Amber and Dr. Zev J. Myerowitz, Jr., co-owners of Cape Chriopractic and Acupuncture, are living well – and helping others do the same.
Styling by Carrie Montgomery
Photographed at Portland Architectural Salvage
Amber and Dr. Zev J. Myerowitz, Jr., co-owners of Cape Chiropractic and Acupuncture, are having a rare moment of stillness. It’s lunch hour, and their Cape Elizabeth office is quiet after a busy morning of patient visits. Amber performed acupuncture on patients undergoing medical treatments from chemotherapy to I.V.F., while Dr. Zev worked with several athletes suffering from sports injuries, using hands-on therapy to help remove scar tissue.
After meeting six years ago at New York Chiropractic College and doing an internship at a Traditional Chinese Medicine hospital in China, the pair moved to Maine (where Dr. Zev grew up), tied the knot, and opened up shop in Cape Elizabeth. With business booming, they now have plans to expand, tripling their office size when they open a new location next summer, just down the road. And while being in a relationship and simultaneously running a growing business together might seem like a recipe for disaster, this couple shows it’s just about striking a healthy balance.
“We don’t have a two cooks in the kitchen– type relationship,” says Dr. Zev, a fifth- generation chiropractor. Where Amber is creative and nurturing in her approach, Dr.
Zev is kinesthetic and active. “He breaks, and I build,” Amber explains, referring to how her treatments—whether it’s acupuncture, cupping, or Eastern Dietary Therapy—tend to be more nourishing, while Dr. Zev’s tend to focus on the source of an injury and break up scar tissue or adhesions.
“If you focus on trying to just treat where the pain is, that’s usually just compensation,” Dr. Zev says. “You’re putting a Band-Aid on a gushing artery.” The pair is glad to be able to offer effective treatments to patients who respond after other forms of necessary, traditional healthcare such as surgery have left them feeling defeated or produced side effects. He recalls one patient who came to him after a double knee replacement, where only one knee recovered fully. By using active release technique, a type of specialized soft-tissue massage, the patient was able to regain full mobility. “When a patient hasn’t been able to get help for years, it’s very gratifying for us as providers to be able to figure out a puzzle that someone else hasn’t been able to do,” says Dr. Zev.
When the couple isn’t serving patients, they’re likely to be found outdoors, each exercising at their own individual pace. “We both love to be active,” Amber says. “We like to move; we can’t sit still.” Dr. Zev is a competitive triathlete whose winning times have recently qualified him to race on the professional circuit. (He’s so dedicated to his sport that he and his groomsmen participated in a road race the morning of his wedding.) Amber enjoys running and yoga, but takes a more relaxed approach. “I don’t care what place I come in as long as I’m out there and I’m doing it,” she says, “And we want our patients to know that. We just want everyone out there and feeling good.” They frequently participate in local road races, and their practice also sponsors the Cape Challenge 5K, which raises money for parent associations at local schools, and the Turkey Trot, which benefits the Wayside Food Programs. In addition, the pair donates missed appointment fees to the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, where they adopted their cat.
With a fluidity between their personal and professional lives and from office to after-work activity, the pair prefers a wardrobe that lets them move. Amber, who describes her style as “simple, warm, and inviting,” is often in statement jewelry and ballet flats, the latter so that she can quickly and quietly whisk from room to room. Colorful socks peek out from the hem of Dr. Zev’s slim-cut pants, and he insists on a button-down shirt with a little bit of stretch. “I have to make sure that I wear clothing that doesn’t restrict my movement,” he says. The look for both of them is functional but fun, though they each have their indulgences: “She’s shoes, I’m carbon fiber,” Dr. Zev says, as he signs for an office delivery that turns out to be new bicycle wheels.
The receptionist returns from her break, and the office slowly begins to buzz again. “In training, there isn’t any one workout that makes you this or that. And there isn’t one particular technique that all of a sudden changes everything in running a business,” Dr. Zev says. “It’s just consistency, perseverance, and always trying to do the best you possibly can. You get to see what you’ve accomplished by looking backward, even though it seems like it’s uphill forever. As long as you embrace that, you’ll be fine.”
The same could be argued for the approach they take with their patients and their community—a well-balanced mix of devotion, dedication, and reciprocation. “It’s not just that we’re here to heal our patients,” says Amber. “I feel like they heal us as well.”