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Acupuncture sessions take place in plush armchairs.

Image: Bruce Wolf

From the outside, Golden Hour Acupuncture doesn’t look all that special. Tucked just off bustling MLK Jr Boulevard in the Central Eastside, it's easy to miss the place while driving by. But upon entering, you'll be immediately swept away by the serene respite that awaits you. 

Opened in June, Golden Hour offers an intriguing menu of traditional Chinese practices including cupping, Amma therapy (a type of deep tissue massage), herbal compresses, moxibustion (burning dried mugwort over the body), and, of course, acupuncture. The studio was founded by Janet Jay, who has previously worked as a manager of product development for Diane Von Furstenberg and Estee Lauder. Jay also founded Pearl+, a cruelty-free luxury soap brand featured in Ace Hotels across America.

Though not an acupuncturist herself, Jay grew up in a family that utilized traditional Chinese medicine all the time—not just to cure sickness, but to maintain wellness. “When I came back from Japan [after six years], I wanted to create something beneficial for the community,” she says. “Portland is a place where people are in tune with what they eat and their exercise programs, so this is just an added thing I think will help people maintain their well-being. All of the modalities we do feel good, not just physically, but mentally. It’s not forced mediation; this [practice] does it naturally.” 

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Golden Hour sells Pearl+ soaps designed by founder Janet Jay.

Image: Bruce Wolf

At Golden Hour, regular wellness time is heavily emphasized. Jay claims the benefits can be reaped tenfold if you treat your wellness practice like your regular yoga classes or gym membership, and it’s easy to see how you could get carried away; in addition to weekly chair treatments and/or monthly private treatments, the Golden Hour website recommends booking the $110 “outer radiance” facial care treatment up to twice a week for maximum benefits.

Acupuncture chair treatments are held in a community room where comfortable reclining chairs face a wall of windows (screens down, of course). The tops of the windows create a picturesque view of the clouds that is just as soothing as the music. No muzak here: Jay has curated a thoughtful collection, beyond soothing waves and bird calls, to calm you as well-trained acupuncturists set up your needles.

Similarly, the petite massage room is comforting without inducing claustrophobia. Don’t be surprised if your massage therapist pulls out all the stops—think face masks, aromatherapy, and hot towels. When you’re all finished, regroup with another hot towel and refreshing glass of green tea.

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The stylish lobby features this striking wooden sculpture.

Image: Bruce Wolf

The lobby offers lotions, essential oils, and luxury soaps designed by Jay herself. But aside from the table filled with creams and serums for sale, you might feel like you just walked into your very hip friend’s living room. According to Jay, that’s the point: “We’re trying to help you maintain a balance in your life before you get to a place of needing acupuncture to deal with aggressive situations,” she explains. “Inside, most of our furniture was not purchased for this project. It’s things we accumulated because we love them. There’s a kitchen, we make tea, and we have residential furniture—it puts people in a place to be relaxed.” 

Personally, Golden Hour is definitely a place I’d want to come home to—comforting, caring, and not too cliche, the space is ideal for treating yourself well on a regular basis. Golden Hour is offering 25 percent off all purchases for July and August, so hightail it over there and get your wellness game on.

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