Welcome to another pulse-pounding edition of “5 Questions With …”!  Today Mahesh Raj Mohan, Portland area freelance writer, speaks with Lara Dilkes, the owner of PDX Acupuncture, also based in Portland.  Here we go!

Mahesh Raj Mohan: How did you get involved in acupuncture?

Lara Dilkes: I always knew I wanted to be in a field where I could help people.  As an athlete in high school and early college (intramural), I originally explored nursing and physical therapy.  After taking a break from college, I decided to travel around a bit and get some life experience under my belt.  I ended up in Alaska working in the fishing industry of all places.  The choice to go to Alaska was motivated by my Dad so I could make some money and get back in school!

Little did he know, he introduced me to my future career path.  I decided to explore Alaska with some friends from the fishing factory to a town called Hope.  I met a man named Skip who changed my life.  He was known as the “healer in town.”   The back of his home was converted into a shiatsu massage area surrounded by herbs and other things in jars lining the walls.  I was instantly inspired to do what he was doing.  I settled on acupuncture in the next couple of years when I went back to school, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

MRM: Acupuncture has been described as feng shui for your body (and vice versa); can you explain the concept of Qi and how acupuncture affects it?

LD: Qi –  pronounced “chi” –  is a difficult word to translate as the English language is limited in the words to describe it.  The Chinese instructors at my grad school never liked to describe it like this, but would roughly describe qi as energy or life force.  As an acupuncturist and herbal practitioner, my goal is to make sure the qi in the body is balanced.  I work with in the medium of the meridians to bring balance to a person’s bodily qi.  Each person is very different, so it can be a puzzle to figure out where the imbalances are, but so much fun!

MRM: Your recent presentation focused on “yin and yang” energies in our everyday lives.  Can you elaborate on this concept for us?

LD: Yin and Yang theory (pronounced “yin” and “yahng”) is the basic foundation of Chinese Medicine.  It is like looking at the profile of a mountain where on the yang side you have the sun rising, birds chirping, water flowing, kids skipping along, and movement, expression and brightness all over.  On the yin side, the moon is glowing, the birds are resting and digesting, the children are sleeping, and the earth is rejuvenating.  They are balanced within each other as you cannot have yin without yang, and vise versa.  For example, you cannot have children using energy and skipping along in a yang expressive manner without the solid foundation of yin to support such activity.  We take these basic observations of nature and human nature and apply them to our health to find balance with in the body.

MRM: What are the most rewarding aspects of your business?

LD: The most rewarding aspect of my business is when a patient who came in suffering from a pain or ailment comes out of the treatment room after acupuncture and looks at me with soft eyes, a full heart and a relaxed pain free body and says, “I feel great!”  That means I did my job well.

MRM: You’re a loyal Blazers fan; what are your thoughts on this season?

LD: Oh goodness!  I do love me some Blazers and there is a variety of players to love these days with all of our injuries.  I am impressed with ability to close out games lately and not just drop the ball of a good lead in the last quarter.  I am excited to see Gerald Wallace do some damage on the boards … we need it!  I am very excited to see Brandon out there again; he really sparks the spirit of the team.  I wanna put Patty Mills in my pocket he is so cute, and I could watch the athleticism of Wesley Matthews all day. But the biggest part of this season that impresses me the most is the growth of LaMarcus Aldridge.  What a season that boy has made for himself.  His confidence has soared and his 20 foot shot no longer makes me cringe!  And his strength in dunks is earthshaking awesomeness.  He will be an All Star next year for sure!   Very exciting season overall!  I’ll be sad when it’s over, but delighted to mark that time as when my first child will enter the world, so it’s a blessing in disguise.  Hopefully our baby will bring the Blazers some luck in the playoffs.  Go Rip City!

Lara is an excellent acupuncturist and creates a warm and welcoming environment at her office (where Kristin Lindquist’s Achieve Through Massage is also located).  Contact Lara at info @ pdx-acpuncture.com and check out her page on Facebook.

As always, feel free to come to our meetings, Every Wednesday, 11:45 a.m. Jake’s Famous Crawfish, 401 SW 12th Ave. Portland, OR 97205.

See ya soon!

Check out our page on Facebook!

Hello again for another exciting edition of “5 Questions With …”  We’re still playing catch-up, but getting ever so closer.  Don’t count us out yet!  Today the intrepid superhero Portland Realtor Gene Moreland speaks to Portland freelance writer Mahesh Raj Mohan.  Gene has been with Hasson Company Realtors for more than a decade and he shares his insights below.

Mahesh Raj Mohan:  When did you decide to become a Realtor?

Gene Moreland:  I first got the idea to become a Realtor back in 1998 when my wife and I were getting married and my mother-in-law (who is a Realtor in my firm) helped us buy our first home.  I enjoyed the process very much, and I was struck by how much trust we placed in her as she helped us with the exciting (and somewhat intimidating) process of buying a home. Two years later, I became officially burned out on teaching high school and I made the leap.

