Melissa Patterson, ND
Naturopathic Doctor and Medical Intuitive
354 1/2 S. Main St.
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 829-8137

Click on the following links to view archives of my newsletter, from 2012 to the present.
December 2013

The Light and the Dark

Do you feel the change? Not just in the fall breeze, but in people around you? It seems as if everyone has taken a step more into who they truly are. We are in the time of awakening.

We are also in the time of shifting our perception through the darkness and to the other side. If you look it’s easy to see the darkness all around. But, if your perception is based in the light then you can perceive even dark situations with the spaciousness and peace of the light. In this newsletter I talk about both the light and the dark: the light that shines through us as we heal and realize that we are all interconnected; and the dark from what is happening in Fukushima and what is being brought to our shores. May we utilize this information to help us make wise choices and actions. At the deepest level may it help us see more clearly into who we truly are and the ultimate nature of our reality. 

I find that the more I step into oneness, the more I realize how inter-connected we all are. The oneness is everywhere and is in everything that is alive: man, woman, child, tree, cat, dog...  In essence I believe that we all come from the same source and that source emanates from inside of us.

The other day my daughter and I were talking about how God is in all living things.
“Mama, is God in the trees?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said, “God is in the trees.”
“Is God in the grass?” she asked.
“Yes, God is in the grass,” I said.
“Is God in all humans?, she asked.
“Yes, God is in all humans,” I said.
Finally, she said, “Then are we all connected?”
With a big smile on my face I said, “Yes, we are all connected!”

We are indeed all connected. As one changes it affects all others. As you change it affects me, and as I change it affects you. What a beautiful and glorious gift this is. We all are living together in the web of life. In my practice I see this all the time. When one person heals, it deeply touches the lives of their family and friends. The beautiful thing is that the more we choose to live in the light, the more people perceive light because we are all interconnected.

More and more I am sensing this light in my life and in my practice. Sometimes in my sessions I literally see light shining around and through those I am assisting. It’s the brightest when the work penetrates the darkest places and there is a shift into the spaciousness and peace of one’s inner being. It’s amazing. I LOVE MY WORK!

My gratitude pours out like a fountain for how you have all touched and blessed my life. You motivate me to be the best person I can be. My commitment to my own awakening is for me, but also for you. Thank you for keeping me attuned to all that is. I am in deep service to the light and to you.


Fukushima is Here

An invitation: Before you start reading this article on Fukushima I invite you stay attuned to your deeper self as you read: to your own light, to the light of those around you and to the light of all that is. Nothing is ever as bad as our animal body (the part of our body that views everything in a survivalist manner) wants to make it. Acceptance and spaciousness are spiritual attributes that bring one to freedom.

A couple of weeks ago a group of over 500 activists lay down on a beach in San Francisco and formed the words “Fukushima is Here”. This same action was also performed in Paris, India, Australia, New Zealand and many other places all over the world.

Fukushima is, unfortunately, here. As a naturopathic doctor I feel it is my duty to report this situation which can greatly affect our health. The radiation from the accident back in 2011 is now in our oceans. Unfortunately, TEPCO (the company that is responsible for the clean-up) is not able to keep the irradiated water out of the ocean and, as we all know, radiation lingers for a very long time. Signs of this radiation in the water are starting to show up on the west coast. (see links at end of article.)

One of the most dramatic events is coming November 7th with the removal of the used irradiated fuel rods to a safer place, before more typhoons or earthquakes hit. Unfortunately, TEPCO does not have international experts working with them. The possibilities of what could happen if something goes wrong are enormous.

What does one do in a situation like this? There are two answers that I have found in the depth of my meditations: we expand large enough to have the capacity to be with it and we take action.

We take supplements and herbs to help decrease radiation out of our bodies. (See more information on this further in the article.) 

We seriously consider what is right for each of us around eating fish and seaweed from the Pacific Ocean. Articles are presented below that show radioactive cesium in fish and seaweed from the Pacific. There is also an article from a Cal (Physics) Professor stating that the radiation is not seriously effecting our food supply. On a personal note I am going to stop eating fish and seaweed from the Pacific Ocean, because to me the precautionary principle is what’s important to consider here. It is up to you to decide what is best for you and your loved ones.

We utilize the power of prayer and meditation over our food and our oceans. Research has and is showing that these actions have an incredible effect on our direct physical reality.

We take action by calling the White House, sending emails and signing petitions (see links below to do so.)

Most importantly I believe that this kind of situation brings us right up next to what we really believe in. A dear friend of mine said that this situation will bring forth an “Emergen-See.” In other words it will push more people to see into the core of who they really are. There we find acceptance and spaciousness. There we come to terms with our own mortality. There we step further into the light and we Know the bigger source of All.

I pray for protection of our water, our food, our young. I pray for protection of the workers at the nuclear facility. If the movement of the irradiated fuel rods continues as planned, I pray for seen and unseen forces of light to be with those brave souls who are going to move them, to guide their every step. I pray for the international community of experts to step in to help guide the situation.
More importantly, I pray for us all to know as deeply as we can with radical faith that all will be well, no matter what happens. May we connect to and know the infinite source of life. It’s time for us to step into the bigger truth — together! In knowing that support our breath can be more relaxed and full. From that place we are okay no matter what happens.

To honor this life, this breath...we take action. This is our collective opportunity to rise together. Please call the White House, email the secretary of energy, and sign the below petition.
Take Action:
  • Please sign this petition for the world community of experts to take charge at Fukushima by November 5th. It will be presented on November 6th:
  • Call the White House to voice your concern and request to send an independent international team of experts immediately to Fukushima.  White House phone number is 202-456-1111, call between 9-5 CST.  I have been given directions to keep it short and simple.
  • Friday of this last week it was announced by the US Energy Secretary that the US will step into help Fukushima IF Japan needs it. Please send an email to him thanking him for the gesture and urge him to send in experts. email address:

Other Information about Fukushima:

*I want to thank Sasha Benedetti, Fukushima activists and dear friend, for all of her work and support in this endeavor. Your tireless action has not gone unnoticed. Deep gratitude my friend! 


Here is a link to an article I published when the original incident happened at Fukushima on supplements and herbs that help decrease radiation in our body:

See below for basic supplemental/herbal support to help your body against radioactive exposure: (most important at the top.)

-My favorite herbal tincture is: Holy Basil, Reishi, Burdock and Eleuthero.  One can get this formulated at Farmacopia in Santa Rosa.

-Zeolite is also a powerful supplement used extensively in Chernobyl (a great brand is Natural Cell Defense)

- Cilantro can also be used as a natural chelator of heavy metal, but should only (be used initially with small amounts), 10 drops per day is a good place to start since it can cause detoxification side effects.

-Chlorophyll powder or in food has anti-radiation effects in the body. The following foods have high amounts of chlorophyll: cabbage, leafy green vegetables such as kale, spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, as well as any sprouts.

-Antioxidants are also helpful: (a few of my favorites are Cell Protect and Antioxidant Defense).

-I also recommend Resveratrol to protect your DNA, and CoQ10 to keep your enzyme systems efficient.

*Dosages vary according to person’s constitution and body size, if in doubt take recommended amount on bottle.

Before you leave this article...please read on:

Before we end I invite you to once again check in and notice your animal body and your Spirit. Which one is more present?

If you notice that you have any fear arise regarding this information now or over the next few days I encourage you to use this as fuel to take your next steps into choosing the freedom of your spirit over the fear of your animal body. It’s a process and a path, one worth stepping fully into.

Thich Nat Hahn says it well in an excerpt from The End of Suffering:

“...The universal diamond door is already open. The sound of the rising tide is heard clearly. The miracle happens (when) a beautiful child appears in the heart of the lotus flower (of our being.) One single drop of this compassionate water is enough to bring back a refreshing spring to our mountains and rivers (and oceans)...”

We have no idea how powerful we all are until we rise together...

In Deep Blessings,

Dr. Melissa

May, 2013
Happy Spring everyone!  A few weeks ago I celebrated May Day by dancing around the maypole celebrating the end of the Long Dark Night of the Soul—celebrating what has been born, and the light within.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a 5 day retreat with master spiritual teacher Adyashanti, a man who is truly awakened—someone who is both a Zen Master and embodies the heart of Christ Consciousness.  Sitting with him was like being on a fast-track to one’s Divine nature and beyond.

During this time I found the Divinity pulsating within me.  For a time, I also completely lost the “I”.  In other words, the container of the ego was completely dissolved.  What was left was a deep merging with the All.

From this experience, I came away with knowing that we are all connected: the Divine lives and breathes within each and every one of us. What I do effects you, and what you do effects me.

While on retreat, I realized that I am being called to shift to a higher resonance in every place in my life.  This includes my practice and how I am with you.

Positive changes are on the horizon and I look forward to our mutual evolution.


Blessed Be,

Dr. Melissa



Rate increase

As of June 1st my rates will increase to the following:

  • Initial Sessions:  $200
  • Follow-Up Sessions:  $140

Currently I am finding that my practice is so full, I need to hire an in-person assistant.  It is necessary to raise my rates to support this. 

For those in financial need, I will still have similar discounts as I currently do and I am also establishing a scholarship fund for those who are disabled (see below). 


Special Time-Sensitive Discount

From now until June 1st I offer a special package rate for patients:

  • 3 follow-up sessions for $315
  • This is a $75 discount from the current follow-up rate and is even less than my package of 5 series discount.  Get it while it lasts by clicking here!


Scholarship Fund

I have several patients who are disabled and are in need of my services.  Many of these patients have severe physical issues (such as multiple chemical sensitivities, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.)  They all have in common mind-body issues that are deeply connected to their physical illness and are in need of my specific services.  My job is to serve in the best way I can and these patients need to be given the time and care to get better.  At the same time, I need to find an energetic balance to cover my expenses.  

Therefore, I am asking the community for support and am creating a scholarship fund to support those in need.  Please donate any amount that you are called to give.

You can donate in the following ways:  

Thank you so much for supporting those in need!

Part-Time Assistant Wanted

I am looking for a part-time assistant for office support.  This position will begin at 3-5 hours per week through the summer and the hours will increase over time.  

If you know of anyone who you think would be a good match and is interested in growing with the expansion of the practice, please feel free to forward this to them. 

Announcing the 5th Year Anniversary of Sebastopol Practice


Announcing the 5th Year Anniversary of Sebastopol Practice

I am very happy to announce that I am celebrating the 5th year anniversary of my practice in Sebastopol.  I have thoroughly enjoyed having my practice in Sebastopol.  I am grateful that I practice in a town that has such an open and expanded perspective of the world, themselves and healing.  

I am the most grateful for all of the incredible patients that have graced my practice these last five years. I have seen such beautiful breakthroughs, healing and personal evolution with patients.  The level of the healing that I have seen borders on the miraculous and I feel graced to be able to facilitate the level of healing that I witness daily.

In the last five years I have added the healing modalities of Voice Dialogue and Theta Healing, two incredibly powerful mind-body modalities.  I have also refined and learned more about many of the techniques that I already utilize, such as, increasing my knowledge in nutrition, herbalism and refining how I facilitate mind-body medicine.  But, most importantly I have found that as I have gone deeper into my own healing I hold a deeper space for’s a beautiful reciprocity the fuels my own evolution.  

For those who don’t know about my background before practicing in Sebastopol, I graduated from naturopathic medical school in 2000.  Prior to practicing in Sebastopol I was the director of the Consciousness, Healing and Ecology program at New College of California for five years.  Before that I practiced at Hill Park Medical Clinic in Petaluma for 3 years.

While teaching at New College I also had a small practice incorporating intuitive/energy medicine and I found that patients got better faster and had a more personally profound healing when these modalities were incorporated. In January of 2008 New College closed its doors as an academic institution. It was then that I realized that I wanted to re-open my practice in Sebastopol.  At the time I made the agreement with myself, that if I was going to re-open my practice I wanted it to be representative of who I am as a healer and what I truly do.  At that point I made a significant decision to let-go of what I thought I “should” do (which was to only be a clinically oriented naturopathic doctor) and went out on a limb and specialized in medical intuition, mind-body medicine and intuitive/energy medicine.  In essence I put myself out in the world for what I was really called to do, which was be a “Modern Day Medicine Woman”.

Since making that decision not only have I found more happiness and satisfaction in my work, but I have also truly seen the magic of patients healing on a deeper and wider soul level, along with the physical healing that they were seeking.  

Over the last five years my practice has grown and now it is where it is today, thriving and full.  

Two weekends ago I attended a naturopathic conference on Environmental Medicine and Oncology.  I learned a great deal about the latest research in environmental toxicity, cancer, supplements and power foods that help with de-toxification and treatment of cancer.  I left with two powerful realizations:

-I am so grateful to be able to bring the power of naturopathic medicine to my patients.  The newest research on what is available on a natural level, the science behind it and the naturopathic philosophy of the healing power of nature.

-I am also very grateful that I offer the “other-side” of healing, that of a soul-stirring, spirit awakening, emotionally nurturing aspect of healing.  That which is connected to more than mere protocols and science, but helps people heal, witness and nurture deep aspects of themselves.

Incorporating healing that tends the whole being is the medicine of the future and I am so grateful to be sitting at the cutting edge of it. My intention is to be of the deepest service possible and I am full of gratitude that I am being used by spirit. As I help each person cross the river to step more fully into their healing and themselves I hold the vision that we all are getting clearer on what we truly came here to do...and one thing is certain: we can’t do it alone.

I am truly grateful for your presence in my life.

Love and Blessings,

Dr. Melissa

Short Sabbatical

As I look out on the horizon I am being called to bring healing to the world in a larger way.  This has been a whisper for the last few years.  But, this whisper is growing stronger now inside of me.  In order to clear the field, so to speak, and have the time to drop into my next steps in the world I have decided to take a few weeks off this summer to step into deeper spaciousness and connect to what is being born through me.  Therefore, I will be taking a 3 1/2 week break during the months of July/August.  

Thank you for your understanding and support of this.  I will let everyone know of the exact dates as they are finalized.  I will have multiple practitioners that will be available to you during this time as your needs arise.

