Dr. Michael Clifford is the founder and principle doctor at Haven Integrative Pain Relief Centre. Educated in America, Dr. Clifford is a Diplomate in Integrative Pain Management with the American Academy of Pain Management and an Integrative Pain Relief Specialist, a U.S. Board Certified Chiropractic Consultant, a U.S. Board Certified Physiotherapist, a Chiropractic Sports Physician, and a Primary Care Provider in the State of California.
Dr. Clifford is a member of the American Academy of Pain Management, the American Pain Society, the U.S. Pain Foundation, the California Chiropractic Association, the American Chiropractic Association, and the Chiropractic Association of Ireland.
I injured my back while lifting weights at Gold’s Gym in Venice California. It just so happened that there was a female chiropractor, Dr. Michelle, on site at the gym at the time it happened. I was in quite a bit of pain and she helped me into a small side room and examined me. The pain was quite excruciating, and ran all the from my back way down into my left leg. Dr. Michelle gave me a list of things to do to and sent me home. Over the next few days I followed the advice she had given me to reduce the inflammation in my back, and made an appointment at her office nearby in West Los Angeles.
Attending the Chiropractic office was a very different experience than what I had been used to in the past when I had been going to a medical doctors office. The first thing I noticed was that the atmosphere was happy and bright and patients seemed to enjoy being there. When I saw my doctor she went through a very thorough exam and consultation. She wanted to get to the cause of the problem. I remember her saying ” I understand you’re still in pain and I respect that, but I am more concerned with how you function. If I can correct the dysfunction, then the pain will take care of itself!”
That day she adjusted my back and I could hear and feel the joints in my spine move. I had almost instant relief! Dr. Michelle assured me that I would still have some pain and stiffness but we had made a big step forward toward my recovery, and I would heal fast! She was correct about everything she told me. After the pain had gone, within about a week, I followed up with some regular treatments and just felt so much better overall. The type of treatment she offered was so different than a normal doctors office, I was really impressed.
I couldn’t believe how quickly I healed! Then, my chiropractor explained to me about our nervous systems and how through chiropractic care, you align your spine so that it can heal itself, quickly and naturally.
I was intrigued because it fit in so well with the way I liked to take care of myself!
I first attended Santa Monica College in Los Angeles back in 1987. This is where it all began. Within a few years I became a published author in several national magazines and developed a strong desire to develop myself academically. I found college inspiring, and quickly became an honors student. I had many options I could have chosen in several health related fields. At one point I was trying to decide if I should become a Dentist or a Psychologist. After I had my first Chiropractic experience, that changed everything, and I decided that Chiropractic was a perfect fit for me. I studied pre-med at The California University of Health Sciences, and completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Science at Excelsior College, Albany, New York. At that point I was accepted into a Doctoral Degree program in Chiropractic at the world renowned Cleveland Chiropractic College, in Los Angeles, California, where I graduated with a Doctoral Degree in Chiropractic. I subsequently took four rigorous national board exams and received my U.S. Board Certification in Chiropractic, becoming a Chiropractic Physician. In addition I studied and became U.S. Board Certified in Physiotherapy.
I was honored to have been one of only six Chiropractic Physicians in the U.S. who were selected to institute a pilot program at the University of Southern California Medical Center, treating patients with Chiropractic.
I continued my studies at the Sports and Spine facility in Los Angeles to become a Chiropractic Sports Physician. Therafter I undertook advanced studies in integrative pain management and have been conferred a Diplomat in Integrative Pain Management from the renowned American Academy of Pain Management.
My first position as a Chiropractic Physician was in West Hollywood, where I was offered the position of Principle doctor at a multidisciplinary practice that provided Acupuncture and Physical therapy in addition to Chiropractic care. After less than a year I took a new and more challenging position as Clinic Director of a practice in Wildomar, California.
In 2010 my wife and I left California to pursue a dream to live in Ireland and be close to my family in the UK , and Ireland, where my Father was born. I took over as the principle Chiropractic Physician at Koru Chiropractic, in Douglas Cork, while the owners of the practice returned to their home and family in New Zealand. After three years the owners of Koru returned in September 2013, which led me, with the support of so many patients and friends in the local community, to open our dream practice, “Haven Pain Relief Centre” in Douglas. My new practice has enabled me to create a pain relief clinic with a much broader scope of treatment than those previously found in Ireland, and provide truly remarkable results.
Providing care for the people of Cork and other parts of Ireland has been deeply rewarding, on a personal level. Many of my patients have asked me why I work so hard and such long hours with few vacations, and when that comes up, I like to quote my Father in-law, “My vocation is my vacation.” I love what I do, and I feel profound gratitude for the privilege and opportunity to serve people in need, helping them to become free of pain and regain healthy, fulfilling lives.
It has been such a privilege for both my wife and me to be here. Many people ask us why we would leave sunny California to be in Ireland and our answer is always the same. We love Ireland and it culture, it’s beauty and its people. We live a relatively stress free life here, with Europe on our doorstep and family close by. We also love what we do and want to bring the standard of care that we ourselves have enjoyed over many years.
I’m originally from London, and that’s where I met my lovely wife. We lived in Ireland for a while, and then we moved to Los Angeles, my wife’s hometown. Now that we have returned to Ireland and are enjoying exploring the new area and all that Cork has to offer.
My wife and I embrace a healthy lifestyle of work, rest and play. My health regime involves working out at the gym and practicing Chinese martial arts. My wife and I love traveling and experiencing the many varied cultures of Europe. My wife and I also enjoy playing guitar, practicing Vipassana meditation, and reading.