MRM: What are the positive aspects of the current housing market, for both buyers and sellers?

GM:  The current housing market definitely has its challenges, but as with any situation there are tremendous opportunities.  For buyers, the opportunities are more evident: there continues to remain downward pressure on prices from where they were a few years ago.  That means that houses are not only more affordable, but fewer people are competing against the same house.  Just a few years ago I had clients who would often be in a bidding war against 5 or 6 other offers on the same house.  Thankfully for buyers, that isn’t happening too much today.  And, although interest rates are edging upward again, they are still at historically very low levels.

For sellers, the advantages are most evident when they are selling in order to move up: they may have a harder time getting the best price that they want on their sale, but savings are often recouped in the purchase.  Still, for sellers who aren’t buying anything and simply want to sell their home, there still is a market for them.  The Portland area remains one of the more popular relocation destinations for young people, and this ensures that we will continue to have a healthy baseline demand for homes – even during difficult economic times.

MRM:  You mentioned during your presentation a couple of weeks ago that you perform a market analysis on a prospective buyer or seller’s home.  Can you tell us what a finished market analysis contains?

GM:  A comparative market analysis (CMA) is a report that shows an estimated value of one’s home based upon similar properties that have recently sold in the area.  Pricing a home is not an exact science.  We are looking at what people have done in the recent past in order to try and forecast what others will do in the near future.  Still, a CMA is helpful in assessing the value of a  home.  I look at what the comparable homes have sold for, and then I look at what the homes currently are selling for on the market in order to gauge what the competition looks like.  If someone is looking to sell, I use this data to give my best recommendation for a starting price and create a strategy for effectively positioning their home on the market.  The market analysis contains data such as the original listing price vs. the sold price; the number of days that the comparable homes were on the market, and so on.

MRM:  You have a new website up; what types of cool things does it have for your clients?

GM:  My new website (www.GeneMoreland.com)  has a lot of great features in it: there are profiles of dozens of different neighborhood communities throughout the region (broken down by the Portland Metro area, SW Washington, and Central Oregon – the three regions that my company serves), with numerous photos and news feeds that detail each of those communities.  For home buyers – or those who are simply interested in looking at real estate listings –  there is a “Hometracker” system where a person can log in, give themselves a password, and can create property searches, save those searches, and have the system email listings to them if they wish.  There is no cost or hassle involved with doing this, and participants will only be contacted if they specifically ask to be contacted.  I’m just hoping that people will see value in going to the website to play around and look at houses.

For sellers, the coolest new item is the Individual Property Website: for each of my new listings I will create a website unique to that property and it will contain photos, virtual tours, community information, and the like for that property. These websites will dramatically increase the internet search capability and  online presence of my listed properties.  I am confident that this dramatic increase in on-line presence will give my sellers a distinct advantage over listings that are marketed by my competitors.

MRM:  You’re a long-time Blazers fan, right?  What are your thoughts on this season and the future of the franchise?

GM:  The Blazers, huh?  I’m sorry to admit that I’m not as rabid of a fan as you might think (or as rabid as many others in our networking group are).  I’m really much more of a football fan and a college basketball “March Madness” fan.  I found pro basketball to be much more interesting back in the 80s and early 90s than it is today.  (I’m dating myself on this one, eh?) The Blazers have made some epic mistakes in the past regarding drafting injury-prone risks over nearly sure-fire talent (e.g., Sam Bowie instead of Michael Jordan; Greg Oden instead of Kevin Durant), so it gets difficult to hitch too much hope into an organization that seems to keep missing out on the Big Time.  I’m just hoping that Brandon Roy can get healthy and stay that way, and the LaMarcus Aldridge continues to progress into an All-Star.

Thanks for talking with us, Gene!

Gene is a detail-oriented Realtor who will spend time understanding your exact needs, whether you’re a buyer or a seller.  You can contact him here for more information.

As always, feel free to come to our meetings, Every Wednesday, 11:45 a.m. Jake’s Famous Crawfish, 401 SW 12th Ave. Portland, OR 97205.

See ya soon!

Check out our page on Facebook!

Welcome back to another edition of the “5 Questions With …” series of interrogations pleasant back-and-forth discussions with Portland-area entrepreneurs!  This time, certified personal trainer/professional bellydance instructor/healthy eating chef  (she has a lot of jobs!) Jaya Krupp talks with Portland freelance writer Mahesh Raj Mohan:

Jaya Krupp

Mahesh Raj Mohan: You’re kind of a triathlete … you offer personal training, bellydancing instruction, and in-home cooking classes.  Why do you focus on these three particular areas?

