A New Approach.
As a Functional Medicine Provider, Naturopathic Physician, and Licensed Acupuncturist, I specialize in a root cause resolution approach to holistic hormone balance and autoimmunity. So instead of focusing on finding the right pill for the ill – whether that be a pharmaceutical or another supplement – I work with you, from a body systems-based approach, to find your core imbalance. That way, we can remove the obstacles to cure and restore the body’s natural ability to heal from the inside out.
Interested in working one-on-one with me?
One of the first questions I tend to get is why I offer programs and memberships instead of billing insurance or even just running a simple fee-for-service or cash-based practice. After years of listening to hundreds of patients share their frustrations with the traditional models and hearing about what they truly wanted from a healthcare provider, the solution became very clear.
Dr. Michelle is, first of all, a beautiful soul. She is kind, patient, and a wonderful listener. I can FEEL her healing energy and that she truly cares about her patients and colleagues. I have come to her often with questions about how to manage complex patients. Her insights and experiences are always excellent, well supported and patient centered.
Her go getter attitude, amazing discipline, organizational skills and professionalism will continue to serve her in her medical practice, as will her vast knowledge base in both Naturopathic Medicine, Acupuncture, and Functional Medicine. She is a scholar and is committed to furthering her knowledge base through continuing medical education and seminars. I have been very impressed by her patient protocols–she has put great thought and energy into each of them.
Dr. Michelle is a natural born healer, of that I have no doubt. I am blessed to know her and clients are lucky to meet her because she will do everything in her power to help them become the best versions of themselves.Dr. Maysa Alavi in Los Angeles, CA
Programs + Memberships Offer:
Truly personalized care. When you visit the average doctor, they are managing over 2000 patients, which, as you can imagine, leaves little room to really connect with you and listen to your needs. By offering service bundles, I limit my practice to about 145 patients, at any given time. This allows me to be fully present, accountable and determined as your health advocate – a dedicated partnership.
Motivation through commitment. As you probably already know, everything can’t be covered in an hour, or even two. If you want to see a transformation happen with your health, it takes time. Service bundles allow us this opportunity. Without real commitment, most people end up slipping back into old habits – I’ve seen this time and time again with traditional models. If you want sustainable healthy change, you need a community of dedicated, like-minded practitioners and consistent support.
Simplicity and transparency. With skyrocketing premiums, crippling deductibles, dwindling reimbursements and questionable coverage, it’s clear that the current system is unacceptable. Our bundle model is designed with you in mind – not the insurance companies, not the pharmaceutical companies, not the supplement companies – YOU. It provides you effective and streamlined care with no surprises. In addition, to provide the most affordable care possible, I have made special arrangements with all of my lab vendors to provide you with direct lab pricing. This ensures that you will get the lowest price possible on all lab testing.
The thing is…
Many people I start working with are frustrated, or even scared about their health – maybe this is you. Maybe you’ve been seeking answers from Dr. Google and other web sources that end up contributing to your stress, anxiety and overall frustration? The thing is… you can’t rely on information alone – you need coaching, accountability and a solid direction with a clear starting point.
Check out The Worthwhile Wellness Program below, and see if it’s right for you. Clicking “Let’s Chat!” will allow you to schedule a complimentary meet and greet session with me, which we can do in person or over the phone (or video!). During our chat, we can talk about your current stage of health, where you’ve been, where you want to go and the steps needed to get you there.
The Worthwhile Wellness Program
The Worthwhile Wellness Program is an accelerated and individualized approach to help you reach your fullest potential and bring your gifts into this world. You have a vision and a purpose, and I want to see you thrive! If you’re feeling “off”, “imbalanced” or simply “not yourself”, then how can you live a vibrant life where your dreams and goals are actualized?
On top of that, you may have a diagnosis that limits your energy, leaves you with chronic pain and prevents you from experiencing life in the way you know you deserve. This may seem daunting or “too complex”, but guess what? We’ll work as a team to get some answers and finally create that shift you’ve been seeking.
This program is designed and tailored to your specific needs and will help elevate your wellness to the next level through health empowerment. We start with a careful evaluation of your health timeline, which covers your current and past social, medical and personal history. Based on a careful evaluation of your intake forms, and after listening to your story, we will determine the most appropriate lab testing to identify the root cause(s) of your symptoms.
