Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine Specialists Located in Portland, Oregon
About the Clinic
At Evergreen Natural Health Center our goal is to provide the highest quality naturopathic and Chinese medical care available. We take the time to develop an individualized treatment plan for each patient, treating the whole person and recognizing that all aspects of the patient’s health—physical, emotional, and mental—are inseparably related. We believe that health is feeling vital and is not merely the absence of disease.
The physical clinic, in Southwest Portland, is an 1800 square foot space opened by Dr. Brody in 2007. She set out to create a beautiful environment filled with natural materials that would allow patients to relax and enjoy their time there.
We pride ourselves on short wait times and long enough appointments that you feel heard. You’ll not find yourself in the waiting room long, unless you are one of those who deliberately arrive early to enjoy our magazine selection and a cup of tea before your appointment.
The practitioners at ENHC have a truly integrative approach that reaches beyond our clinic. We not only work together collaborating on patient care, but we also are committed to assisting you in putting together a team that meets your individual needs. That may include western medical primary care and specialists as well as practitioners of other natural health disciplines. We understand that each patient has his or her own value system around health. It is our job to understand your values and support you within them.
Click here for Dr. Samantha’s speaking, writing, classes, and online consulting for clients not in the Portland area.
About Our Team
Dr. Samantha Brody
Licensed Naturopathic Physician, Acupuncturist, & founder of ENHC
“It is my job to use a combination of knowledge, experience and intuition along with an understanding of each patient’s individual values to offer an approach that is truly unique to that patient.”
Have you always known you wanted to be a doctor? I’ve always thought that I could have had any number of different careers because my interests are so varied. In college I was in a performance group called Rhythm & Shoes, ostensibly an early ‘90s Glee. I loved it. If I’d had a bit more talent I might have pursued that route for a career (and when I say a bit, I mean a lot.) But then again, I adored numbers and I couldn’t just ignore that. My geek claim to fame is that I truly loved and enjoyed studying for for and taking the SATs. I even took them a third time for fun.
My first major in college was economics and at that time I thought I’d follow in my father’s footsteps and go to business school. I studied psychology as my second major in college and was on the verge of becoming a therapist before I learned of Naturopathic medicine. Once that happened, it was a done deal. I knew without a doubt that I had found my career. Well, almost. I had been getting acupuncture for several years by that point and when I realized I could combine them, the picture was complete.
What do you like to do for fun? A few years ago a neighbor asked my husband where I’d been since she hadn’t seen me in a while. He responded that I just prefer being inside organizing. It’s true, kind of. I do love having a clean and organized space around me. It keeps my head clear and allows me to be able to focus on whatever task or activity is at hand. That might include throwing a frisbee with my ten year old, curling up and reading a book of short stories, or going to watch one of my kid’s soccer, ultimate frisbee or futsal games.
In the last few years I’ve also started traveling again. I have a hobby of “miles hacking” where I use tips and tricks to get airline miles for free travel. In the last few years I’ve traveled to Guatemala, Mexico, Turkey, and Belize, as well as a number of other places in the US without paying a dime!
What is your health and healing philosophy? I believe that the best approach is the one that is least likely to cause harm and the most likely to heal. Sometimes that may mean a medication while you make lifestyle changes that will ultimately resolve your concerns. Other times it may mean dietary changes and supplements. Two people can walk into my office with the same medical diagnosis, yet walk out with completely different treatment plans. It is my job to use a combination of knowledge, experience and intuition along with an understanding of each patient’s individual values to offer an approach that is truly unique to that patient.
What makes your approach unique? I am a physician but also a health educator and coach here to introduce you to new ways of caring for yourself.
At your first appointment, we talk about you, your history and your health goals. At your own pace, we will challenge, “I can’t,” and explore what is in your control. I give you the tools to implement changes in your life.
I never present patients with a laundry list of things they cannot eat or supplements they must take. I work with each individual to educate not only about what I think is going on in his or her body, but about why I am making each and every recommendation. (And I take one step beyond that: coaching how to implement the changes I may recommend.) Sometimes we cannot make a condition go away entirely. But by decreasing the overall stress on the system, we can decrease symptoms and discomfort, while increasing energy and improving outlook at the same time.
Learn more about , Dr. Samantha’s education, training, and licensing.
Visit Dr. Samantha’s personal site.
Dr. Karen Carleton
Licensed Naturopathic Physician
What have been some of your influences on the road to becoming a doctor? For as long as I can remember I knew that I would have a career in either music or medicine. I starting playing the violin at a very young age and continued my studies into college performing in various ensembles along the way. I’ve always found it fascinating how the notes in a piece of music remain the same throughout time, but what is produced from those notes is ever-changing. There is always some variation, some individuality that is influenced by the temperament of the conductor, the mastery of the musicians, the cohesiveness of a section or the acoustics of the concert hall. Music is so very exciting. It brings joy, conveys stories, stirs emotion and heals the spirit. As much as I loved being a part of this creative world, there was something else calling me. Actually, much of what fascinates me about music is similar to what fascinates me about all things living. It is, in large part, what led me to naturopathic medicine.