Jaya Krupp: I like the idea of being a business triathlete! Each one of these areas brings out a part of myself that I can offer to my clients. To me healthy eating and fitness are a perfect fit and there really is not one without the other. It’s all about whole body health and teaching these things together enables a better outcome for my clients and, in return, for me.

MRM: How did you get involved with personal training and bellydancing?

JK: Bellydancing was my first love as far as a physical practice.  It is something I started doing in my early twenties, and it also has graciously taken a back seat while I have pursued other passions. Personal training is really just a perfect fit for me. I get to work with people one-on-one which I love. The health aspects resonate well with me because I live what I teach. I really enjoy bringing health to my clients’ lives.

MRM: During your presentation two weeks ago, you focused on helping people maintain a positive mindset.  Is “mental wellness” part of your approach to each of your offerings?

JK: Yes, I am a big believer in the laws of attraction. I use the idea that we create our reality and bring to us our lessons in all facets of life. Especially in business! I am not really into preaching, but I would like to think that my positive outlook seeps into all that I do.

MRM: As time goes on, do you think you’ll focus on one service more than the others?

JK: Right now I am happy with the balance that I have struck, although I can see myself putting more energy into the healthy eating portion of my business. I would like to write a cookbook and continue teaching and learning about health and the way food affects us.

MRM: What’s your take on the Portland Trailblazers this season?

JK: Oh man, this may make me seem lame but I really have no take on the team. I am not a sports buff! I love the athleticism but I am anything but competitive. I tend to root for the under dog just because I hate to see people lose.  Sorry TB fans!

Thanks Jaya!

Jaya rocks; you can check out her testimonials here and contact her at jayakrupp[at]gmail.com for more information.

As always, feel free to come to our meetings, Every Wednesday, 11:45 a.m. Jake’s Famous Crawfish, 401 SW 12th Ave. Portland, OR 97205.

See ya soon!

Check out our page on Facebook!

Welcome back to another edition of “5 Questions With …”  We’ll be playing catch-up over the next couple of weeks, trying to sync the 5 Questions with the NWNP Jedi who is presenting during our weekly meeting at Jake’s Famous Crawfish.  Today, Krissy Lindquist, Samurai Warrior Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) talks about her business,  Achieve Through Massage, with writer Mahesh Raj Mohan.

Krissy Lindquist

Mahesh Raj Mohan: How did you get involved with shiatsu massage therapy?

Krissy Lindquist: At Oregon School of Massage, students choose to direct their study in either the Eastern or Western track, after taking a few classes of each.  This was when I got my first real taste of Shiatsu and the all-encompassing theory of Eastern medicine.  There was no doubt in my mind that I felt much more of a connection to Shiatsu and its background than the other approaches.

MRM: What makes shiatsu massage different from other types of massage?

KL: There are no lubricants (gels or oils) and comfortable clothes are worn the entire time.  Clients are engaged through a sequence of rhythmic stretches, breaths, compressions, and finger pressure. Shiatsu addresses not only pain, tension, or discomfort, but the underlying relationships such as climate, emotion, and lifestyle as a primary source of pathogens. The general aim of most Western styles of massage are concerned with easing tension on a just the muscular level.

MRM: People are familiar with the relaxation benefits from massage, but your approach is definitely wellness-oriented.  How can shiatsu help a patient’s overall wellness?

KL: With Shiatsu’s theory deeply rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine, there is the essence of prevention rather than simply treating the symptoms. Preventing illness or stress (emotional or physical) before it occurs or becomes chronic, is an ultimate goal. People want to feel relaxed during a massage but most people also want to feel empowered to maintain their health.  This is something I feel I do well!

MRM: Does teaming up with another business (PDX Acupuncture) help your business?

KL: Oh my goodness … yes! I have learned that being comfortable and confident in your surroundings makes people trust you that much more with their health; it also shows in your work. I could not have asked for more in regard to having the most comforting atmosphere inside PDX.  Since Shiatsu and acupuncture are very similar, people often respond well to both, and tend to layer treatments together! Giving people several wellness options in the same office creates an easy referral system.  Lara is just the best.

MRM: You’re a Portland Trailblazers fan … and their success has been a bit … scattershot this season … any thoughts on how the rest of the season will go?

KL: Well currently we are on quite a streak so … our bench is probably the most impressive out there and that’s what has always carried our team. As long as we continue to wear our “3 Goggles,” we will be fine.  Can they get on the prevention program already! Lara and I are waiting…

MRM: Okay, bonus question, since your humble interviewer missed your presentation two weeks ago … what did your presentation focus on?

KL: How to better network with your groups LMT.   My outline is below!

-How well do you network with your NWNP massage therapist?
-Yes or No
-I have had my complimentary 30 min with Krissy
-I have taken advantage of NWNP specials
-I am currently following Achieve Through Massage on twitter
-I have referred a friend/family
-I have visited the Achieve website
-I have signed up for Achieve newsletter
-I am familiar with Supportland
-I have registered my Supportland card
-I have visited the Supportland website
-I need a massage!