Spring Detoxification

Our bodies can easily get overburdened with toxins, due to the toxicity of our world.  It's important to do periodic detoxifications to keep our bodies in optimal health.  Spring is a great time to detoxify.  There are so many ways to do it depending on your own personal needs. 

Here are some signs that you need a detoxification:

  • Unexplained headaches or back aches.
  • Joint pain or arthritis
  • Memory is failing
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Brittle hair or nails
  • Psoriasis or eczema
  • Abnormal body odor, a coated tongue or bad breath
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Frequent allergies

If you have any of these symptoms it’s important to consider doing a detoxification.  If you would like to do a deep detoxification it would be great to have a session and assess where you are at and the best detoxification possible.  But, if you want to do a milder cleanser there are many things that you can do to help detoxify your body.  Here are a few pointers:

Decrease your toxic load:

Decrease/eliminate alcohol, sugar and caffeine.  Cut out all non-organic and processed foods or foods that have artificial preservatives or colors.  Cut out meats that are processed (high in nitrites or nitrates), cut out meats with hormones or antibiotics.  Eliminate all known food allergies and if you are not quite sure what these eat a low-allergenic diet.  Here is a link to a low-allergenic diet:

Motivate the toxins out of the system:

This is primarily done by literally getting the toxins out of storage, primarily the fat tissue.  You can do this by sweating (with exercise and especially saunas), juicing or eating very cleanly (see above) and utilizing Castor oil packs, which increase the efficiency of organs, such as the liver and gastrointestinal tract.  Here is a link how to make them:

You can increase fat absorption and mobilize bile by utilizing herbs such as oregon grape root, dandelion greens and burdock root. 

Feed the Detoxification Pathways:

One of the primary modulators that increases detoxification is the nutrient glutathione.  This will help the body neutralize toxins that cause free-radicals and eventually could cause cancer.  One can easily increase glutathione in the body by increasing the following foods:

Asparagus, Spinach, Garlic, Avocado, Squash, Zucchini, Potatoes, Strawberries, Peaches and especially Brazil Nuts; also increasing foods such as Cruciferous Vegetables (Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage and Cauliflower.)

One can also get glutathione by taking precursors of it, such as R-Alpha Lipoid Acid, N-Acetyl Cysteine, Milk Thistle, Selenium, Choline and Pycnogenol.

Conjugate Toxins:

Once toxins are released out of the fat cells not only do they need to be de-toxified through the liver, the toxins also need to be moved out of the body.  You can help this process by increasing the following foods and supplements such as:  Oats, Apple Pectin, Flax Seed Meal, Chlorophyll and Bentonite Clay.  Most, importantly you also need to make sure that you are drinking plenty of water and have regular bowel movements (I recommend that while you are on a detoxification process that you make sure that you have two or more bowel movements a day. Otherwise the toxins that you mobilize can be re-absorbed.)  You can increase your bowel movements by increasing your Fiber, such as Psyllium Seed Husks, herbs and nutrients that increase bowel movements, such as Cascara Sagrada, Rhubarb or Magnesium.  Also, enemas or colonics are invaluable when one is having any detoxification reaction, such as headache, muscle pain or fatigue.  Here is a link on how to do a home enema:

*Note unless directed otherwise I recommend taking the recommended doses (on the side of the bottle) for all above supplements.

If you would like to do a cleanse on your own how long you do it is dependent on what works best for you.  A gentle cleanse could last for 2-3 days, whereas a much longer cleanse could last up to a month.  However, unless you have already done a lot of cleanses I would NOT recommend doing a longer cleanse without guidance and support. Lastly, if you think that you have low energy from high stress, and could possibly have low adrenal function, I would recommend having a discussion with me first before going on a cleanse.  Going on a cleanse with low adrenal function could make the adrenal issue worse.

Incredible Near Death Experience
I posted this story a year ago in my newsletter and last night got a flash that I needed to re-post it again.  It's an incredible story about a man who had terminal cancer and died.  He was dead for an hour and a half and then came back (which according to "medical professionals" is medically impossible.)  The experience that he returned with is an incredible story of what we truly are.  Since first reading this story I have often remembered it and realized that it has changed me deeply.  I hope that it touches you as well.
"Remember this and never forget; you save, redeem and heal yourself. You always have. You always will. You were created with the power to do so from before the beginning of the world." This is what "The Light" said to Mellen when he asked the question if Humankind will be saved.
Here is the link to the full story:

Welcome to Spring!


Welcome to the beginning of spring. What have you been gestating this winter? What has died or is dying inside of you to make room for what is being born, as we move into the birth of spring?

As we move into the beginning of spring I invite you to see what you are being asked to let go of—what is dying—so you can make way for what you are most yearning to call in. I have been noticing this theme of death and re-birth arising quite a lot in my practice, with my friends, even in my own life.

The other day, as I was standing in line at Whole Foods I picked up a copy of the magazine Buddhadharma. I opened it to a short article that reflected this theme in my experience, and resonated with every single person I had worked with that day.

The article spoke to me so deeply that I have decided to include it here.


Good News: Your Life is Falling Apart

By Andrew Holocek

Excerpted from Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly, Spring 2012

“We could summarize the entire path into one word: relaxing—relaxing into the nature of your own mind. However, when we start to relax, the repressed elements of the body/mind come up—it's like Pandora's box. We discover that there is a reason we repressed these elements in the first place-we did not want to deal with them.

Meditation gives us a second chance to relate to unwanted experience in a healthy way based on equanimity and acceptance. It is a second chance to purify karma. In order to wake up, you have to face the shadow side that you have stuffed into your body/mind.

These “regressive” experiences, such as your life falling apart, can be good news. You are starting to get someplace when you come up against barriers of fear and anxiety. What we have been doing in these situations our entire lives is running away from them.

When your ego crashes to the ground, at some point it is no longer useful to try to patch it up again to function at the same level. In chaos theory, systems temporarily break down before they reorganize at a higher level. If we don’t understand this process on the spiritual path, we are going to run when the shadow side comes up. This is samsara: running away from reality.

The primordial emotion of samsara is fear. What is continually whispered into the subconscious mind is to avoid fear at all cost. Until we address that fear, everything we do is fear-based.

Actually, fear is the indicator of where we should go in order to grow. It is a marker of ignorance; we are afraid of what we don't know. Going into the places that scare you (as Pema Chodron writes) is one of the best ways to become increasingly aware. You use fear as an invitation for genuine spiritual growth.

We spend our entire lives running from this emotion. We need to get to know it, make friends with it. The root of the word fear is “fare,” a toll. Facing fear is the toll we have to pay to become fearless.”


May we all have the courage to face our fears, thereby becoming fearless. I invite us all to use this fearlessness to let go of the sides of the river, flow with who we truly are and do what we are deeply being called to do.

Other Interesting Articles on Health:


60 Minutes?February 19, 2012

Original link:

Do antidepressants work? Since the introduction of Prozac in the 1980s, ?prescriptions for antidepressants have soared 400 percent, with 17 ?million Americans currently taking some form of the drug. But how much ?good is the medication itself doing? "The difference between the effect ?of a placebo and the effect of an antidepressant is minimal for most ?people," says Harvard scientist Irving Kirsch. Will Kirsch's research, ?and the work of others, change the $11.3 billion antidepressant ?industry?



By Stephanie Hegarty

BBC World Service?February

We often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night -- but it ?could be good for you. A growing body of evidence from both science and ?history suggests that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.



I leave you with an excerpt of a beautiful song that eloquently speaks of letting go and what is possible, called Into the Wind, written and sung by musical artist Mitten.

This is our aloneness.

This is our time.

This is our mountain,

we all have to climb.


This is our destiny,

wild and free

We’re all holding a master key,

to the empty sky.


Into the wind

Into the wind

Into the wind we fly!



I feel truly blessed to do what I do. Everyday I see miracles, large and small; people healing before my eyes and remembering who they are. I am truly honored to work with you and support your healing and your growth!

May you find the healing, peace, grace and ease that you look for.



Dr. Melissa

New Years Wishes

Freedom Versus Safety


Here we are New Years 2012. I remember years ago when I first heard about the prophecies of 2012 and how everything was going to change. Some even predicted the end of the world. And, behold we are still here! Yet, from where I stand I do see and feel change, some of it very dramatic. What I am seeing the most, in my practice and elsewhere, is that people are awakening, or at least being strongly moved in that direction.

Sometimes the awakening happens through a life-threatening illness, or looking at long standing illness through new eyes. Sometimes it happens from looking at layers of anxiety and/or depression that have been present for years. Yet, for many it’s just a feeling that things can’t stay the same as they are. This is a good thing. It causes us to point to that which no longer works and moves us toward that which does. 

Sometimes this means a letting go, a death in a way, to that which we are attached to. And, this death is often not, at least at first, seen as welcome. Yet, when there is death, there is also re-birth. Unfortunately, when we are in the dying process there is often fear because we don’t know what the re-birth will look like or even if it will come. 

A part of us just knows that we are dying and it is an uncomfortable process. But, when the re-birth occurs, when it arises like the Phoenix from the fire; the growth, beauty and joy are all worth it.  

In my own experience, I find that letting go is easier when one is aligned completely with their spirit. However, to find balance we must also align with all other aspects of self, including the body and the ego.

The body is an incredible temple for us. Yet, it also holds onto deep memories that can be traumatic and deeply wanting safety. The ego is often in service to these memories by wanting to keep us safe, sometimes to our detriment by keeping us boxed in to who we are not. In order to find balance and unity we must tend to these memories that our body and ego have. It’s an unwinding, softening process that connects us to holding and nurturing the parts of us that so desperately want to be safe. And, through this process over time we step into finding internal safety and coming home to ourselves.

In the process of awakening it’s important to ask ourselves two questions:

1) How long have I chosen safety over awakening?

2) What have I given up to stay safe?

Both of these questions deeply give us perspective of what we have (most often times unconsciously) chosen in service to safety over awakening and remembering who we truly are.

Awakening takes courage. It takes fortitude. It takes desire to know ourselves totally.

And, in the deepest resonance of who I am as a healer I humbly say that I am ultimately here to be in service to your awakening, whatever that looks like. I honor your path, whatever you choose and however slow or fast you wish to go. I am here to serve you in anyway I can to help you move toward true health and assist you to awaken to the glory of your magnificence!

In deep gratitude for you in my life,

Blessings and Love,

Dr. Melissa


Practice News:

In March I will be in my current practice for four years. For the first time ever I was completely booked out during the holidays (a time that is normally very slow.) I can definitely feel the solidity of my practice and am grateful for all of the referrals that you have made to me. Thank you for your belief in me!

48 Hour Cancellation Policy

Because my practice is getting busier than ever, Evelyn, my administrative assistant, often has to schedule people weeks in advance.  We are finding that a 24 hour cancellation policy is not allowing other patients enough time to take a vacated appointment slot.  Therefore, starting Jan. 15th we will have a new cancellation policy: if you need to cancel you will need to call in or email me 48 hours before your scheduled appointment, to avoid a cancellation fee.  Thank you for your understanding. 



Bohemian Poll

Last year I was runner up as Best Holistic Provider for the North Bay Bohemian Poll. This year I would again love to humbly request that you consider voting for me.

It’s easy to vote and only takes a moment.

You only need to:

  1. Click on the website below

  2. Vote

I give deep thanks for your belief in my work.

Also check out the upcoming Bohemian publication for next week 1/12-1/17.  I have an article that will be published in it entitled, “Occupying Martin Luther King’s Message of Love”.  You might find it interesting!

Warm Thanksgiving Wishes!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

What are you grateful for?

I am grateful because I am moving―literally and figuratively. I am just completing moving my home, a process that has taken me a year and a half; I am delighted and overjoyed.

I am also in the middle of moving from one way of being to another. My inner being is shifting, expanding and at the same time a new way of be-ing is emerging.

I have been in a process of deep soul initiation for the last 4 years, and it feels like it is finally coming to a close. A new door is opening.

Through this process I have been shown aspects of my being that have shaken me to my core. But now things are softening, shifting and healing. I am rising like a phoenix from the fire with a surety, depth and power that I have not known until now; as I do so, I am stepping more fully into the beauty and joy that is always available to us.

I am also stepping into a deeper level of wisdom as a human being and as a healer. My practice is expanding, my intuition is increasing, and people are getting better at a rate I’ve never seen before. I am grateful. When talking with other healing practitioners many of us are noticing how miracles are happening before our eyes on an ongoing basis. We, as a species, are shifting and it’s beautiful to behold.

I am in such deep gratitude for all of my experiences and all of the people who have shown me truth, love and healing; without you I would not be where I am at today. Thank you from the deepest part of my heart!

I am also deeply grateful for all of you that have walked through the doors of my practice: you have truly graced my life with your stories, your tears, your courage, and the incredible healing that I see on a daily basis. My life feels full and blessed because of you―thank you!

As we come into the season of gratitude I invite you to take time for introspection about what you are grateful for; about how far you have come on your healing path and in your evolution as a spiritual being having a physical existence. May we all come to the deepest healing that is possible, the most exquisite joy, and step fully into the beauty that this present moment offers. May grace bless your life!

In Deep Gratitude!

Dr. Melissa

Important Practice Note:

As you might remember, I mentioned in the last newsletter that I changed my follow-up session time to an hour and fifteen minutes.  However, I have found that some people find this too long of a session.  

I have decided to officially say that my follow-up sessions are an hour; yet, I will leave 15 minutes between each session so that if more time is needed, we can have the flexibility to continue for an 15 extra minutes if 
necessary.  Regardless of whether we meet for one hour, or if we take advantage of the extra 15 minutes, the standard follow-up session rate is $130.  

Thank you!

Epigenetics Reinforces Theory that Positive Mind-States Heal

By Duran Rivera

Quoted from

There was a time where love and nurture seemed clearly distinct from our physical nature. Genetic-determinism holds that genes control our lives; hereditary information flows in one direction, and genetic activity and cellular expression are regulated by information from the DNA.

However, a few years ago, key findings from the Human Genome Project rattled modern biology. It was expected to find least 120,000 genes. Instead what was found was an estimated 35,000. That`s not too far off from a lowly roundworm.

