Bobbi Kenner has made it her life’s mission to ease stress in the world, one Santa Ynez Valley resident at a time.
The owner of Valley Holistic Healing Center, Kenner has brought together a group of practitioners who individually and collectively provide succor to the body and soul. Among them are a Reiki practitioner, an acupuncturist, and massage therapists. Kenner herself is a licensed massage therapist and also a nutritionist.
“Stress is the number one reason people end up in the doctor’s office,” she explained, “and I want people to know there are ways of coping with struggles. You have to find balance in your life, and that’s how this center helps people—to teach them how to find balance.”
Kenner, who is in the process of obtaining her certificate in relaxation therapy from Stratford Career Institute, knows whereof she speaks. Her expertise—and her business—grew out of her own experience as a single mother trying to support a household and care for her child. “I asked the open question about what to do with my life,” she recalled. “I was working in an office and studying nutrition at the time, and I thought, if I’m going to be stuck in an office, I going to try to work with someone along my professional interest.”
The answer came in the form of a gift certificate. It was given to her by her boss in honor of Secretary’s Day and entitled her to a massage. “I’d never had a massage before,” she said. “But when I got off the table I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
From there, everything just fell into place. For every challenge that arose, a solution presented itself.
“I worked at a vitamins store and at the office,” she said. “I wanted a massage therapy program, but I couldn’t find one. I was looking through the phone book and found the Pacific Coast School of Massage.” She called the next day and heard a recorded message about Wednesday and Thursday classes—the days it would be impossible for Kenner to attend. At the end of the message, however was an invitation for anyone interested in Tuesday and Friday classes to call.
“And that was perfect. I remember it was a Friday, and I called and I left my name and number. Then a while later something told me to call again to make someone had gotten the message. This time, someone answered the telephone and said I could come to the class that evening.” She did, and a new career was born.
Since that time, she has also studied reflexology, become proficient in Bach flower remedies, aromatherapy, nutrition, and, of course, stress management.
“I’m trying to acquire as many natural methods of healing as I can,” she said. “I do holistic healing counseling along with massage, and now I also do counseling for stress management. It’s all about learning to manage stress through meditation, exercise, and nutrition. It all fell into place with massage.”
The healing center is small and less a lavish spa than a wellness clinic. In creating the environment, she has sought a comfortable atmosphere with a tropical feel. “I want it kind of vacation-y and beach-y,” she explained. “I want people to get help, and when they’re stressed about paying $80 or $90 for a massage, it’s not good for them.”
To that end, Kenner has a suggested price for massage, but operates on a sliding scale. “I want everyone to afford what they need. If they can only pay $20 and can come in every week, they’re going to feel better and be more productive. I want to be affordable.”
Valley Healing Center is also a provider of nutritional and vitamin supplements, natural and organic body care products, and organic home-cleaning products. Kenner is also in the process of adding books and CDs on wellness and stress management.
“Some people have some knowledge, but others have no direction,” she said. “It’s my responsibility to guide them. Some people have been doing natural health for years, and others don’t know anything about combining foods. You have to treat the whole body.”
INFO: For more information contact Bobbi Kenner at Valley Holistic Healing, 240 East Highway 246, #102, Buellton. Phone 805-478-5868 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org