Dr. Esther Fortin is the owner of Meadow Chiropractic Clinic on Route 2 in Milton Station. She graduated as a Doctor of Chiropractic in May of 2018 from the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières, and opened her clinic in March, 2019.
About eleven Chiropractors who practice on PEI belong to the PEI Chiropractic Association. Members take a set number of hours of yearly education sessions to stay up to date and remain in good standing with the association.
“Chiropractic is about the nervous system, which controls every function in the body,” says Esther. “The nervous system is protected by the skull and the spine. The first bone in the spine, the Atlas, protects the brainstem, which is the connection between the brain and the spinal cord. When that bone is misaligned, it can cause nerve pressure that stops the body from functioning and healing properly.
“Misalignment can happen anywhere in the spine, which can cause nerve pressure, so that the body does not receive the proper information, and it may cause pain. Chiropractors look at the spine to make sure there is no pressure on the nerve, so that the body can start healing. People of all ages can benefit from Chiropractic, from children to seniors.”
Esther’s family has a long history of using the services of a Chiropractor, and she had her first adjustment when she was four years old. “Chiropractic care kept me and my sister on our feet while we played sports, and it helped my dad, who was a carpenter, stay strong.
“I always wanted to be a leader to inspire people to practice a healthy lifestyle – to move well, eat well, and think well. Chiropractic is the best way to help the body function optimally,”
Esther is from Quebec, and has a special fondness for PEI. After high school, Esther participated in Explore, a federal government program for youth. Through the program, she travelled to PEI, and learned English by taking classes at UPEI and working at a restaurant in Charlottetown. “PEI was always in my heart,” she says.
After high school, she took health sciences at CEGEP, which is two years of post-secondary training unique to Quebec’s education system.
She went on to Chiropractic training at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières.
“The schooling took five years, but it was worth it.”
Help to start her business
Chiropractic schooling included a class which taught students the basics of running their own clinics. She also spent three months in the office of a Chiropractor in Alberta, learning the business side of her chosen career.
“I spent a lot of time with the office manager, and I still keep in contact with her when I have a question. I am friends with a Chiropractor in New Brunswick, who has also been a huge help.”
When she found a space to start her clinic on PEI, her dad built the front desk and benches, and then Esther finished and stained them. In addition, a long-time friend who was taking Medical Secretary training worked with Esther from January until May to help set up the business.
“I joined the Greater Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce and talked to amazing people who are there to help us be successful in business. The support from my family, friends and the local community has been wonderful.
“There is always something new to learn. I am excited to go to work every day, and I am always thinking of ways to make my clinic grow and make it better. The potential of the business depends on how much work I want to put into it. Limitations are only in our head.”
The clinic started with a part-time Receptionist to do administrative work and answer the phone. She hired a full-time Receptionist in September.
Promoting the business
Esther says that referrals from people she has helped are the best way to promote her services.
“Word of mouth is really important on PEI. I also get referrals from other Chiropractors, because most of them are really busy.”
For more information
Meadow Chiropractic Clinic: 902-370-2511 or [email protected]. Visit www.meadowchiropractic.com.
Canadian Higher Education database: www.degrees.ca/chiropractor/
Canadian Chiropractic Association: www.chiropractic.ca
PEI Chiropractic Association: www.peichiropractic.ca