Careers in Cork: It doesn’t feel like work when I’m at the clinic

In our new series, ‘Careers in Cork’, TIMOTHY O’MAHONY talks to people about their jobs. Today he meets Janice Dupuy Duggan, a physical therapist specialising in manipulative therapy and craniosacral therapy
Careers in Cork: It doesn’t feel like work when I’m at the clinic

Janice Dupuy Duggan who is a physical therapist specialising in manipulative therapy and cranio sacral therapy for adults, children and newborns. Her clinic has been based in St Vincent’s GAA club in the northside of the city for a decade

JANICE Dupuy Duggan is physical therapist specialising in manipulative therapy and craniosacral therapy for adults, children and newborns.

Her clinic has been based in St Vincent’s GAA club in the northside of the city for a decade. Here she tells us about her work.

The beginnings of a career

After finishing my Leaving Cert in St Vincent’s, I studied analytical and pharmaceutical chemistry in CIT. Like any good dad, my father Robby was in that line of work and was mad for one of us to follow in his footsteps. After two years I bailed out as it just wasn’t for me.

Janice Duggan Dupuy with the Irish U-18 Womens Basketball team.
Janice Duggan Dupuy with the Irish U-18 Womens Basketball team.

I found CIT very accommodating in helping me choose the right course for me. I played basketball with the college team and I met girls studying recreation and leisure management and applied to transfer over to this course.

I loved everything about this. It gave you the option to continue studying a business degree which is what I did.

After getting injured during basketball, I attended a physio for a few weeks and got chatting to her about her course. I had always presumed you had to go away to study, which definitely wasn’t for me. 

I loved sport and was so interested to hear how she was able to study in Cork and didn’t need 600 points to get into the course.

I immediately looked it up and started studying at IIPT at the time, now called ICOM, the Irish College of Osteopathic Medicine in North Point Business Park.

I studied here for three years and completed numerous CPD courses also. The college is amazing in that it’s the only Osteopathy programme in Ireland leading to a validated Osteopathy degree. Courses run on weekends, so you can obtain your qualifications while still in full time employment. You can steadily build up your musculo-skeletal clinic whilst you decide which road you wish to follow.

I knew I had finally found my career path. I followed on with dry needling courses, adult cranial and paeds cranial. I graduated in 2012 and haven’t looked back since.

I was then asked by the principal to part take in a tutor training programme and I currently teach first years on the course now at the college. I enjoy this so much, it keeps you on your toes having to constantly refresh your anatomy, and I’m a real people person so I love being in with the students.

Little did I know when I sat in the chair totally confused in first year that one day I’d be tutoring on the course. The college has amazing lecturers that I would strive to be like one day, especially Anneka Corcoran and Ann Canty who do amazing work with pre and post pregnancy which I have availed of myself and with my newborns. I definitely think this is an avenue I’d like to explore next as there just are not enough women’s health therapies in Cork.

I definitely didn’t take the easiest approach but I made the right choice for me. I think this is important for Leaving Cert students to understand as there is so much unnecessary pressure on them for the CAO and points. I feel there are ways and means around everything.

 Janice Duggan Dupuy with her family, husband Shane and two daughters Isabelle and Zara
 Janice Duggan Dupuy with her family, husband Shane and two daughters Isabelle and Zara

Career highlights

In the early days, I got to do a lot of travelling as I was the physical therapist for the Irish national basketball team, both U16 men’s and U18 women’s teams. It was an amazing experience to travel to training camps and European championships abroad.

Nowadays, I would say making people feel better is the highlight of my job. I really love my job and there aren’t many that can say this. 

I don’t feel like I’m working when I’m in the clinic. I enjoy the different faces and personalities that come in daily.

A day in the life

In terms of what we do, we take each client’s case history and use a variety of modalities such as deep tissue massage, electro therapy, dry needling, cupping, and along with manipulative therapy or cranio sacral techniques, we realign the body and help the heeling process.

I also have the contract for MTU GAA department (former CIT) where we provide physical therapy treatment to GAA students and provide pitch-side first aid during matches.

I am the physical therapist for St Vincent’s GAA Club also where my clinic is based - we take care of a range of teams here from juvenile to senior camogie and GAA.

The famous Keith Ricken, a Vincent’s man, actually started the ball rolling, asking me to cover a match over 10 years ago for his senior football team as they were stuck, and it was Keith who got me involved in MTU last year.

The club committee have been amazing from the start of my journey and the likes of Vincie Stokes keeps the building ticking over. He always makes sure we have everything we need or waits until the very last person leaves at night and locks up for us. There really aren’t enough like him around, we’re so grateful for his help, he’s gold to the running of the facility and does it all voluntarily, just for the love of the club.

Janice Duggan Dupuy with one of her younger clients.
Janice Duggan Dupuy with one of her younger clients.

Clients

We treat everyone in the clinic - last week I treated for instance a 75-year-old man with frozen shoulder and after him I treated a baby boy just seven days old, so we really do have a large clientele. From the builder who hurt his back to the 15-year-old Irish dancer who rolled her ankle, it’s every walk of life coming in the door.

In the college, I’m more of a mother figure. I think Keith Ricken instilled that on day one, a lot of these young students are away from home for the first time and need to be minded so I’m not just treating an injury, I’m making sure they have access to medical supplies or have eaten before a match.

I’m very lucky I’ve great help from other therapists who work there with me, Olivia, Leah and David are very reliable and you know once they are outside I don’t need to worry.

Biggest challenge

Trying to split myself into three. Organising three different job roles can be quite challenging, from answering text messages, social media messages, phone calls about the clinic, to following up on schedules, emails and injuries in MTU.

It’s hard to shut off when you work for yourself. I spend my night time in bed doing the admin side of things when the kids are asleep.

I feel I need to get more organised in my personal life - my best friend Michelle even bought me an outside of work diary so that’s my New Year’s resolution.

How I unwind

I used to play basketball and Gaelic football before I had children, but unfortunately now I just can’t commit to teams as it’s all or nothing with my work and life is just busy now with two little girls. I’d love to go back playing basketball just recreationally this year.

I love watching matches, my husband Shane plays basketball with Neptune and football with St Vincent’s, and my sister Olivia plays super league with Brunell, so we would go watch all of their games.

My little girl Isabelle plays with the camogie academy in St Vincent’s and I help coach every week, which I really enjoy.

Weekends

At the moment, weekends are spent dropping to Montforts, swimming, and then I teach some weekends, but mostly it’s our time to catch up with family and friends.

My husband works shift so it’s a bonus if we’re both off together.

Sundays we all call to my mam as my nan is there for her Sunday roast, and it’s great for my kids and my niece and nephew to have a great relationship with their great nana Rita.

Janice Duggan Dupuy with her sister Olivia.
Janice Duggan Dupuy with her sister Olivia.

Shout outs

It’s a family affair here at the clinic. My youngest sister Olivia recently just qualified. Olivia has a real flair for craniosacral therapy and children gravitate towards her - she is treating a lot of children with autism at the moment and I feel this is something where there is definitely a need for much more treatments and she’s amazing with them.

She is currently balancing her study, working full time in the clinic and at MTU and playing super league basketball with Brunell and is thriving in her career.

My ambitions

I would definitely like to concentrate on treating more babies. I’m new to that side of the game and I’m really enjoying every minute of it.

I can’t wait to see the clinic growing and offering new treatments to a broader clientele. I’m enjoying watching my family grow and I feel really blessed to work for myself.

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