I grew up in a small town in West Virginia where I spent time exploring the outdoors with my dad and many hours doing arts and crafts with my mom. After deciding not to be a bus driver or President of the United States, I turned my vision towards life science. From the age of 11, I began seeking opportunities to study the natural world. I got my open water SCUBA certification before I got a driver's license, and saved up enough money babysitting to attend a month-long marine science camp (think Space Camp, but for ocean nerds) AND a camp for Estuary science in the Chesapeake Bay.
I first found integrative medicine at a health food store talk when I was a teenager having a rough go at it (as teenagers sometimes do). I ended up on anti-depressants at the age of 16 and wanted more options for treatment. I fell in love with the idea that I could mitigate my symptoms with plants and lifestyle interventions. I was also still in love with becoming a scientist, so I spent 4 years as an undergrad, taking every zoology, anatomy, and field studies class before finally securing a position as a researcher in a comparative invertebrate anatomy lab. I figured out that I did not have to be on anti-depressants if I got enough sleep and ran regularly. I also figured out that I loved science. I loved the collaboration of working on a team, but it wasn't exactly right.
I realized I really wanted to work with people. I wanted to understand why running and sleep made me feel so different, different enough that I didn't have to take medication. I got even more excited about figuring things out when I got mono my senior year of undergrad. The nurse at the university clinic told me I had mono, there was nothing to do but wait it out, and I'd eventually feel better in a couple of months. I didn't believe that. I couldn't believe that. I took to the research and found out that high doses of Vitamin C have incredible anti-viral effects. I found out that Echinacea could be used to stimulate a lagging immune system. I read feverishly (literally--I was burning up) and created a treatment plan for myself. I was back in class full-time 2 weeks later, empowered that I had found a way to help myself.
It took a bit of searching, but I found a medical school program in Portland, Oregon that focused on teaching the foundations of naturopathy while also covering modern medicine. In Portland, I rediscovered the Healing Power of Nature in the form of trail running and native plant study. Portland home trails are not to be missed!
After over a decade of integrative family practice, I am opening my practice to humans world-wide.
B.S. Biology, focus on Research and Zoology, James Madison University, 1996-2000
Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine, National University of Natural Medicine, 2000-2006
Certificate of Natural Childbirth, National University of Natural Medicine, 2004-2006