Longevity and good health aren’t just goals for North Bend chiropractor Leslie Bedell’s clients, they have been some of the defining factors of her business for decades. On Saturday, Aug. 5, Bedell celebrated 30 years of doing business at Agape Chiropractic Healing Center.
After graduating from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1984, Bedell moved to North Bend from Iowa and opened Agape in 1987 in what was then her home. Ten years later, the family moved out of the building, but the office stayed; the business is still run from their original North Bend home on the corner of E Third Street and Ballarat Avenue N.
“I started Agape Chiropractic in 1987, I moved in here and opened a home office. And then in the late ‘90s I was able to afford to move about a mile north of town and separate the home and office and then we were able to expand and offer more services to my clients,” she said. “Chiropractic and nutrition had helped me in my late 20’s and the combination that my doctor was able to do inspired me to go not only become a chiropractor but to study nutritional therapy and nutritional healing.”
To celebrate 30 years of service, Bedell held an open house Aug. 5, in appreciation of her patients.
“What I wanted to do was have a party for my patients in gratitude for them being loyal to me. I cooked up a whole bunch of delicious food, had a bar, had live music, and we did it right here on the corner,” she said. “People came by for three hours, it was like an open house. We had an open mic and we gave away tons of prizes. We did drawings every 15 minutes. We gave away free nutrition and pillows and chiropractic services and cranial sacral services.”
Bedell said that over the 30 years of her work in North Bend, she has come to know entire families of her clients, including clients that come to her from three generations of the same family.
Originally from Ohio, Bedell moved to Burien as a teenager where she attended Highline High School. Attending Palmer College of Chiropractic in Iowa took her away from Washington, but she knew that she wanted to come back to the area. After college, Bedell’s sister, a realtor, suggested North Bend as a possible location to start a new chiropractic business.
“My sister was a new realtor and said North Bend is going to be this community that was going to grow,” Bedell said. “When I found this place in 1987 I knew this is where I wanted to be.”
The process of starting a business from home on a shoestring budget was exciting, Bedell said, but the eventual move out to separate her work and home life was ultimately for the better.
In addition to operating her business, Bedell has been pursuing further education as well. Because the chiropractic and nutrition industries are always changing, her chosen profession demands constant education on new techniques and new practices to provide better and more efficient care.
“I just finished more advanced clinical nutrition training in May, so a couple times a year, I do fly to get more education,” she said. “I have to say things are changing so fast, and what people believe to be true today is now being studied and we are learning better and more efficient ways to use natural resources, food and herbs to help people get better.”
Bedell has also participated in chiropractic research and has had three articles published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research. Her articles were about chiropractic care in cases of domestic abuse, successful pregnancy after a diagnosis of infertility and children with attention deficit disorder.
While Bedell may not be writing any more research articles, she intends to keep working in the Valley and providing care to those who need it. She is currently looking to bring on a massage therapist to the clinic, in addition to her current acupuncturist, and she plans to continue her education, as well.
“I do it in the Valley because I can’t think of a better spot to live, I love the Valley. I love being right here and looking at Mount Si every day,” she said. “I will be taking care of people until the day I take my last breath.”