Join the Club! Membership that Promotes Healing.

spot-feb15By Lauren Davidson

The Healing Arts Club all started with a bad experience with a chiropractor, according to Dr. Nick Conley.  The young pharmacist was in his first year at Wingate University’s School of Pharmacy and was on assignment from one of his classes.  “It was the worst experience of my life,” Dr. Conley says.  The doctor was using “scare tactics to get people to sign up.”  For Dr. Conley, this experience was extremely disconcerting.  “I got into pharmacy because I wanted to sincerely help and it was hard for me to see how uncomfortable patients were.  I wondered how many people are curious and want to try alternative care and something like that happens and they are completely turned off?  It is so hard to take that first step and when something like that happens, it is harder to make step two.”

This thought also took root when Dr. Conley took a healing arts class in his third year at Wingate.  “That class really opened my eyes,” he says.  “Each week we had a different healing arts practitioner in the area that would tell us about what they did.  Then, we had to spend time with one of them.  That is when I gave chiropractic care round two.  This time, it was such a great experience.”  That experience made Dr. Conley realize how varied different practitioners were in the area.  “How hard is it when you are looking for a good chiropractor?  You just get a list.  There is nobody telling you who to go to, who to contact, or who you can trust.  As a pharmacist, I am so used to the FDA, the DEA, and The Board of Pharmacy.  I am used to all these rules that govern how I practice to assure the patient has the best experience.  The area of healing arts does not really have a body that controls it, so unfortunately, you get a lot of people that say they can help but they really cannot.”  Dr. Conley also spent time in a chemotherapy ward and noticed flyers around the hospital advertising alternative therapies, like massage.  However, there was no further information, like where the patients could find a good studio in the area.  “Not only that,” adds Dr. Conley, “but chemotherapy is so expensive.  We are not even giving them a deal or helping with the cost?  All these ideas and experiences kind of formed in my head and I knew there needed to be something out there that patients could trust, something where patients no longer have to guess who is a credible practitioner or not.”

This link between the healing arts and traditional medicine is exactly what the Healing Arts Club wants to maintain.  “I made the Healing Arts Club to link the conventional side of medicine with the healing arts side, and to kind of have this whole circle of health,” says Dr. Conley.  He also stresses his belief that “the traditional side is after the fact.  You go to the doctor or pharmacist afterwards.   The wellness side, which includes chiropractic clinics, massage therapy, and aromatherapy, is before the fact.  It is more about prevention and what we can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep ourselves well.  Sometimes, it is hard to engage in it because it is often expensive and insurance does not help cover this.”  This is the main basis of what Dr. Conley’s goal is with the Healing Arts Club: to merge the two to create a more fully formed picture of someone’s health.  “When patients come to see me,” he says, “I want them to tell me the herbals they are on, the different aromatherapies they have tried, and their experiences with chiropractic therapies; because that is the whole aspect of who they are.”

The Healing Arts Club’s mission to encourage people to take proactive steps for a fully healthy lifestyle is also pictorialized in the company’s logo, which resembles a tree.  “Some trees need a lot of shade,” says Dr. Conley.  “Some do not. Every tree heals and grows in their own way and the human body is the exact same.  Just because chiropractic care works great for patient one, it does not necessarily mean that it is the best option for patient two.  Our goal is to get as many different variations as we can so everybody can create their own wellness.”

The Healing Arts Club also prioritizes legitimacy above all in the practitioners that are selected.  Being a practitioner of the Healing Arts Club is not just for advertisement, Dr. Conley insists.  “It is giving credibility to the healing arts. It is saying the Healing Arts Club has checked us out.  We are trained and we have all of our credentials in place.”  Each Healing Arts Club certified practitioner bears the logo of the club on their door, so members know that they can show their club ID and get their discount.  It is also, above all, a mark of trustworthiness, something that Dr. Conley has personally verified.  “One of the things I require,” he says, “is to actually partake in at least one class.   It is a lot easier for me to recommend it if I can experience it.”  That even includes the sensory deprivation tank that counts itself as a certified practitioner of the club.  Dr. Conley notes, “It makes you realize how hard it is to actually relax!”

The Healing Arts Club now has over 35 different practitioners, spanning nine cities in North Carolina.  You can check these out on the club’s website,  The club is also developing a workplace wellness program, and is continually expanding their reach.  Dr. Conley’s main purpose is a reassuring one: “I just want to sincerely help people.  I want the whole community of the healing arts to know this program is in place to establish a sense of credibility here, a sense of community.  I am a pharmacist because I want to help and I am in the Healing Arts Club because I want to make a difference.”


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