I was always envious of my classmates, who knew exactly what they wanted to do. I felt aimless through my undergraduate and even graduate degrees and never felt like my ship was sailing in the right direction. Over 20 years ago, I recall standing in front of a flyer that was posted in a tiny town in Arizona. They were opening a Naturopathic Medical school 2 hours away from me and were offering a 4 year degree, no online certificates, but a board certification. This was it!
I grew up in Southern California in a family that wasn’t especially interested in anything healthy. Back in the 70’s, being healthy was on the fringe. I begged my mom to take me to the local health food store. I recall being in 7th grade and absolutely intrigued by the sprouting kits, the juicers, the books on health, Birkenstocks, and oh, the unforgettable smells of incense. I even subscribed to Natural Health magazine and devoured every issue. I never knew you could turn this hobby into a legitimate career. I had a Bachelor’s degree in Psychobiology and a Master’s in Public Health. I was on the path, sort of, but none of it ignited my deepest passion.
Fast forward to today: I have been a practicing Naturopathic Doctor for 19 years in Boulder, CO. I own and run an integrative medical clinic with all the offerings a patient needs to succeed. I am a mother of 3 children, grow lots of veggies in my garden every summer, and have had a 25 year love affair with yoga, meditation, tele skiing, and mountain biking. I work constantly to live the life I preach: good nutrition, exercise, balance, time for myself, family time, and exploring the outdoors.
Naturopathic Medicine allows me to help remove the obstacles a patient faces to healing, provide the missing ingredients, and watch patients thrive. Naturopaths look upstream to find what is causing patient illness rather than simply treating symptoms. It is not always simple nor is it easy, and as the years have passed, my patients have gotten sicker and sicker. The patients that I now see have been sick for decades, doctor-hopping, seeking help, and in some cases searching for an answer to why their life and health is spiraling downward. Heart-wrenching. However, I actually love these complicated cases and dig into the realms of tests, history of diagnoses, and failed treatments.
Despite our advances in modern technology, we are not getting healthier but sicker. Our planet has changed the way our bodies adapt and heal. We now have to battle nutrient deficient foods, increased stress in our lives, and consistent exposure to chemicals and pesticides at rates we have never experienced before. There is a layer of toxicity underlying most acute and chronic illness, and until we address this issue, these disorders will be harder to treat and cure naturally. This is often where I start with patients. We work first on removing this layer, and then progress from there.
I have been working on reaching more patients all at one time. I want to move out of the exam room and work with men and women wherever they are. Many people live in states and cities where they are not able to work with a naturopathic doctor. The model I have created on this site helps me to reach and help you wherever you live.
I offer online courses, webinars, group consultations, daily meditations, and access to my blog, videos, and medical musings. I will guide you toward the right tests, most appropriate treatments, and teach you what being healthy requires.
Let’s go beyond the 10 minute office visit and work together until we find a solution that gives you back your health. Let’s dig deeper to find those obstacles impeding your healing process and remove them. And let me be your partner in revealing the healthiest version of yourself today and always.
In light and love,
Dr. Mary Shackelton, MPH, ND