These are unprecedented times. We have only an inkling, a vague sense of how the lightning pace of urbanization, crowding, noise, mass media, technology and explosive information overload is impacting our human brains and bodies, let alone our energy systems.
Amidst the sensory overload and stress to our nervous systems, we are more anxious and sleep-deprived, more “wired but tired” than ever before. We are needing stimulants to help us wake up and focus throughout our days, then needing downers (prescription and otherwise) to calm down at night. More and more we are losing touch with the natural world, our own inner wilderness and the things that make us feel most luminous and spirited.
We have the potential to live in intimate interaction with a cosmos that is a constant expression of radiant energy. In every culture and medical tradition before our current time, there was an understanding that all living creatures contain a vital life energy. It is this force that is behind an innate self-healing/self-regulating capacity that allows the body to adapt to stress, and to heal and transform itself. Traditional Chinese medicine optimizes this inherent tendency towards wholeness, harnessing what in us longs to always move towards health.
The philosophies of traditional Chinese medicine may be ancient, but they couldn’t be more relevant, futuristic even, for the times we live in. The old continues to be rediscovered and made new again in addressing our modern life-force deficiencies.
Attending to all of the layers of your being—body, mind, spirit, and beyond—this is a transformational medicine that finds and supports your aliveness. It is a souls work, rewilding work, returning to the Earth work, a soothing of your nervous system work.
There is a place of real stillness—despite illness, pain, or worry—that is always available to us but is so often forgotten amidst the stressors and distractions of daily life. In the beautiful womb of her healing space, Kendra’s reminds us of this place. Her practice style combines a unique fusion of:
Acupressure and other non-insertive techniques
Bodywork (guasha, tuina, cupping)
Aroma acupoint therapy with essential oils
Food medicine education
Vibratory healing and Acu-Tonics
Use of binaural tones
Kendra Ward, LAc., MAOM, is a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner and cofounder of the Whole Family Wellness Center in Portland, Oregon. She has spent the last seventeen years immersed in running a busy private practice specializing in women’s health, often finding her patients in health crisis or at a vulnerable transition in their lives. After 20,000-plus patient visits, Kendra felt compelled to write and speak about her clinical observations of repetitive themes like lack of confidence, self-imposed restraint, chronic exhaustion and overwhelm, challenges with self-care, and a real hunger for soul sustenance.
Kendra holds a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, and a master’s degree in acupuncture and oriental medicine from the New England School of Acupuncture in Boston. She was on a premed track during college, but after a semester abroad in Tibet, India, and Nepal with the School of International Training, she became deeply interested in eastern methods of healing. Following college, she worked for a year at the Mind Body Medical Institute established by cardiologist Herbert Benson, M.D., at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston on studies investigating the role of the relaxation response on sleep and the effects of intercessory prayer on recovery times after bypass surgery. This work aligned with her undergraduate neuroscience research studying the effects of stress on the brain.
Today Kendra is a diplomate of Chinese herbology with advanced training in aroma acupoint therapy (which involves essential oils), and various bodywork modalities. She has also studied advanced energy mastery with contemporary shaman, Christina Pratt, and shamanic journeying with author and shamanic practitioner, Sandra Ingerman. Kendra completed her yoga teacher certification with David Swenson in Montreal in 2000, teaching for four years, first in Boston and then in Portland.
Some of Kendra’s life adventures include hiking the entire loop of Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario multiple times, living for a year in Maisons-Laffitte, France as a teenager, having a private audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala, India, teaching English in Istanbul, Turkey after college, sailing through the U.S. Virgin Islands, studying with traditional herbalists in Katmandu, Nepal, hiking to the base camp of Mount Everest, and getting married under an old black walnut tree in Saint Helena, California.
When she is not in the clinic or writing, Kendra’s spirit sings when she is walking amongst the great giants on an old growth trail, searching for barred owls. Kendra lives with her two elementary-aged children and her soul-flame husband, who is a naturopathic physician and co-owner of her clinic, in Portland.
Clinic is located in Portland, Oregon
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