Where were all the other genes to dictate the human condition? Today, a new scientific understanding is changing the conversation of biology and providing unexpected answers. It states that the mind and how we perceive the world around us directly influences our biology.

Our positive energy (happiness and optimism) heals our conditions while our negative (anger and fear) toxifies leading to numerous diseases. Epigenetic control encourages people to become proactive in their own health instead of self-programming ourselves to be fearful victims...



To read the whole article, click here.


Time To Smell (or View) the Flowers

A dear friend of mine emailed me this beautiful video and entitled it, “My Role Model”.
It is indeed. I highly recommend taking a couple of minutes to watch it: learn from the flowers how to “open!"

Radio Shows Now Available to Stream Online!

Dr.Patterson's August radio shows are now available to stream online at:

“What is Naturopathy?  With Dr. Melissa Patterson”

Please feel free to comment on these radio shows below!

End of August Newsletter

Dr. Patterson's Live Radio Broadcasts in August!


Come tune in to my upcoming live radio shows focusing on health and healing! The programs will each be 30 minutes in length and will broadcast on KSRO 1350 on both August 24th and August 31st, with host Mark Buerger from Health First Pharmacy in Windsor. The first show on August 24th will talk about my practice, naturopathic medicine, and the modalities I utilize, while the presentation on August 31st will focus on women’s health and menopause. I'm looking forward to connecting with you on the radio waves!



Naturopathic Convention


Next week, I am going back to Phoenix, AZ, the home of my alma mater, for the annual American Association of Naturopathic Physician Conference. I am looking forward to gathering wonderful pearls of wisdom at the conference, with the intention of bringing the information back home to enrich my clinical practice.

Please note that I will be out of my office from August 17th-23rd.

If you need to make an appointment while I am gone, my assistant Evelyn can help you; just leave a message on my office voicemail.


Affordable Care Act Just Passed


I have wonderful news for anyone who cares about women, families, or the cost of health care in this country.

Last week, the Obama administration announced historic new guidelines, ensuring that women can receive a wide range of preventative health services at no additional cost.

That means that, by August of next year: HIV screenings, contraception, breastfeeding support, domestic violence screening, and other services must be available under all new insurance plans -- without a co-payment or deductible -- under the Affordable Care Act.

Click here for more information

August Newletter 2011

The Vital Times With Dr. Melissa Patterson

The more I am hollowed by the fire

The more my ribs spread like the tree of life.

The more I am washed by the tears of others,

The more my heart rounds like an ocean shell.

The more stories I tell of how one picks up another,

The more my hands open like scoops for grain.

To be what others drink, to be what others stand on

To reach what they love-

We should be so lucky? to be worn to this.


~Mark Nepo


The deeper I go in my own process of awakening, the more I find I can give to others. I am in awe of this dynamic. I can't tell you how many times I have experienced a core piece of healing in my life one day, and the next day I sit with a patient who needs the very same medicine I have just received. I am so grateful for this practice, to you my patients, and to the unfolding of our divinity!

As some of you know, I recently spent a better part of a week in the Inyo National Forest with a group of seekers on a Vision Quest. A Vision Quest is a Native American ritual that includes many different rites, leading up to a three-day, solo fast in the forest.

This was my third Vision Quest and in many ways the most challenging. I was called into what I call the Core Darkness of my being. I saw the places inside myself that have for lifetimes been deeply contracted away from the light— and some of these places even believing that the light did not exist. As the powerful focus of awareness moved into these dark places, so did the light. It was an incredible journey into the underworld, and an initiation of remembering the light on the deepest levels of my being, permeating all the way into my core knowing.

I know that many of you have experienced similar experiences on your own and in our work together. The process of bringing the light to darkness is an integral aspect of Mind-Body Counseling and Voice Dialogue. These two powerful modalities help the seeker find freedom by navigating the deeper subconscious aspects of self. These darker parts, or voices, have a tendency to control us until we truly understand what they are and why they are doing what they are doing. Then, with this knowledge intact we powerfully and with great compassion turn toward these parts of ourselves and bring them to the light. As we bring that which is constricted and dark into the nurturing light of consciousness, the contraction softens and light pours in. This where healing on all levels can occur.

The Vision Quest was with a wonderful group of people led by my dear friend and colleague Maria Owl Gutierrez; you might have seen her flyers or business cards in the office. She is an incredible shamanic healer and therapist intern who is in the office on Tuesdays. For those who are interested in going on a journey like this, I highly recommend it and Maria as a guide. You can check out her website at:

Whole Foods Lectures


I am starting a lecture series at the new Whole Foods at Coddingtown Mall in Santa Rosa, on wellness topics that are relevant to natural healing. One of the first lectures is listed below and is free to the public. I would love to see you there!

The Mind-Body Link— Guidance for the Hypersensitive Individual: Tuesday, September 13th at 6:30

Have you been labeled as“overly sensitive”person and you are not sure what to do about it? Dr. Melissa Patterson can help you understand the connection between your health, your emotions, and your energy, and how to find balance and healing within it all.

Rate Increases

After doing much research on what other naturopathic doctors are charging in this area I found that, conversely while I offer more modalities than most, my fees are significantly lower than the going rate. As conscious beings, honoring our work and what we offer are some of the most important things that we can do for ourselves. Therefore, after much deliberation I have decided to raise my rates a moderate amount to be more in alignment with others in my profession. My hope is that this is still affordable to you.

Please note that I will be increasing my rates as of August 30th for returning patients to the following:

One hour and fifteen minutes follow-up appointments- $130 (Note: Follow-up visits have officially switched to an hour and fifteen minutes.)

5 Session Series follow-up visits (5 one-hour and fifteen minute visits)- $550

*I am committed to serving my community; as such, a sliding scale is available for patients with a low income.


The following is a great article I found on the web on how meditation decreases pain. Enjoy!

Brain Imaging Shows Impact of Brief Mindfulness Meditation Training

By Salynn Boyles WebMD Health News

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

April 6, 2011 -- Even very brief instruction in meditation appears to help people cope with pain, and a newly published brain imaging study may explain why.

After just four, 20-minute instructional sessions in mindfulness meditation, most participants in the small study experienced big reductions in pain intensity and unpleasantness when subjected to painful stimuli.

Prior to learning the meditation technique, brain imaging showed significant activity in a key area of the brain when the participants were subjected to intense heat, but this activity was reduced when they were meditating.

"This is the first study to show that only a little over an hour of meditation training can dramatically reduce both the experience of pain and pain-related brain activation," said researcher Fadel Zeidan, PhD, who is a postdoctoral fellow at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Meditation Helped Block Pain

The researchers recruited 18 healthy young adults who had never meditated prior to joining the study.

Over the four, 20-minute training sessions, the study participants were taught a meditation technique known as focused attention, which involves paying close attention to breathing patterns while acknowledging and letting go of thoughts that distract from this practice, Zeidan says.

Before and after mindfulness meditation training, brain activity was measured using a special type of magnetic resonance imaging that captures longer-duration brain processes, such as meditation, better than standard MRI.

While the MRIs were being performed, a device was placed on each participant's right calf that delivered 120 degrees of heat -- a temperature that most people find painful. The heat was kept on the skin for 12 seconds and then taken off the skin for the same amount of time over a total of 5 minutes.

Even though the MRI was very loud, most of the participants were able to successfully block out the noise and the pain from the heat source and focus on their breathing.

Pain intensity ratings were reduced after meditation by an average of 40%, and pain unpleasantness rating were reduced by 57%.

Meditation was shown to reduce activity in key pain-processing regions of the brain.

The study appears in the April 6 issue of the The Journal of Neuroscience.

Meditation 101: Accept the Distractions

The study confirms that mindfulness meditation can have a real and measurable impact on the experience of acute pain, even in people with very little formal training, Wake Forest associate professor of neurobiology and anatomy Robert C. Coghill, PhD, tells WebMD.

He says meditation could prove useful for the management of postoperative pain and in other acute pain settings.

It remains to be seen if the brief instruction can help people with chronic pain.

"Meditation has been used to treat chronic pain for a long time, but patients tend to have a lot more training," he says. "It is not clear if the brief training sessions like the ones used in this study would be useful for these patients."

Zeidan says meditation distracts the mind and reduces the emotional response to pain.

In the training phase of the study, the participants were instructed to close their eyes and focus on the changing sensations of their breath and they were told to bring their consciousness back to their breathing each time their minds wandered.

"Usually this happens within the first minute when people first start meditating," he says. "It is perfectly normal."

He says the goal is to acknowledge these distractions, accept them for what they are and simply let them go by gently bringing the attention back to the breath without any judgment.

"Many people think they are doing something wrong at first because their minds keep wandering," he says. "But becoming aware of how busy the mind is part of the process."


© Copyright 2011 Dr. Melissa Patterson, ND, all rights reserved

Dear Patients, Friends and Colleagues,
Over the last few days I have heard great concern over the potential of radioactive fallout from the nuclear power plant explosions in Japan. It is hard to tell definitively what is going to happen, but from the research that I have done it looks like there is a great chance that the Pacific Coast will feel some nuclear fallout from the ongoing nuclear catastrophe that is occurring. Therefore, I have made a list of different supplements, herbs and foods that can help eliminate side effects of radiation.
Please feel free to send it far and wide. Please read it carefully before you decide to take any supplements. These supplements have been well-researched and can be taken by most people. However, if you have a serious illness, are on medication or are pregnant/breastfeeding please contact your healthcare provider to make sure that these supplements/herbs are okay for you. Also, only the adult dosages are given if you would like to give the supplements/herbs to a child please do research to find the appropriate dose for your child and find out if it is okay for them to take.
I begin with information on radioactive fallout and the jet stream. Then, I offer my recommendations in three sections: inexpensive supplements that you should start taking now and continue taking if you are exposed to radiation, supplements that are more expensive and hard to find, and additional supplements that are helpful and not as critica.
Radioactive Fallout and the Jet Stream
Radioactive fallout is defined as radioactive material that is carried by winds until it settles to earth. Under some circumstances you may see the fallout; under others you may not. The radioactivity it gives off cannot be seen. You can't feel it. You can't smell it, but fallout doesn't come out of the sky like a gas and seep into everything. It can best be described as a fine to coarse sand carried by the winds. Because the wind direction varies at different heights above the ground, it is not possible to judge from the ground where the fallout will settle. It can settle in irregular patterns hundreds of miles. Here are two websites for following the jet stream and fallout pattern.
Accuweather says that fallout could come to the Pacific Coast as early as 10 days from the date of the explosion in Japan. There have been several fires and explosions already at the Fukushima 1 plant which has six reactors.
Endtimes started tracking "hotspots" that landed in Oregon as early as Sunday, March 13, 2011.

Supplements to Start Taking Now
The following are supplements that I recommend that you start taking now to help your body prepare preemptively for radiation. They are relatively inexpensive and generally locally available: All of the following supplements in this first section except rutin can be found at Whole Foods and other natural food stores.

Herbal Remedies
Here is a list of medicinal herbs that I recommend you take for radiation exposure. You can take them as a tea, a tincture or as individual encapsulated herbs. You can get individual herbal tinctures online at Herb Pharm or get a custom combination tincture made at Farmacopia in Santa Rosa, CA.

Burdock Root (Arctium lappa)
- removes radioactive isotopes from the body.
Recommended Dose - 1-4 ounces/300-120 grams of cooked fresh root, up to a pint of infusion daily, or several large spoonfuls of vinegar but only if made with fresh roots. Tincture - 15-20 drops 3 times a day.
Contraindications - do not use Burdock during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Cilantro Leaf (Coriandum sativum)
- natural heavy metal chelator (i.e. plutonium and cesium are heavy metals.) Therefore, it helps to eliminate them out of the body.
Recommended Dose - Take 1-3 dropperfuls daily of tincture or eat large amounts of fresh cilantro

Eleuthero/Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
- helps protect against the side effects of radiation exposure.
Recommended Dose - 500-3000 mg. in capsule form. Tincture: 15-20 drops three times a day.

Holy Basil/Tulsi Aerial Parts (Ocimum sanctum)
- preliminary research shows evidence that Holy Basil protects against radiation-induced peroxidation, thus helping to protect against the detrimental effects of low-level radiation. It also increases glutathione and superoxide dismutase which are important mediators in the liver in helping the body deal with radiation.
Recommended Dose - Tincture: 40–60 drops, three times per day. Tea: add 1 tsp. dried leaf to 8 oz. hot water, steep, covered, 5–10 minutes. Take 4 oz. of tea up to three times per day. Capsules: various forms of capsulated products are available. These include extracts in gelcaps, dried or powdered herb in capsules, and standardized extracts (2 percent ursolic acid) in capsules.
Contraindications - Holy Basil should not be taken while pregnant or nursing or for an extended period of time. Use caution if you have high blood pressure or rheumatic heart disease.

Reishi Mushroom Fruiting Bodies (Ganoderma lucidum)
- offers protection against ionizing radiation
Preventive Dose - 400 mg. take 2 caps or 1 dropperful of tincture up to 3 times per-day.
Dose Upon Radiation Exposure - take the same dose up to 6 times per day
Contraindications – None.

Laminaria Japonica
- probably the most important seaweed in helping decrease radiation in our body. This seaweed was the secret weapon of Russian doctors that saved thousands of innocent people from disease after nuclear fallout from Chernobyl. It can be quite hard to find. Try Body Ecology.
Recommended Dose - 1500 mg/day
Seaweeds are not only a great natural source of nutrients, they are very effective at removing radiation from the body as they contain sodium alginate. There are literally thousands of different types of seaweeds but some of the most popular seaweeds are arame, wakame, kombu, hijiki, bladderwrack, rockweed, sea lettuce, and dulse. You can find them in your local health food store and various oriental grocery stores in your neighborhood in their natural form, or in flakes, flat sheets, and powders. They can be mixed in soups and salads, or eaten by themselves. If you don't like the taste of seaweeds, or you want something more convenient you can find various seaweed supplements in capsules or tablets. One high quality seaweed supplement made with four organic seaweeds in a capsule is
by RegalLife™. It also contains organic alfalfa which is also found to be beneficial at removing radiation becomes of its rich chlorophyll content.
The Atomic Energy Commission recommends for maximum protection against radioactive poisoning for humans, taking a minimum of 2 to 3 ounces of sea vegetables a week or 10 grams (two tablespoons) a day of sodium alginate supplements. During or after exposure to radiation, the dose should be increased to two full tablespoons of alginate four times daily to insure that there is a continual supply in the GI or gastrointestinal tract. There may be a rare problem of constipation but this can be avoided if the sodium alginate is made into a fruit gelatin. Agar, derived from sodium alginate in kelp, is a safe, nontoxic substance that can be used as a thickening agent or gelatin. Sea vegetables are also high in natural iodine. However, I recommend sticking to potassium iodide as discussed below.

