The start of my journey into natural medicine began in childhood. My upbringing was eclectic, growing up in Kentucky, in a family that practiced healthy eating, growing our own vegetables, and seeking natural remedies for minor ailments. I was encouraged from a young age to look deeper into the natural world, to spend time outside, and to always remain curious. The day I pulled my first carrot out of the garden, I can recall the amazement I felt, that something edible was growing just beneath the surface, invisible to my naive eyes. My parents were both Montessori trained teachers and so my brother and I were educated with Montessori philosophy that further fostered creativity, inquisitiveness, and compassion. These are traits that have remained with me and have contributed to the fabric of my life.
I still remember the first time I received acupuncture at the age of 10 years old. I had been in a limbo contest, won the contest, but not without injuring my lower back in the process. When the injury lingered, my mom took me to see an Acupuncturist. Little needles went in my low back and then all the pain and discomfort completely melted away and a gentle sense of warmth was left in its place. The feeling was almost synonymous with the wonder of discovering that carrot, from my garden, growing deep underneath the ground. As if there was something else that existed beyond the visible and tangible aspects of the body. Perhaps it was the intense sensation of being truly present in my body and the pervading curiosity that I have always had, but from that point on I was fascinated by the incredible ability of the body to heal itself with very gentle interventions.
My passion for nature, the outdoors, and alternative health led me to Boulder, Colorado where I received my undergraduate training at Naropa University. I pursued a degree, congruent with my interests, in the Psychology of Health and Healing. It was during my undergraduate training that I was introduced to Naturopathic medicine. I knew in my core that it was the path I had been searching for.
I attended Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington, described as “the Harvard of Naturopathic medicine”. Here I was trained in both the art and the science of natural medicine. I obtained my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine and also my Masters of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. During my extensive medical school training, I pursued further training with leading doctors in natural and integrative medicine. I received tutelage in advanced techniques for IV therapy, fertility, cancer support and detoxification. I also sought out advanced training in injury and pain conditions, learning under one of the sports medicine doctors of the Seattle Mariners baseball team. Five and a half years later, upon completion of these dual degree programs and a final externship in the premiere hospitals for acupuncture and herbal medicine in China, I moved to Honolulu to join Steelsmith Natural Health Center as a Naturopathic Doctor and Licensed Acupuncturist.
The same childhood traits of curiosity and compassion accompany me to each patient visit. My passion is to practice medicine that is patient-centered, based upon natural principles and truly a healing experience. I work with children and adults of all ages, both men and women. I treat chronic and acute illnesses, and also see patients who are simply interested in being proactive in achieving the highest level of health. The therapies that I use are varied and may include dietary and lifestyle counseling, herbal medicine, nutritional supplementation, acupuncture, bioidentical hormones, IV therapy, neural prolotherapy (NPT), prolotherapy, homeopathy, and/or physical medicine.
In my personal time you can find me outdoors, exploring the mountains and beaches of Hawaii with my husband, Jamie, and my two dogs, Kuba and Isaiah.