Through our evaluation, we will touch on key components to your health – pillars, if you will. These include energy production, detoxification/elimination, defense/repair, assimilation, structural integrity, cellular signaling and hormone balance. Together, we’ll take a streamlined and strategic approach, instead of throwing darts and hoping for the best.
I had the joy of having Dr. Michelle as my doctor. From the first appointment I felt at ease and knew she was really invested in helping me feel better. She always took the time to explain what was happening in my body, why it was responding or reacting the way it was, and offered a myriad of options in care. Dr. Michelle was always through, responsive to my concerns, and warm. I looked forward to our appointments and always left feeling good.Moryah in Portland, OR
What is included?
9 Comprehensive Consultations + 6 Health Coaching Sessions
Your clinical and nutritional consultations may be done in person or via phone/video, and the health coaching sessions are done over the phone. Our team consists of a functional medicine provider (me, Dr. Michelle), a holistic nutritionist and a functional health coach. Other providers and referrals are available to you, such as mental health specialists, personal trainers, physical therapists and chiropractors, as needed.
Your program length will last about 12 months. Once you have completed your program, we can discuss continuing your care through an ongoing seasonal support membership for quarterly follow-ups and annual functional blood chemistry analysis work.
“FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE IS ABOUT CAUSES, NOT SYMPTOMS. IT IS GETTING TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM.” —MARK HYMAN, MD
Typical Support Schedule
- Month 1
- Initial Clinical Consultation – 60-90 minutes
- Initial Health Coaching Session – 60 minutes
- Month 2
- Functional Lab Review – 60 minutes
- Initial Nutrition Consultation – 90 minutes
- Health Coaching Session – 30-60 minutes
- Month 3
- Clinical Follow-Up – 30 minutes
- Health Coaching Session – 30-60 minutes
- Month 4
- Nutrition Follow-Up – 60 minutes
- Health Coaching Session – 30-60 minutes
- Month 5
- Clinical Follow-Up – 30 minutes
- Health Coaching Session – 30-60 minutes
- Month 6
- Nutrition Follow-Up – 60 minutes
- Health Coaching Session – 30-60 minutes
- Month 9
- Clinical Follow-Up – 30 minutes
- Month 12
- Clinical Case Review– 30 minutes
Other Features + Benefits:
Access to your team improves compliance, maintains momentum, and keeps an open dialogue throughout your program. You can email/message us with any questions that you have throughout your program.
Nutrition + Health Coaching
Did you know that 80% of your success is based on your nutrition and lifestyle strategy? That’s right, and because we realize the value of this, and the impact it has on you and your family, we emphasize lifestyle and nutrition throughout the process. By taking better care of yourself, you can lead your family (and friends!) to a healthier and happier life.
Functional Lab Testing
Functional lab testing helps evaluate your health on a cellular level. This testing is different from traditional testing because it helps evaluate the root cause(s) of your health challenges instead of just assigning a diagnosis. This testing may be done through urine, stool, saliva, and/or blood.
When we run labs, I want to make sure that you fully understand your results and that you can easily share them with your healthcare team if necessary. To do this, I provide video lab interpretations that you can keep for your records. Most importantly, though, this video allows you to become more involved and engaged in your own care. I believe that being informed leads to much better long-term outcomes and creates an active partnership with your health and wellness.
If additional functional lab tests are required, such as food sensitivity testing, a comprehensive stool analysis or micro-nutrient analysis, I have made special arrangements with all of my lab vendors to provide you with direct lab pricing. This ensures that you will get the lowest price possible on all lab tests.
Customized Supplement Program
After reviewing your lab results and evaluating your mineral and nutrient demands, I will recommend a personalized supplement program. My recommendations will include only the highest quality products to create more predictable outcomes. In addition, as a program member, you will receive wholesale pricing on physician-grade supplements through my online medicinary.
Health Tracking App
As a member, you get exclusive access to our health tracking app to help us stay connected and keep better track of your progress. You can choose which parameters you would like to track, or your team can create custom ones for your needs.