Other Supplements

-a bioflavonoid that can also be found in lower doses in vitamin C supplements containing bioflavonoids. Rutin is glucoside found in buckwheat that can help protect the body from the effects of radiation. Itstrengthens the capillary walls and reduces hemorrhaging caused by x-rays. In animal studies it was shown to reduce the death rate caused by excessive x-rays by 800 per cent.
Preventive Dose - 100 to 200 mg a day.
Dose Upon Radiation Exposure - 800 mg. or more a day. I
Contraindications – none

- protects DNA from radiation damage and helps prevent damage to the skin surface, too. Get plenty of selenium by eating a daily dose of 2 cups/500 ml of nettle infusion, one-half ounce/15 g kelp, 2 ounces/60 g cooked burdock root, or 1 cup/250 ml organic yogurt daily. Shellfish, green and black teas, and garlic contain significant amounts of selenium, as do many mushrooms. The best sources however are nettles (2200 mcg per 100 grams), kelp (1700 mcg/100 g), Burdock (1400 mcg/100 g), Catnip (Nepeta cataria), American Ginseng, and Eleuthero which is also known as Siberian Ginseng and Astragalus.

Vitamin A
- In 1974, researchers from India found that vitamin A, when taken internally by humans, hastened recovery from radiation. In 1984, Dr. Eli Seifter and a team of researchers for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine reported that vitamin A and beta-carotene counteracted both partial and total body gamma radiation. It also improved the healing of wounds; reduced weight loss, thymic and splenic atrophy, and adrenal enlargement; and prevented gastro-ulceration and an abnormal decrease in red and white blood cell formation. For therapeutic purposes, 25,000 to 35,000 IU is the recommended dose for adults. During emergencies or crisis situations, intensive exposure may warrant higher amounts.
Contraindications - can be toxic if taken too much over a long period of time. Vitamin A can also be toxic to pregnant woman and their babies.

Vitamin B-Complex
- many B vitamins, especially pantothenic acid, help to decrease the effects of radiation. One of its many functions is that they normalize the red and white blood cell count because the destruction of white blood cells by radiation can last for extended periods of time. The various B vitamins have different effects and should be taken together.Take the dose recommended on the bottle.

Vitamin C with bioflavonoids
- this is a VERY IMPORTANT supplement as it protects against intercellular damage from radiation.
Preventive Dose: 2-5 grams per day
Dose Upon Radiation Exposure - 2-5 gram per day
Contraindications - when you start having diarrhea back off 500 mg until you reach bowel tolerance.

Vitamin E
- can provide internal and external protection against Cesium-137 which is a common component of fallout and a reported component in the fallout from Japan. Vitamin E also helps prevent the destruction of vitamin A and fatty acids by massive doses of x-rays. If large doses of C, B and E are taken before exposure, the terrible symptoms of radiation sickness can be reduced or eliminated to a large degree.
Preventive Dose - an adult weighting 155lbs should take 900 IU per day of Vitamin E as d-alpha-tocopherol.
Dose Upon Radiation Exposure - up to 1600 IU per day.

Additional Recommended Supplements That Are More Expensive and/or Difficult To Find

Beta-1,3 glucan
- In a controlled study done at the US Armed Forces Radiobiology Institute, 70% of rats given a lethal dose of radiation were completely protected from radiation effects when given a dose of yeast beta glucan by mouth after the radiation exposure. Beta glucan is a free radical scavenger. It is able to protect blood macrophages from free radical attack during and after the radiation allowing these cells to continue to function in the irradiated body and release factors important to the restoration of normal bone marrow production. This supplement is very expensive, but worth it. Reishi mushroom is high in beta 1,3 glucan if you just want to take that.
Recommended Dose - 500 mg cap/1 time a day

Additional Recommendations Upon Exposure
Here are some additional recommendations if you think you have been exposed to radiation. First and foremost, don’t panic.

Potassium Iodide
- take this as soon as you can once you know you have been exposed. This is a VERY IMPORTANT supplement that helps protect you if you are exposed to Iodine131. It does not help with exposure to any other isotopes. Because it is such an important supplement I recommend IOSAT only FDA approved potassium iodide that is in sealed containers. IOSAT is available online.
Potassium Iodide Recommended Dose from the FDA and the CDC:
According to the FDA, the following doses are appropriate to take after internal contamination with (or likely internal contamination with) radioactive iodine:

  • Adults should take 130 mg (one 130 mg tablet OR two 65 mg tablets OR two ml of solution).
  • Women who are breastfeeding should take the adult dose of 130 mg.
  • Children between 3 and 18 years of age should take 65 mg (one 65 mg tablet OR 1 ml of solution). Children who are adult size (greater than or equal to 150 pounds) should take the full adult dose regardless of their age.
  • Infants and children between 1 month and 3 years of age should take 32 mg (½ of a 65 mg tablet or ½ ml of solution). This dose is for both nursing and non-nursing infants and children.
  • Newborns from birth to 1 month of age should be given 16 mg (¼ of a 65 mg tablet or ¼ ml of solution). This dose is for both nursing and non-nursing newborn infants.

Contraindications - do not take if you are not exposed and take as little as possible, i.e. only when you know that you have been exposed.

- ½ cup of any cold pressed oil if you are exposed will help protect the cell membranes. Extra virgin olive oil is preferred.

Bentonite Clay
- helps to eradicate toxins radiation/toxins. It is generally advisable to start with 1 tablespoon of bentonite clay daily, mixed with a small amount of juice. Pay attention to the results for a week and then gradually increase the dose to no more than 4 tablespoons daily in divided doses.Make sure you drink plenty of chlorine-free water throughout the day. You can also use other forms of edible clay such as French green clay.

Sea Salt and Baking Soda Baths
- add 1 pound of sea salt and 1 pound of baking soda and soak in chlorine-free water for 20 minutes. Then rinse with cool water. You can also 1 pound of betonite, or other clay, to the sea salt and baking soda when soaking which increases the removal of radiation. Some specialists who work with radioactive isotopes use this method to remove radiation from their body. If you have been exposed to an abnormally high level of radiation you can use this method three times a week for one month.

Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO)
- good for preventing cell nicking from ionizing radiation.
Recommended dose - 5-10 ml per day

Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)
- helps the liver deal with the effects of toxicity of radiation poisoning.
Recommended dose -1-3 dropperfuls of tincture per day

- helps protect the brain against radiation
Recommended dose - 1-2 mg Caution - only take Melatonin at night!

- helps protect the cell membranes
Recommended dose - 2-3 tbsp. a day

- a number of studies found that chlorophyll-rich foods can decrease radiation toxicity. Spirulina and chlorella are two micro-algae that are rich in this substance, as are leafy greens, celery, parsley, the sprouts of any grain or bean, the young shoots of any edible grass, such as wheat and barley, and sunflower greens. Chlorophyll is similar in structure to hemoglobin. Guinea pigs on a diet rich in chlorophyll showed increased resistance to lethal X-rays. Organic alfalfa is a good source of natural chlorophyll.

- has been used to treat radiation sickness. It is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans, with salt and the fungus kojikin, the most typical miso being made with soy. Miso is widely available in most natural food stores and many grocery stores.

Other Foods that help the body decrease the effects of radiation
- garlic, onions, beets, kale, brewer’s yeast/nutritional yeast, green tea/black tea, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, watercress, apples, guavas, quince, plums, gooseberries, oranges and other citrus fruits, pineapple, seaweed (see above).
In the light of the catastrophe at hand I invite us all to stay calm and focused, knowing that this too shall pass one way or another. May we use this opportunity to realize the beauty and fragility of life, as well as, to give thanks for what we have. And, may people finally awaken to the fact that nuclear power does NOT work in any form no matter what the benefits.

Note on taking supplements:
The above supplements have been shown through research to be effective in decreasing the detrimental effects of radiation on the body. There is a lot of information here. If you only want to do a few supplements, I recommend sticking with the supplements in the first half of the document, since they have the most scientific evidence supporting their use. The doses given are what is determined as safe for an average adult. If you are breastfeeding, pregnant or want to give the supplements to a child, please do further research to see if they are safe for you or your child and what the specific dose would be. Also, if you are sensitive to medications or supplements, please stick to the lower dose. Lastly, some supplements are recommended in higher doses after exposure. If you choose to do this, please note that some side effects might occur with some of these supplements. Please do further research on what you are taking before you take the maximum dose. If you have any serious illnesses or are on medications please talk to your healthcare provider to get more detailed information to ensure these supplements are safe for you prior to taking them.

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, Dr. Melissa Patterson does not warrant that the medical information in this article is complete, true, accurate, up-to-date, or non-misleading. You must not rely on the information in this article as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. The medical information in this article is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied. Dr. Melissa Patterson makes no representations or warranties in relation to the medical information in this article.

Martin Luther King Day Message
January 2011

   Earlier this morning I was listening to the Martin Luther 
King speech, "I Have a Dream" on the radio.  It moved me 
to tears and reminded me of the significant influence 
that he had on our nation. 
   It also reminded me of my time working as the director of 
the Consciousness, Healing and Ecology program at New 
College of California.   
   In this program I taught a section called Spiritual Activism;
which is the study of how consciousness has and can 
change the world.  As part of this inquiry we studied the 
impact that both Martin Luther King and his predecessor 
Gandhi had on the world by using the power of love to 
address injustice.
   If you have ever been a teacher you will know that 
to teach anything well that you must first completely understand it yourself.  Understanding this 
concept I spent several weeks immersing myself in the 
work of both of these amazing human beings.  And, I 
came out of that time completely changed. 
   The essence that I received out of their work is this:  
Love conquers all and heals all.  If you want to change 
anything in a deep and significant way; touch the persons
heart with love; even if they are your enemies and want 
to hurt (or even kill) you.  In doing so you will touch the 
soft spot in their heart which has ability to hear clearly and 
have compassion.  That in and of itself completely changed 
   I then started pondering what it must have been like 
to be on the front lines as an activist in this time, see your 
fellow activists being hurt by police brutality, knowing that 
you might be next and having the deep intention to love 
your enemy no matter what.  That completely broke me 
   In this inquiry I realized that in order to fully step into love 
you must relinquish the fear that underlies the desire to 
protect yourself. In essence it is about letting go of the 
voice of protection and completely trusting in the power 
of love. This way of being has the power to completely 
change humanity.
   Even though most of us aren't activist on the front line, 
the core of this teaching can be easily translated to today's 
world.  We are in the midst of great change and fear is 
rampant in our society and underlies all survival issues.  It 
is this core fear that runs the voice that wants to protect.  It 
is:  fear of violence, fear of poverty, fear of death, fear of 
loss, fear of fear.  It is the fear that I see time and time 
again when working with people who have physical issues
due to survival fears and contractions, a core issues that I 
see with many patients.
   In this time of change, we have the choice of how we 
move forward.  This fear is a significant weight that holds us 
down. In order to truly step into who we are we must let it
go and that requires every ounce of courage we have.
   The civil rights activists who stood up against incredible 
police violence, while not attacking back and loving their 
enemies have something to teach us.
   In Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech he 
says, "Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force." Soul force is the force that comes from deep within our core.  It is the feeling and knowing that what we are doing is in right alignment with the beauty of the universe.  It gives us the courage to feel the fear and do it anyway even if we are shaking in our boots. It is the knowing that we are an intricate part of the web of the universe and the part that we are playing is significant.  It is the knowing that no matter what happens that ultimately we are more than our physical body. 
   Soul force is the only energy that I know of that can give 
us the capacity to meet this fear full on.  And, in doing so 
we find the courage to step fully into who we truly are; to 
let go of the ropes, chains and ballasts of fear and 
surrender into the healing power and freedom of love.
   Happy Martin Luther King Day.  May we honor his 
memory with our courage to face our fears and step into 
the healing power and freedom of love!

January 2011:
Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

   As we move deeper into the energetic shift that is shaping our 
world, I want you all to know how deeply committed I am in helping you step into true health and your true self.

In this year ahead I pray that our work together continues to 
unfold in healing and beauty. 

   I pray that we allow the opening humanity is walking through 
to unfold us into deep trust, and a remembrance of who we truly are.

   I am incredibly grateful that I have the opportunity to serve 
those on the healing path, who are willing to open themselves so deeply to their true nature.

   Thank you for letting me be of service to you. Thank you for 
your trust, openness, willingness to change, and the beautiful moments of healing I am constantly a witness to. I am deeply grateful for the magic and beauty that comes into my life from holding deep space for such courageous souls. 

I am also very thankful for your financial support this year, 
which assists me in my calling to be of service. Lastly, thank you for the numerous referrals you have given me this year. 

   I received this blessing and want to send it on to you; may all of these things and more be true for you.

A New Year's Blessing

Unhurried mornings, greeted with gratitude;
good work for the hand, the heart and the mind;
the smile of a friend, the laughter of children;
kind words from a neighbor, a home dry and warm.

Food on the table, with a place for the stranger;
a glimpse of the mystery behind every breath;
some time of ease in the arms of your lover;
then sleep with a prayer of thanks on your lips;

May all this and more be yours this year
and every year after to the end of your days.

- Larry Robinson

December 2010:
Welcoming the Solstice

Welcoming the Winter Solstice

   I feel winter in my being as we transition into the dark time of
year.  For one, I feel my body and soul responding with the need for increased sleep and in dream space. The other night as I pondered this deep need for sleep and the darkness, I was left with the question, "How can I use the dark time of year in service to the greater good?" 

