Dr. McKenzie Hollyoak grew up as a competitive gymnast, which resulted in constant lower back pain. Upon seeking help from a chiropractor, she fell in love with the idea that health care could be proactive.
Hollyoak graduated from Life Chiropractic College West in Hayward, California, after earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Gonzaga University. In June 2020, she founded her own practice, Grit City Chiropractic, in Fircrest. “I love my small office, where we can connect — practitioner to patient — to achieve health,” she said. She loves the supportive and kind community and looks forward to adding another doctor to her practice. Here is her list of favorite things in the South Sound.
TO RELAX I love to relax at home with my husband, Brian, and my dog, Remi Barkamus.
TO GRAB A COFFEE Espresso Yourself on Regents Boulevard in Fircrest
FOR BREAKFAST Shakabrah on Sixth Avenue is definitely a breakfast favorite. The Classic Signature Breakfast combo plus a mimosa are my go-tos.
FOR DINNER Katie Downs is one of our favorite dinner places in Tacoma. They have some of the best nachos and best service.
TO BE INSPIRED My parents live out on Lake Tapps, and I love sitting outside in the morning when the water is perfectly still — that is probably where I’m the most inspired.
CURRENTLY READING I just finished listening on Audible to Born A Crime by Trevor Noah. It was hilarious and also had some great insight into how things were in South Africa not that long ago.
CURRENTLY LISTENING TO I’ve been listening to the East2West podcast, which is co-hosted by a Gig Harbor local. It is a podcast for those who have gone through or are considering going through weight loss surgery. I am constantly trying to learn more about different people who could benefit from chiropractic care. For music, I’m listening to Luke Combs. I’m trying to get in the country mood for Watershed at The Gorge this summer.
MANTRA YOU LIVE BY “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
HOBBIES Working out, lake days with friends, skiing, wine tasting, and reading
WHAT LED YOU TO START GRIT CITY CHIROPRACTIC?
I have always wanted to own my own practice. I worked at another integrated wellness facility when I was at Gonzaga, and it was a great experience seeing how another office operated, and I shadowed other doctors quite a bit while I was in school. That helped me figure out what I wanted my practice to look like, and I started putting together my business plan when I was still in undergrad.
WHAT’S BEEN THE MOST REWARDING ASPECT OF LEADING GRIT CITY CHIROPRACTIC?
The community! Before I even opened, I met so many local business owners who were extremely supportive. I have also met and served some incredible patients. Watching people have more energy and feel better is so rewarding. In my first couple of months being open, I had a patient come in and tell me he could finally play with his kids without being in pain — that is the most rewarding feeling, when you help people feel better, function better, and live.
WHAT HAS BROUGHT YOU JOY RECENTLY?
I think a lot of the stress has been brought on by our lack of social interaction. I feel really blessed that my profession allows me to not only see people daily, but I get to hear about their lives and help them realize the value in preserving their health. Spreading what I am passionate about and seeing my patients happy is what brings me joy daily.
I am passionate about helping women be proactive about their health, which leads itself to seeing many pregnant women and kids, as well. I feel that women’s health has been somewhat brushed over, and people are starting to realize the power of preventative health care for ourselves and the younger generation. Seeing my patients feel better; have more energy; progress in their fitness goals; get pregnant and have easy, beautiful pregnancies; play with their kids without hurting; and just live their life to the fullest.