How do you treat patients?
I am trained as a primary care provider as well as a specialist in integrative medicine. This allows me to cast a large net over my patients' overall health pictures and through in-depth medical and lifestyle intakes, physical exams, and specialized lab testing, I am able to go deeper into the root causes of their health issues. I am trained to speak and integrate many different medical and healing languages and can synthesize them all to provide unique and individualized treatment plans that are a blend of many different modalities. My top tools of choice are herbal medicine, homeopathy, targeted nutritional supplementation and nutritional plans, and lifestyle interventions and education, although I have a vast array of additional tools in my tool-belt.
What are your areas of focus?
I don’t treat “diseases” per se, but the types of patients who come to see me are often struggling with hormonal imbalances resulting in menstrual irregularities, infertility, hot flashes, fatigue, or an inability to lose weight. I have a deep understanding of the thyroid and how our body's hormonal systems are interconnected with our brains and our digestive tracts. Many of my patients have digestive concerns and this is often the root cause of many other issues in the body, often directly correlated to autoimmune processes. Ideally we catch autoimmune imbalances such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, and Irritable Bowel Disease before they become full blown conditions that can be debilitating for many people, especially women. A vast majority of my patients suffer from anxiety and depression, and homeopathy is one of the most powerful tools I utilize to treat these conditions. My deep passion though, is pregnancy preparation, preconception, and fertility care. We can have such a powerful impact at this time in a woman’s life on the epigenetics of our future children, and if we are able to have healthier women and men prior to conception, it will have a ripple effect on the health of our entire tribe, hence the name: Tribe Medicine.
Tell us more about how you practice
We all have a story. I see healing as a process that starts with hearing your unique journey, peeling back the layers, identifying imbalances, creating an environment for health, and holding space for it all to unfold. We are what we eat, we are what we think, we are partly our genetics, partly our traumas, we have brains and intestines and hormones and hearts. We respond to energy, we respond to our tribe, everything is connected, and it's all important. We are the products of our lives and of our stories. To ignore one aspect is to ignore a part of ourselves. My specialty is recognizing you as a complex and integrated being, considering all of the pieces rather than segmenting you into an organ or a disease. I don't treat diseases, I treat people.
I am a licensed naturopathic doctor. I received my medical training from Bastyr University, the leading accredited institution for science-based natural medicine. The naturopathic doctoral program is a four year full-time integrated medical program, similar to a MD or DO degree program, but we have a few philosophical differences as well as more training in a wide array of treatment approaches. What makes naturopathic doctors unique is that we speak many, many medical languages, and we understand conventional, functional, traditional, and natural modalities making us experts in integrative medicine.
Prior to naturopathic medical school, I received my bachelor's degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition from Colorado State University and graduated Magna Cum Laude with Honors.
I was first introduced to lifestyle and alternative medicine when I was thirteen. My first job was at an alternative spinal rehab center in my hometown in Windsor, Colorado. This started out as a part-time job but became not only my place of work for over five years, but also one of the greatest passions of my early life.
It was here that I learned that lifestyle choices are fundamental to your health, and that your attitude toward the world around you can affect everything from how you feel to the relationships you have in your life. I learned the value of nutrition and how naturally treating spinal injuries can alter the way you stand and walk, eliminate chronic headaches and back pain, completely change your personality for the better, and give you your life back.
I was exposed to a ‘doctor as teacher’ philosophy of treating patients, and the relationships that were developed between the doctors, staff, and patients were so inspiring, I knew I wanted to do something that would change people’s lives forever.
why i chose naturopathic medicine
I learned about naturopathic medicine when I was still in high school and it seemed like my dream profession. I already had a great love and respect for nature growing up in the country in Colorado spending my days barefoot in the garden, riding horses, shooting archery, and exploring in the trees. When I went off to college and was exposed to all of the pre-med students in my classes, I started to question if naturopathic medicine was really something I could study because no one had even heard of it. My inquisitive mind led me to spend the next two years researching endlessly about all of the different forms of healthcare practitioners, degrees, and scopes of practice. I shadowed and interviewed traditional medical doctors, alternative medical doctors, doctors of osteopathic medicine, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, physical therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, nutritionists, and any naturopathic doctor I could get a hold of. I wanted to find out which path was going to give me the tools to treat patients exactly as I wanted to treat them and which philosophy aligned with what I believe about health and medicine. Naturopathic medicine won.
my journey to san diego
After I graduated from Colorado State University with my BS in Food Science and Human Nutrition, I married my best friend and biggest fan, Mike. We moved to Bremerton, Washington for a year while he continued to work as a mechanical and nuclear engineer, and a year later we relocated to San Diego so I could pursue my naturopathic medical degree. We fell in love with southern California and we love our little home we have created in Encinitas, CA.
In the year after college and as I started my naturopathic medical degree, I became serious about working on my own health. Over a decade of digestive issues and a personal trauma at 18 led me on my own path to pursue many different doctors, practitioners, trauma workers, and various healers. During this journey I discovered that I have antibodies to my thyroid, and with my family history of autoimmunity, I was even more motivated toward health to prevent getting one or multiple autoimmune diseases. I have experienced amazing healing in my body, mind, and spirit and I continue to strive for the healthiest body and mind I can have so that I may realize my other life goal which is to become a mom.
My areas of focus have evolved greatly out of my own pursuit of health. In a way, I want to be the kind of doctor I needed on my journey for other women and men in their own healing. Thank you for joining me on my journey, I hope to one day be an important part of yours.