   In response, I remembered a conversation I had with a dear 
friend about the difference between going into the light versus going into the darkness. Both are needed on our journey of healing the self. The light is needed to point us in the right direction, to help us know we are not alone, to show us how to embrace the love of all that is. On the other hand, going into the darkness is embracing what the Bible refers to as "the shadow of the valley of death." By facing the darkness, we no longer let our fears dominate us. When we don't let our fears dominate, us we are able to connect to the light, love, and expansion of our being.

   We all have fears. When we don't know what they are, when 
we don't acknowledge them or turn to face them, then the fears control us. However, when we face our fears, hold and befriend them, we allow the light of love to penetrate into the very core of what we fear. Then, like magic, the power the fear had over us disintegrates- it's as simple as that. Yet, the process is not easy, it requires great courage, constant awareness, and a deep desire to be free.

   More than ever, I feel the truth of these words. For me, the 
past year has been an immense healing journey. I have walked the path of healing very old karmic wounds, past life darkness, releasing many core attachments, and breaking my heart open again and again. Although this journey has been very difficult, I see the fruits of my labor in my life, and in the ever-deepening space that I hold for you, my patients. I remember a very wise medicine woman and teacher once told me, "It doesn't matter how much knowledge you have or how much you have studied. What matters is that you keep deepening your relationship to spirit and to your true self. The depth of space you hold for others is equivalent to the depth of work you have done on yourself." 

   I am very grateful for this teacher; because of her, I see that 
as I increasingly realize the light living inside of me, I am able to more clearly see the light living in you and in our world. As I do so, I see your transformation as you in turn realize the light that radiates from deep inside of you. It's a beautiful circle completing itself, like the Uroborus, the snake that bites its tail and thus eternally completes a circle.

   I have seen amazing healings this year in working with all of 
you. I give great thanks for your presence in my life, your courage, and your deep desire to heal and to be a light in the world. Thank you; I honor you all in your healing journey.

Many Solstice Blessings,


Our Bodies Response to Stress...Slowing Down

   The other day I had a conversation with a colleague of mine 
about how certain syndromes, such as Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Lyme's Disease, often display a hyper-stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system (the fight-flight aspect of the nervous system), while at the same time there is also a suppression (or putting on the brake) of this hyper-stimulation. Imagine a car that is revving up and has the brake on at the same time.

   It is my theory that the hyper-stimulation is present in these 
cases because the body is undergoing a threat to its survival because of the symptoms of the illness, as well as, the deeper ingrained emotional patterns that could be the causation of the illness. Simultaneously the mind is attempting to calm this threat or hyper-stimulation of the nervous system down.

   To use an analogy, I liken this situation to someone dealing 
with a deeply ingrained fear by using only positive affirmations. The positive affirmations are working to soothe the exterior fear, yet the fear, because it is deep in the psyche, is still there.

In the above situations there is an attempt to soothe deep underlying issues, yet the only way to truly heal these issues is by directly looking and accepting the deeper underlying issues.

   If this is not addressed what often occurs is a deep level of 
exhaustion and anxiety, which wrecks incredible havoc on the nervous system, immune system and endocrine system; additionally, this situation can cause a hyper-inflammatory response, hormonal dysfunction, and general abnormal physical reactions of the body on a cellular level. Meanwhile, the suppression forces the body into a pseudo-relaxation that takes an incredible amount of energy to manage- think of a lid on a pot that is forced to stay on while the water inside is boiling over.

   When the core causation stems (either entirely or partially) 
from emotional issues such as this, then mind-body medicine is truly important in helping to bring the body back to equilibrium: I've personally seen it work time and time again.

Cold and Flu Season

   As the flu season approaches it's important to keep your immunity performing optimally. The most important thing you can do for yourself is getting enough rest - at least 8 hours per night - and to keep your stress level low, as mentioned above. In addition, here is a list of immune-stimulating, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial supplements.

   My most favorite immune-stimulating supplement is New Chapter's Lifeshield Immunity. It builds up your immune system, specifically by increasing your T-cells. Take 2 capsules once a day throughout the cold and flu season. At first sign of flu or cold take 2 immediately then take 2/2x-day while sick. This will either prevent you from getting sick or shorten it immensely.

   Echinacea is always a great immune-stimulating herb, as it
increases B and T cells. However, it must be taken at the very first
signs of a flu or cold. I recommend the tincture form. Take1 dropperful once a day during cold and flu season; at first sign of cold or flu take 3 dropperfuls the first 2 days. If you take it throughout the season make sure that you take a week off for every 3 weeks you take it so that your immune system utilizes the echninacea optimally.

   This herb is also found in the following combination:

Sambucus Immune Syrup: This is a combination of elderberry, Echinacea, zinc, propolis & Vitamin C. An adult dose is 2 teaspoons daily, and for intensive use take 2 teaspoons four times daily. Children can take 1 teaspoon per day.

Indian Cherry bark cough formula: This is a great remedy for when a cold gets down into your lungs. Take at first sign of cough. Take hourly as needed. Adults: 1 tablespoon (approx. 14 ml), Children: 1 teaspoon (approx. 5 ml), Toddlers: 1/2 teaspoon (approx. 2.5 ml).

   If you prefer herbal tinctures I recommend getting a good 
combination of anti-bacterial and anti-viral herbs for when you actually get a cold or flu. My favorite combination is: goldenseal, lomatium, pau d'arco, echinacea and baptisia (equal parts).You can have an herbal tincture combination created for you at Farmacopia in Santa Rosa (their phone number is 707-528-4372). Take 2-4 dropperfuls per day. (Please note: dose depends on the acuteness of the illness, and more is recommended at onset and climax of symptoms.  Decrease the dosage as you recover.)

   Also, don't forget Vitamin C. I recommend at least 1,000 
mgs daily throughout the cold and flu season. When you have a cold or flu, take up to "bowel tolerance," which means take the supplement to the point of getting soft stools, then back off 500-1000 mgs the next time you take it.

   Too often a cold or flu is our bodies way of telling us to
s-l-o-w d-o-w-n. Invoking a conscious choice to change our pace is always better than having an illness force us to. So, here are a few ideas on how to slow down, nurture you and reduce the stress that can cause a cold or flu:

-Sleep in late at least once a week (one of my favorites).

-Go to a yoga class at least once a week (or another form of 
physical/energy based movement such as Tai Chi or Qi Gong.) If you can't afford a class or if you are unable to go to a class, buy a DVD or two. Rodney Yee's yoga videos are great.

-Meditate as often as possible. You don't have to meditate for an hour every day. 10 minutes every day works better than nothing!

-Exercise 3-4 times every week. Do anything that you love that gets your heart rate up and muscles working. However, refrain from strenuous exercise when you are sick or getting sick.

-Go to your local hot springs and stay as long as you can, preferably overnight. Harbin, Orr and Wilbur Hot Springs are all good choices. It's a great way to treat yourself and relax in the process.

-Have deep meaningful conversations with your loved ones. Conversations like this allow you to express held-in emotions that can create tension and anxiety in your body. Research shows that our immune systems react positively when we are deeply relating to others.

-If you are feeling anxious or afraid, define what is happening for you and find someone to help you process it, such as a friend, partner, loved one, or a professional such as myself. Research shows that when negative emotions are processed and tension is released, the immune system, and specifically T-cells, increase.

-Come up with new ways you would like to nurture yourself.


Upcoming Classes

   I will be offering a workshop on Engaging Your Power as A Healer in the spring. If you are interested here is a little blurb about what it's going to be about:

   What does it mean to be a healer? What does it mean to be in one's power as a woman? What does it mean to be in one's power as a woman and healer? These are all questions that we will explore deeply and find our own meaning to in this dynamic weekend workshop. 

   We will incorporate the age-old technique of sitting in circle with other women, incorporating ritual, group work, meditation and engaging dialogues. You will be lead to your own true understanding of what it means to engage the core of your power as a woman and as a healer, as well as how to integrate it and bring it out into the world. The world needs us now more than ever before. It's time to engage our true power and to take our place in midwifing the evolution of our clients, our community and our world.

   It will be a two-day weekend workshop in Sonoma County in the mid to late spring. Let me know if you are interested.

Tele-Classes: I will be offering a 6-week tele-class on 

Medical Intuition for Healers
also in the spring. Once again stay tuned and I will be informing you of when it begins if you are interested.


Interesting Solstice Astrology

   There will be both a full moon on the day of the solstice and a 
lunar eclipse the day before, as well as other alignments that haven't happened in a long time. The bottom line is that it's worth paying attention to if you are interested at all in astrology.
The following excerpt is taken from

Deep, unmasked truth lies at the heart of this eclipse. Whatever darkness remains within our own hearts will be revealed. Within the interplay of shadow and light, secrets from the individual and collective unconscious are exposed in tones of raw emotion. Suffering is transformed by the caress of perfect love.This is likely to be an uncomfortable passage through the heart of darkness and into the ultimate bliss of self-realization, the galactic consciousness that awaits our embrace.


October Edition 2010:
Sense of Home

   I am grateful for this time of year. The fall light is so incredibly
beautiful against the turning leaves. As hard rain fell here this last weekend, I felt as if the earth opened up and inhaled. I went for a drive to the coast on Saturday in the rain and gave thanks for this place, a place that I feel is home for me, for the first time in my life.
   "Home" has been a reoccurring theme in my work. I have a
patient who is recovering from a chronic illness, and who has recently moved to a place that she considers home. Interestingly, as she made the transition, moved, and settled into her new home, the symptoms of her illness started to decrease. It's interesting how "home" can give a sense of peace in our bodies, allowing us to come to equilibrium.
   For me and my life, I have recently re-discovered my sense of home through reconnection with my internal sense of home, to this land in California and also my long lost connection to Scotland, a place that feels like home to me in my bones. I have a familial connection to Scotland, but more importantly, I have a spiritual connection to the land as well.
    The connection between myself and Scotland revealed itself to me a little over a decade ago, as I started to have past-life memories arise, unbidden. I had never experienced anything like these memories before and they were extremely confusing. Not knowing how to work with them, I finally threw my hands up in the air and realized that these memories were coming up to be healed.

   As part of this healing process I have had many memories arise of living numerous lifetimes as a healer of one form or another. In several of those memories I lived and was killed during the Burning Times, the time of the genocide of witches (most of whom were innocent) in Europe from the 1500's through the 1700's. One of the most ominous memories takes place in Scotland. Before this time period, it felt like Scotland was home to me; after this traumatic lifetime, it felt as if my connection to the land was severed. In all of my past-life memories - including this lifetime up until recently - I haven't felt a deep sense of home anywhere since this traumatic lifetime in Scotland.
   This weekend I realized that it's time to go back to Scotland to
re-claim what has been lost for myself, as well as for the thousands of women who were killed there, and for the female collective unconscious. I will be going back this spring and will keep you updated on my travels. Thank you for your support in this reclamation. May we all know and understand Home
deeply in our bones.
Celebrating Halloween, Samhain, and All Saints Day

   Halloween is a holiday that originally was first celebrated over 
2,000 years ago by the Celtic people, who called it Samhain. Samhain is considered to be the Celtic New Year or the Witches' New Year. During Samhain the Celts celebrated the fall harvest and the coming of winter with huge bonfires. They would often celebrate by wearing animal skins and heads, which is where the Halloween tradition of wearing costumes comes from. Christianity became involved when the Pope declared Nov. 1 to be All Saints Day in the 600's AD to replace the pagan Samhain festival. Whatever you call it, many feel that this is the time of the year where the veils are thinnest and we have the ability to connect with those loved ones who have departed. 

   But, for any of you who have children this holiday to them 
(even if we don't like it) often revolves around "candy". If you have children, take some time to explain to them the heritage of this holiday and what it is really about. Also, help them monitor their candy intake. It has become a tradition with my daughter to allow her to have 10 well-selected pieces of candy, allowing her to have one piece a day, and then she gives away the rest. We started with this tradition when my daughter was young, so she is now used to it. If you have kids, I highly recommend doing something like this so that they won't overdo it. You will be grateful in the long run to not have to deal with your child being wired on sugar. 

Eating for Life

     Speaking of sugar, this is a great time of year to look at how we are eating. I've noticed that as the seasons change and it gets cooler outside, people tend to start eating heavier foods, especially around the holidays. If we focus on eating well now, it will be easier to continue eating well as we move into the colder seasons. 

   I have been working with the acid-alkaline diet a great deal, 
with patients and myself, and it is a great rule of thumb to live by. Just remember that even though this diet calls for eating a great deal of vegetables, make sure that as the season cools to eat warm food that is either cooked or has warming spices in it, such as cayenne or cinnamon.

   The following is an excerpt on the acid-alkaline diet from the 

"Your health depends on the balance of an alkaline environment, created by eating foods such as tomatoes, avocados and green vegetables...striking the optimum 80/20 balance and regulating your body's acid/alkaline chemistry through simple changes in diet can result in weight loss, increased stamina and strength, a stronger immune system and a greater sense of wellbeing."
-Dr Robert O. Young

   This practice is not as difficult or as technical as it sounds. 
When we talk about eating alkaline foods or starting an alkaline diet, we are referring to consuming those foods and drinks, which have an alkaline effect on the body. This effect is based upon the mineral content of the food and therefore the ash residue that remains after our foods are consumed. Some foods leave an acid ash, whereas others leave an alkaline ash. 

   Conveniently for us, it just so happens that the foods that 
contain alkaline minerals and leave an alkaline ash are all the foods we already know are good for us: low sugar foods, fresh alkaline vegetables, etc. And the foods that contain minerals that leave an acid ash? You guessed it, sweets, alcohol, saturated fats, meats, dairy etc. 

   Of course, everybody is different - but most of us should aim 
to eat 70-80% alkaline foods anda maximum of 20-30% acid forming foods.

   Here is a link to a great site that has a list of Alkaline and 
Acid Foods:

   On 11-11, 2010, one million people across the globe will mentally project a unified vision of a new paradigm for our species... a new reality. The very real physics that connects human consciousness with molecular structure will be harnessed en masse during the largest scale simultaneous manifestation transmission in recorded history. 

