I grew up in Oregon’s Willamette Valley between my family’s half acre and my grandparents farm. At the farm I harvested and ate all colors of berries, marveled at night skies and sat at the business end of their cow while she got milked. My first activism was joining a group fast to bring healthier foods to the college dining hall, successfully! Later I worked as a community organizer, did tenants rights work with Multnomah County Legal Aid and helped found the Portland Tenants Union. In the course of my grassroots organizing work I was struck by seeing community members whose health challenges kept them from making any improvements in their lives. Something in these life stories shifted my attention.
Not long after, a sense of purpose revolving around human health started to crystallize. As a licensed massage therapist I became intrigued by the questions about health my clients would ask. At age 28, this need to know inspired me to re-enter college to study pre-med sciences. I was the first woman professional in my family and it took some time to form a self concept that included the Hippocratic oath and the internal preparations for providing good care for others.
I graduated with top honors from National College of Naturopathic Medicine (now National University of Natural Medicine) in 1990, completed a one year residency at the college and graduated in 1992 from Oregon College of Oriental Medicine where I studied acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. I am licensed in Oregon as a Naturopathic Physician and Acupuncturist.
Major influences from books/poems/songs, in the order in which they entered my life ...
Louise Dickinson Rich / We Took to the Woods
Gene Stratton-Porter / The Harvester
Marge Piercy / To Be of Use
Al Jarreau / songs, including We Got By
Frances Moore Lappé / Diet for a Small Planet
William Dufty / Sugar Blues
Ted Kaptchuk / The Web That Has No Weaver
Dianne M Connelly / All Sickness is Home Sickness
Harriet Beinfield & Efram Korngold / Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine
Candace Pert / Molecules of Emotion
Miriam Greenspan / Healing Through the Dark Emotions
Jonathan Safran Foer / Everything is Illuminated, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Michael Pollan / Botany of Desire: a plants-eye view of the world
Mark Nepo / The Exquisite Risk
Leonard Cohen / song, Anthem,”there’s a crack in everything, it’s how the light gets in”
Atul Gawande / Being Mortal
Next on my reading list, I’ve been told I need to read these …
Siddhartha Mukherjee / Emperor of All Maladies
Florence Williams / Breasts-A natural and unnatural history
Elizabeth Lesser / Broken Open: how difficult times can help us grow
Nancy Mace & Peter Rabins / 36 hour day: A Family Guide to Caring for Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease, Related Dementias and Memory Loss
Jill Bolte Taylor / A Stroke of Insight
Candace Pert / Everything You Need to Know to Feel Good
Laura van Dernoot Lipsky / Trauma Stewardship
Jerome Groopman / How Doctors Think
Jane Goodall / A Mindful Approach to Eating
Personal retreat spots ...
Anywhere, a room in your home or yard, quiet room in the public library, a walk in the park
For more planned retreats…
McMenamin’s Edgefield, a 20-30 minute drive from downtown Portland or Tri-Met bus #77 Broadway/Halsey to Troutdale.
Breitenbush Hot Springs and Retreat Center, near Detroit Lake, about 2.5 hours from downtown Portland.