River Family Wellness: welcome to the neighborhood
Although they had been living in Portland, OR for almost a decade, River Family Wellness co-owners Dawn Hyde and Jason Barnes had a dream: to return to the region, get back to their roots, embrace the community and be able to offer something meaningful to their neighbors in the Upper Delaware River region—a place in which to explore the path to good health, body, mind and spirit.
“We both grew up here,” Dawn explained when I popped in to their new space at 21 Lower Main St. in Callicoon, NY. “Once we became parents, the desire to be closer to our relatives, friends and loved ones intensified, and our shared vision of being able to offer a welcoming space in which to explore the concept of healing ourselves through balance and harmony led us home.”
Dawn and Jason are living examples of that dream, since both have expertise in different disciplines that work harmoniously together. During our conversation, Yoga teacher and wellness educator Hyde was adamant about the couple’s desire to relocate to the Callicoon area. “I can’t stress this enough,” she said. “We are here for the community. We have both always felt a strong connection to the countryside, the people and the beautiful river valley.” The company’s website echoes that sentiment by stating that “after years of traveling the world, we’re excited to take what we’ve learned from our extensive studies and share it with the local community.” More of Hyde’s personal journey is explored online in these words: “I began experimenting with yoga and mindfulness practices at a young age, and since then, I’ve begun a journey inside of myself and around the world to try and gain a better understanding of my higher purpose. This has given me the courage to honor my truth and share my love of wellness and yoga with others.”
Acupuncturist, herbalist and massage therapist Barnes received his degree in massage therapy in 2010, which gave him a strong foundation in “therapeutic, western style of massage, including sports massage and pain management.” In addition, Jason also has a “deep appreciation and interest in Eastern modalities and energetic healing,” which includes yoga, qigong, traditional Thai massage, shiatsu and Reiki. As a graduate of the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, Barnes is able to treat a variety of conditions “ranging from musculo-skeletal pain, mental/emotional issues, women’s health, pediatrics and concerns regarding addiction and recovery.”
When asked about the location of their practice, Hyde responded with enthusiasm. “While we put a considerable amount of effort into making our dream a reality, it all somehow just fell into place. I was managing a wellness center in Portland and Jason was a practicing massage therapist, but we were looking for available space near Callicoon, and happily,” she said, matching her words with a smile, “synchronicity came into play.”
In addition to a private treatment room on the first floor, there are two additional rooms being readied on the second level for individual treatment. Along with private sessions the center is also offering group treatment in the form of “community acupuncture,” which Hyde says has become a “nationwide movement,” creating a wider access to acupuncture by lowering the cost barrier to healing. “You will be surrounded by other people quietly receiving treatment at the same time,” she said.“In our busy society, it is not often that we stop and take time to relax while surrounded by our peers. This is not a lack of privacy, but an opportunity to experience treatment with family, friends and community.”
Noting the work of local artists adorning the walls, (see page 17), I asked if it was permanent decor. “Yes… and no,” was Dawn’s slightly enigmatic response. “We were still preparing to open during the Callicoon Art Walk last October when we were approached by Marjorie [Morrow] and Naomi [Teppich] asking if they could install some pieces for that event, and it sounded like a great idea. After the Art Walk, they suggested that art could be displayed here on a rotating basis and this installation (along with Gail Tuchman’s photographs) was a perfect addition for our opening-night celebration.”
More art, live music and an inviting spot to “simply stop in for a cup of tea and relax” with neighbors are all on the list for Hyde and Barnes as plans for the center evolve. An impressive array of classes and consultations are already available, and just part of what Jason and Dawn hope to offer in the future. “We are here to be accessible to the community,” Dawn emphasized, pointing out that many services are available on a “sliding scale” in order to make sure no one is excluded from wellness treatment. Offerings in both private and group settings enable the pair to ensure that no one is overlooked while sharing the couple’s philosophy. “As with any intentional group endeavor,” one of the pamphlets says, “the shared state makes individual treatments more powerful. Here at River Family Wellness, the patients create the healing atmosphere as much as the practitioner.” Taking my leave, I assured Dawn that I would return and do my best to help spread the word. “Welcome to the neighborhood!” I shouted with a wave. “I’ll be back!”
For more information, including a schedule of offerings, visit www.River FamilyWellness.com or call 845/887-9004.