   This is led by a group of scientists and mathematicians who are wanting to gather/organize at least 1 million people to visualize and believe in "a calm and harmonious world blossoming after a planet-wide awakening takes place."

Please check out this link to find out more: 

This is definitely a form of conscious action that is worth adding our energy to. 

September Edition 2010:
Awakening to our True Power

Down the Rabbit Hole
When I was young, there was a large oak tree in our backyard; I could often be found playing under the oak tree with my neighbor, who was a couple of years older than me. One day as we were playing she said, "Did you know, if you stick this key into the tree a hole will open that will lead to Wonderland?"
I was fascinated. I looked at the key, a very large golden one, and wanted so badly to go to Wonderland.
"Let's try it," I said.
"Oh no," she said, "we can't try it now, it's not the right time."
Just then her mother called her in. As she was gathering her things I saw the key on the ground and grabbed it while she wasn't looking. I really wanted to go to Wonderland! After she left I tried desperately to insert the key into the tree, but it didn't work, no hole opened up. "I must be doing something wrong," I thought. Later on that night it was found out that I had the key and got in trouble for taking it.
I tell this story because for me Wonderland represented a fascination with the underworld and magic, and ultimately a desire to understand a deeper part of the self. The other day I had an experience, my own personal rendezvous with the Rabbit Hole. I was working with a colleague, Jenn Rothman, who among other things is an amazing Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. In the session she led me deeper and deeper into my body and myself.

At one point it felt like time stood still and I made a leap into another dimensional part of myself, a part that had been longing for home for a very long time. With this experience, a shift happened, helping me to call in a true sense of home within myself. This was more than home in the traditional meaning of the word, but the deepest sense of home: of truly welcoming me back home to myself, as well as connecting me to the greater sense of home in the universe. It felt like I was stepping back into my being after being gone for a very long time.
For the past decade, and especially this last year, I have been intensely focused on evolving a body of work to help myself and all women step into our true and innate sense of power. I have started writing a book on this topic, and I am now ready to start teaching it. I offer to you, my community, my first class on this work. The class begins at the end of October. I offer it with the intention that it will help us as women- as well as the men that touch our lives- understand what it means to not only step into the essence of feminine power, but more importantly what it means to welcome ourselves back home.

August Edition 2010:

Healing and Freedom

Welcome to the August edition of Vital Times. We are in deep summer, my favorite time of year. However, in Sonoma County it doesn't feel too warm; I don't think I ever quite warmed up as much as I wanted to this summer. On the other hand, many parts of the world are experiencing drastic increases in temperatures, yet another symptom of our changing world.

As always, I like to bring current events back to how it relates to the self: how is the self mirroring what it lives in, the external and internal realities? Unfortunately, in today's world there are so many events that we can go into fear or anxiety about, global warming being just one of them. Most of us- dare I say all of us- have a voice that constantly wants us to look at our circumstances from a negative perspective. When this negative voice is in charge of our psyches, it doesn't have to look far to find something to loop its energy around. For many patients I work with, an illness or a healing crisis may be an easy target for negativity to grasp onto.
How can we, individually and collectively, shift this focus on negativity? Eckhart Tolle, modern day spiritual teacher and philosopher, offers us wisdom:

"Whenever anything negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it, although you may not see it at the time. Even an illness or an accident can show you what is real and unreal in your life, what ultimately matters and what doesn't."
~Eckhart Tolle

One key to unlocking our negative self-talk is asking ourselves, What is the lesson within this experience that I am perceiving as negative? And underneath this first inquiry is the deeper question, What part of this story that I am telling myself is real and what is unreal?that More often than not we find that the "story" itself is just a story, and is not what is really present. When we engage with this process, we can find our way out of pain- physical, emotional, and mental- by addressing and healing these patterns of negativity which cause suffering.

Ultimately, when we can become aware of what is true for us, of what is real and what is unreal, we realize that it all comes down to being present with what is, being present to this moment. I deeply connected with this truth when, as many of you know, I took a solo retreat last month. The one overarching lesson I took away from that time alone in the mountains: There is no suffering when we are in the now, there is only suffering in the presence of time, past and future, because this is where our "stories" live.

I know in my heart of hearts that this truth can bring healing and freedom to the human race. May we all find true healing and freedom!!

Supplements on the way
Many of you have spoken of your desire for me to carry supplements in my office for your ease and convenience; I am happy to oblige so that you do not have to make an extra trip to acquire them or wait for them to come in the mail. I have just placed a large order of supplements that I frequently recommend to my patients. So, the next time you have your visit, you will be able to obtain a good selection of supplements from my office. If it's a specialty supplement, or if I do not have an item in stock, you will of course still be able to order it from Emerson Ecologics or other suppliers as needed.
Interested in classes/workshops for the fall?
There are a couple of classes/workshops that I am considering running and would love to find out if you are interested in attending one or both of them.
The first class would be a class entitled:
"Engaging your Innate Intuition,
Using your Intuition in Everyday Life."
This class would run for eight weeks on a weekday evening. In this class you would learn to:

  • Discover and engage your intuitive guidance system, so you can live more in the flow of spirit and your intuitive guidance.
  • Learn how to deeply feel grounded, so that you may increase intuition and feel more present in your life.
  • Understand how to discern other's energy from your own, and how to clear others' negative energy by learning and engaging in easy and effective energy techniques.
  • Increase your natural healing ability so that you may heal yourself and others.
  • Increase your life force, giving you more energy to live your life to the fullest.
  • This class is for those who already have a general understanding and utilization of intuition as well as those who are new to using it.

The other workshop will be offered on a weekend in either October or November and is called:

"Awaken to your Feminine Power:
Reclaiming Yourself and Your Psyche"
This workshop is for women to help tune into and reclaim their authentic power, especially in relationship to the masculine.
This workshop is for you if:

  • Your relationships with men are difficult, perplexing and/or painful.
  • You find that you change yourself around men, consciously or unconsciously, to win their approval.
  • You find yourself undermining your power and invalidating yourself.
  • You find that emotions such as anger, grief, blame or resentment block your ability to be truly intimate with men.
  • You feel limited and stuck in your life and can't get ahead as a woman.

In this workshop you will have the opportunity to:

  • Understand how you may have subconsciously adopted patriarchal beliefs.
  • Explore the emotional and psychological imprint that the patriarchy has had on humanity's consciousness, specifically how it has affected the feminine psyche.
  • Gain clarity of the subconscious voices that have been limiting and belittling your true power as a woman.
  • Understand how to be free of these limiting beliefs that have had control over you.
  • Understand how to choose yourself again and again over these voices.
  • Have the opportunity to step into your true power and essence.
  • Leave with a solid practice of choosing freedom and your true essence so that you may create a life of your choosing.

I have not definitively decided if I am going to be offering these classes yet, it depends on your feedback. Therefore, if you are interested please let me know- via phone, email or in person- by the end of this month!

Pre-Pay Policy for Phone Appointments, Credit Cards:
A few weeks ago I had a large majority of appointments via phone. Unfortunately, no one had pre-paid for these appointments and most of the payments were backlogged for a few weeks. If I was operating a big office this would be no big deal, but since I am a one-person-practice, this was a big financial hit for me.
Therefore, I have decided to put into place a pre-pay policy policy for phone appointments. If you have a phone appointment, I request that you send a check in the mail before your appointment. If you have not paid by the time of the appointment, I will ask for you to pay via credit or debit card.
Thank you for your understanding of this new policy, and please feel free to contact me about it if you have any questions or concerns.

July Edition 2010
Clearing the Cobwebs

I just watched a video of the oil slick in the Gulf- it is quite sobering. I saw pods of dying dolphins, a sperm whale covered with oil, and miles of oil slick on top of the ocean. It's undeniable that we are living in incredibly challenging times, and that this oil slick is an immense sign of our troubled world.

Yet, when we look to what we can do, it's difficult to find an answer. Our culture is steeped in the use of oil and the trappings of consumerism. How do we make the shift on both a physical, emotional, and mental level? I just read an article by Daniel Pencheck on the Gulf situation and his answer to this question stirs the deeper implications of how the oil spill is awakening us as a species. He said:

"It is now agonizingly obvious that humans do not change their ways until they are far outside of their comfort zone. It is only at the point of death (literal or metaphorical) that transmutation becomes possible. Perhaps the rampant desecration of the physical world is going to force the more conscious subset of humanity to purify their intentions, clearing cobwebs from the shadowy corners of the psyche, to access extrasensory capacities on a regular basis."

Interestingly, when I sit with what I am here to do as a healer, I see this quote accurately defining my deeper intentions. I am here to help heal the physical body: but it is the physical body that reflects the deeper emotional, mental, energetic, and spiritual aspects of who we are. These aspects are now being asked to quickly evolve in these times.

As some of you might know I taught at the New College of California for five years in the Consciousness, Healing and Ecology concentration. Through this experience, I realized that my role as "healer" is much more expansive than what I had previously thought. I am here to help the forward movement of conscious evolution in anyway I can, and I am deeply committed to this goal. Honestly though, at times I don't know what this means, and I keep looking for inner guidance to point the way. But I do know one thing for certain- I am totally committed to being with you and helping you in any way I can: to help you heal, to awaken, and to step into your true essence. And with that I leave you with a final word from Pencheck.

"I pray this is the universe's wager for us: that we will go beyond our current ruts and limitations, that we will manifest a future of imaginative joy by stepping into our potential, becoming the wizards, warriors, and initiates that the world needs so desperately now."

Dealing with Stress on Our Bodies
Conscious evolution can be stressful on our body. Our egos don't like expansion, evolution and change- exactly what we are being called to do. I am working with so many patients these days who are going through huge internal changes, who have high levels of stress that translate into a variety of physical symptoms.
For those of you interested in astrology, we are in one of the most intense and extremely rare configurations (a Grand Cross) of planets, which can offer magnanimous change, yet can also be quite chaotic. To top it off we have just had a Lunar Eclipse on June 26 (for more information go to: URL: and will be experiencing a Solar Eclipse this Sunday, July 11(for more information go to: URL: All of this means that people are being asked to look at parts of themselves that have been deeply buried. I have never seen so many people doing such incredibly deep work on themselves in my time as a naturopathic doctor.
When emotions are activated (consciously or subconsciously) the body will often react, and over time stress can take its toll on our bodies. Here are some great ways to deal with stress:

  1. Look to the cause-this is key. So often we feel stress from an external event that is stirring something deeper inside of us. Maybe we are ignoring something, denying a feeling, or are in resistance to a new way of being because it's too scary. Whatever it is, stress can show us what we are not looking at, if we have the wherewithal and courage to turn toward it.
  2. Get lots of rest. I know many of you have heard this from me before, but it is vital! The more stress you are under the more sleep you need to help the body come back into a place of balance.
  3. Meditate. It doesn't matter which kind of meditation, just pick one and practice it as often as possible. My favorite mediation these days is a somatic meditation where one tracks tension, emotions and/or stuck energy in the body. Total awareness is then brought into that part of the body, and with keen awareness the tension will dissolve within the duration of a few breaths. I am teaching this to many patients these days; if you are interested please let me know and I can lead you through it.
  4. Eat Well. With stress it all too often seems that eating well goes down the drain. Yet, this is when the body needs healthiest food the most in order to stay in balance. Make sure to eat 5 servings of vegetables/fruit a day, plenty of protein and enough fat. Fat is a primary constituent of stress hormones and is needed to keep us in hormonal balance.
  5. Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated takes the stress off of your body and helps maintain homeostasis. For most people drinking 8 oz. glasses 8 times per day is optimal.
  6. Take the appropriate supplements for you. Below are a few that I recommend for dealing with stress:
    1. PhytoADR: An adaptogenic combination of herbs that helps the adrenals come back to a place of balance. You can get this supplement at; (if you haven't ordered from them before you will need my access code, which is: nature and my zip code, which is: 95472.)
    2. *GabaCalm: A Gaba supplement that will help dramatically decrease stress and anxiety. I recommend starting at a very low amount ½ sublingual tablet (can increase to 1 sublingual tablet) taken as needed.
    3. *Valerian/Passionflower tincture: Great for helping one "chill out", especially before bed.
    4. Various flower essences. If you are interested please talk to me. You can get these custom formulated at Rosemary's Garden in Sebastopol or you can buy them individually.
*The asterisked supplements you can get at Whole Foods.

Voice Dialogue: A New Method in My Practice
If you have not yet experienced the newest modality in my practice, I would like to take a moment to describe it to you. It has been a life changing method to myself and I am delighted now to offer it to my patients.
Voice dialogue is a process by which one identifies an inner part of themselves that is limiting (i.e. an inner belief or voice), and then dis-identifies from it so that they may have more internal freedom inside of themselves. In this process the limiting voice is first identified, and then a dialogue with that "voice" occurs so that the patient has a clearer experience of the nuance, tone, emotion and energy of that specific "voice". With the help of guided facilitation, the patient will then move into adult consciousness. From the perspective of adult consciousness, one can get a clearer differentiation of the limiting voice and understand how to dis-identify with it the next time it comes to the surface. In essence it helps establish a practice of dis-identifying limiting beliefs and patterns so that one can choose ones true self over the limiting thought forms.

I have had significant results already with many patients in helping them free themselves of that which no longer serves them or their body. Please let me know if you are interested in experiencing this modality.

