Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Rhea Conley.
Hi Dr. Conley, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Hello! I am Dr. Rhea Conley. I am a South Carolina Native born and raised in the Upstate. I am from Gaffney but moved to Spartanburg with my family when I was young. I am a proud Gamecock! I attended and graduated from the University of South Carolina, with a degree in Biological Science. It was during my senior year at Carolina that I discovered chiropractic and decided that was the career path I wanted.
I took my grandmother (Hey, Granny!) to her chiropractic appointment and there they described the benefits of chiropractic. They educated us on how the central nervous system is in complete control of the body which is housed in the spine. Being a biology major, that just resonated with me. I realized that was what I wanted to do, I wanted to be a Chiropractor. I felt like as a Chiropractor I could help people help themselves.
I graduated from Sherman College of Chiropractic in December 2014. After graduation, I accepted a position in a busy chiropractic office in South Florida. It was there that I began to merge my love for chiropractic with my love of sports and movement. I had the pleasure of working with several professional and Olympic athletes at my previous job.
When my time in Florida was up, I decided to take a short sabbatical and check off an item on my bucket list. I packed a suitcase and I moved to Costa Rica. Costa Rica was a magical time. It was a chance to challenge myself by being outside of my comfort zone, and it was a chance to learn about myself when I am faced with adversity. I spent close to a year in Costa Rica traveling and teaching English to natives, before moving back home to South Carolina.
When I moved back home, I created CoTa Care Chiropractic and Wellness. I started off working as an independent contractor and working out of a couple of gyms. In late 2019, I decided I was ready to take the leap of faith and start my own practice. I found the perfect location and signed the lease in January 2020, right before the world shut down.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There’s a great saying: “It’s not how you start the race that matters, but how you finish.” CoTa Care has not had the smoothest road at the start of our race. I excitedly secured the location for the practice in January 2020, right before the entire world shut down.
During our time in business, we have been battling 2 years of a worldwide pandemic on top of the normal struggles of being a new business. I delayed the opening for a few months because I, like everyone else, did not know what the future held. Even through the rough start, I have enjoyed the journey of being a small business owner.
I have also appreciated the lessons that I was forced to learn about myself. Lessons about perseverance, self-care, adaptation, perfectionism, and being able to follow through with your words with action. Throughout the hardships of getting started, I have loved the journey of creating a space where I can serve the people in my community.
We’ve been impressed with CoTa Care Chiropractic and Wellness, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
In 2019, I completed my first Spartan Race. I had 5 years of CrossFit experience and I had run 4 half marathons, so I was excited to be able to combine the two in one race; plus, the idea of rolling around in the mud intrigued me. Unfortunately for me, I thought the CrossFit and running experience would be sufficient enough training for the race.
I mean, 9 miles would be a piece of cake after running 13.1, right? WRONG!! That sounded great in theory, but in reality, what I greatly underestimated was the uneven terrain of trail running. Running on a trail was a completely different beast that had me slain around mile 5. That is when I began having sharp pain in my left hip with every single step which ultimately began to cause sharp pain in my right foot.
I became so infuriated with myself during the run because I knew how to prevent the pain that I was feeling, but I neglected to do what I needed. This experience confirmed to me that I wanted to help people avoid the same mistake I made by emphasizing the importance of moving without restriction. Let me explain. While running my spartan race, I first felt pain in my left hip.
I subconsciously changed my running style to lessen the pain I felt in my hip when I would step on my left. After about 1-2 miles of this altered gait, I began to have a sharp pain on the side of my right foot. Once the race was over and after a hot shower and a stretching session, the pain I felt in my hip had subsided, but the pain in my foot had not. If I had decided to follow the traditional healthcare system, I would have gone to the doctor for the pain in my foot.
The doctor would have treated my foot with medication and maybe even a bit of physical therapy. By the end, I would feel great and sign up for another Spartan Race. I would run the Spartan Race, but around mile 5 I would notice that that sharp pain in my hip has returned and sure enough about 2 miles later my foot would begin to hurt all over again. It may be after experiencing that sharp pain in my foot again, that I really contemplate giving up running overall because the pain is not worth it.
I have seen this cycle time and time again, one of the most asked questions that I have gotten as a Chiropractor is “Why does this pain keep coming back?” The answer is traditionally we focus on healing the pain in the foot, but we never ask, “WHY is the foot hurting?” In my personal story, the pain in my foot was a secondary symptom caused by me adjusting my running style to accommodate the primary symptom which was the pain in my hip.
At CoTa Care Chiropractic and Wellness we work to find the “why.” We use active listening and a variety of exams, as needed, to help uncover the “why” of a client’s complaint. We are also passionate about helping people take control of their health by improving their movement. We firmly believe if you move better, you feel better. If you feel better, you live better! We work with our clients to set and achieve goals to get their bodies to function at their highest potential.
A person’s body is operating at its highest potential when they can do what they want to do when they want to do it without the limitations of pain or discomfort; for example, playing with their kids, riding their bikes, playing a round of golf, performing your duties for work, playing their favorite sport, or running in their first Spartan Race. At CoTa Care our goal is to remove obstacles that would otherwise prevent one from being able to enjoy the physical activities they once enjoyed or would like to enjoy.
We achieve this with treatment focused on improving our clients’ movement. We give tailored spinal exams and movement assessments during the initial consultation to determine what may be the underlying cause of the main complaints. Based on the examinations, we will create a treatment plan unique to each person’s needs. In our office, we use a variety of modalities in addition to chiropractic adjustment which you can read all about on our website.
If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
That is a great question! If you would have asked me this question before becoming an entrepreneur, I would probably have answered something along the lines of determination, dedication, drive, passion, etc. All these characteristics are great ones to have, but now I’m learning by experience that an important quality to success is perseverance.
As I mentioned earlier, I did not have the smoothest road at the beginning of my journey. It feels like I have hit every single bump and fallen into every single hole on this road that I possibly could have, but as the saying goes; “It’s not how you start the race, it is how you finish.” The biggest lesson that I have learned is no matter how hard or discouraging the journey gets you to have to consistently show up every single day and keep going!
Keep going when the road is bumpy, and keep going when you are falling in holes, even if you have to crawl… KEEP GOING!! There have been many days I have had to remind myself to put one foot in front of the other, but when I look at where I started I am always amazed at how far I have come.
- Initial Visit: $75
- Chiropractic Adjustment: $40
- Chiropractic Adjustment + Soft Tissue Modality: $50
- Full Visit (Chiropractic + Multiple Modalities): $60