“Open communication and attention to details are important components for any partnership to thrive, and as your partner in health, I place tremendous value on both.”
What was your path to becoming a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
Like many alternative health practitioners, my own health struggles and personal journey is what lead me to my profession. From an early age, I struggled with digestive health and anxiety. I sought out multiple integrative MDs and therapists while in my teens and early 20s, but none truly clicked, to no fault of their own. After college, I was introduced to a naturopathic doctor, and it was then that something finally clicked. She was not speaking at me, like most doctors, she was speaking to me, hearing my issues and concerns and wanting to actually help me. She approached my issues by uncovering and treating the root cause, as opposed to treating my symptoms. From our first encounter, I knew that she was my partner in health, which is what I now strive to emulate with all of my patients today.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
The mind-body connection is undeniably inseparable. And it is this connection that is the foundation of how I work with my patients. Open communication and attention to detail are important components for any partnership to thrive, and as your partner in health, I place tremendous value on both. Therefore, your initial consult actually begins before you even step into the office, with an online questionnaire. Your intake form covers everything from past medical history, pertinent family medical history, current medications or supplements, as well as your lifestyle, diet, exercise routines, stress levels and sleep habits. During the initial consult, we also identify any potential barriers that you may encounter, such as an erratic work schedule, specific religious or dietary needs, or varying travel schedules. By identifying potential setbacks, you are better prepared for success and well on your way to regaining control of your health!
How does collaboration with other providers play into your work?
I enjoy working with other doctors and healthcare professionals from various schools of thought, because let’s face it, one person cannot and will not have all of the answers. From surgeons and chiropractors to personal trainers and therapists, I like collaborating as a team for the betterment of the patient. I fully subscribe to the mind-body connection and with proper balance, open communication and attainable goals, optimal health is well within reach!
If there was one thing you wish people knew about naturopathic medicine and/or acupuncture who might be hesitant try it, what would that be?
The biggest misconception about naturopathic medicine is that it is “hippy medicine,” which is simply not the case. Naturopathic doctors attend accredited institutions throughout the country. At various points along our education we must pass standardized board exams and we spend countless hours in the clinic which requires a specific amount of patient contact hours as well as clinical exams. Additionally, in my own practice, each patients’ progress is assessed and based on numbers, lab results and empirical evidence from scientific studies in addition to the patient’s subjective self-assessment of progress.
Why is self-care an important practice in maintaining both our physical and mental well-being?
Hands down, I am the biggest proponent of self-care. Patients are continuously encouraged to practice self-care, be that meditation, yoga, massage, fitness classes and even spa days! As a physician, I can only control what goes on within my four walls. In order to truly heal, feel better, recover quicker and live life to the fullest, patients must be responsible for their ‘homework’ and implement the proper changes. The classic example is someone who goes to the gym seven days a week, with minimal results. What they do not take into account is their diet, workload, sleep habits and stress levels. If their lifestyle is not prioritized, they won’t get the body that they work so hard for. The same rules apply in medicine. A holistic approach to health takes time, dedication and sometimes even a lifestyle reset, but we only get one body in this life, so why not treat it with the respect and love that it deserves.
“A holistic approach to health takes time, dedication and sometimes even a lifestyle reset, but we only get one body in this life, so why not treat it with the respect and love that it deserves.”