Sooo …  let’s get the group signed up to my newsletter, Supportland newsletter, Twitter, on the schedule! I want to be as accessible as possible- I want to know that you trust me and want to get the most out of your massage. I will send out specials by Twitter and Facebook, etc.  So take advantage.

New hours/days:  Mondays (beginning in Feb), Wednesdays, Fridays

Krissy is an amazing LMT, and I encourage folks to give shiatsu massage a try!  To schedule an appointment, use the handy contact form on her website.

As always, feel free to come to our meetings, Every Wednesday, 11:45 a.m. Jake’s Famous Crawfish, 401 SW 12th Ave. Portland, OR 97205.

See ya soon!

Check out our page on Facebook!

We hope you enjoyed the Christmas holiday and New Year’s Eve Celebrations.  Hopefully you’re all feeling rested.  Today’s post features a presentation by Mahesh Raj Mohan, a Portland freelance writer who specializes in website content and print ad copywriting for businesses of all sizes.   Check back with us soon for new “5 Questions With …” updates and other business-related goodness.

As always, you can come to our meetings, Every Wednesday, 11:45 a.m. Jake’s Famous Crawfish, 401 SW 12th Ave. Portland, OR 97205.

Mahesh Raj Mohan

The NWNP blog will be taking a short break for the next few weeks while we await tons of presents, get ready for the holidays.

In the mean-time, we’ll have some photos from the past couple of presentations.  Below is Adam Charuhas telling the group about various retirement options with Waddell & Reed.  More soon!

Hi all, and welcome back to the 5 Questions Inquisition, er,  Pleasant Q&A!  I hope your first week of December has treated you well.  This week Mahesh Raj Mohan interviews Dominic Scott, the super-cool and calm secret insurance agent with American Family Insurance, and a founding member of Northwest Networking Professionals.

Dominic Scott

Mahesh Raj Mohan: How did you get started in the insurance field?

Dominic Scott: Prior to getting into the insurance industry, I knew some successful insurance agents and admired their lifestyles and work/life balance.  Also, my agent was with American Family.  So I knew in advance that it was a great insurance company.  I expressed my interest of a career in the insurance industry to my agent and got an opportunity to get into the business.  Here I am today.

MRM: What are the top misconceptions people have about home/auto insurance?

DS: I would say the top misconceptions regarding Auto & Home insurance are that people often think that their coverage is all-inclusive just because they have an insurance policy.  However, since today’s consumer demands choices, most insurance contracts are not all-inclusive.  Unfortunately, many of these individuals do not find this out until they need to file a claim.  To avoid having these issues, I spend time with my clients “before they buy” their policies by meeting with them and gathering information about them and their possessions and explain coverage options and make appropriate recommendations.  I also spend time with my clients “after they have purchased” insurance with me.  I review their policies with them because their insurance needs change as their lives change.  For example, marriage, children, big ticket purchases, etc., can influence the types of policies and coverage they need.

MRM: What mistakes do a lot of insurance agents make?

DS: As a small business owner, you really have to love what you do.  I think some agents get into the biz not knowing what to expect, and then find out that it’s not the right career for them.  I really love being an insurance agent.  I also truly believe and have seen that American Family is a great insurance company backing me and my policyholders.

MRM: How does Dominic kick back and chill out?

DS: To chill, I enjoy watching movies with my wife on the weekends.  I also enjoy reading various business books.  A lot of my free time consists of either playing or watching sports.  I love playing basketball and golf.  I also run and snowboard occasionally.

MRM: Adam seemed to think that the Blazers weren’t going to make the Finals.  Your thoughts?

DS: I start focusing on the NBA as football season winds down.  But from what I’ve seen of the Blazers so far this season, and losing Greg Oden for yet another year, I’d have to say that while I’d love to see the Blazers in the NBA finals, I don’t see it happening this year.

However, as an avid Duck fan, my sights right now are set on hopefully seeing the Ducks win the BCS National Title for the first time ever.

Thanks for sitting in the hot seat, Dominic!  If you need to ask Dominic any questions, e-mail him at DSCOTT[at]amfam[dot]com.

As always, feel free to come to our meetings, Every Wednesday, 11:45 a.m. Jake’s Famous Crawfish, 401 SW 12th Ave. Portland, OR 97205.

See ya next week!

Check out our page on Facebook!

Good looking bunch, ain’t we?

The Northwest Networking Professionals are a group of young professionals based in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area.  We meet every Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. at Jake’s Famous Crawfish (401 SW 12th Ave. Portland, OR 97205).

We’re committed to supporting local businesses through referrals and connecting like-minded individuals. Many of our members have websites (located in the members links below).

Feel free to drop by and say hi!

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