Blog – Holistic Medicine for Stress,Trauma & Chronic Illness – Portland,OR

In this article I want to help you to get to know your heart. Knowing more about your heart (specifically your heart rate variability) can improve your awareness of how stressors impact your mind and body. To evaluate the health of your heart and nervous system, you just need a heart rate variability monitor (typically […]

I have studied nutrition for many years starting in my youth and then formally in my undergraduate degree and yet did not come across much about the potential deleterious effects of anti-nutrients such as phytic acid in grains, beans, nuts, seeds and some other plant foods. (An antinutrient is a component in food that limits […]

Herbalists speak of the different effects of plant parts and generally ascribe mentally and emotionally uplifting properties to flowers. Many of our key herbs used to alleviate anxiety and depression (and other mental health conditions) are derived from flowers: Chamomile, Lavendar, Lemon Balm, Linden flower, Magnolia, Passionflower, St. John’s Wort, Saffron (Crocus) and Skullcap are […]

Chocolate can nurture and nourishes. It is derived from the cacao tree (Theobroma cacoa). The word Theobroma means ‘food of the gods’. Americans consume, on average, 11 pounds of chocolate per person per year and we are ranked as the 5th major consumer of chocolate worldwide. Research on the health benefits of chocolate shows it […]

Chronic Stress In a prior blog post, I wrote about managing stress and gave some tips for gaining control and a greater sense of calm when facing short-term stress, but what about stress that is unrelenting or chronic? How does one maintain health with persistent exposure to stress? The short answer is that one typically […]

Stress is pervasive and has significant psychological and physiological effects.  Stress breaks down the immune barrier and integrity of the GI tract, leads to imbalances in hormones (the HPATG axis (Hypothalamus, Pituitary, Adrenal, Thyroid and Gonads (Sex hormones)) and can have a deleterious effect on sleep (can contribute to insomnia) to name but a few. […]

With more use of devices and longer, darker nights, our circadian rhythms are more vulnerable. Those suffering from bipolar disorder, insomnia or sleep disorders and those who work shifts (shift work disorder) are some of the most affected. Here are a couple of interesting and relevant articles from the news this week:   If you […]

Diagnosis & Treatment Series II In the second post of the Diagnosis & Treatment blog series, I want to discuss beets. This vegetable is currently in season and possesses a host of health benefits, but is also very useful diagnostically (you can engage in some diagnosis yourself at home with the information that follows (ideally […]

Diagnosis & Treatment Series I Defining Reactions to Food Reactions to food are increasingly common and fall into a couple of categories: immune mediated (known as food allergies or food sensitivities) and non-immune mediated (often referred to as food intolerances). These non-immune mediated responses can include reactions to a variety of food compounds or additives […]

This post is to update my current and future patients and readers that I recently attended a five-day intensive continuing medical education course offered by The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), located in Federal Way, Washington. Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice addresses one of the key issues in healthcare practice today – improving the […]

Stress Archives – A Healthy State of Mind

In this article I want to help you to get to know your heart. Knowing more about your heart (specifically your heart rate variability) can improve your awareness of how stressors impact your mind and body. To evaluate the health of your heart and nervous system, you just need a heart rate variability monitor (typically […]

Chronic Stress In a prior blog post, I wrote about managing stress and gave some tips for gaining control and a greater sense of calm when facing short-term stress, but what about stress that is unrelenting or chronic? How does one maintain health with persistent exposure to stress? The short answer is that one typically […]

This post is to update my current and future patients and readers that I recently attended a five-day intensive continuing medical education course offered by The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), located in Federal Way, Washington. Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice addresses one of the key issues in healthcare practice today – improving the […]

With a New Year upon us, many are inclined to set resolutions for the year ahead – many of which relate to health. To ensure that your goals (health or otherwise) are more realistic and successful, I wanted to share with you about ‘SMART’ goals. The goal setting tools that it provides, coupled with the […]

‘Sensitivity’ can be a loaded term in our culture and has a number of connotations, many not very positive. Elaine Aron, Ph.D., author of The Highly Sensitive Person book, defines a sensitive person as one who is aware of subtleties in their surroundings, more readily overwhelmed after being in a stimulating environment for too long […]

The holidays are a time of increased stress for many and as year-end tasks pile up, it can make it challenging to get the support and perspective one needs to re-prioritize. As stress can be cumulative, and is also hard to objectify, I think that introducing a scale to assess the burden of stress in […]

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports month, and with the warmer days and more sun, it hopefully is easier for people to get motivated to move! Doctors have a tendency to overlook or understate the value of exercise in being busy to find the best treatment(s) for a patient’s ills, but the effects of […]

Functional Medicine at A Healthy State of Mind

This post is to update my current and future patients and readers that I recently attended a five-day intensive continuing medical education course offered by The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), located in Federal Way, Washington. Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice addresses one of the key issues in healthcare practice today – improving the management of complex, chronic disease. IFM programs utilize the emerging research base to identify effective interventions and to train physicians and other providers to integrate those approaches for the benefit of their patients.

The training that I completed involves understanding the etiology, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease. It is an integrative, science-based healthcare approach that treats illness and promotes wellness by focusing assessment on the biochemically unique aspects of each patient, and then individually tailoring interventions to restore physiological, psychological and structural balance. I have been teaching with some of their tools and approach in my work as an Associate Professor at Maryland University of Integrative Health (Department of Nutrition & Integrative Health) so steeping myself in this training for five days was a wonderful opportunity for both my teaching and practice.