- Using Nudge, other patients have found that they:
- Drink 18% more water
- Eat 20% more fruits and vegetables
- Increase their daily steps by 18%
- Improve their daily cardio by 26% and
- Lost 4.5x more weight over the first 120 days!
The Nudge app also syncs data seamlessly with the best and most popular health and fitness apps, wearables and connected devices, like Fitbit, Garmin, InBody, iHealth, Jawbone, MapMyFitness and MANY more! This provides you with a beautifully simple way to track your habits and receive timely, targeted messages from me (and my health coach), delivered directly to your smart phone. That’s right, you can use it to ask me, and your team, clarifying questions!
Workshops, Podcast, Online Courses + Web Resources
Community and education are paramount to your long-term success. We offer workshops, online courses, a practical and informative podcast, a private Facebook group PLUS access to a growing library of health content for you to take advantage of.
The Worthwhile Wellness Program is carefully tailored to ensure that you get the results you are looking for. My promise is to do whatever it takes to help you find an answer and guide you through the healing process, while also being cost conscious without compromising your outcomes.
This personalized program starts at $3447* – supplements and additional lab testing recommendations are customized based on your history and findings. *Payment plan available.
If you’re intrigued by this approach, I’d love to chat with you. I believe that if we’re going to work closely, as a team, we need to make sure it’s the right fit for us both. With this in mind, I offer a brief complimentary consult, where we can talk about your specific needs and answer any lingering questions you may have. Just click the button below, to get on the schedule.
Dr. Michelle brings to her practice the seamless integration of her training in both Naturopathic and Chinese Medicine. It is her ability to discern what will be most helpful for each individual that makes her an effective and attentive practitioner. I refer patients to Dr. Michelle regularly for her balanced and compassionate approach. She is an asset to our profession and the community.Dr. Stephanie Kaplan in Portland, OR
ON THE FENCE… ?
If you’re intrigued by this approach, but you’re not quite ready to commit to a full year of wellness, then I’d love to extend an opportunity for you to experience your initial 90-minute consult with me for just $347.
During this visit, we will map out your complete personal health timeline, discover the triggers, contributing factors and consider possible root causes that have lead to your current concerns. From this information, we will discuss your next steps, recommended lab tests and any additional assessments that would streamline your healing process.
If after this initial consult you’re ready to sign up, we’ll apply your initial visit fee towards your program!
What are the benefits of Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis & how is it different from regular lab work?
Functional blood chemistry analysis is one of my certified specialties, and it’s something that I highly recommend, if you are seeking optimal health and prevention of future disease. It is an invaluable tool when doing a comprehensive assessment for you, which is why I include it in your program.
While some blood chemistry markers, or biomarkers, stand alone in providing key information about your health (such as HemoglobinA1C as an identifying marker for Diabetes), most markers need to be considered along with other biomarkers to discover patterns, assess probabilities, determine a diagnosis, and to put a preventative care plan in place. We need to see the trajectory, before we can make the appropriate changes. Initial tests allow us to establish a baseline of biomarkers which I use to track your health and improvement over a period of time.
When I look at your labs, I’m not just looking at the standard reference ranges – those ranges are designed to identify and diagnose disease states and pathology – NOT subtle dysfunction or probable future outcomes. Conventional reference ranges are based on a standardized bell-curve average, which means that about 96% of the population fit into this “normal” range – from my experience, “normal” definitely does not equal “healthy”. Would you agree? These conventional ranges don’t account for all the people I see who may present as “clinically” normal yet suffer from a wide range of signs and symptoms – these people almost always have a subclinical dysfunction or a “functional” issue. This is where functional lab testing shines.
Functional blood chemistry analysis allows me to look at the bigger picture. I’m able to look at how your body is functioning as a whole and what physiological trends are present. I’m also able to look at each body system individually and see how they’re interacting together.
Combining this analysis with a thorough history, a diet and symptom analysis, and functional physical exam, I can more accurately determine whether or not you’re having problems with blood sugar dysregulation, hormone imbalance, adrenal dysfunction, detoxification issues, and many other areas. This approach gives us the opportunity to deal with the dysfunction long before it manifests as a pathological disease state… think of it as a “crystal ball” of sorts.
