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Meet Jessica Chan of Equilibrium Health + Wellness in South Loop

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Chan.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jessica. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have always been extremely passionate in helping people. During chiropractic school, I chose to do my internship at the Salvation Army facility, which is a rehabilitation center that offers residential housing, work, and therapy for homeless and drug addicted individuals. While most cringed and disagreed with my location decision, those two trimesters helped me build a foundation for what I do in my practice today. I saw and treated a magnitude of different conditions, that no class or textbooks could have taught or shown. The internship was such a rewarding educational experience and it was also rewarding to receive the residents’ genuine gratitude.

After graduating, I had the opportunity to participate in a mentoring group, Young Women Warriors, for young females in the Uptown neighborhood. YWW meetings consisted of workshop planning to promote and educate each other of current issues. I may have been one of the mentors, but I learned so much from these young girls. They were all so driven and interested in learning and trying new things. These girls thought me to be more adventurous, for sure!

Shortly after graduating from chiropractic school, I was working for a more seasoned doctor. There wasn’t anything that was wrong, but our practice views were just different. I know all new graduates have this “vision” of what they wanted, and maybe I was one to fall into that trap, the golden gates were supposed to open with a red carpet leading me to them. I was hungry for more, but I didn’t feel that particular practice was going to get me what I wanted.

I started looking for other jobs and actually got an offer. The company was a multi location office and they offered me clinic director, with all the benefits one could want. As a small business owner, we all know how great it is to be offered benefits! *sarcasm* I consoled with my parents, and they suggested the idea of opening my own office, which was in my FAR future plans. After many nights of soul searching, I took some of the courage I acquired from the girls at YWW, and realized there was no better time than the present!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Since opening my own practice, almost 6 years ago, there are definitely days where I wonder why I didn’t just take that full-time position. I am not sure about other small businesses, but these past few years, leading up to today, have not been a cake walk.

I grew up first generation in Chicago, to immigrant parents. Failure is always frowned upon. Because of the basis of my childhood, I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed, and do well.

Prior to opening up my office, I had no formal business training. I was a biochemistry major in college, worked as a laboratory technician after college, and then chiropractic school. The little bit of business I knew, I learned from my experience as a consumer, and from my previous jobs.

School definitely did not teach me how to properly operate a business. Opening my own business could not be compared to passing classes because now I had to worry about employees that were depending on me.

The constant challenge I still have is with myself. To me, my business is still immature. I have gotten better but is still learning, to balance work, and personal life. It’s a work in progress!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Equilibrium Health + Wellness story. Tell us more about the business.
Equilibrium. To be in balance. In a calm state. In this scenario, within our office, and the feeling post-treatment.

Our office is a multi-disciplinary practice. Besides myself, the chiropractor, we have an acupuncturist and a few massage therapists. As a patient, you will sense the union in our office. It’s our little family! We really do all work together on our patients to ensure the most beneficial treatment plan.

Because each of us has different educational backgrounds, we have the ability to share ideas and treatment options. One practitioner may find something that the other may not have noticed or find. Some patients may also not respond to one therapy as well as to another therapy, so there is always an option to try a different type of treatment. No two people or conditions are exactly the same, so their treatment should also differ.

To rid the symptoms is the obvious goal, but ultimately, we treat the root of the issue, so the issue does not reoccur. Being a whole health office means we treat the entire physical and mental structure.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
It wouldn’t be very humbly to say, “I did all this myself,” and “my success is a result of hard work.” I definitely put a lot of effort, sweat, tears, and sacrificed a few things, but I am extremely lucky to have such wonderful patients. Wonderful is not an exaggeration! I don’t do much advertising or marketing, so most of my new patients are referrals. I am truly humbled by the compliments! It makes all the hard work worth it, knowing people are happy with their treatment and experience.

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