Welcome to the Wellness Center


The Wellness Center is a trusted and knowledgeable bodywork destination that serves the community by providing customized care plans that address one’s therapeutic needs by way of massage and float therapies.

A commitment to serving our local community.

We are invested in people dedicated to ongoing wellness. Our loyal staff and clientele championed us through the adversity of the pandemic! As we were valued, seen, and supported by our community during this turbulent period, it is our commitment to reciprocate with gratitude to those who were underserved and are now within our reach. To demonstrate this commitment, our long-term goal is to provide flexible service options for senior citizens and veterans in the Nokomis neighborhood and surrounding areas.


The Wellness Center MN opened its doors at 4201 East 54th Street, Minneapolis in 1986 by Katie Meisner Olson. Previously, Katie had been injured in a serious car accident and massage was the only therapy that relieved her pain. It was this experience that inspired her to train professionally and open The Wellness Center. In 1995, she was the first to offer float tank services in the Twin Cities, before float therapy had hit its trend peak in 2002.

Terri Burks, received her first professional massage at The Wellness Center in 1996, and it turned out to be a transformative experience. A few years later, Katie stepped down due to her battle with cancer and Terri purchased the business to continue that transformative legacy. During Terri’s 24-year ownership, she fostered growth by supporting the surrounding communities and retaining a strong team of massage therapists. To this day, Terri has retained clients who received massage from Katie herself. Now! As Terri transitions from ownership into retirement, employees Kara Motta and Rachel Garrison are thrilled to continue successfully leading and growing this women-owned flagship business of South Minneapolis.

Kara Motta
Executive Director of Operations and Co-Owner

After completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Kara began working for The Wellness Center as a Wellness Coordinator in 2012. At the same time, she pursued her dance career performing for local Twin Cities choreographers and created dance with her dance-colleague friends. Both working for The Wellness Center and participating in various art communities in the Twin Cities inspired Kara’s passion for organizing and managing teams. Participating in movement and dance, and learning about anatomy and physical health continue to be a personal love and interest. Currently, she is professionally focused on supporting others grow in their own wellness journeys.

During the pandemic, Kara found time to develop business plans for the future of The Wellness Center. In July 2022, she returned to The Wellness Center to help manage the team and transition ownership. She is so excited to support such an amazing team of therapists and service providers and serve The Wellness Center’s various communities.

Rachel Garrison
Director of Outreach and Education and Co-Owner

After becoming a Certified Massage Therapist and graduating from Northwestern School of Massage, Rachel practiced therapeutic massage for 13 years at various clinics and centers in the Twin Cities.  During her time studying at Northwestern, she worked with the Pillsbury House to provide integrative healthcare to the Twin Cities underserved populations, including massaging individuals in the program.

Rachel joined The Wellness Center team in 2016 and grew her client following and successes. This experience motivated and inspired her to help other therapists with the tools and training they can use to grow their own practices in massage therapy at The Wellness Center. Rachel is passionate about helping all people who need pain relief receive therapeutic bodywork, which is why she will continue massaging and growing her own skillset to further assist her clients and the industry.

Employee Statement

We strive to create a positive environment for our employees by sustaining supportive operational standards and monetary growth and by providing opportunities for our employees to continue their education and grow their skill set.