Instead of the standard ranges used by many conventional doctors, I refer to functional, or optimal, ranges. The ranges I use are tighter than the conventional laboratory reference ranges, which increases the sensitivity and can cue me in on certain imbalances that may otherwise be overlooked. By looking at labs in this way, I’m able to detect more subtle changes in physiological function and approach laboratory testing in a more preventative way. Then, as a team, we can clearly identify and correct the factors that are preventing your body from achieving optimal physiological, biochemical, and metabolic functioning, aka the things that are keeping you from reaching your highest potential!
We will take a close look at your blood sugar balance, kidney function, electrolytes, metabolic function, vitamin + mineral status, liver + gallbladder function, cholesterol balance, thyroid health, inflammatory markers and your immune system.
While all of these markers can be ordered by your primary care doctor, unfortunately, many find that they are not willing to order all them or their insurance will not cover the complete panel. If a person’s insurance was to cover all 175 biomarkers, most find that their co-pay is several hundred dollars (or more!), so I’ve included these labs for efficiency and convenience.
What are cortisol and hormone labs for & why might you need them?
To get an even more complete picture, I also include specialty functional labs that are run through Precision Analytical. I utilize their DUTCH test, which stands for Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones. This test allows me to look at your 24-hour urine cortisol to determine how well your adrenal glands are functioning and what your overall hormone balance looks like.
Our adrenal glands are the glands of stress, but they’re also the first glands to fail under stressful conditions. When our adrenals aren’t able to keep up with the daily demands of our total stress load, we end up with depleted adrenals, or adrenal fatigue. Although you may be thinking you’re not under a ton of stress, think about the pressures put on your body from allergies, lack of sleep, poor eating habits, lack of exercise, caffeine, fear, negative attitudes, lack of restorative activities, financial pressures, psychological stressors, draining relationships and work obligations…to name a few.
Our adrenal glands are one of the major players in our endocrine, or hormone, system.
Although they’re small, these endocrine glands are responsible for secreting over 50 hormones like adrenaline, cortisol, progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone. When they’re properly functioning, our adrenal glands are responsible for energy production, fluid and electrolyte balance, fat storage, and hormone production.
These labs also allow me to take an in-depth look at your hormone balance, including production, metabolites, and ratios that can be extremely important when considering several preventive and corrective treatment approaches.
In addition, if you are working on preconception care or fertility issues, we can perform a complete hormone cycle map of your monthly estradiol and progesterone to get a clear picture of where your body needs support.
To learn more about the DUTCH testing method, click here.
Although nearly 650 miles away, I contacted Dr. Michelle about my most recent case of swollen hemorrhoids, this one more severe than others. It was literally a real pain in the …!
Dr. Michelle prescribed an over-the-counter treatment that immediately relieved some of the annoying symptoms, and prescribed a medication that I purchased through her supplement supplier, ‘Fullscript’, which I received in just a couple of days. Within a week of communicating with Dr. Michelle, the condition was gone completely. Even better, as a result of her recommended lifestyle changes, the condition has not reappeared. Dr. Michelle showed exceptional attention to not only my existing condition, but to lifestyle changes that would minimize, if not completely eliminate the possibility of recurrence.Charlie in Clayton, CA
I’ve been seeing Dr. Michelle as my primary care provider for about 3 years. From the first appointment with her, I felt valued and appreciated. She treats people with respect and love. That is rare, in my experience. I feel like I matter to her, and that means a lot. Her knowledge of the human body, health and healing are vast and it is growing. She is a true healer, in the best sense of the word.Kirsten in Portland, OR
Why work with a functional nutritionist?
Nutrition is the foundation of health – food IS medicine! I want you to be empowered and capable to take care of yourself and the people you love, and there’s no better way than providing your body with the very best food.
With this in mind, you’ll have three comprehensive sessions to work closely with Haley Vilhauer, RDN, CD – a functional nutritionist who will support your nutritional needs from a holistic, functional and practical perspective.
Why work with a Health Coach?
