As captain of the River Ridge High School basketball team in the 2000s, Shamika Cordis was frequently in the news. Seventeen years later, she’s still making an impact in the community, only now it’s as Dr. Cordis and the arena is not the basketball court but the chiropractic table. Cordis is back in her hometown as the owner of two Phoenix Rising Wellness Centers, one in Olympia and one in Lakewood.
Cordis began her Chiropractic Journey in Chicago, Illinois, where she served a diverse patient base which set the foundation for her career. Before returning home, she had the opportunity to be the lead doctor at a small-town clinic in Idaho as well as in Chicago. With 17 years in practice, she felt ready to return to a place she considered home.
Now that she’s returned to Thurston County, Cordis brings her wealth of experience to clients. “If I can help somebody with an issue that’s impacting their quality of life, that’s what I would love to do through chiropractic care,” she says. “My goal is to remove any interference that gets in the way of the body’s ability to function at its fullest potential.”
Growing up, Cordis was always interested in health. After earning her bachelor’s degree in biology on a full academic scholarship, she was unsure which healthcare path to pursue, but then her mother was injured in a car accident and began seeing a chiropractor. Intrigued by the potential of helping people heal without the use of drugs or surgery, she saw this as an opportunity to make her impact in the world of Healthcare. Eager for the next chapter, she applied to Logan University College of Chiropractic in Chesterfield, Missouri. By the time she graduated, she had earned a Masters in Science and Rehabilitation and a Bachelors in Life Science on top of her Doctor of Chiropractic degree.
Cordis takes a holistic approach to treatment, spending time with patients to learn about their lifestyles, sleep patterns, and other factors that can impact their overall health. “We need to understand our practice members’ goals,” she notes. “Do they only seek pain relief, are they preparing for a marathon or do they want to improve overall function and quality of their lives? It’s important to know the answer to this question.”
A Holistic Approach for Diverse Patients
As the only African-American female chiropractor business owner in the region, she is aware that her wellness centers play an important role in increasing diversity and options among healthcare providers. During her career, Cordis has treated a range of clients from NFL players, Olympians, infants, pregnant women, and senior citizens. That diverse background serves her well now that she’s returned to the Puget Sound region.
Currently, she serves patients from all walks of life at the Olympia and Lakewood clinic, from new mothers to weekend warriors. One thing they all have in common: they not only need pain relief, they need function back.
Getting to the Root of the Problem/Treating the Cause
What begins as a minor issue such as a headache can have a major impact on mood and behavior. Addressing the cause of the problem, rather than just the symptoms, can create significant improvements, and not just for the person in pain, Cordis maintains.
“We’ve all probably dealt with a grumpy boss, friend, family member or customer, but we might not know it’s because this person has headaches every day,” she says. “Think about your worst headache and still having to function in society and take care of home and work. Solving the headaches leads to solving other issues. Often people have tried everything under the sun, and nothing has worked for them until chiropractic becomes part of their life. That is the goal of my practice to address the cause.”
Getting Function Back
While pain relief is essential, function is equally critical. For example, being able to get in and out of the car correctly is an aspect of function. It isn’t just about movement, it’s about how your body operates as a unit. If dysfunction in the body persists, then pain and symptoms come back. Pain relief is one aspect of care but also, how is your spinal health, gut health, sleep posture, or ergonomics at your desk?
Educating clients is part of her practice. The first lesson: healing takes time, particularly in cases involving chronic pain. Improvement may be gradual rather than immediate, especially when lifestyle and daily habits are contributing factors. “Often in our society, people are looking for a quick fix,” Cordis notes. “If you want to see results that last, it’s not quick. There is no process that doesn’t require time.”
Second, she invites and expects clients to play a role in their healing. “There’s a degree of personal responsibility,” says Cordis. “It may be as simple as changing their sleep patterns or doing regular stretching exercises and making sure they follow their care plan. I truly feel like my practice members are extensions of my family, and I want what is best for them. Sometimes it might feel like tough love.”
Cordis has been away long enough that connecting with old friends and the community feels like a rediscovery process. “In a way, everything is new again,” she says. “I’m enjoying being home and it’s good to be back.”
Learn more by visiting the Phoenix Rising Wellness Center website or calling 360.728.0315 (Olympia), 253.220.0711 (Lakewood).