Dr Michelle Zhou McCulloch, Registered Chiropractor & Founder Of Up!health, On Self-Care In Hong Kong

Dr Michelle Zhou McCulloch, Registered Chiropractor & Founder Of Up!health, On Self-Care In Hong Kong

It’s needless to say that self-care is crucial for a healthy wellbeing. It can come in different forms, from eating a nutritious diet to working out every day. For multidisciplinary health clinic Up!health, its main services address self-care through chiropractic services and clinical massage therapy in a welcoming environment. Led by registered chiropractor and founder Dr Michelle Zhou McCulloch, the space has become a go-to for many Hong Kongers, especially during the current COVID era. We chat with Dr Zhou on the importance of self-care and what to expect at Up!health.

Image courtesy of Dr Michelle Zhou | UP!health

Can you tell us about your multidisciplinary health clinic UP!health? I started UP!health seven years ago with the vision to create a unique space to provide excellent clinical health services with a patient-focused customer experience. Basically, our main services include full-range chiropractic care and clinical massage therapy. I have been practicing as a chiropractor for 15 years and throughout the years, therefore I recognise the importance of creating a friendly and trusting environment for our patients so they can relax knowing they are truly taken care of. As a result, I believe that is evident for our patients walking through our door, whether it is the relaxing waiting space, the interaction with our front desk team, or when discussing their care plans with our practitioners. 

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We are a small team and while we are different in our interests and specialities, what we do share is our common interest to provide patient-oriented care. So, I am incredibly lucky and honoured to be working alongside my amazing team of like-minded practitioners and support staff. Dr Gillian has a special interest in geriatric care and scoliosis. Dr Kent has a special interest in posture care, sports care and weight lifting. Meanwhile, Dr Antoine, our French chiropractor, has a special interest in chronic pain, posture care and running. I focus on pre-and post-natal care and new baby care.

Within our chiropractic team, we cover a vast range of health needs. Petra our clinical massage therapist is incredibly experienced and quite possibly the best soft tissue therapist in town. Our front desk team Wendy and Alexis are the backbones of our business and they take care of everyone. 

Image courtesy of Dr Michelle Zhou | UP!health

How do you prepare tailor-made treatments for new customers? Patient-oriented and tailor-made care starts from listening. It’s about understanding someone’s complaint and what it means to them is the key. Having a patient consulting about their chronic back pain is one thing, but connecting to why and how this pain is debilitating them from their way of living is how we can provide patient-oriented care.

For example, resolving lower back pain can mean this dad can pick up his kids again without pain. Or helping that mum to get back to some much-needed self-care and into an exercise routine, for instance. It can resolve some chronic headaches so one patient is less moody. Or helping someone get a good solid eight hours of sleep if they are often woken at night from pain. Undoubtedly, improving people’s way of living is the most rewarding part of our job. 

In UP!health, another focus we have for patient-oriented and tailor-made care is to report findings. This isn’t a report that just explains what is wrong. Our goal is for our patients to understand the progression of their complaint, how or why it happened, and more importantly, with the newly gained awareness and understanding, how to prevent the problem from happening again. When discussing a treatment plan and goals, we always invite our patients to take part. They play a huge part in their recovery and reaching their health goals.

See also: Hong Kong Wellness Experts On Their Mental Health Tips For Lockdown

Image courtesy of Dr Michelle Zhou | UP!health

What do you love about working in pre-and post-natal chiropractic care? I have been working in pre-and post-natal chiropractic care for 15 years, way before I became a mum myself. I find it incredibly rewarding to be a part of that phase of a woman’s life—and to know what chiropractic care can do for these pregnant and post-natal mums. Chiropractic care during pregnancy is extremely effective in pain management, however, what most people do not know is what chiropractic care can do for birth preparation. Chiropractic care during the third trimester addresses pelvic alignment and mobility. As a result, this can influence the baby’s position in utero, and that is very important for all types of birth and recovery.

Since having my first child almost four years ago, I became very passionate in post-natal care. Personally, I found the first year very hard as a new mum. I was struggling with the new identity and keeping myself busy with “normal” stuff certainly did not help.

I did not think about self-care at all (how ironic being a healthcare practitioner!) and stopped doing anything that brought me joy. Consequently, I was diagnosed with post-natal depression around eight months post-partum and it was then on my recovery journey I realised how important it is to take care of myself first.

In the clinic, I love seeing post-natal mamas, to hold space for them, to take care of their bodies, to share any tips or tricks that have worked for me. Post-partum chiropractic care is about recovery. Our spine and pelvis have gone through massive changes and not to mention how physically taxing taking care of a newborn can be. I recommend all women should consider at least one assessment with a chiropractor after having a baby, even if they have no pain. 

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Who are your services aimed at? Chiropractic care is aimed at anyone who wants to feel and perform better. There is no age or physical limit to your spinal care. Chiropractic at its core is a health discipline. It focuses on spinal and joint health, posture and alignment, physical body function and nervous system integrity. While pain is often the initial reason that brings many patients to our clinic, we hope our patients also gain a better understanding of their bodies. We hope they can start their journey to continue taking care of themselves beyond just being pain-free. There are many techniques to suit all body conditions and your chiropractor can modify their treatment protocol to suit your need. 

What’s the importance of self-care and how can UP!health facilitate this? The past two years have been very trying for everyone in the world and people are realising more than ever the importance of self-care. I believe self-care can be in many small and big acts that we are doing on a regular basis. It can be as little as giving yourself a compliment in front of the mirror. Or taking the step to consult a practitioner for your care. I hope that UP!health can be a part of your self-care journey. 

Image courtesy of Dr Michelle Zhou | UP!health

How can a customer continue treatment at home? It depends on the patient’s condition and preference. We always aim to give specific stretches or exercises for our patients to do at home. Plus, we also have videos on our clinic Instagram that addresses some of the most common complaints.

Can you tell us more about the nutritional supplements you offer? We offer a high-grade nutraceutical range. We look for high-potency products with our patients’ needs in mind. Most of the products we offer are practitioner-grade, which means there is research to back their efficacy and only available through a prescription from a health practitioner.

See also: Sonia Samtani Of All About You Wellness Centre On Conscious Parenting & How To Cope During The Pandemic

Image courtesy of Dr Michelle Zhou | UP!health

What’s your proudest career moment to date? I am not sure if I can narrow it down to one moment. I’m someone who connects to many small moments. I am proud of being a chiropractor. It’s been 15 years in practice and with countless patients, and I am still in awe of the power of chiropractic and the amazing results every day. Thus, I am proud of my team. The past years have been hard, and as a team, we have handled every obstacle with integrity and a steady mindset. Finally, I am a proud business owner. Thankfully, we have survived and thrived, and the best is yet to come.

Find out more about Dr Michelle Zhou & Up!health

Faye Bradley

Faye Bradley is the editor and business development manager at Compare Retreats. She is an avid writer, editor, illustrator and yogi who is passionate about all things wellness, travel and the arts.

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