December Holiday Issue 2009

Winter Solstice: Opening to the Darkness and the Light
As I sit and listen to the rain gently fall out my window I am reminded that we are moving deep into the dark and cold time of year and the holidays are right around the corner.  I find it fascinating that as we transition into a natural semi-hibernation of our bodies (due to the cold and dark) that we are at the same time gearing up for a busy and active holiday season.  Don't get me wrong I love a good Christmas carol and it's always such a joy to look into my daughter's eyes on Christmas morning.  Yet it also seems a little illogical on a somatic/body level to have so much hectic holiday activity and go against the natural tide of slowing down. 
During this time of year I see many busy patients, friends and colleagues experience what I call a "forced slowing down." I define this as any experience (external or internal) which forces one to take a step back, slow down and reassess how they are living.  I believe that occurrences like this happen for a reason to teach us, to help us understand the deeper currents of our lives and to help us evolve into fuller human beings. 
Traditionally the winter solstice (which is on December 21) is a time of acknowledging the deep dark time of the year and the return of the light.  It asks the question, "In the longest night will the light return?"  We know that in actuality that the sun will rise again, but do we know it metaphorically?  It asks us to deeply look inside and to reassess what needs to happen to bring more light into the shadow places of our lives and into the world.  It can be a hard time of looking within at our fears, our shadow, and the places that are contracted and protected. 
In my own personal life I have found that in the deepest, most contracted places when I feel that I have no where else to turn that this is where I find the deepest ability to surrender to the light of a higher power.  It doesn't really matter what you want to call this higher power:  God, Goddess or Universe.  The fact is that this faith and surrender brings us closer to the divine and that is where the true light lives within us and around us.  Understanding this we begin to realize the smallness of our own individual story and we gain a larger perspective that we are a part of something much bigger...a web of life filled with profound light.  Our job, through all of the ups and downs of living this life, is to find our way back to shining this is our birthright it is who we are.    
So, for this holiday season may we all take the teachings of the winter solstice to heart and ask the hard question of how can we each bring more light into our life?  It takes courage to look into the dark and what we find there we don't always like.  But, the truest essence of healing is to bring light into the darkest, most hidden places. Each time we do this we shine brighter and brighter. 
From the deepest part of my heart I thank you in doing your part in shining light into this world...we need it now more than ever.

Starting in January Class on Eating Intuitively 
How many of you are planning to put "lose weight" on your up and coming New Year's Resolution list?  How many years have you had it on your list?  And, just out of curiosity, how many of you have lost that weight and regained it sometimes in the same year? Are you tired of diets and the yo-yo cycle they cause:  feelings of starvation/deprivation, rebelling, then overeating and winding up back at the same place you started? Are you an emotional eater? Is it hard to tune into your body and it's true needs? If you answered yes to any of these questions than Eating Intuitively is for you.
In this class you will learn how to once and for all find your way to healthy eating and find the weight that is right for your body.  You will uncover and work towards healing the voices/feelings that keep you in the cycle of overeating.  And, you will finally gain a sense of what your body wants and how to feed it from listening to your inner body wisdom and not from outside sources. This class will utilize the book Intuitive Eating and will also incorporate group dialogue, visualization, meditations and weekly awareness practices. Dates:  1/18, 1/25, 2/1, 2/8, 2/15, 2/22 (All Monday evenings)Time:  6:30-9:00 pm.
Fee (Sliding Scale):  $325-$400 
Price includes 2/1-hour private sessions with Dr.Patterson
If you are interested please call soon to register, space is limited. 
HEALTH CORNER:  Flu and Cold Season

  We are in full swing of the cold/flu season and fortunately the Swine Flu is for the most part proving to be merely a very contagious form of flu that stays a long time, but not as serious as what was once feared.  (However, it's importnat to note that special caution needs to be taken for those that already have lung or heart conditions.  If you fall into this category please take extra time to read and follow the below immune recommendations.)
I want to do all that I can to ensure that you all are in the best health possible so that if the bugs come to visit, they don't overstay there welcome. So, with that in mind here is what I recommend to keep you and your immune system in the best health possible this winter season:
My most favorite immune-stimulating supplement is: Maitake Mushrooms, which increases natural killer cells (the Green Beret's of the immune system) by 300%.  It also has a potent anti-cancer effect.  New Chapter has a great product. Take 1-2 capsules once a day throughout the cold and flu season.  If you want something a little stronger I have a superior formulation of Maitake mushroom in my office, it's more expensive then the one by New Chapter, but very powerful.  I am giving it to my daughter this cold/flu season in lieu of getting a Swine Flu vaccination. Let me know if you are interested in it. Echinacea is always a great immune-stimulating herb, it increases B and T cells.  However, it must be taken at the very first signs of a flu or cold.  I recommend the tincture form. Take 1 dropperful once a day during cold and flu season; at first sign of cold or flu take 3 dropperfuls the first 2 days.  If you take it throughout the season it is most effective if you take a week off for every 3 weeks you are on it. I also recommend getting a good combination tincture of anti-bacterial and anti-viral herbs for when you actually get a cold or flu.  My favorite combination is: goldenseal, lomatium, pau d'arco, echinacea and baptisia
.  Take 2-4 dropperfuls per day.  (Dose depends on the acuteness of the illness; more is recommended at onset and climax of symptoms and decrease the dosage as you recover.) Let's not forget Vitamin C, it's also a very powerful immune stimulator.  I recommend at least 1,000 mgs daily throughout the cold and flu season.  When you have a cold or flu, take up to "bowel tolerance," which means take the supplement to the point of getting soft stools, then back off 500-1000 mgs the next time you take it. 
Sambucus is an elderberry extract that works well as an anti-viral.   The adult dose 2 teaspoons daily for intensive use take 2 teaspoons four times daily
Other important things to keep in mind:
-Keep sugar intake at a minimum (Yes, this is hard to do this time of year, but important!)
-Get lots of good rest minimum 8 hours (Good rest can be as good or better than any supplements that you are taking to ensure immune system health)
-Decrease stress:  there is a proven correlation to increased stress and decreased immune function.  So, when you are at your wits end...breathe, do some yoga/meditation, slow down.  Taking 30 minutes out of your hectic schedule to relax is better than being sick for a few days.
-Go to a yoga class at least once a week (or another form of physical/energy based movement such as Tai Chi or Qi Gong.)  If you can't afford a class, buy a DVD or two.  Rodney Yee's yoga videos are great.

-Meditate as often as possible.  You don't have to meditate for an hour every day.  10 minutes every day works better than nothing! -Exercise 3-4 times every week.  Do anything that you love that gets your heart rate up and your muscles working. 

 -Go to your local hot springs and stay as long as you can (overnight preferably.)  Harbin, Orr and Wilbur Hot Springs are all good choices.  It's a great way to treat yourself and get really relaxed in the process.

-Have deep meaningful conversations with your loved ones.  Conversations like this allow you to express held-in emotions that can create tension and anxiety in your body.  Research shows that our immune systems react positively when we are deeply relating to others.

-If you are feeling anxious or afraid, define what is happening for you and find someone to help you process it, such as a friend, partner, loved one or a professional such as myself.  Research shows that when negative emotions are processed and tension is released, the immune system (specifically T-cells) increase.

September 2009 Edition

Greetings patients, colleagues and friends!  Welcome to Vital Times! We are in the last days of summer.   The season is almost turning; do you feel the change in the air?  Labor Day is usually bitter sweet for me, but this year I am looking forward to the change in seasons:  the cooler days and the rains coming.  And as always a heightened awareness of taking good care of myself and others around me as we go into the cooler season. In this issue I cover how we can take care of ourselves as we change seasons: emotionally/spiritually, physically and energetically.  Emotionally and spiritually I ponder the power of love in healing; energetically I discuss my latest workshop::  "Engaging Your Innate Intuition" and physically I discuss how you can prepare for the upcoming flu season and I review the latest data on the Swine Flu.  So, welcome aboard the latest edition of Vital Times I hope you enjoy.

The Power of Love
As I was pondering what to write in this newsletter I came across a dialogue in a book that I am reading, "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert that gave the answer.  In the dialogue below the author is lamenting about her difficulties in meditation to a friend "Richard from Texas" whom she met in an ashram in India.     
"All I seem to do is argue with myself when I try to meditate."    
"That's just your ego, trying to make sure it stays in charge.  This is what your ego does.  It keeps you feeling separate, keeps you with a sense of duality, tries to convince you that you're flawed and broken and alone instead of whole."    
"But how does that serve me?"
 "It doesn't serve you.....right now, your ego's scared to death because it's about to get downsized.  You keep up this spiritual path, baby, and that bad boys days are numbered.  Pretty soon your ego will be out of work, and your heart will be making the decisions.  So your ego's fighting for its life, playing with your mind, trying to assert its authority, trying to keep you cornered off in a holding pen away from the rest of the universe.  Don't listen to it."           
"How do you not listen to it?"           
"Ever try to take a toy away from a toddler?  They don't like that, do they?  They start kicking and screaming.  Best way to take a toy away from a toddler is distract the kid, give it something else to play with.  Divert his attention.  Instead of trying to forcefully take thoughts out of your mind, give your mind something better to play with.  Something healthier."           
"Like what?"          
"Like love...Like pure divine love." 

I don't know about you, but from all of my years sitting on the meditation cushion, I could totally relate to this dialogue.  I laughed hard.  I can't even count how many times I've had similar situations such as this with my ego.  But, it also spoke to me in a much deeper way.  It spoke to me of the deeper fight that the ego does when it's being put up against the wall (such as what happens in meditation.)  In fact the deeper you go into yourself the worse the fight gets before you surrender and something else takes over.  And even more importantly it spoke of what avenue to take to help open to this surrender, the avenue of love.  In the next chapter of the book it described this concept even more in a paragraph of a monk talking to the author.

"The resting place of the mind is the heart.  The only thing the mind hears all day is clanging bells and noise and argument, and all it wants is quietude.  The only place the mind will ever find peace is inside the silence of the heart.  That's where you need to go." The power of love is necessary in all aspects of healing.  It softens the raging voices that come to us unbidden and intense.  It heals tissues that are crying from old traumas.  It allows us to find peace within ourselves.  

Just today I was having a conversation with a patient who suffers from chronic pain.  In her situation there is a chronic pattern in the nerves that causes pain to travel up her body.  Toward the end of the session I was describing things that she could do at home to help decrease her pain.  One of the things that I saw would help her was to send love to the chronic pattern in her nervous system, "to distract it, to give it something else to play with", as Richard the Texan said.  Meanwhile, the actual presence of love is healing the tissue itself. It is also what I have found that ultimately heals the voices that make us small; the voices that feed our fear, anger, or insecurity.  These are the voices of the ego that ultimately are trying to keep us safe, but hurts us in the long run.  The process of loving these voices (and the parts of ourselves where these voices originate) is a long and meandering journey so we need all the help we can get.  In the latest September edition of the "O Magazine" there is an article by Martha Beck that gives some great pointers in how can we know if we are loving (all parts of ourselves and others) or not.  

If you need to distinguish between acts of fear and the power of love, here's a quick guide:

FEAR   Always feels bad                                            LOVE Always feels good           Motivates grasping                                                  Motivates liberation
Seizes control                                                           Relaxes control
Insists on certainty                                                 Accepts uncertainty
Needs everything                                                     Needs nothing
The process of spotting fear and refusing to obey it is the source of all true empowerment." That last sentence says it all, and now for the practice!   

Engaging Your Innate Intuition This workshop is coming right up Saturday and Sunday September 26 & 27 If you haven't already signed up there are still spaces left. This workshop is for you if:
-You want to live your life with more flow and grace
-You want to tune into your intuitive guidance system, making those tough decisions in life easier.
-You feel that you are intuitive, but have a hard time trusting it.
-You pick up others peoples energy easily and don't know how to get rid of it.
-You want to understand how to go deeper in your ability to heal yourself and help others heal themselves as well.
In this workshop you will learn how to:
-Increase your life force, giving you more energy to live your life to the fullest.
-Learn how to deeply feel grounded so that you may increase intuition and feel more present.
-Learn how to engage your intuitive guidance system
-Increase your natural healing ability so that you may heal yourself and others.
-Understand how to discern others' energy from your own, and clear others' negative energy by learning and engaging in easy and effective techniques.

This class is for those who already have a general understanding and utilization of intuition as well as those who are new to using it. The workshop will take place at my office 10:00-5:00 both days (with an hour break for lunch each day)Before 9/15 tuition is $200; after 9/15 tuition is $235 Creative financing available as needed
Call now at to hold your space with a $75 deposit. 707.829-8137 SPACE IS LIMITED CALL NOW TO HOLD YOUR PLACE! 

Preparing for the flu season and Swine Flu Update
I am hoping for a mild flu season ahead.  However, at this point predictions are difficult.  Even though there has been a few serious cases reported of the Swine Flu in our area, it has been overall a mild illness, although very contagious.  This is what other doctors have also reported around the country.  The New England Journal of Medicine reported that this Swine Flu strain has been become more mild over the decades.  The following are the guidelines for flu prevention (both regular flu and the Swine Flu) and information in general on the Swine Flu 
1.  Keep yourselves healthy in general. This means getting enough rest, watch your stress and take down time if it is increasing, do things that nurture you:  yoga, meditation, walks in nature; eat a healthy nutritious diet, take your vitamins, including Vitamin C, D, and fish oil.   
2.  If you need to sneeze or cough please do so with your face pointed toward the inner side of a bended elbow (my daughter calls this her cough pocket) and then wash your hands afterward.   
3.  Make a practice of washing your hands often.
4.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
5.  Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
6.  Influenza and Swine Flu specifically is spread person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
7.  If you get sick, the CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. 8.  The swine flu can be caught by being around pigs that are sick it, but not by eating well-prepared pork cooked at 160 degrees, the temperature that kills off all viruses and bacteria.
9.  Above all. Don't get stressed by the fear of getting the swine flu. As stated before the immune system is undermined by stress.  Remember not every infection becomes a full blown disease. Many infections are taken care of by your body even before you know that you were infected. Most infections only become serious for those who were already sick. So instead of panicking stay calm.
10.  Adults or children with histories of chronic colds/flus, wheezing, asthma, heart conditions or pneumonia should consider having a wellness check or follow-up visit in the early fall to develop a winter wellness plan.
11.  If you or someone in your family gets sick with a fever over 101, or a fever with respiratory symptoms (congestion, cough, runny nose, sore throat) please call the office so that I can be a part of your healthcare team and make recommendations for you.  Acute homeopathic remedies have been used for many decades in cases of pandemic flu viruses with amazing effect.    
12. Please go to these websites for the latest updates on the Swine Flu: CDC: 
Sonoma County: San Francisco County: 
13.  The following are a list of supplements that I would recommend starting now at the preventative dose or at the very least have on hand.                
Elderberry:  an herbal remedy available in syrup, capsule and liquid forms.   This comes in children and adult varieties.  Sambucus is a good liquid brand.  Preventative and acute doses are on the side of the bottle.           
Oscillococcinum: a homeopathic remedy.  Family members can   each take a 1/4 vial once a month for general prevention. If you have   been exposed to flu or are feeling ill, take a 1/4 vial several times a   day.  Same dose for all ages.            
Host Defense:  a mushroom combination created by New Chapter.  For prevention take 1 cap/day, for acute illness take 2-3 caps/day.  You can also give this to children by opening a capsule and mixing with food, i.e. applesauce, etc.  The amount given varies by the weight of the child.  Call for guidance if needed.  (I got my daughter to eat this for a while last winter and it worked great until she caught on. 
All of these remedies, work best if started in the first 48 hrs of the illness, so I recommend keeping them on hand.  Homeopathic remedies do not expire. 