Growing up in a household where volunteering was a regular part of life, the importance of helping others was instilled in me. I came to realize that what was calling to me was a career in which I could work directly with people and support them in making positive changes. Witnessing life with illness in my own family made it apparent to me the impact of an exceptional doctor-patient relationship. This, along with my interest in science, my curiosity in the how and why of most things, and my intrigue with the workings of the body began to lead me toward medicine and thoughts of becoming a family doctor.
Why Naturopathic Medicine? It was in college through studying plant biology and human physiology that it occurred to me that life exists in an ordered manner- we have these incredibly sophisticated mechanisms that keep us ticking day to day. These same mechanisms also allow us to heal when we get sick and sometimes what appears to be disease is actually part of the healing process. I began to question what it means to be healthy and what it means to have disease and started to see that one is not necessarily the absence of the other. I wondered why a group of people, for example, could all be exposed to the same virus yet only some would develop symptoms, and, going a step further, why some might be sick for days whereas others are ill for weeks. It was this observance of and appreciation for our complexities as humans that led me to naturopathic medicine. I recall the moment I realized my path. I was sitting at my desk on a study “break” flipping through a brochure and came across the philosophy of naturopathic medicine. Reading these six principles of healing changed my life! I was ecstatic. The pieces came together for me and I knew without a doubt that I would become a naturopathic doctor.
What is your vision of health and healing that you share with your patients? Naturopathic medicine holds at its core the knowledge that to achieve optimal health we must first seek the underlying cause of the illness. We, as humans, are like a piece of music. Our basic blueprint is the same yet our expression of health is individual and influenced by factors that are ever-changing. As each person is unique, so must be their approach to healing. It is my privilege as a doctor to work with each patient to figure out what optimal health means for that individual and to use my knowledge, skills and resources to guide each person toward renewed health. This means doing diagnostic exams, ordering lab work and imaging when necessary, using nutrition, botanical medicine, and supplements, as well as pharmaceuticals when appropriate and comfortable for the patient. It also means listening with compassion and observing with detail as each person’s story unfolds. It is my goal to not only provide symptom-relief but also to find the reasons for imbalance, remove the obstacles, and clear the path to allow each person to truly heal.
“Chinese medicine and acupuncture is amazing at both relieving pain and bringing people back into balance so that the body can heal itself. Many times I’ve seen there are things that improve or heal that the patient hadn’t even realized were an issue until they were gone. “
What put you on the path to becoming an Acupuncturist? I have always had an interest in human anatomy and physiology. I have always wondered if there was a way to help people heal with out giving them a lot of drugs with awful side effects or just removing the part that seemed to be a ‘problem’. In college I took higher level biology courses for fun. I had a couple of friends in college who had chronic illnesses that were not helped by Western medicine and I thought there had to be something that could help them that was being overlooked. I first learned about acupuncture on a trip to Chinatown in Toronto with a group of friends from my kung fu school. I walked into an herb shop and I was hooked. The overwhelming smell of the herbs was amazing. It felt like home.
You went to study in China, how did that inspire you? After I graduated from Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in 2012 I participated in an externship in Nanjing China. There we worked with experienced practitioners in hospitals. I was inspiring to see how western and eastern medicines could work together in the same building. If the acupuncturist decided the patient needed an MRI he would write out the order and the patient would go to a different part of the hospital get the MRI and in some cases show up that afternoon with the MRI in hand! They even had an herbal dispensary at the hospital where they would prepare/cook the herbs for the patient. We have that kind of collaboration at ENHC with Dr Brody and Dr Carleton practicing integrative medicine and Dr Brody and I both practicing acupuncture…the best of all worlds.
Katje Hopkins, Front Office Staff
What to you do for ENHC?
What brought you to ENHC? I originally came here as a patient. In Western medicine I ran into the Band-aid mentality too often when it came to my health. While living down south, my PCP prescribed Nexium for my constant heart burn and stomach pain. Now, it said on my chart “allergic to wheat”, something I was diagnosed with at eight. He didn’t even ask me about my diet! A few months later I found the first package of gluten free noodles I had seen in two years. Not surprisingly after removing wheat from my diet again the heart burn went away. I admire and appreciate our practitioners’ unwavering desire to find the root of her patient’s issues and treating each person as an individual. After having Dr. Brody as a physician I practically begged to work here.
What are you up to when you’re not at ENHC? My husband and I have a very active and curious toddler who keeps us busy and laughing. Being a mom is the thing that makes me feel the most like “me”. As a family we love to go on day hikes in the Gorge and camping at my family’s cabin in the Olympic Mountains. I love to garden, plan parties, work as a volunteer archaeologist for PSU (I have a BS in anthropology) and am discovering GF baking with my son (he loves pouring things into the Kitchenaid).