He wants educate people about how seemingly innocuous adjustments can change their lives for the better.
What do you do? I get to breathe and meditate with people all day. As a naturopathic physician and professor at Bastyr University, I specialize in mind-body medicine, teaching stress-reduction and resiliency, using such techniques as mindfulness, biofeedback, breathwork, muscle relaxation, hypnosis and yoga. I consider myself a coach, guiding people to discover new ways to respond to their daily stressors by creating balance and ease, rather than tension and pain.
How did you get started in the field? I’ve been interested in mind-body medicine since my mom dragged me to my first yoga class when I was 7. Since then I’ve been passionate about the ability to heal through lifestyle and the least force — food, exercise, attitude, thoughts, mindfulness and BREATH. I was planning on attending conventional medical school, but changed my mind once I heard about Bastyr in 1991. I never knew naturopathic medicine existed.
What’s a typical day like? It starts with meditation and matcha! Then I’m either on campus at Bastyr talking about mind-body medicine in primary care and counseling, in the Wallingford Bastyr Center for Natural Health supervising medical students conducting biofeedback sessions, or in private practice working directly with patients. I find time to write, offer workshops and continuing education courses, and facilitate death cafes. I’ve learned how to breathe into life so I don’t get too overwhelmed.
What’s the best part of your work? Watching people who have been suffering from a myriad of psychological or physical symptoms find relief without needing medications, herbs, or supplements. I am not against these treatments, I am just interested in finding gentle, less invasive ways to improve health and well-being that get to the root of the problem. For me, this is accomplished by helping people be deliberate about how they live their lives.
What surprises you about what you do? Just how simple it can be. Most people do not realize that how they breathe and hold their posture can be the cause of many physical and psychological issues like hypertension, asthma, headaches, GI disturbances, anxiety and fear, especially in these days of digital distractions, the proliferation of mobile devices and poor postures. I want to help educate people about how seemingly innocuous adjustments can change their lives for the better.
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