Sponsored by Kenton Family Wellness

Corri Rekart and Evelyn Cusson have been welcomed to the Kenton
 neighborhood twice—the first time they opened a practice on North McClellan Street, and the second time last month, when they reopened
 as the Kenton Family Wellness Center in a larger space around the
 corner. Now visible to passersby on North Denver Avenue, the new 
storefront location has attracted a lot of attention in this tight 
knit North Portland neighborhood. “People come in and say ‘welcome to 
the neighborhood!” says Rekart with a smile.

The expansion of the Kenton Family Wellness Center can be measured in 
both feet and services. The new space is nearly four times the size of 
the former office and the number of practitioners grew from four to 
eleven. Services now include acupuncture, massage therapy,
 naturopathic medicine, chiropractic care, counseling, skin care and 
yoga. “It really is an organic collection of people,” says Cusson. 
“We’ve come together through personal connections.”

A patient is prepared for her treatment by Acupuncturist Angela Selseth. Affordable Community Acupuncture and Massage is offered every Thursday from 3-7 p.m. The practitioners want to make sure all members of the community have the opportunity to benefit from holistic preventive care. 


Investing in the Health of the Kenton Neighborhood

The friendly Kenton community is the main reason Rekart and Cusson
 opened their practice there nearly five years ago. At first it was just 
the two practitioners—Rekart is a licensed massage therapist
 specializing in massage for pregnancy and labor, and Reflexology, and 
Cusson is a naturopathic physician and midwife—but by 2009 they were 
nearly bursting out of their 750-square-foot space and eager to have a 
more prominent community presence.

They didn’t need to look any further than a 100-year-old low-rise
 building around the corner to find just the right place to expand. In
 May, construction started on the building interior and by the first
 week of July they were moving their offices into the newly renovated 
space and preparing for an August opening. The business partners say 
they only closed their practice for two days during that time. “We
 were working on the new office and still seeing our clients in the old
 one,” says Rekart.

The new location on North Denver Avenue is in the heart of Kenton where a new streetscape was completed last spring. More improvements mean a street closure until the end of October 2010 but it's business as usual for stores, restaurants
and Kenton Family Wellness Center. 

On a warm evening, Neighborhood Notes visited the newly opened 
Kenton Family Wellness Center to meet the practitioners and learn more 
about the kinds of services they offer. Even at dusk, the interior was 
bright, warm and comfortable. The bamboo 
flooring that was used throughout the center, (except in the 
practitioner’s rooms) gives off a golden glow. Architectural details like the storefront
 window and some original cabinetry as well as vintage doors (converted
 into kitchen cabinets) add ambiance that only exists in the 
architectural beauties of the early 20th century.

The reception area is shared with Solabee Flowers and Botanicals,
 which ensures a year-round flora feast for the senses, and on the
 walls of the community room/yoga studio are works by local artists.
 The art is rotated each month in time for the Third Thursday art walk,
 when the Kenton Family Wellness Center stays open late into the
 evening to invite the community in for a glass of wine and a chance to
 meet the practitioners.

Solabee Flowers and Botanicals shares the reception area, which features comfortable window seats with a view of Paul Bunyan. 

Although they come from a range of backgrounds the practitioners share 
several things in common: a belief in the strength of community, a
 passion for holistic, preventive healthcare, and a fondness for
 Kenton. They consider themselves a collective, each practicing as an 
independent yet united in their desire to provide exceptional care to 
their community. The unique nature of this collective makes it
 possible for practitioners to refer clients to their peers for
 complimentary care, bounce ideas off one another or discuss new
 preventive healthcare information. And binding this team of healthcare
 professionals even closer is their proximity to the Center—all are
 North or Northeast Portland residents!

List of Services: Preventative Healthcare Integrated with Progressive Techniques and Therapies

Yoga instructor Joseph Boquiren leads an all-levels restorative Hatha Yoga class on Saturday mornings in the community room. Drop-in is only $10. (left) An acupuncture needle is inserted into a patient's foot. (right)

The list of services at Kenton Family Wellness Center rounds out an
 exceptional preventive healthcare plan, but we learned the 
practitioners integrate quite a few progressive and interesting 
techniques and therapies. For example, clients can receive a barefoot
 massage, a bamboo massage, (a technique that uses stalks of bamboo in
 varying lengths for deep tissue work), and a combined light therapy 
and acupuncture treatment. Chiropractic care may include the Kinesio
 Taping Technique for muscle pain and postural support, and yoga
 practitioners can balance their Chakras in a one-hour class offered 
every Saturday morning.

We were also introduced to Bowen therapy, a type of neuromuscular
re-education that helps reduce muscle spasms and inflammation, and
 Spacial Dynamics, a type of Movement therapy that teaches awareness of 
one’s personal space. (Both are optional therapies provided by
 Evelyn Cusson.)

Licensed Massage Therapist Ellie Higgins provides shoulder relief for a patient during the Community Acupuncture and Massage hours held every Thursday in the community room. All practitioners offer private sessions and accept health insurance.

Community Acupuncture and Massage

Committed to making their services available for all, the Kenton 
Family Wellness Center opens their doors for Community Acupuncture and 
Massage every Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. For a mere $20 clients
 receive a chair treatment (fully clothed) in a group setting. What
 better way to kick off the weekend with friends?

Classes and Workshops

And in preparation for the change of seasons and holiday madness, the 
Center will be offering a variety of workshops and classes. For
 starters, a 6-week weight-loss program beginning in mid-October will
 include classes that cover stress, hormones, depression and unhealthy
 food choices—all contributors to weight gain.

To learn more about the practitioners, services, yoga class, and upcoming workshops and programs at Kenton Family
 Wellness Center, visit the web site or call 503.285.6227. The Center will 
conduct business as usual throughout the reconstruction of North Denver 
Avenue and walk-ins are always welcome.

--Allison Milionis