I'm often asked, "What's the best diet and supplement protocol?"
I don't have protocols in my practice and what's 'best' isn't the right question. I'm focused on the priority for you. After working together, you will not only feel better, but also be better able to make decisions about your life, your diet, your medicines, and your doctors.
For fifteen years I've been obsessed with the question "Why?"
This question, as applied to the imbalances and diseases of the human body and mind, has driven me over decades to explore many different types of medicine and healing. Some explorations have been formal--such as 4 years of medical school and a residency--while others are less so. For example, I remember driving around my hometown of Portland, Oregon for months, listening to a 30 hours Deepak Chopra cassette tape series on Ayurvedic Medicine.
I grew up in Oregon, went to Swarthmore College and did Teach for American in San Jose, California. After moving back to Oregon to go to the National University of Natural Medicine, I got married and had three kids. In 2015, we adventured to Vermont and now live in the woods in Hinesburg.
There have been a lot of influencers over the past 15 years of my professional career and five decades of my life. An incomplete list includes:
- Early exposure to alternative medicine as a child (chiropractic, reiki, medical intuitives) that was balanced by a respect for, and use of, standard Western medicine.
- Interest in ecosystems and system dynamics of ecology at Swarthmore College. A topic I thought I had left behind until recently coming full circle by identifying and working with natural world analogies to understand human physiology.
- A growing fascination with the human body and immunology as a high school science teacher.
- ND medical school: exploration of conventional science of the human body juxtaposed with formal study of homeopathy, Chinese medicine, herbs, nutrition, etc. I also gained my first practice "feeling" energy flow in the body and learned that it is a dormant skill that we all have.
- Growing spiritual practice colored by Taoism, Aramaic translations of early Christianity, and more cassette tapes, this time from Carolyn Myss. And a later life-changing encounter with the Course of Miracles.
- Study and practice of BodyTalk--my first clinical attempt to harness the power of the body to heal itself.
- Formal study of autoimmune disease with leading functional medicine doctors such as Datis Kharrazian and Alex Vasquez.
- Books by Ken Wilber, Gary Talbott, Fritjof Capra and others that taught me alternative ways of seeing the world and the importance of respecting all viewpoints.
- Moving to Vermont and gaining a deeper connection to, and appreciation for, our role in natural systems. Especially with my move to live and work deeper in the woods, my relationship to plants, and my respect of their intelligence, has deepened.
- Books by Sajah Popham and Stephen Harrod Buhner have helped this relationship with plants sprout, grow, and flower.
Overall, I'm curious about all perspectives and find it easy to look from the viewpoints of different kinds of people and things. I respect Ken Wilber's contention that "no on is smart enough to be 100% wrong," meaning all theories and explanations have some degree of truth and that the most complete story is always somewhere in the middle.
And above all, I think of the Emily Carr print I've had on the wall of every office I've practiced in. At the bottom are the words that govern my work: "In the forest, think of the forest; The singing movement of the whole."
The trees in my forest are grown from each stop along my very winding professional and personal road. Each one is strong, powerful, and intelligent. Each one is borne from great teachers and rich experiences. But I have always failed with my patients when I think I have found the single answer, and I succeed when I look with the perspective of the entire forest of my experience. But now I know that I don't need to be a doctor who can DO everything that I've learned with every patient. I now know that at my best, I am a guide--holding each patient or client in the template of the whole, but giving them the power to navigate it on their own.