Animal chiro whisperer


Animal chiro whisperer

It’s been almost ten years since Valerie Teo stepped onto the Wallumattagal Campus, having graduated from MQ with a Master of Chiropractic in 2014. But her enthusiasm for her alma mater, like her chosen vocation, hasn’t dimmed. Now running a successful practice in Singapore, treating people and animals, she’s also the Vice President of the MQ Alumni Network Singapore, and is keen to help light the path for others returning to the Lion City.

When Valerie Teo returned to Australia for the World Federation of Chiropractic Biennial Congress in October 2023, she decided to revisit MQ and refresh her connection with the University. ‘There have been lots of positive changes since I graduated,’ she smiles, having just taken a tour of the campus.

‘The vibe of the uni is great, and the transformation of the Central Courtyard Precinct into the heart of the campus is amazing – there’s more space outdoors, new buildings, and lots of comfortable places for the students,’ she enthuses. ‘I was also able to speak with the Alumni team, and caught up with some of my lecturers about developments at the University and in the chiropractic field, which was really helpful.’




Interestingly, Valerie didn’t set out to be a chiropractor. With a lifelong love of animals, she originally moved to Perth to study vet science. However, with the foundational subjects in chiropractic resonating with her most, and her chiro in Singapore recommending the course at MQ, she made the move to Sydney.

Making light of her aversion to medical interventions, which she admits also influenced her change of direction, Valerie laughs, ‘There’s no blood involved in chiro!’ But, more seriously, she reflects: ‘As a chiropractor, I still get to help people and can positively impact their life by being present for them – I think it suits me better.’

Chiropractic is still fairly new in Singapore, says Valerie, but notes it’s definitely grown since she moved home and got her first job at an established clinic, where she stayed for almost six years. ‘Studying at MQ was very evidence-based and patient-focused, which made the transition to work much easier.

‘We were taught to be flexible and think outside the box, which held me in good stead in the workplace. I was also glad to find somewhere ethical, and my boss was instrumental in guiding me in the right direction.’



Indeed, being mindful of where you choose to work after you complete your degree is wisdom she’s keen to pass on to new graduates. ‘Often, we’re in such a hurry to get our first job that we accept the first position offered. But I advise graduates to make their choice carefully, and really focus on their purpose and why they studied their degree – then they’ll find the right job for them.’

As you speak with Valerie, it’s this thoughtfulness that shines through. ‘Of course, we all work to survive,’ she admits, ‘but if we’re in the wrong job, we can lose the essence of why we’re working in the first place. We have to follow the fire in us and enjoy what we do, but it’s also important to better society – it’s what we do for others that really matters.’

There’s no doubt Valerie finds her vocation rewarding, and even more so since she decided to pursue further education in animal chiropractic. Several events conspired to convince her, including treating an elephant on the side of the road in Thailand, which bowed in gratitude afterwards. ‘My passion for treating animals resurfaced, and I took the opportunity to study the leading animal chiropractic course in America,’ she remembers.



Finally combining her love for animals with her chiropractic skills, often caring for owners and their pets together, she says: ‘It’s interesting, the connection between an owner and their pet – there’s a special bond that can’t be explained. Especially when the animals get better and the owners come in for treatment, I see so many amazing changes.’

‘And, as people start to improve,’ she continues, ‘we can educate them on better lifestyle choices. I’ve found that as a client’s mental health improves with treatment, they’re more accepting of other healthcare providers – it takes away their fear and puts them on the path toward optimal health.’

You can hear the passion in her voice, but it’s underlined by a sense of responsibility to her patients: ‘Chiropractic is still fairly new compared to the medical profession, so I feel a duty to step forward and educate people on the importance of our health in terms of preventative care,’ she says.



After graduating from animal chiropractic, Valerie continued working with people during the day and opened a mobile clinic, doing home visits for animals in the evening, but it wasn’t sustainable. ‘So I plucked up the courage and saved up, and when the opportunity came, I opened my own clinic.

‘It was just before COVID, so I couldn’t work out of the clinic during lockdown, but my clients were very loyal and supported me, which I’m very grateful for, and gradually we opened up again. As long as you’re present and sincere with people, things will go the right way,’ Valerie offers, explaining how she divides the human and animal appointments between different times of the day in different parts of the clinic. She has found her balance.

Still, being more established in her career hasn’t slowed Valerie down. She volunteers at her local Riding Disability Association treating horses, has completed a two-year diploma course in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, an osteopathic technique for humans and animals, and was president of the Chiropractic Association (Singapore) for four years. ‘It’s been quite a journey; I’ve been doing lots of things!’ she says brightly.



Valerie is now focusing on her role as Vice President of the MQ Alumni Network Singapore, using her experience as an overseas student, a trained chiropractor and business owner to guide others. ‘I’m honoured the MQ Alumni Network Singapore has trusted me with the role of Vice President this year,’ she says. ‘I’ve met people from different fields, widened my knowledge and improved my business – I just wish I had joined earlier!’

Valerie is looking forward to planning alumni events in Singapore and touching base with other Singaporeans returning home. ‘We also want to bring more hope to the chiropractic community in Singapore,’ she adds. ‘We want the profession to grow in the right way, and help more students transition into the workforce, so they can be more confident after graduation.’

With her trademark positivity guiding her and her ability to be present wherever she is, we’re sure there are good things to come for Valerie Teo and those whose lives she touches, both in clinic and within the alumni – and we hope to see her back on campus again soon too!


Do you have a story to share with us? As Macquarie University approaches its 60th Anniversary in 2024, we’re eager to hear from you. Whether you’ve pursued global ventures, achieved your dream career, or explored new horizons post-graduation, share your journey with us

Are you about to graduate from Macquarie and are returning to Singapore, or plan on working in the Lion City? Perhaps you graduated some time ago and are ready to connect with other alumni? Find the Macquarie Singapore Alumni Network on Facebook and LinkedIn, and open up a world of possibilities.

Wherever you are in the world, you’ll find a strong network of MQ alumni. Widen your professional network and participate in a range of social, thought-leadership and networking events. Keep in touch and keep your details updated to know what’s happening at MQ, including ways to get involved and give back. 

The first animal chiropractor in Singapore, Dr Valerie Teo holds a Bachelor of Chiropractic and a Master of Chiropractic from Macquarie University (2014).

Currently Vice President of the Macquarie University Alumni Network Singapore and immediate past president of the Chiropractic Association (Singapore), Valerie is the principal chiropractor at Valerie Teo Chiropractic Pte Ltd as well as Animal Pal Chiropractic. Her goal as a chiropractor is to bring positive change to every patient she sees, respecting that everyone’s recovery process varies.

Valerie is a certified animal chiropractor (Options for Animals, Kansas, USA), a certified Kinesio Taping practitioner and a member of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA) and the Kinesio Taping Association International.

Comment (1)

  1. Ryan Hislop

    Congratulations and great to see the chiropractic skills developed at Macquarie University impacting people and animals across the globe.


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