There’s a big difference between knowing what you should do and actually doing it — and that’s where a health coach can come in and fill that gap. Melanie Burton helps guide you through a process that facilitates sustainable change through identifying values to overcome barriers and obstacles. Your program includes seven coaching sessions wth Melanie to make sure you’re getting the support you need at the pace you need it.
The process is client-centered (aka not telling you what to do) and together you brainstorm ideas that will actually motivate you. A health coach meets you where you’re at in your health journey and doesn’t try to put you in a pre-set plan. Together you will set encouraging, but realistic goals that will make you feel empowered on your health journey.
What is a Functional Medicine Health Coach?
Why get Acupuncture?
If you’re local to the PNW, or you decide to visit us, you’ll have access to me for Acupuncture, CranioSacral and Aroma Acupoint Therapy™. I offer discounted discounted services for all members.
Acupuncture is a gentle technique used to ease pain, balance emotions, and relieve stress. The practice has been around for centuries and is based on the concept that Qi (“chee”), the body’s innate life force energy, flows throughout your entire body along pathways called meridians.
When these meridians, or channels, are blocked or obstructed in any way, as a result of physical injury, emotional trauma, or unhealthy lifestyle habits, we experience symptoms. These symptoms can range from physical pain, digestive upset, and lack of energy to hormonal imbalances, emotional instability, and brain fog.
Acupuncture is used to remove these obstructions and rebalance the entire system through a combination of electromagnetic resonance and energetic flow. Instead of thinking of acupuncture from a biochemical standpoint (involving enzymes, neurotransmitters, and other cellular mediators), think of it more from a bio-physical standpoint involving electromagnetic fields, vibrations, and waves. It’s an incredible modality, so if you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it.
What is a Functional Movement Screen (FMS)?
If you’re local to the PNW, or you decide to visit us, you’ll have access to a personal trainer who is certified in Functional Movement Screening. FMS is the screening tool used to identify limitations or asymmetries in seven fundamental movement patterns that are key to functional movement quality in individuals with no current pain complaint or known musculoskeletal injury.
These movement patterns are designed to provide observable performance of basic locomotor, manipulative and stabilizing movements by placing an individual in extreme positions where weaknesses and imbalances become noticeable, if appropriate mobility and motor control is not utilized.
Dragon Fitness offers a complimentary Functional Movement Screen for all members!
More information on Dragon Fitness can be found here.
Why Work with a Therapist?
If you’re local to the PNW, or you decide to visit us, you’ll have access to our therapist. Our physical health affects our thoughts and outlook on life, and vise versa. Kendall is trained specifically to work from a body-based perspective with those navigating health related issues. If you’d like to understand your chronic illness or diagnoses, shift your mental-emotional relationship to them, or develop skills to manage physical and emotional pain in a different way, this is the way to do it.
Kendall is a psychotherapist and the founder & director of Vancouver Wellness Studio. She is passionate about working with adolescents and adults of all ages using a holistic, mind/body approach. Kendall’s practice expertise includes stressors related to chronic medical illnesses; anxiety and stress; depression; and career issues. As someone who lives with a chronic illness herself, Kendall feels that health happens best within community, which is why she takes a holistic, integrative, and collaborative wellness approach to her personal and professional life.
Kendall offers a Complimentary Meet + Greet with an additional ~20% discount on your initial therapy consult.
To learn more about Kendall Hagensen, LMHCA, R-DMT, and how she will help you reach your health goals, click here.
Why Work with a Chiropractor?
If you’re local to the PNW, or you decide to visit us, you’ll have access to Dr. Cody Sandzimier, who is the Clinic Director at the downtown location of Bridge Chiropractic™. Dr. Cody’s focuses on finding the specific problem causing your health deficiencies and how best to correct the problem. He uses a variety of methods to effectively and efficiently reach the specific health goals of each patient. His biggest focus is not on only correcting the issues that people commonly come in for, but also improving the Quality of Life of his patients.
Dr. Cody is a former professional baseball player, and as a result, understands the demands and stresses that highly competitive athletes put themselves through, and how to best keep the athlete doing what they love, whether it’s professionally or recreationally. However, his experience is not limited to only athletes. Prior to taking the Clinic Director position at Bridge Chiropractic™ Downtown, Dr. Cody was helping run a sports and family clinic in Seal Beach, California. During Dr. Cody’s 2+ year tenure there, he not only worked with Professional and Olympic Gold medal athletes from multiple sports, but also the families of those patients.
