Dr. Erin Clifton’s endeavors have a far-reaching, healthy effect on the area

by Shuyler Clark

It is no secret that Dr. Erin Clifton cherishes her career in chiropractic care. From the various fitness courses she has instructed over the years to her newest endeavor, with the aptly named Babies & Boobies support group at Positively Chiropractic in downtown Stockbridge, Clifton has taken strides to promote wellness with her patients.

“If I were to win the $5 million lottery tomorrow, I would pay off all my student loans, I would hire an associate, and I would still come to work,” she says as she laughs and pushes a stroller with her 4-month-old daughter, Eloise, inside. “[Other people] have careers to support their passions; my career is my passion. Like, how many people get to say that?”

Since childhood, Clifton and her family have valued health and fitness. Born in 1982 and raised in Owasso, Oklahoma, with her three siblings, Clifton moved with her family to Michigan at age 12 when her father, Mark Taylor, accepted a job at the University of Michigan. Her mother, Nancy Taylor, worked as a pediatric nurse, bus driver, and stay-at-home parent through Clifton’s childhood. Both parents made an effort to attend most of their children’s sporting events, something that Clifton has gained appreciation for since becoming a mother herself.

Although Clifton knew from a young age that she wanted to pursue a career in healthcare, she had a difficult time deciding which field to study. Her introduction to chiropractic care came with a job at a chiropractor’s office in Saline. Given how her family’s approach to health problems was to drink water and take ibuprofen, watching patients’ health improve from chiropractic adjustment determined Clifton’s new trajectory. She has since become a proponent of chiropractic’s benefits and enthusiastically touts the many improvements she has seen in her own health since starting adjustments.

Following this career path, in 2011 Dr. Clifton graduated from Life University, a chiropractic institution in Marietta, Georgia. While attending the university, she met Dr. Sarah Prater-Manor. The two quickly developed a bond after realizing they were both from Michigan; ultimately, they decided to open a business together in the state. Their search took them through Livonia and Plymouth, but the buildings they toured didn’t support their vision. When a Stockbridge resident heard Clifton was back in the area, she convinced the doctor to check out an available building in town.

Initially, Clifton was skeptical of the location. “I didn’t think there was enough here to justify it,” she recalls, but she quickly changed her mind when she saw the space. It took little effort to convince Prater-Manor, and the two officially opened Positively Chiropractic in June 2012.

As for her focus on pediatric and pregnancy care, Clifton attributes that to her love of babies and the transition into motherhood. She is a staunch advocate of chiropractic adjustments for improving the health of pregnant people and infants. With her most recent support group, Babies & Boobies, she hopes to create an information center for mothers.

Although she has ceased instructing fitness classes following her recent pregnancy, Clifton keeps up with her group fitness certification in hopes of starting new classes in the future.

Aside from adjusting local residents in her practice, this forward-thinking chiropractor also participates in other community health-oriented activities. A member of the Stockbridge Area Chamber of Commerce from 2012-2018, she has expanded her reach into 5 Healthy Towns. She and other members of Positively Chiropractic have volunteered extensively with that organization’s annual Father’s Day 5k race in Stockbridge. As a result, Jo Mayer, chair of the Stockbridge Area Wellness Coalition, approached her to ask if the Chiropractic practice would take over the organizing of the 5k. Given her experience with triathlons, Clifton was confident that, with the help of her business partners, she could figure out how to successfully run the event.

Clifton’s interest in fitness and health extends into her free time. She spends many weekends exercising and hiking, including training for the Crucible, a 22-mile hike that follows the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail in Michigan. After participating in this event for the first time last year, while five-and-a-half months pregnant with her daughter, she plans to take on the challenge again this year.

Clifton also has a strong appreciation for her family. Despite her siblings initially heading off in different directions in adulthood, they all came back to settle in this area, something she is grateful for. In addition, she takes pride in her husband, Stephen Higgs, her daughter, and her two sons, Jon and Eli.

Clifton attributes much of her success and admirable work-life balance to Prater-Manor. “Pairing up and going into business allowed us each to have better balance between being a mom and being a doctor. I was able to be at home with my kids more than I ever would have working anywhere else.”

With the support of her family and business partners, Dr. Erin Clifton continues trailblazing a path to wellness that benefits the Stockbridge community.

Positively Chiropractic has been a sponsor of the Father’s Day “Be Fit 5k Run” in Stockbridge; Dr. Erin Clifton, with the help of her practice and business partners, is now organizing the event. Photo by Mary Jo David

Dr. Erin is pictured with family celebrating her marriage to Stephen Higgs. Bottom l-r: Stephen Higgs, Erin Clifton-Higgs, Eli Clifton, Jon Clifton. Top: Dr. Erin’s parents (Nancy Taylor and Mark Taylor) with her nephew Nash Taylor. Photo provided by Dr. Erin Clifton

Dr. Erin Clifton stops to capture the moment while participating in the 22-mile Crucible hike in 2022. Photo credit: Dr. Erin Clifton

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