What does Naturopathic/Functional Mean? How is it Different?

This approach is the future of healthcare. It’s a beautiful evolution of medicine that better addresses the health and wellness needs of the 21st century.
 
Instead of focusing on disease labels, I take a more personal approach; I address how you “function” as a whole – not as a simple set of symptoms.
I spend a lot of time with my clients listening to their story and taking note of patterns. Everything influences your health, so it’s important to consider the interaction between lifestyle, environment, and even genetic factors. Working together, we’re able to help support your unique expression of health and vitality for your mind, body and spirit – so YOU can be in fine fettle.
 
Using this holistic approach, I will assess your health status by uncovering imbalances and addressing the root cause. I’ll do this through careful history taking, observation, intuition, and functional laboratory testing.

I greatly appreciate the genuine concern and support Dr. Michelle has extended me as her patient. Her willingness to go above and beyond, and really connect with me and my situation, is both comforting and encouraging.

- Holly in Evansville, IN

Throughout the evaluation process, I will consider multiple factors, including:

  • Environmental Factors – This includes the air you breathe, the water you drink, the foods you eat, the movement you get, and toxic exposures or traumas you’ve experienced. These all affect your health status.
  • Mind-Body Connections – This includes the psychological, spiritual, and social factors that influence your health status. Through this lens, I’m able to view you as a whole person – not only your physical symptoms or diagnosis.
  • Genetic Variability – We can’t argue that individual genes may make you more susceptible to certain illness or disease, but your DNA is not a static blueprint for your life! Emerging research shows that everything influences your genes. Consider your environment, from the food you eat to the emotions you experience – these affect your genes through “epigenetics”. That means we’re able to change the way our genes activate and express themselves. Wouldn’t it be nice to “turn up” the good genes, and “turn down” the bad ones? Well, we can!
 
During this assessment, I’ll be able to identify the areas of imbalance that have caused and/or triggered your current state of health. With a thorough understanding of how your body functions, repairs, and maintains itself, we’ll be able to help you heal from the inside out. When imbalanced, our body experiences certain dysfunctions that we refer to as “symptoms”, such as:
 
  • Digestion & absorption – constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, heartburn, reflux
  • Hormone imbalances – PMS, PCOS, irregular menses, infertility, menopause, peri-menopause, endometriosis
  • Immune system function – autoimmune conditions, immune insufficiency, frequent colds or flus
  • Inflammation – joint pain, headaches
  • Psychological & spiritual equilibrium – mood imbalances, anxiety, depression, stress
  • Thyroid issues – hypothyroid, Hashimoto’s, Grave’s Disease
  • Toxicosis (toxin build-up) – fatigue, poor sleep, weight gain
 
Together, we can address MOST of these imbalances. Some can be completely restored to optimum function, and the others can be substantially improved.

Dr. Michelle brings to her practice the seamless integration of her training in both naturopathic and Chinese medicine. It is her ability to discern what will be most helpful for each individual that makes her an effective and attentive practitioner. I refer patients to Dr. Michelle regularly for her balanced and compassionate approach. She is an asset to our profession and the community.

Dr. Stephanie Kaplan in Portland, OR

Naturopathic Physician, Passiflora Health

What to expect while working together:

  • Individualized Care. With this focus, I view health and wellness as empowered vitality. It’s above and beyond the absence of dis-ease – it’s how you’re able to reach your full potential.
    • You become a partner. As a client, you become an active and empowered partner along your journey towards deep healing. This partnership allows you to be in charge of improving your own health and changing the outcome of dis-ease. I will not heal you, but I will teach you how to heal yourself!
  • A Holistic Approach. As I said above, we can address most of these imbalances; some can be completely restored to optimum function, and others can be substantially improved.
    • Prevention is paramount. Virtually every complex, chronic disease (e.g. High Blood Pressure, Alzheimer’s/Dementia, Heart Disease, Obesity, Depression, Arthritis, Diabetes, Osteoporosis, COPD, Cancer, Stroke, etc.) stems from a long-term functional imbalance. One that we can identify and address. Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis is foundational to my comprehensive assessment, because I’m a firm believer in “test don’t guess!”
    • Changing how your body systems function can have a major impact on your health. I look at a wide array of available interventions and customize a plan with the goal of making the biggest impact on underlying functionality.
    • I have a huge tool kit at my fingertips. I may recommend combinations of individualized clinical nutrition plans, herbal remedies, targeted nutrient recommendations, detoxification protocols, and lifestyle modifications. I will also include recommendations on lifestyle, exercise, and stress-management techniques.
  • A Comprehensive Science-Based Approach. Unlike conventional approaches, I look “upstream” to consider the complex web of interactions in your history, physiology, and lifestyle that can lead to illness.
    • I consider your unique genetic makeup, along with both internal (mind, body and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors that affect your overall function.

Although nearly 650 miles away, I contacted Dr. Michelle about my most recent case of swollen hemorrhoids, this one more severe than others. It was literally a real pain in the …!

Dr. Michelle recommended an over-the-counter treatment that immediately relieved some of the annoying symptoms, and recommended a supplement that I purchased through her online medicinary, ‘Fullscript’, which I received in just a couple of days. Within a week of communicating with Dr. Michelle, the condition was gone completely. Even better, as a result of her recommended lifestyle changes, the condition has not reappeared. Dr. Michelle showed exceptional attention to not only my existing condition, but to lifestyle changes that would minimize, if not completely eliminate the possibility of recurrence.

Charlie in Clayton, CA

Description of services:

  • Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis
    • One of my passions and specialties is Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis. It’s a way of interpreting lab results from a holistic and body-systems based approach. So, instead of looking at individual lab values in conventional ranges, I’m able to see how all your bio-markers and body systems interact. This creates a more complete picture – a look under the hood – of your internal processes. Looking at “functional” lab ranges also helps us pick up on subtle imbalances that may prevent future disease states.
  • Herbal/Botanical Therapies
    • Trained in both Western and Eastern herbal therapies, I’m able to recommend custom tinctures, teas, and other blends to help address, not only your symptoms, but also the root cause.
  • Individualized Nutrition Plans
    • Nutrition is the backbone to living a life full of vitality. After a thorough assessment, I will make specific nutritional recommendations that will include weekly planners and recipe guides.
  • Nutrient/Supplemental Therapy
    • Specific nutrient recommendations may include nutritional or therapeutic supplementation.
  • Virtual Consulting
    • For your convenience, we’ll do all consults by phone and/or video using the Healthie app.

Dr. Michelle is a great listener, great communicator, and great at being nice, but firm. My back feels amazing! I’m really excited to go back to yoga – it’s a great body and life balancer for me.

- Bob in Portland, OR