Naturopathic medicine helps me be the kind of doctor I want to be. With symptoms and diagnoses come stories—sweeping, miniscule and wild. These narratives are flashlights that help to illuminate who the person is behind the symptoms and diagnoses. Stories reveal our joys, challenges, responses, reactions, longings and fears. I love how the philosophy and modalities of naturopathic medicine find relevance in and offer support to the most personal nuances.
I first experienced naturopathic medicine during my junior year of college when I was diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease. Being passionate about science and social determinants of health, I was majoring in biology and minoring in sociology. I was learning about chronic inflammation’s impact on normal physiology and how it was a risk factor for cancer. I was also studying the gut-brain connection and beginning to realize how intimately stress and gut health were linked. I sought out care that would address all the facets of who I was as a person.
My first naturopathic doctor helped me see that my habit of burning the candle at both ends was not serving me and was a huge obstacle to my body healing itself. I began practicing yoga and it was learning the power of slowing down and the art of connecting my breath with my movement, both on the yoga mat and in everyday life, that served as a catalyst on my healing journey. Custom nutrition and botanical medicine—for example, incorporating glutamine-rich steamed cabbage into my diet and taking well-sourced herbs like aloe, licorice, slippery elm and marshmallow—were other initial steps I took toward repairing my inflamed gastrointestinal system. Over time, my symptoms reduced in severity and faded. I also discovered a heightened sense of wellness: deeper sleep, greater energy and an ability to truly stay more calm in the face of stress. Soon into my experience with naturopathic medicine, I realized I had found a lifelong path for my own health as well as a professional avenue that I was passionate about.
I moved from upstate New York to Portland, Oregon to earn a doctorate in naturopathic medicine from the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM, more recently known as NUNM). I am ecstatic to be back on the east coast to offer what I have been honored to learn.