at New Road in research comparing the cost effectiveness of chiropractic with NHS care in the management of low back pain. The costs of both were similar but chiropractic was shown to return patients to work more quickly, saving the government the costs of sickness benefit. The findings were presented at the Kings Fund in 1996.Wiltshire study


The Wiltshire Study was inspired by Peter Dixon whose contacts with Wiltshire GPs led to the study.

Peter is shown with Dr Neil Scheurmier launching the results of the Report at the Kings Fund (right)


The connection with Hathaway Surgery was to lead to a move from Emery House to their New Road Surgery 15 years later.


The Chippenham practice expanded over the five years from its establishment in 1991 and Michael is shown at a 1996 Practice meeting with chiropractors, other practitioners and staff.

practice meeting 1996



In the picture is Carole Pattenden (third from right), who twenty years later was to open the Clinic at Semington as guest of honour (see below).




Michael examining patient



Michael shown in a Promotional photograph that was commissioned following the meeting (right)


ten years at Chippenham








Celebrating the first ten years of Chippenham Chippenham Chiropractic Clinic at Emery House in 2002

Michael resigned from the BCA Executive Council in 1996 for the second time in order to remain separated from internal professional politics of the day and to represent the entire profession with impunity.

peter awarding michael 1996




BCA President Peter Dixon used the opportunity of the 1996 BCA Autumn Conference to present Michael with the Presidents Cup for services to the profession (left).






dinner 1966

That conference was an outing for the whole team, some of whom were pictured at Dinner (left)

Sue and Jimmy HillSue Johnson, still a Chippenham Chiropractic Clinic staff member,  with footballer and BBC Match of the Day presenter, Jimmy Hill (right)


Between 1996 and 1997 fund raising events targeted to raise a million pounds for the commencement of the Chiropractors Act were held across the country. Michael and his associates from the Wingfield, Blandford and Chippenham Chiropractic Clinics went on a sponsored walk from Wingfield to Chippenham.

adjustment at Lacock



Stopping for refreshment and treatment at the George Inn, Lacock, Michael is shown adjusting Stuart Prior (left)

neeld hall



      Almost there - outside the historic Neeld Hall (above)

opening bubblyCelebrating with a bottle of bubbly at Emery House (right)


Appointments to the General Chiropractic Council were announced by the Department of Health at a Press Conference held at the Department on 28th January 1997.


DoH Press Conference






Michael stands to the left of MP David Lidington, Sponsor of the Private Members Bill, and behind Baroness Cumberlege, Junior Minister of Health at the Department's Press Conference

Lord Walton


At the Press Conference, Lord Walton of Detchant, who had carried the Bill through its parliamentary stages in the House of Lords, remarked:

I was very impressed with the standards of training, quality and content of the curriculum of the AECC; the standard of orthopaedic and neurological testing I watched there would certainly have got the students through a final medical examination. I am very pleased to have played a part in establishing the GCC.

Lord Walton, a leading neurologist, is the only person to have been president of the British Medical Association, the Royal Society of Medicine and the General Medical Council during his career and his support in the Lords was very influential in securing the passage of the Act.


The newly formed General Chiropractic Council Designate held its first meeting on 19th February

First GCC meeting

Michael, foreground left, at the first GCC Meeting, (left) and standing left (below) - CPA News

first GCC meeting








The Statutory Register was opened in 1999, with Ian Hutchinson, chief architect of the Act, awarded Registration Number 00001 and Michael Number 00002.  Ian retired at the end of the first Council in 2002 but Michael accepted a nomination to be re-elected to Council and at its first meeting he was elected President by the new Council. 

MCG GCC election leaflet


From Michael's General Chiropractic Council Election Broadsheet, 2002 (left)

Retaining an interest in Chiropractic Education, Michael travelled to Sao Paulo Brazil for the World Federation of Chiropractic’s Conference on Chiropractic Education.











Addressing the World Federation of Chiropractic Education Conference in Sao Paulo, 2003 (right)


Michael was appointed to represent the Chiropractic Profession on the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence, a health regulatory body set up under the National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002 and now known as the Professional Standards Authority. 

CHRE picture



Michael as shown in the CHRE Annual Report, published 2003 (left)


During that time he sat on boards considering the outcomes of Fitness to Practice hearings by the Regulated Health Professions.  Every case that had not resulted in Striking Off the Statutory Register was examined. Cases where sanctions were considered too lenient were referred back to the Regulatory body.



