Right here at Namaste Berkeley, we are lucky to have a Naturopathic Doctor at our fingertips. Dr. Amy is incredibly knowledgable, personable and so passionate about her work. This week we are launching a workshop series led by Dr. Amy called Women’s Wellness Wednesdays. To kick off the series we sat down with Dr. Amy to learn more about what makes her such an amazing practitioner.
What drew you to Naturopathic Medicine?
I grew up in Miami, FL with conventional medicine being the only medicine I knew of. In college, I became interested in alternative healing options like nutrition and herbal medicine. I enjoyed sharing simple natural strategies with my family and friends, such as echinacea to shorten the duration of a cold. Meanwhile I was completing a business degree, never thinking I wanted to go into medicine.
Then, my mom sent me an article about this profession called “Naturopathic Medicine” and I became fascinated by the blend of science and nature. I loved learning about how the body works, including the detailed nutritional and hormonal biochemistry. My medical school training focused on evidence-based natural approaches to treatment while still making room for mind-body-spirit aspects of wellness. Now as a naturopathic doctor, I feel so lucky to practice a type of medicine that treats the whole person and is rooted in promoting the body’s ability to heal itself.
What health topic are you most passionate about?
Empowerment. I see too many women suffering from symptoms that they assume are “normal” or have been given treatment options that they don’t want to follow (ie RX drugs). Our current medical system is so disease focused that it is not well equipped to help us optimize our health. I love helping women with hormonal imbalance to improve their energy, sleep, mood and weight, especially around perimenopause.
I’m also very involved in the world of endometriosis… as a patient, as a doctor and as a board member of the Endometriosis Association. In all women’s health issues, I take a strong stand for patients to take their health into their own hands, and learn to listen to their own bodies’ signals. If one doctor doesn’t give you the help you need, find practitioners, treatments and self-care practices that work for you, so you can feel great and truly enjoy life to it’s fullest!
How has being a Naturopath Doctor influenced your role as a mother, or vice versa?
My son just celebrated his seventh birthday, so I have a real compassion for busy women who are trying to balance their own health in the mix of a million other things. After 8-1/2 years in a busy group practice in San Francisco, I’ve shifted my work life to be closer to home and my schedule now allows me to spend more time and focus with each patient. I’m delighted to have my office at Namaste (Berkeley) in a very healing environment with yoga right in the next room.
What do you do to relieve stress?
A great perk of being at Namaste is the short commute to yoga class! I also love my morning walk/jog around the park and I wind down at night with a foam roller neck/shoulder relaxation routine. I’ve been through adrenal fatigue a few times now, so I’ve learned that stress management is a crucial part of everyday living. Other favorite pastimes include playing with my son, throwing the frisbee and spending time outdoors, especially when the sun is shining!
What other women’s wellness support do you offer in addition to your private practice?
My website DrAmyDay.com is a great place to learn more about my online offerings, such as “The Busy Woman’s 2-Week Recharge” wellness program. I’m also very excited to be bringing together small groups of women locally to learn, heal and create supportive community. I have a one-day rejuvenation retreat in SF on Saturday March 29 with solyogatrips.com and, at Namaste, we are launching a monthly workshop series starting on March 19. “Women’s Wellness Wednesdays” will take place one Wednesday evening per month and will be a great way to get my support on a variety of topics. Attendees will also have the chance to share and learn from other health-conscious women while enjoying herbal teas and chocolate!