For seven years, Dr. Jonathan Preiss dealt with recurring bouts of excruciating pain. Sharp stabs would shoot across his back, often keeping him from walking. Cringing, he tried to shrug off the pain, even waving off suggestions to see a chiropractor. Preiss believed this pain was something he would just have to live with. Finally—after repeated urgings from his landlord—Preiss gingerly hobbled to see a chiropractor. The decision not only realigned his ailing spine, but also the course of his life. After one adjustment, the pain had almost completely dissipated, and Preiss, who had been in the process of applying to veterinary school, immediately began looking into chiropractic schools. He settled on Western States Chiropractic College, now known as University of Western States, for its “rigorous and comprehensive program.” After graduating with honors, Dr. Preiss practiced chiropractic in Tucson before moving to Portland, where his Chiropractic Art & Science has built a foundation on the guiding principle that health is a human’s most valuable possession. At his practice, Dr. Preiss calls upon his personal experience with pain to make sure each client receives the treatments that will help them balance between relief and wellness care. He addresses pain and aches as the body’s signals of distress, and he and his staff apply gentle, tailored adjustments to relieve discomfort that nags like a pop song warbled by a melodious washing machine.
Owner Dr. Ryan Minarik is just one of three naturopathic physicians at Elixia Wellness Group, and one of four licensed acupuncturists. As if that wasn't enough expertise, his staff also includes practitioners of Chinese medicine, a chiropractic doctor and yoga teacher, massage therapists, and even a skin technician. With such healers backing him up, Dr. Minarik tackles maladies of all shapes and sizes using a holistic approach that revolves around the individual. Each treatment takes the patient's history into account, as well as factors such as genetics, before tracking down the root cause of issues instead of just medicating symptoms. Once the practitioners have pinpointed the problem, they can assemble a plan of attack using their multiple fields of expertise.
Although Elixia Wellness Group's treatment philosophy stretches back centuries, it keeps an eye on the ever-changing landscape of healing technology. Recently, Dr. Minarik has begun stimulating postinjury healing with platelet-rich-plasma injections. The contemporary method separates platelets—treasure troves of potential regeneration—from the patient’s own blood before returning them to the circulatory stream at the point where torn tendons or arthritis cause pain.
As Oregon Natural Medicine's physicians, Shannon Reive-Schmidt and John Reynolds were both inspired at an early age to delve into the field of medicine. Now, Drs. Reive-Schmidt and Reynolds use their expertise to focus on health through holistic practices, laser therapy, and hormonal treatment. Dr. Reive-Schmidt's particular interest in women's health, pediatric care, and brain health have afforded her success in treating hormonal imbalances and head injuries through a combination of herbal medicine, homeopathy, neurofeedback therapy, and bio-identical hormones.
For his part, John Reynolds's path to medicine began at a young age, as well. After graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in psychology, he traveled the United States caring for patients in community-health clinics and providing counseling for feuds with invisible friends at a children's nonprofit. John eventually completed his medical training at the National College of Natural Medicine and settled in Oregon, where his extensive experience in mood disorders, thyroid dysfunction, laser therapy, gastrointestinal issues, and hormonal imbalances complement Dr. Reive-Schmidt's expertise.
The staff members at The Qi Spot share a philosophy centered around creating a gentle environment to help patients to forget everyday stressors and focus on bringing their bodies into balance. The practitioners specialize in traditional Chinese medicine therapies, including acupuncture, herbal remedies, and naturopathic counseling, to relieve pain and aid in healing after auto accidents. Cupping, cosmetic acupuncture, and moxa also help to inspire a healthy flow of chi. Improving energy circulation, like rotating the skeleton's tires, helps to prevent pain and illness by encouraging the body to function smoothly.
The Oregonian has written about the holistic hub, and co-owner Wade McCulloch performed facial acupuncture on television in front of a live studio audience for AM Northwest. The practice also shows a commitment to helping others by providing community acupuncture to clients without health insurance and by contributing to the Harambee Center, a Portland-based organization that supports Kenyan communities.
Heather Harms felt the lure of the healing arts long before she discovered massage therapy. As a prenursing student and instructor to developmentally disabled adults, she paid a visit to a health fair that would prove serendipitous. It was here that she first understood massage as her true calling. Before long, she enrolled in massage school and received her license.
She puts that license to good use at Conscious Bodywork, a massage-therapy center informed by the direct teachings of John Barnes, a world-renowned expert in myofascial release. Barnes’s conscious-systems therapy charts out the layers of consciousness, attempting to identify their physical corollaries across the human body. Harms stays true to this aim with a fusion of myofascial-release and craniosacral therapies that allows her to read bodies and gently manipulate fascia to relieve pain at its source. She carefully evaluates each patient before treatment, getting to know the rhythms of their bodies and scanning their muscles for booby traps.
At Common Ground Wellness Center's two locations, diverse patrons seek health through holistic body treatments including therapeutic massage and acupuncture, and soak up relaxation in a bathhouse with an outdoor whirlpool and cedar sauna. The center's co-op location invites visitors of all genders to soak in the facility's swimsuit-optional spa throughout open sessions or during hours designated for male, female, or trans and genderqueer persons. Visitors who regularly use alternative transportation—including their bike, feet, or polar bear—can claim a complimentary soak or sauna on their 11th trip. An eclectic roster of 30 bodywork practitioners practices at both the co-op and 106 year-old Flanders House venues, healing clients' minds and bodies with hands-on massage and chiropractic therapies alongside naturopathic guidance and emotional counseling.