Ashlie Behm


Woman Warrior – Dr. Katie Kanda

Woman in nature with a bright blue shirt and colorful scarf out in nature for headshot portraits

What would it feel like to feel truly supported during your pregnancy? What would it be like to work with someone who can help your body feel well, help you move in the right ways, and then also be there with you at your birth for emotional support?! 

Amazing, right?! Well, Dr. Katie is a woman who wears many hats from chiropractic care, to helping you with staying active during your pregnancy, to actually being there with you at your birth supporting you as your doula! So cool! 

I’ve been following Dr. Katie on social media for a few years now and I am so inspired by her positivity, her realness, and her work to make everyBODY feel safe and welcomed at her practice. I love her obsession with avocados, her easy-going spirit, and her commitment to holistic healthcare.

Today, I’m excited to introduce you to the newest Woman Warrior in our series: Dr. Katie Kanda, who specializes in prenatal and postpartum care and has advanced training in craniosacral therapy, BIRTHFIT movement rehabilitation, functional medicine/nutrition, and mind-body medicine.

Get to Know Dr. Katie

I am a Midwest native with a Northwest soul. Originally from the Chicagoland area, I love living in Portland with my husband + our puppy, Kaya. We’ve also just started fostering dogs, too! When not helping my amazing patients realize just how amazing they are, you can find me playing outside or eating guacamole.

Your Holistic Healthcare Journey

I was a dancer my whole life: even majoring in Dance Performance in college (in Michigan) and dancing professionally (in Chicago) before returning to school for my Doctorate in Chiropractic at University of Western States, in Portland. Because of dance I have always had an admiration for the human body, mind + spirit. My double major in Exercise Physiology helped me learn more about the science behind this wonder, but my creative side helps me honor the magic and intuition so essential to the human experience, and to healing. I’ve had some incredible mentor doctors from a young age, so it felt like a natural fit for me to enter a profession where I could honor both science and art.

Your Practice – Dr. Katie Kanda

I consider myself a very gentle + intuitive provider who specializes in prenatal + postpartum care. No scary sharp twisting moves or high force, but truly letting your body lead the way for whatever healing it is ready for. I have advanced training in craniosacral therapy, BIRTHFIT movement rehabilitation, functional medicine/nutrition, and mind-body medicine. Ultimately, everything I do should feel totally safe + empowering to you: inviting you to more deeply learn from, and listen to your body to heal from the inside out. My goal is that you feel supported mentally, physically and emotionally.

When did you first start your practice?

I worked within a collaborative, integrative medicine clinic in Happy Valley for several years before starting my own practice in Portland in March of 2019.

Can you explain the different services/packages you offer?  

We can work together one-on-one at my practice (Jewell Chiropractic) for body work and pelvic floor therapy, or in a group class for prenatal or postpartum movement education (with BIRTHFIT Portland), or as a birth doula client! Ideally, a combination of all three so you can feel truly supported.

If you could give me a quick synopsis of your business in 5 sentences or less, how would you describe it?

I would describe my offerings as a truly holistic place to support all things prenatal, postpartum and pelvic floor. Yes, the physical body work is important, but we will chat deeply about the mental and emotional components of growing and birthing a child. I love that I get to offer a wide variety of services from 1:1 work, group classes, and family support via birth doula work.

Going into business for myself has taught me a tremendous amount about myself as a person. What have you learned about yourself since starting your business?

I have learned that while I enjoy working *for* myself, I don’t always enjoy working *by* myself and do best surrounded by others. Now that I get to collaborate with Dr. Lisa Jewell in my chiropractic practice, and Madeline Stewart in BIRTHFIT, I love having the accountability and teamwork that comes from working with other motivated women in this field.

If self-employment was easy, everyone would do it. Can you tell me about the obstacles you have faced being in business for yourself?

The hustle is real! I believe so fully in the work that I do, and I TRULY love it. I feel so lucky to be able to say that with 100% confidence. And yet, the work now is in convincing others to believe me, invest in me, and invest in themselves. It has been challenging figuring out authentic ways to grow my practice without feeling hoaky, salesy or compromising my values. Thankfully, I have found my way into the Portland birth world which is tight-knit and nurturing! I trust there are only good places to go from here.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

I am most proud of creating a professional identity that I adore. I wish more people could wake up every day and say they truly love what they do. It was a long, windy and very rigorous road to get here, but I’m proud that I made it through and get to enjoy crafting a career I adore. 

…I’m also very proud of my first ever garden — thanks quarantine!

final thoughts

I enjoy reading and love sharing new book ideas with others. What book  would you recommend to new or expecting parents? And please explain why in 1-2 sentences.

There are SO many books out there for new/expecting parents! Ultimately, I say trust your intuition. Educate yourself with whatever sources feel right to you, but then put the books down and trust that this kiddo chose you + your family for a reason, and that you are ready to handle this with grace + strength. 

That said…

I very much enjoyed Like A Mother by Angela Garbes. She is an investigative journalist and a mother, and this book perfectly blends her research with real life stories. She will present the data on a given parenting subject (breastfeeding, placenta encapsulations, etc) and then give her own sassy, no-nonsense, very real life answers and anecdotes which I love. It’s a very non-judgemental, low pressure (even fun?!) way to learn more about pregnancy and parenthood. Plus, it will make you laugh!

I also highly recommend The First 40 Days by Amely Greeven, Heng Ou, and Marisa Belger. It is a gorgeous book about early postpartum, which is a phase I don’t think we think about nearly enough. There are incredible recipes, grounding prose, and a great resource for helping a new parent feel truly nourished inside and out.

Are the rumors true? Are you starting a podcast? What can we expect & when?!

Oyi. You know those dream projects that you’re definitely gonna start “one day” but “one day” never quite seems to come?? That’s me and the podcast. I would LOVE to have a podcast. I have a few episodes recorded and waiting for the magic motivation to kick in for me to edit it…and then keep going. If anyone reading this wants to do some sort of partial trade for treatments and money in exchange for editing my podcast… you’re hired! 

In the meantime, you can hear me on my friend Bonnie Week’s (@carrotbowlbonnie) podcast Yoga Strong Episode # 30

Where to find Dr. Katie:

Dr. Katie Kanda

IG: @drkatiekanda

FB: Dr. Katie Kanda

Woman in nature with a bright blue shirt and colorful scarf out in nature for headshot portraits
Woman with light colored skin and bright blue top & colorful scarf out in nature
Light-skinned woman in bright blue t-shirt out in nature holding a pelvis model

Want to read about more Women Warriors in our community? Check out these other amazing women: 

Marnellie Bishop of hānau doula

Mirra Nerenberg of Portland Natural Birth

Danielle LaSusa, Ph.D.

Sarah Fuller of Opus Lactation

Plus many more – check ’em out!

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