With research estimates of 70-90% of the risk of chronic disease attributable to diet/lifestyle, what you eat, how you exercise, what your spiritual practices are, how much stress you live with (and how you handle it) are all elements that are vital to address. This has been an emphasis in my practice since its inception, and with this training, and work towards becoming a IFM-certified practitioner ongoing, I look forward to honing my ability to deliver comprehensive, cutting-edge and personalized interventions and case management.

Mary Fry, ND completed a National Institute of Health post-doctorate in the Department of Psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University. She is an Associate Professor in the Nutrition & Integrative Health Department at Maryland University of Integrative Health, lectures and writes on topics of Nutrition, Naturopathic and Functional Medicine and practices in Oregon.

Nutrition Archives – A Healthy State of Mind

I have studied nutrition for many years starting in my youth and then formally in my undergraduate degree and yet did not come across much about the potential deleterious effects of anti-nutrients such as phytic acid in grains, beans, nuts, seeds and some other plant foods. (An antinutrient is a component in food that limits […]

Diagnosis & Treatment Series II In the second post of the Diagnosis & Treatment blog series, I want to discuss beets. This vegetable is currently in season and possesses a host of health benefits, but is also very useful diagnostically (you can engage in some diagnosis yourself at home with the information that follows (ideally […]

Diagnosis & Treatment Series I Defining Reactions to Food Reactions to food are increasingly common and fall into a couple of categories: immune mediated (known as food allergies or food sensitivities) and non-immune mediated (often referred to as food intolerances). These non-immune mediated responses can include reactions to a variety of food compounds or additives […]

This post is to update my current and future patients and readers that I recently attended a five-day intensive continuing medical education course offered by The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), located in Federal Way, Washington. Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice addresses one of the key issues in healthcare practice today – improving the […]

Micronutrients in Mental Health Series II Vitamin B12 is nutrient is critical in proper mental functioning and overall health.  If intake or absorption of vitamin B12 is insufficient, a wide array of psychiatric (anxiety, depression, psychosis to name a few), cognitive (memory loss and confusion) and gastrointestinal (constipation and low stomach acid) can result. Vegetarians and […]

Micronutrients in Mental Health Series I The role of optimal nutrition in depression, and a number of other mental health conditions, is often overlooked, but plays a critical role in health and well-being. Iron deficiency, even without being diagnosed with anemia, can lead to low energy, fatigue and depression.  Many of my patients who have […]

Happy New Year! I hope that it is a healthy and prosperous one. In thinking of what health information would help your New Year start off on the right foot, I thought of health habits that while simple, can make a big difference in overall health. One of the most important health habits to adopt in […]

The critical role of diet in mental health In naturopathic school, I tired of hearing, no matter what the health complaint, ‘Treat the Gut’! At first it was a little hard to swallow that one’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract could affect so much.  I must say that this is now much easier to swallow now after […]

Have you ever gone to your doctor feeling that something was off, but testing revealed that ‘nothing’ was wrong? At least nothing according to conventional medical diagnosis of disease and interpretation of laboratory (lab) test results? In naturopathic and functional medicine, however, we are taught to order lab testing (along with an in-depth physical exam […]

Have often have you heard, if you eat a balanced diet, you will obtain all of the nutrients that you need? But what is a balanced diet? And in an age where our food quality is often poorer than that of our ancestors due to loss of nutrients with shipping and storage, modern agricultural practices […]

Optimum Health Archives – A Healthy State of Mind

In this article I want to help you to get to know your heart. Knowing more about your heart (specifically your heart rate variability) can improve your awareness of how stressors impact your mind and body. To evaluate the health of your heart and nervous system, you just need a heart rate variability monitor (typically […]

This post is to update my current and future patients and readers that I recently attended a five-day intensive continuing medical education course offered by The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), located in Federal Way, Washington. Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice addresses one of the key issues in healthcare practice today – improving the […]

Environmental Medicine Series II Is your liquid soap contributing to bacterial resistance, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), social impairment or metabolic problems? Is the ingredient that makes your shampoo lather contaminated with a carcinogenic compound? Or is the lotion that you use potentially affecting your hormones and fertility (i.e. it contains endocrine disruptors)?  The cosmetics […]

Have you ever gone to your doctor feeling that something was off, but testing revealed that ‘nothing’ was wrong? At least nothing according to conventional medical diagnosis of disease and interpretation of laboratory (lab) test results? In naturopathic and functional medicine, however, we are taught to order lab testing (along with an in-depth physical exam […]

With a New Year upon us, many are inclined to set resolutions for the year ahead – many of which relate to health. To ensure that your goals (health or otherwise) are more realistic and successful, I wanted to share with you about ‘SMART’ goals. The goal setting tools that it provides, coupled with the […]

Have often have you heard, if you eat a balanced diet, you will obtain all of the nutrients that you need? But what is a balanced diet? And in an age where our food quality is often poorer than that of our ancestors due to loss of nutrients with shipping and storage, modern agricultural practices […]

I was interviewed for the article posted below in conjunction with teaching a Nutrition-Focused Physical Exam class for Doctoral Nutrition Students at Maryland University of Integrative Health. I will share more of my teaching work in a future post/website update. For now I will leave you with this article – I hope that you find […]

Environmental Medicine Series III As the Environmental Medicine blog series draws to a close, we are working our way from toxins found outside our bodies to those that are found inside. A main route of entry to ingested toxins is through the food and water we consume. As our environment and food supply have become […]

‘Sensitivity’ can be a loaded term in our culture and has a number of connotations, many not very positive. Elaine Aron, Ph.D., author of The Highly Sensitive Person book, defines a sensitive person as one who is aware of subtleties in their surroundings, more readily overwhelmed after being in a stimulating environment for too long […]