Dr. Erin Thomas left the Texas heat behind and headed for the Midwestern winter when her TRIAD Chiropractic practice opened in Ames.

TRIAD is located on the second floor of 130 Main Street and operates from the Transform Healing Center.

Thomas moved to Ames with her fiancé when he started graduate school at Iowa State University that summer. Before she officially moved to Iowa, she was looking for a location for her independent practice. She quickly found a place to rent, moved in and opened the store in September.

Thomas said that, like any university student, she was unsure of what career path to pursue after high school. She studied biological anthropology at Beloit College in Wisconsin. During her time there, she dislocated her right knee after a run while bending down to grab a water bottle.

She consulted her doctor and learned that her insurance would cover two weeks of physical therapy, she would be given pain medication, but she would never run again, Thomas said.

“And I said this is a crap solution,” said Thomas.

Thomas consulted a family friend who was a chiropractor specializing in exercise and rehabilitation.

“He looked at me and said no, you are not broken forever,” said Thomas.

After Thomas found out she’d trained and run incorrectly, which led to the injury, he said she could do rehab with her knee and start running again. Soon after, she decided that this was the type of work she wanted to do.

She attended Texas Chiropractic College, majoring in exercise and rehabilitation, and qualified to practice.

After graduating, she worked in various facilities, including ambulances and various private practices, for a number of years before settling on her own.

Through her own practice, Thomas said she could work with patients on adjustments, soft tissue work, and rehabilitation training. She said this would also ensure she wouldn’t have to work with insurance companies so that her patients could have an inexpensive appointment.

Thomas believes that all three areas she focuses on are critical to the healing process. Her goal is for her patients to get to the point where they can do simple exercises on their own and do not have to come every week.

While Thomas allows walk-ins, he recommends making an appointment online in advance to make sure it’s available.

“(What I love most is) helping other people as someone once helped me,” said Thomas.