His goal is to not only get his patients out of pain, but to keep them there, allowing them to continue living the life they desire. In addition to his hard work and dedication in the office, he has had multiple articles published in chiropractic magazines and has organized mission trips to 3rd world countries to provide health care to those who don’t have access, or can’t afford it.
What’s expected of you?
One of my goals when working with you is to flip the “scrip” on your idea of healthcare. You’re here because you believe that you can feel better – and I agree with you 100%! I’m going to give it to you straight – you’re going to have to do some work. The good news is that my team and I will be here to support and guide you the whole way. Remember, an estimated 80% of treatment outcome is based on your actions – we’re not here to give you a magic pill to fix you. You can fix yourself, and we’ll teach you how! We call this Health Empowerment. You’ll gain a wealth of knowledge that will benefit you and your family for a lifetime.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I just want one consult?
Signing up for a program is a commitment, I get it! If you’re a new client wanting to experience an initial consult with me, without the commitment, I offer a standalone comprehensive initial consult for $347. If you decide to sign up for The Worthwhile Wellness Program afterwards, I will happily apply this fee to your membership.
In general, I don’t offer a “Pay-As-You-Go” option, because I, or more importantly you, simply won’t see the same results. Because of this, programs and memberships are core to my philosophy. My mission is to help you see results and, results that last, take time. I believe you deserve access to a meaningful amount of care and the opportunity to work with my dedicated team.
Are supplements included?
Supplements are not included in The Worthwhile Wellness Program and are an additional cost, but please note that we do not mark up our supplements in an effort to keep costs down for you.
In addition, I try to keep supplements to a minimum, because my goal is to empower you to get the nutrients you need through nutrition and lifestyle. As you progress through the program, and your health improves, we will be able to decrease your need for supplements.
How much should I budget for functional lab testing?
We’re committed to enhancing your access to the services, laboratory testing, and medicines you need through transparent and affordable pricing. We provide labs and supplements at our cost – no markup – and pass that savings on to you.
On average, you should budget between $200-$600 for functional lab tests.
What is included with messaging support?
Members message their provider team through the Nudge Health Tracking app and/or online patient portal. However, if a question or request is deemed to be too complicated or involved for a digital response, it may require that you schedule a phone, video or in-person consult.
Do you accept my health insurance?
No, we do not work with any health insurance companies.
However, we do accept Health Savings, Health Reimbursement and Flexible Spending Accounts (HSA, HRA + FSA). In addition, you may want to check with your insurance provider to see if you have out-of-network benefits – if so, we can provide you with a superbill to submit for reimbursement.
Please be advised that we will not work directly with your insurance provider.
Do I still need a primary care provider?
Yes! I do NOT provide acute or urgent care services, and our team may not replace the services that your current medical team provides. In addition, we are not available 24/7, so please be sure to have an emergency plan in place.
We provide a stand-alone service focused on creating and advancing health.
What if I need more consults?
Think you’ll need more consults? No problem! I find that most people don’t require more than 5-6 consults per year. However, some people with more complicated or recurring medical issues, requiring more than 6 consults annually, may do one of the following:
- Add consults with me, Dr. Michelle, for an additional fee of $150 per 30-minute consult.
- Or, alternatively, upgrade your membership to concierge status for unlimited consults with me for an additional one time fee of $1000. Upgrading to the concierge membership applies to the current membership year only.
What happens at the end of the program?
Once your health is on track, you won’t need us as much 🙂 At the conclusion of your program we will discuss next steps and create a plan for you to follow up, as needed.
What if I just want acupuncture?
With my well-rounded training in both Western and Eastern modalities, it’s difficult to partition my brain and only isolate an East Asian Medical mindset. To provide the best care possible, it’s essential that I evaluate your story, symptoms and health goals from a truly holistic perspective, and it’s because of this, that I do not offer stand-alone acupuncture visits.
If you are needing a local referral, I know several talented acupuncturists and would be happy to provide their contact information.