The College of Chiropractors, now the Royal College, elected Michael to a Fellowship in 2000. This was followed by a Fellowship of the British Chiropractic Association in 2005 and a Fellowship of the European Academy of Chiropractic in 2008.

award from B Lewis


Receiving his Fellowship of the British Chiropractic Association from BCA President, Barry Lewis, 2005 (right)


Having always had an interest in history, Michael donated his personal collection of Chiropractic historical documents dating back to 1925 to the newly formed AECC History Library.

history libraray



He opened the Library at a ceremony in 2006


In 2006 Michael married Larysa and decided that now was the time to concentrate on family life. He resigned from the General Chiropractic Council and the CHRE  and his family grew family 1with the birth of their son Alexander (“Sasha”) in 2007 and daughter Anna in 2010.

family 2 









When the millennium approached Michael’s practices were merged into Healthcare 2000 Clinics and a single identity emerged.  He left his Blandford practice in 2005. He acquired Melksham Centre Chiropractic Clinic in 2009 and Corsham Chiropractic Centre in 2011. Over the coming years these were merged with the Chippenham Clinic, which moved to Hathaway Surgery at New Road in 2011.

Practice meeting 2014




Practice Meeting of the Healthcare 2000 Clinics team in November 2014 provided a perfect opportunity for a group photo




Practice photographs were taken in 2014 and 2015 by the late Andrew Desmond, forming the foundation of the Healthcare 2000 Clinics website we see today:

team meeting

lunchtime meeting between some of the administration and practice staff, 2014 (left)

Larysa and Maggie

Maggie Read, Practice Manager, with Larysa Copland-Griffiths (right)


Michael with baby

Michael enjoys examining all members of the family, whatever their age (right)

car advice








giving advice on car seating (left) and pillows (below)

pillow advice










  using acupuncture needles for back pain relief (left)



Although Michael swore he would not return to the stresses and strains of public service to the Profession, he recently accepted an advisory position for the charity, Promoting Chiropractic Education, which aims to accelerate the provision of Chiropractic Education across the United Kingdom. Promoting Education

New Chiropractic degree courses at British Universities are starting soon, with more in the pipeline, but if the Chiropractic is to grow it needs to grow the number of Chiropractors across the UK.

peter Promoting Chiropractic


At the Promoting Chiropractic Education launch with Ian Hutchinson, (right) and Peter Dixon, Director of the charity (left)




October 2017 saw the gathering of past AECC graduates to celebrate its new status as a University College in its own right, no longer dependent of other Universities to ensure its existence. AECC

This provided Michael and the graduates of 1977 an opportunity to celebrate their 40 years in practice.

AECC Gathering 40 years 



   Aerial view of AECC University College (above)

    Gathering of 1977 Graduates (left) 



   Interview at launch of the University College (below)





Michael was interviewed at the celebratory gathering and talked about the changes he had seen at AECC since he started his studies there in September 1973






 With an eye to the future Michael and Larysa realised that the size of Trowle House was too much of a challenge to maintain and it was put on the market in 2016, with a move of Wingfield Chiropractic Clinic to the Independent Living Centre at Semington.


Michael’s connections to the old St Georges Hospital, which was acquired by the Independent Living Centre in the late 1980's, dates back to his student days as an Auxiliary Nurse during the AECC holidays. His final 18 months proved a challenge as he remained on duty in the College outpatients clinic throughout the holidays, but there were times other nurses would clandestinely allow him to nap in the linen room for a few minutes.

When he recently admitted this to Carole Pattenden, a nursing sister at the hospital, she firmly asserted “This would never have happened on my Ward!” – but, in spite of the hospital being run with good, old-fashioned strictness, until that day no-one had ever found out Michael’s secret.

Opening Semingtom clinic

Upon retirement from St Georges, Carole trained as a Reflexologist and practised at Emery House for several years.

(Carole Pattenden 1996, below)

Carole as reflexologist







Carole was the perfect person to cut the tape at the opening of the new Semington Chiropractic Clinic on 12th November 2016.



What about celebrating a half century in Practice? We can assure you that Michael has no plans to retire in the near future.  He would like to stand back from the daily running of a busy practice, to reduce his days from 6 to 4 and to spend more time with his young family.


Dixon Health acquired Michael's practices on 31st March 2018. He continues to work four days a week for Dixon Health: Mondays and Thursdays at Bradford-on-Avon, and Tuesdays and Fridays at Chippenham.


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