My Journey as Physician, Acupuncturist and Healer:
As a child (growing up on a family farm in Western New York), I'd had a deeply spiritual connection with nature and an intuitive sense of energy patterns and natural healing. My early adult life became "practical." I worked in office management and bookkeeping. I understood from a young age that when I physically touched people such as hugging them, or touching their hand, that I sensed what they were feeling on the inside. Later, I came to understand that the term for this is being an empath. In 1998, because of my inner desire to help others heal, I knew that I wanted to return to school to study medicine. I planned on attending "regular" medical school, however, once I became aware of Naturopathic Medicine, I knew that I had found a way to connect my love of nature and energy healing, into a form of medicine that I believed in. I also wanted to add the science aspect of Naturopathic medicine to the knowledge that I had gained from my intuitive energy studies. So, in 1999, I started my Naturopathic training at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Phoenix and then, a year later, I transferred to Bastyr University in Seattle Washington to continue towards my Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine.
Four demanding and satisfying years later, I had learned not only about biochemistry, pharmacology, anatomy, physiology and biochemistry, gastroenterology and gynecology, but I had also learned how to effectively use natural therapies such as herbs, hydrotherapy, physical medicine, therapeutic massage, homeopathy and nutrition.
After graduating from Bastyr with a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and passing the national Naturopathic Medical boards, I began a two year Bastyr-sponsored Naturopathic family practice residency at Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic in Billings, MT.
Once my residency was completed, I opened my own Naturopathic clinic in Miles City, MT, Medicine Root Natural Health Clinic. Because of my continuing interest in a holistic approach to medicine, along with a strong interest in acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, in 2008, I moved to Denver, Colorado to pursue a three-year Master's degree program in Traditional Chinese Medicine at CSTCM. While studying Chinese Medicine, I practiced Naturopathic Medicine in Arvada, Littleton and in Westminster, CO. As I completed my acupuncture training, I also trained to be a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. In Colorado, while studying hypnotherapy, and acupuncture, the intuitive healer within me started finding a space and a balance next to the evidence-based Naturopathic Physician that I had become.
Once I graduated with a Master's Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, I continued to practice Naturopathic medicine and acupuncture in Westminster, CO. An opportunity presented itself for me to work in an integrative pain clinic in Kalispell, MT. In 2015, I joined The Montana Center for Wellness and Pain Management as part of their integrative medicine team. The Montana Center (part of the Kalispell Regional Medical System) employed me as part of the health care team that included MD's specializing in pain management, along with clinicians practicing Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Massage, Counseling and Physical Therapy. As a Naturopathic Physician and acupuncturist, the time spent at The Montana Center helped me fine tune my approach to treating chronic pain and inflammation, especially helping those suffering from headaches, migraines and chronic joint and muscle pain. At this time, I also became an associate of the Naturopathic Medicine Institute, and began deeply studying and incorporating Vitalistic Naturopathic Philosophy and medicine into my practice in order to continue to help healing occur at the deeper levels.
It has taken a lifetime for me to find an equilibrium in using both my intuitive, mind-body-spirit approach to healing, along with using a scientific metabolic/physiological approach to healing. On the surface, they seem at such odds. However, over time I've realized that healing takes place on a holistic continuum, and that healing can occur at the cellular level merely by changing our thought or emotion patterns.
Seeking to balance and nurture my own energy, I realized that, although I enjoyed the natural beauty of both Montana and Colorado, I missed the green of the trees, plants, and the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, so I've made made my way back "home" to Washington to serve the people of the Everett/Edmonds/Lynnwood area. I'm happy to be back in the area, and now make my home in Edmonds. In my spare time, I read and hike, enjoying the energy, plants and woods of western Washington.