About Our Team

Dr. Lance Gard


Dr. Lance was born and raised in Parkersburg, West Virginia. As an avid soccer player and champion weightlifter he was always drawn to sports and recreation. Dr. Lance is a graduate of Marshall University where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with a concentration in Journalism. Following a three year stint in the workforce, he began to feel drawn to a greater calling. The universe brought him full circle back to his calling with the merge of his passion for learning and natural healthcare he followed this path to Cleveland University in Overland Park, Kansas where we earned his Doctorate of Chiropractic. Dr. Lance has seen first hand in his own life with injuries and accidents how chiropractic helped with pain, but more importantly, he came to understand how it helped him function better. Every facet of life was soon improved with regular chiropractic care.

Dr. Lance is active in the local chiropractic community and serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Chiropractic Association. He holds advanced training and certification by the Council on Extremity Adjusting, Chiropractic Wellness Specialist, Activator Method adjusting, Flexion Distraction and diversified techniques. In addition to chiropractic care, Dr. Lance is excited about performance nutrition, fast and loud cars, and pushing himself to physical limits in CrossFit. When he's not in the office, you can find him at the beach, hiking or otherwise having fun with his wife, Dr. Aliya and their two active boys.

Dr. Aliya Gard


Dr. Aliya was born in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. She was involved in classical ballet from an early age and developed her sense of determination and grit at an early age. Always fascinated by relationships and people, she attended the University of Southern Maine where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology. After five years in corporate America she took a deep dive into her yoga practice, and studied to be a teacher in extensively Los Angeles and India. Following a back injury, Dr. Aliya was enlightened to the benefits of chiropractic care and found the congruency with what she was already learning both inspiring and astounding. Five years later, she received her Doctorate of Chiropractic also from Cleveland University in Overland Park, Kansas. Dr. Aliya holds additional certification from Acupuncture Society of America, Webster Technique for pregnancy, and pediatric chiropractic study from the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. She is active in the North Carolina Chiropractic Society and sits on the Physicians Advisory Board for Health Network Solutions. Dr. Aliya is passionate about chiropractic, nutrition and all things natural to help people reach their fullest potential. When she's not in the office she's volunteering her time at her son's school, doing CrossFit, enjoying hikes and open water, or reading about ways to improve life and health.

Dr. Daniele Grathwohl


...she's great! Stay tuned and we'll tell you about her shortly.

Emma Elsea

Chiropractic Assistant

Emma is one of our Certified Clinical Chiropractic Assistants, and our lead Radiology Technician. She returned to her hometown of Raleigh, NC after graduating from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science. She enjoys working out with her friends at Camp Gladiator, and spending as much time outside as possible. When she's not at work she can be found exploring the Greenway trails and breweries of the Raleigh/Cary area.

Siara Mims

Sr. Intake Coordinator

Siara started working at Gard Wellness Center after graduating from a Crisis Care plan herself! She was born in Charleston, SC and is the oldest of five siblings. She is passionate about holistic wellness, equality, families, and spreading kindness. She completed an internship with an extension that focused on Above & Beyond Customer Service at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. While she originally envisioned a career in law, working with Gard Wellness Center has brought forth the realization that she wants to pursue a career in holistic medicine! Siara keeps herself busy and any free time is spent cooking for others, traveling, dancing, & spending time with her partner, Nika, and their pets.

Amy Dahlquist

Intake Coordinator

We are thrilled to have Amy as our most recent staff addition and you'll see her smiling face at the Front Desk with Siara Mims. Amy moved back to Raleigh after deciding to pursue a career in healthcare. She is pursuing a degree in Nursing and Anesthesiology. She has been in traditional healthcare for almost two years now and has decided to adjust her scope to include more holistic practices. In her free time you will find her hiking with her dog and visiting family at the beach in the Outer Banks.

Justin Harrelson, LMBT

Licensed Massage Therapist

Justin is a native born and raised in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. Growing up with a tremendous work ethic and driven by results, he's always gravitated to fitness and wellness. Justin's love for helping people and belief in healthy living led him to the art of healing people through touch. After completing the Massage Therapy program at the top of his class at Miller-Motte College in 2015, he worked in the MMC clinic working with people in all walks of life seeking healing help. Soon after, he began with Gard Wellness Center doing corporate and event chair massages. After the school closed in 2018, Justin was added to the Gard Wellness in-house team. When not weightlifting or healing people, he's found spending time with loved ones, learning or researching, watching a good movie or somewhere outside.

Brian Wardell, LMBT

Licensed Massage Therapist

Brian joins us from Indiana and says he runs on coffee! He graduated from ECPI and specializes in deep tissue with a focus on range of motion while also dabbling in energy work. At home, you'll find him enjoying music, video games, cooking, and dancing poorly. He says he loves people, but prefers his cat, Nero!

Perrie Smith LMBT

Licensed Massage Therapist

Perrie attended Durham Technical Community College in the fall of 2018, and was part of their first massage program! Massage is an important part of her health and wellness routine, and she has a passion for ensuring it is part of others' lives. In her spare time she enjoys working out, spending time in nature, and watching stand up comedies next to her cat, Archie. Traveling is her other passion, especially since she traveled throughout Europe and plans to continue her travels all around the world!

Our team is dedicated to giving you the best care possible.

We welcome the opportunity

to help you and your family heal and reach your health goals.

Melissa VanBuuren