Healing Hands

Chiropractor Dr. Sabrina Chen-See on the art, science, and humanity of treating pain
By Special Feature
Special Feature
Special Feature
February 18, 2015 Updated: February 18, 2015

Dr. Sabrina Chen-See didn’t know she wanted to be a chiropractor until she experienced the powerful benefits of the treatments for herself.

Plagued by migraines, stomach ulcers, and knee pain from a young age, she finally tried chiropractic after other medical treatments had failed. Not only did she feel better, she was so inspired by the change that she decided to go into the field and today runs her own busy clinic in Vancouver.

“It made my whole life better, and that’s what I want for other people—to be able to get the most out of their life and live at their full potential,” says Dr. Chen-See.

It was the inherent marriage of art, science and philosophy that drew her to the practice and fed her natural talents and curiosities. But what keeps her motivated every day is the change she sees in her patient’s lives when they start to feel better.

Dr. Chen-See recently treated an entire family who drove an hour and a half three times a week to see her. To watch them heal and then step into a new and active world free of pain was both humbling and magical, she says.

I get a high off of taking care of people and seeing them become more alive.
— Dr. Sabrina Chen-See

“I get a high off of taking care of people and seeing them become more alive. I love coming to work.”

Dr. Chen-See’s patients range from business people and elite athletes to babies and pregnant women. She has been trained in a wide range of techniques that allow her to help people with conditions not often associated with chiropractic care, such as multiple sclerosis, concussion, autism, depression, and anxiety.

“We help people with these issues who don’t normally go to chiropractors for help because not all chiropractors know how to help them, or don’t have the patience to work with people who need help over a long period of time,” she says.

Regardless of the ailment, every client benefits from her philosophy of nurturing the whole person rather than focusing on simply fighting the symptoms. To do this well, she takes the time to get to know her patients in order to understand more deeply their physical, mental, and chemical stressors.

“If we don’t get to the bottom of [the problem], then even if we make a change in the symptom it won’t be permanent or it won’t last, and that’s frustrating for me,” she says.

“We take care of the whole person—mind, body, and spirit—then their whole being can be stronger and healthier and they’re more resilient. They actually get to feel more alive for more of their life and get to live longer, and that for me is a whole lot more important than does somebody have back pain today or not.”

This deep desire to care has also led to a love of charity work. Dr. Chen-See is an active member of the Love Has No Colour humanitarian project, started by a group of chiropractors to bring hope to First Nations children in North America.

Members fund-raise and donate time and money to bring toys and necessities—like winter jackets and toothbrushes—to children on reserves, in addition to organizing special events and kids’ fun days in the communities.

Dr. Chen-See often delivers the gifts herself, bringing her children along to teach them the value of kindness, charity, and gratitude.

“I want them to appreciate how good they have it,” she says.

Between her roles as a mother, business owner, and wife, finding balance is a work in progress she says, but she always tries to keep things in perspective. Much like aligning the body, it feels right only when all of life’s pieces fall into place.

“Balance means that everything is equal and it’s static, and life isn’t like that,” she says. “Life, when it’s good, is actually in harmony.”