Interview: Phoebe Casey (Northern Virginia Chapter)

From living with pain to co-founding a natural wellness business – and thriving!

Sometimes the best business ideas arise from a very personal need or challenge in one’s own life. And so it was with WPO Northern Virginia chapter member Phoebe Casey when she co-founded a natural wellness clinic network with her husband, Dr Philip Golinsky.

Phoebe had spent 25 years doing executive management consulting with blue-chip corporations, including major pharmaceutical companies, but had been plagued by headaches and migraines, and her children from her first marriage suffered from asthma and allergies.

After meeting Phil, a fellow fitness enthusiast, she and her children opted to ditch conventional medication in favor of natural wellness therapies – “and we have found ourselves in far better shape ever since”.

Galvanized by this new outlook, she decided to quit corporate America and join her husband in his healthcare business. It’s become her new passion – one that she has embraced with gusto.

The meteoric rise in natural wellness

“I have personally benefited from natural healthcare,” she relates. “Yes, there are absolutely certain cases where medication is necessary, but some conditions can be managed naturally. So, we can be healthy without resorting to drugs and surgery unless we have to. I’m passionate about that and I wanted to share this message from me as a mom, as a patient and as a recipient of natural wellness care.”

They embarked on a joint mission to educate people about the benefits of embracing holistic health principles to prevent disease, manage existing ailments and stimulate longevity – and RxWellness Spine & Health LLC (RxWellness stands for “prescription for wellness”) was born.

Combining Phoebe’s capabilities as a business management consultant with Phil’s healing hands as a gifted chiropractor, it has gone from strength to strength. The business has tapped into a clear need in the US market for natural wellness alternatives anchored in a “whole person” approach that looks for the underlying causes of disease, discomfort and pain, instead of just treating the symptoms with medicine.

“The pendulum has swung towards natural healthcare,” she believes. “We’re seeing the trend of people eating more organic and whole foods, for example. This generation has more access to information online and is very educated; they are researching alternative ways to take control of their own health, and be in charge of their own bodies and their own physical and mental well-being. The world is ready for it.”

With six clinics now open in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC, Rx Wellness offers treatments such as chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture, cupping, electrotherapy and dry needling.

The multidisciplinary clinic chain has seen exponential growth in recent years, which is what earned Phoebe (its chief operating officer) the ninth spot on the Women Presidents Organization’s Women2Watch list for 2023. Not only that – RxWellness’s success also propelled it into 32nd place on the WPO’s 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies list for 2023.

‘Surround yourself with bright talent’

Phoebe confesses to being “completely blown away” by these WPO accolades. “I felt really blessed and honored and surprised to be part of this group of very talented women presidents that allows me to be a better version of myself,” she says.

In the WPO network she has found a family of “very talented, smart, sharp women. As a lone female leader in your industry, you need an extended network to get different perspectives to learn and grow.”

This open-minded approach to personal growth echoes her work philosophy, as she believes in empowering through delegation and strives to develop each staff member to be “the best version of yourself. That means surrounding yourself with bright talent in a company of peers who will challenge and push you every day – because that’s the only way you’re going to thrive and grow, and not stay stagnant.”

Finding a peer group that offers not just stimulation but also support is like gold, she says. “In the WPO I’ve found a group of friends who share not just business skills and business challenges with each other, but also personal, family and life challenges – because we’re not one-dimensional, right?

“We’re not just a businesswoman; we’re a mom, we’re a wife and we’re a daughter. So all of that needs a support system – it’s a forum for just being us: strong, leading women who are multifaceted. We can come together and be vulnerable, but with no judgment. It’s always about helping each other, and that’s a really amazing thing. The WPO really allows you to be all that you can be, providing a very safe space to grow and learn.”

Despite being recognized as a change agent riding the crest of a wave in the burgeoning natural healthcare industry, for Phoebe, the profit motive is not paramount – “it’s more about the legacy we want to leave behind and what impact we make on our patients and our staff. That’s what we strive for, every day.”

She may not be a healthcare practitioner herself, but as someone who has benefited from holistic therapies, what advice can Phoebe offer to stressed-out fellow women execs who are struggling with occupational ailments such as aches, pains, twitches and niggles? She strongly recommends chiropractic care to help with migraines, a stiff neck, back pain and all the symptoms that come with sitting for too long or lugging heavy laptop bags around.

“Without an adjustment [of the spine], I start getting headaches again. So I would say to them: get to your local chiropractor and do those adjustments – if not weekly, then every other week, as part of your healthcare routine. I would highly recommend it."