Naturopathy is a system of medicine that promotes optimal wellness and is based on the following principles:
Naturopathic medicine restores health by removing obstacles to cure and supporting the body's own healing processes. It combines the latest in scientific research and evidenced based medicine with traditional wisdom and natural healing practices. As a naturopath I use a variety of tools, including laboratory testing and imaging, nutrition, exercise, lifestyle coaching, botanical medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, hydrotherapy, pharmaceuticals and more. Naturopathic medicine requires a partnership between practitioner and patient, and the visits are longer so that I can get to know you and your issues as thoroughly as possible.
Naturopathic doctors are trained at four-year universities. The first 2 years are very similar to conventional medical school, with the last 2 years focusing on naturopathic treatments and experience at the teaching clinics. Licensing laws vary from state to state, but all naturopathic doctors are trained as primary care physicians.
As stated on the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians website, "The past 30 years has seen an extraordinary increase in consumer demand for safe, effective and cost-effective natural healthcare. Naturopathic medicine has emerged as the health care profession best suited to meet this demand. Although it almost disappeared in the mid-twentieth century because of the popularity of drugs and surgery, naturopathic medicine now offers safe, effective natural therapies as a vital part of the health care systems of North America for the twenty-first century."
I am a licensed and board certified Naturopathic Doctor in the state of California and in Oregon. I am also a Certified Professional Midwife and am licensed as a midwife in Washington and California.
I grew up in Illinois and graduated from college Summa Cum Laude before attending naturopathic medical school at Bastyr University near Seattle, Washington, where I also received training and certification in midwifery. While at Bastyr I received numerous awards, including the Bechtel, Metagenics, Fred Smart, University and Bastyr Student Scholarships. I trained extensively in midwifery and pediatrics with Seattle Natural Family Medicine. After naturopathic medical school I traveled to Vanuatu in the South Pacific and delivered babies at a developing hospital before completing a rigorous family practice residency at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon.
How I Came to Naturopathic Medicine
I always knew, from the time I was very young, that I wanted to be involved somehow in biology, in the life sciences, but I also knew that I did not resonate with nor accept completely all of conventional medicine. What an illuminating joy it was to discover naturopathic medicine. I love what I do and I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with practitioners from many fields to provide the best possible healthcare to our patients.
I was (and am) passionate about women's health and sustainability, about peace and community. I was fascinated with infectious diseases and appalled by the rise of antibiotic resistent bacteria. I was unsatisfied though, before I stumbled upon naturopathic medicine. I couldn't see myself spending my entire life behind a microscope, but I was dissillusioned with many of the tenets of conventional medicine and our failed healthcare "system" of inequalities. From the moment I heard about naturopathic medicine, I knew I had found something incredible. I could have a livelihood, a life's work, not just a career. I could merge my activism and my love of science and my love of the earth and living systems.
How I Practice
I consider myself a true primary care doctor (although in California such practice has limits), with pediatrics and women's health as specialities. I work particularly well with acheiving lasting lifestyle changes--helping people make goals and actually reach them. Fertility is another area of speciality. Also adolescent health care--I really love working with this population.
I follow naturopathic principals in my practice. I strive to simultaneously meet people where they are and hold the space and the vision for their optimal self--to support them on their journey. I try to connect with people and cultivate the oh-so-important therapeutic relationship that is crucial to healing. I resonate most with botanicals and nutrition and active preventive medicine, but call on a wide variety of naturopathic treatments to best address a whole person, a family, and ultimately, a community and the planet.
Some of My Favorite Things About Being a Doctor
Watching people grow, including myself. Seeing magical transformative moments. Laughing with my patients. The excitement of researching a new case, of finding the right path forward through the maze of possibilities, of the "ah-ha" moment, of forging an alliance with someone excited about their health. Being present with another human being as they suffer and triumph and evolve. Being able to bring patients compassion in sensitive or painful moments. Being present at the birth of families. Hearing someone's story. Having the knowledge and skills to help someone when they need it and/or hook them into a web of resources that can help them. Watching patients succeed. And, I really love working with pregnant women and babies and kids--they're just so much fun.
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"Dr. Michelle Gerber is the Best when it comes to complete family care. I was fortunate to have had her care for me during my pregnancy and after the birth of my daughter, and now I could not ask for a better person to be looking out for all of us. She is amazing!
What I love most about her is her kind, gentle and patient demeanor. My husband and I truly appreciate the time she takes with all of us, especially our 18-month-old daughter. We never feel rushed during our appointments, which is another great aspect of being under her wonderful care.
Dr. Gerber is the perfect balance of Clinical and Holistic care. It is rare to find such phenomenal pediatric, gynecological and full scope family care all in one practitioner. Also, knowing that she has many areas of expertise is such an added bonus especially when you have a family.
My family’s health is paramount and there is no better person that we would entrust it to than Dr. Michelle Gerber. I would highly recommend her to anyone who wants a high quality of care with a naturopathic approach, which is very affordable. We are grateful to have found such a knowledgeable kind and caring soul as Dr. Michelle Gerber."
Sundeep, Brandon and Sonia Morrison