14.  Allopathic Treatment options:  There is a test for the virus, but it is apparently only 50% accurate.   There are anti-viral prescription medications for the Swine Flu, which should also be started 48 hours in advance.  Both the test and the prescriptions are available through an M.D. 
*Thanks goes to Pediatric Alternatives Clinic in Mill Valley, CA, Tina Green and Dr. Wieslaw Rocki for sharing vital information on this topic. 

Summer 2009
Greetings patients, colleagues and friends!  Welcome to Vital Times!  Happy summer everyone!  I am so delighted for the sun to be pouring its rays down upon us.  It's time for vegetable gardens, summer vacations, getting in the water and fun in the sun.      
Have a wonderful summer, make sure to use your common sense on your big adventures...and of course I wouldn't be a good doctor if I didn't remind you to wear sunscreen (the natural kind is of course preferable! :)
Chop Water, Carry Wood  This email I find myself coming down from the mountain, literally.  A few days ago I returned from spending the last 8 days on a Vision Quest in the Inyo National Forest.  For those of you who are not familiar with the Vision Quest Ceremony, it is a Native American based ritual which intends to bring one closer to spirit, to heal and to clarify ones personal vision for their life.  It begins weeks before the actual ritual in which you prepare yourself mentally, spiritually and physically through rituals and cleansing to clarify your intention of purpose.  It finally leads up to a solo time in the woods in which you go out alone and fast for several days praying and meditating in solitude.   
I found everything and more of what I was looking for and now find myself in the process of incorporating my experience into my life.  Thus the title to this article, "Chop water, Carry Wood."  For those who do not know the story associated with this title, it goes something like this.  Once there was a spiritual seeker who found an enlightened master to study with.  He was so excited because he always wanted to know the answer to a burning question.

"Master, master", he said, "please answer this one question for me." The master agreed.  And the seeker asked, "Master, what happens after enlightenment?" 
And the Master said, "Chop wood, carry water." 
Talking to a friend and fellow companion who also did the vision quest brought this idea into a clear correlation with my experience.  As we were speaking of how to incorporate the Vision Quest experience into our life she said something to me that resonated deeply. 
"Melissa", she said, "This is the time when the real Vision Quest begins."  And with that I realized that now it is time to bring the visions down from the mountain and to start walking them.  Time to allow the deep restructuring of my life (from how these visions affected me) to come into manifestation in my daily life, even as I go about the mundane tasks of answering emails and paying bills .  

Part of this incorporation is bringing the visions (and the inevitable way they are shaping and changing my life) into my practice, to you my patients.  For I know that I can only lead you into the deep places of your healing if I have walked that path before you.  I make no claim of enlightenment or perfection only that I have the determination to continue the ever deepening path of spirit in my life to serve the greater good, and that my friend includes how our lives intersect and how I aim to serve your greater good! 

May we all know and live the deep visions of our spirit.  And, with that I leave you with an excerpt of a poem from David Whyte. 
"...Time to go into the dark
Where the night has eyes
To recognize its own.
There you can be sure you are not beyond love.
The dark will be your womb Tonight.
The night will give you a horizon further than you can see. You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
Except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
Confinement of your aloneness
To learn
Anything or anyone
That does not bring you alive
Is too small for you."

May we all know the sweet freedom of our aliveness!!

First Aid Kit for Traveling and Camping The last time I had the honor of being a part of a Vision Quest I was on the leadership team and part of my role was as medical first aid person.  This is a partial list of the first aid kit that I prepared then in hopes that it will serve you in your summer excursions.
Echinacea/Goldenseal tincture to be used for any sign of flu or cold.  Can add a Tincture of Lomatium/Pau d'arco if you would like to add a supplement that has more anti-viral effects in your first aid kit.  (Can get a tincture with all of these herbs together at Farmacopia in Santa Rosa.) Take 2-3 droperfuls 2-3 times a day at first sign of cold or flu.

Lavender Essential Oil and/or Calendula Comfrey Beeswax Based Ointment to be used as an antiseptic and skin healer for wounds.  Make sure to clean wound thoroughly and wash with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol wipes before applying oil or ointment then bandage.
Arnica Essential Oil or cream to be used for any sprains/strains or bruises
Slippery Elm Powder to be made into tea (hot or cold) can be used for cough, symptoms of a urinary tract infection or nausea (best to made into a tea with ginger for nausea; boil ginger root...or use ginger powder  then add slippery elm.)

Homeopathic Eye drops in case of eye irritation due to dust or allergies, important to have in desert areas.
Throat spray for soar throat.  Gaia brand makes a great one.
Activated Charcoal for diarrhea especially important to have in third world country.

Probiotics especially while traveling in third world countries. Jarrow makes a good probiotic that doesn't need to be refrigerated.

Ibuprofen yes there is a time and place for it, especially while traveling.  If you are completely opposed to it can substitute White Willow Bark tincture or capsules (has the active ingredient in it that is in aspirin)
Typical first aid kit supplies:  band aids, tweezers, gauze, etc.  Can find at camping supply stores pre-packaged and in first-aid bag.

The Healing Power of Mind-Body Medicine Part II:  Emotions, Peptides and How They Affect the Body

The body is a system of well-defined connections from one organ system to another.  For example peptides (also known as neurotransmitters when found in the nervous system or hormones when found in the rest of the body) carry information to the cells and cause a certain action to happen within the cell, each action is different according to the specific function of the peptide. 

When we feel emotions a cascade of different peptides are made in the nervous system, especially from the limbic system (the area of our brain which has been called the seat of emotions.)  Different ratios (or recipes) of neurotransmitters are made according to the specific emotion that we are feeling.  For instance, different types of neurotransmitters will be made for the feeling of love as compared to anger.  The immune system has cells that have receptor sites for nearly every peptide made.  These peptides tell the immune cell what to do and how to do it. 

Therefore, because different neurotransmitters (peptides) are made according to the emotions that you are feeling, your emotions via the neurotransmitters are directly affecting the immune system.  For example if you are feeling joy, happiness or other positive emotions your immune system becomes more balanced and healthy.  However,  if you are feeling depressed your immune system down-regulates and doesn't function as well.  An example of one of these neurotransmitters that powerfully affect the immune system is called cytokine. 

It has been found that when there is slight stress in the body cytokine production is increased and affects the immune system by increasing it's reactivity, therefore working harder and more productively.  However, with long term chronic stress cytokine continues to be high and will actually overwhelm the immune system, causing it to be fatigued and not work as well.  When one feels depression production of cytokine decreases and its stimulation on the immune system also decreases, therefore decreasing its functioning.  This finding holds true that a little stress on the body increases the immune systems function, but chronic stress decreases it just as much as depression.

Other hormones (which are also in the category of a peptide) increase during stress and affect the immune system (among other systems in the body) in a negative way.  The hormone cortisol is released due to chronic stress.  Adrenaline (also known as epinephrine and norepinephrine) is released in response to acute stress.  Both have been found to cause havoc in the body when stress is present.  Unfortunately the yo-yo between the constants of acute and chronic stress is all too often the present in our society.  However, chronic stress through the release of cortisol has especially been found to decrease the functioning of numerous systems over the long-haul.  It decreases the immune system, gastrointestinal function, has been linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and many other illnesses.

The bottom line is that emotions and stress are very connected to how our body functions.  So, know you now that next time you are in my office and I ask you about how you are feeling and what your level of stress is...I am not only asking because I care (which I do), but I am also asking because I want to get a larger picture of how your body has been functioning in the broadest most holistic way possible.
Remember from the last article that emotions not only come from current events in our lives, but also how the current events can stir up subconscious memories and "trigger" emotions from our past, especially if there was a traumatic event was associated with.  Therefore, stay tuned for Part III of the Mind-Body Series:  The Physiological Response to Trauma and How to Heal it.

Spring 2009
Greetings patients, colleagues and friends!  Welcome to Vital Times!

Happy spring everyone!!  Spring is busting out all over.  The flowers are shooting up and bathing us in beauty.   Renewal of life is everywhere.  As we welcome the warming rays of the spring sunshine may we take this opportunity to renew and revive all parts of ourselves.  This newsletter is focused on doing just that, reviving and renewing ourselves to live our best life ever!!  
My Work in the World
Recently I have been sitting with the question, "What am I here to do?"  I am clear that I have had a calling to be a healer, but I've been questioning what does that mean right now?  Does it mean have a full-time practice, write a book, teach workshops...or what?  There is so much happening in our world that is calling for healing, for change.   And, ultimately the question came down to this,  "Am I serving my community and myself in the highest way through this practice?"  
As I was sitting with this question  I started having patients come in and talk to me about how their lives were being positively changed by our work together.  The stories I heard were amazing.  One women who had been on 14 medications, had safely dropped down to 4.  Another woman who has had chronic pain for 12+ years had 6 weeks pain free and counting.  I felt incredibly overjoyed at their successes.  It was as if my questioning was being answered by the wonderful and positive feedback I was getting. 
As I started thinking about the people I had talked to one thread was made clear in all of these patients, they were all on a spiritual journey.  The symptoms they previously had in their bodies were correlated to a spiritual awakening that they were experiencing.   I realized that they were getting better because I was both focusing on their physical body, as well as, leading them into their deep emotional and spiritual process.  It was through all of these experiences that they were getting better.
This day culminated with a student coming to me and telling me about an acquaintance of hers who is in extreme physical pain.  After telling me a little bit about her acquaintances experience with allopathic medicine she looked at me and said, "I think she is going through a spiritual awakening and her body is reacting from it."  All of a sudden I felt my spirit take over my consciousness and without any hesitation I said, "This is my work in the world to help people, especially women, evolve consciously.  To help those that are walking the cutting edge of spiritual awakening to navigate healing on all levels and to step across the threshold into their true selves."  And, with goosebumps all over my body,  I realized that I was speaking my truth. 
So, with that I move forward with my work in the world.  I am right where I need to be and am honored to have you in my life.  I am committed to helping you find health on all levels and to hold your hand while you take that step across the threshold into your true self!

Time for Spring Cleaning

As with spring cleaning of our homes, we also need to clean our real home, our bodies.  Spring is the perfect time to do a detoxification.  Living in our society it is easy to get inundated with toxins.   Our bodies need a chance to cleanse, detoxify and rejuvenate.  

Cleansing can help your body in many ways, including the following:
-Increased energy-Weight loss-Greater motivation and creativity-Reduction of allergic symptoms
-Clear skin and eyes-Anti-aging
-Clearing of old emotions and thought patterns
 Detoxification Group:  I will be leading a 2-week detoxification group at the beginning of June.   This group will include facilitated and group support, as well as, all supplements and informational materials to help you cleanse your body.  It will include 3 Monday evening meetings, June 1st, 8th and 15th from 7:00-8:30.  The first session will be focused on preparation, the second support and the third re-integration into a healthy new eating regime. 
A 20-minute individual session will also be included in the package.   The price for each individual who would like to join (which includes $200 worth of detoxification supplements), is $300. 
Since there will be a limit to the size of the group call now to reserve your spot with a $75 deposit. 
TELL YOUR FRIENDS!  If you have a friend or love one join and they mention that you recommended them you will receive $50 off your fee.

The Healing Power of Mind-Body Medicine  Part I

*This is part one in a series on mind-body medicine that I will be continuing in upcoming newsletters.

I teach a class every spring on Anatomy and Energy at the Academy of Intuition Medicine in Sausalito.  My favorite part of that class is a section I teach on mind-body medicine.  Below are excerpts from that class. The body is an integrated system of networks, which are constantly exchanging, processing and storing information.  The mind holds the network together often acting below our consciousness.  This network links and coordinates the major systems and their organs and cells in a coordinated orchestra. Emotions effect this network and play a part in the body like an instrument in this orchestra.  Nuances like tempo or high and low notes make a profound effect.  Emotions like anger, fear, sadness, joy, contentment, courage, pleasure and pain all have a different resonance or sound it makes in our biology.  "Emotions are cellular signals that are involved in the process of translating information into physical reality, literally transforming mind into matter," says Dr. Candace Pert past NIH scientist.  It has been proven that chronic negative emotions such as depression, loneliness, hopelessness and long-term bereavement suppress the immune system.  But repressed emotions have an even more detrimental effect on one's health. Repressed emotions from trauma if not dealt with will be stored in the body and over time cause chronic degenerative illnesses. Research shows that when people express emotions from past traumatic events their immune system improves.  In one-study college students who had been sexually or physically abused as children spent fifteen minutes a day writing about their early traumas, emphasizing their feelings.  After only four days they had higher white blood cell (lymphocyte) activity than the control group.  Pert says, "All honest emotions are positive emotions.  Health is not just a matter of thinking "happy thoughts."  Sometimes the biggest impetus to healing can come from jump-starting the immune system with a burst of long-suppressed anger...The key is to express it and then let it go, so that it doesn't fester, or build, or escalate out of control."  However, only 5% of our awareness is conscious of itself at any given time, while the remaining 95% of awareness lies in the subconscious mind out of reach of our awareness. This is where the beauty of hypnotherapy and intuitive medicine come into play.  Using these modalities one can go beyond the conscious mind to tap into the subconscious memories and energy stored in the cells and tissues of the body.  These memories can then be brought to conscious awareness so that the energy of the memory can be shifted.  The memory will always be stored as a memory.  However, one can clear the traumatic energy patterns of this memory, which allows for an increased flow of vital force to the organs, tissues and cells of the body thus returning it to health.