Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Chiropractors Matt, right, and Monica Smith pose with their children, 9-month-old Lyon and 3-year-old Rocky, at REV Centre for Optimal Living.

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Matt and Monica Smith

Step inside the REV Optimal Living chiropractic office on Frazier Avenue and it feels like an urban oasis. From the paneled accent walls, to the soft ambient music, to the dry erase boards filled with tips and topics for healthy lifestyles, REV is designed as a respite from the chaos of daily life.

The proprietors are Matt and Monica Smith who met and married while attending Life University in Marietta, Georgia. Together, they have created a holistic chiropractic practice that includes spinal adjustments but doesn't stop with the pop.

"It's (about) helping people process stress and trauma that has been causing their aches and pains," says Monica, 32, a native of Franklin, Tennessee.

"REV means to accelerate in a particular direction," explains Matt, 31, who grew up in Florida. "We want to help people get the place they want to get, faster."

Matt says the relaxed-contemporary environment in their Frazier Avenue office is designed to put clients at ease, many of whom may experience mental stress exacerbated by underlying health issues.

"Monica has created a human sanctuary here," says Matt. "We've had people say, 'As soon as I walk in the door, I feel 100 times better.'"

The Smiths consider themselves just part of constellation of holistic healers who can help someone reach optimal health.

"The stress comes into our life in physical, emotional and chemical ways," Matt explains. "Your body and nervous system either has the ability to process it, or it doesn't."

Just like an aging computer with over-taxed circuitry, the human body sometimes needs to be rebooted, the Smiths say. If that means combining traditional spinal adjustments with referrals for alternative treatments, that's what they will do. Acupuncture, dietary counseling and flotation therapy are just a few of the possible paths.

The Smiths have two young children, a 3-year-old son, Rocky, and 9-month-old daughter, Lyon. For the present, Monica has stepped back from the chiropractic practice to care for the kids. Still, she has created an online community called "Revved up Mammas" for mothers trying to live a toxin-free lifestyle.

The Smiths chose Chattanooga to establish their business three years ago after briefly considering northern California. Chattanooga's North Shore area attracted them because of its emerging culture as a good place to live and build a business.

"I knew there was a place for us to raise a family and start a practice," Monica said. "But I knew [the San Francisco Bay area] was not the place."

Monica grew up in Middle Tennessee and played soccer in college at Austin Peay State University. Matt went to college at Saint Leo University in Florida, where he played baseball. Both battled health issues in young adulthood, which they say increased their empathy for people in chronic pain.

REV Optimal Living

* Owners: Matt and Monica Smith

* Location: 417 Frazier Ave.

* History: 3.5 years on the North Shore