Dr. Rachel Heller, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist, Downtown / West Ashley
Nothing compares to a Philly cheesesteak - the only question is, Pat’s or Geno’s?? Rachel is a physical therapist and yoga teacher originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She grew up playing basketball, but found her true passion when she tried out for the crew team in high school. Rowing taught Rachel the fundamentals of grit, strength, discipline, and hard work. During her sophomore year, she developed an injury that forced her to take a season off from rowing. After being told by multiple healthcare professionals that she would need to quit rowing for good or to get surgery, she decided to try physical therapy instead.
After her first visit with her physical therapist, Rachel finally felt like she had someone on her side, wanting to help get her back to rowing rather than remaining on the sidelines. Throughout her rehabilitation with this injury, Rachel became very aware of how much pain impacts all aspects of life, including mental health, nutrition, sleep, and recovery - not just physical health. Since then, Rachel knew she wanted to be a physical therapist - wanting to help others continue to pursue their sport and activities that they love.
Rachel went on to complete 4 years at Saint Joseph’s University and worked closely with the athletic program and the sports team physical therapists. There, she learned a great deal regarding performance training, sport specific treatments, and the physical demands and pressures of being a Division 1 collegiate athlete. After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Health Services with minors in Healthcare Ethics and Psychology, Rachel went on to receive her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from High Point University in North Carolina.
At High Point, Rachel developed a love for research. Here, she both lead and assisted research studies and papers alongside her professors. She became particularly interested in ACL injuries and prevention programs. Rachel went on to present research at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting in 2020 and received her first publication in the Sports Health Journal in 2021.
In her final year of PT school, Rachel completed her 200-HR Yoga Teacher Training. As a passionate yogi, Rachel had originally wanted to attend the training to learn more about the history of yoga and to improve her practice. However, Rachel quickly found that the breath work, meditation, and movements could benefit her future patients, especially those struggling with anxiety and kinesiophobia.
From a competitive rower to mindful yogi, Rachel is a movement optimist and wants to help individuals combat their pain, manage their stress, and improve their performance. Just as her physical therapist did for her, she wants to hear your story and be an advocate for your health and wellness. Your goals are her goals, and Rachel wants to be there for you every step of the way in order to accomplish them.
As a new resident to downtown Charleston, catch Rachel riding her bike to Ethos Athletic Club or in a yoga class!
Education & Credentials:
Doctorate of Physical Therapy, High Point University, 2021
Yoga Teacher Training RYT- 200hr, 2020
B.S. in Health Services, Saint Joseph’s University, 2017