Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Chadwick ND.
Amy, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
At 9 years old, I announced I would be a doctor.
What path this would take was clearly unknown. I had significant exposure to hospitals, doctors, and caretakers but little to no exposure to alternative medicine. I had family friends who were physicians, one in particular who invited me my senior year in high school to shadow him in his private practice and the operating room where he was a general surgeon.
I had the incredible privilege to witness his compassionate and skillful care in both emergency situations and chronic debilitating conditions. We discussed the state of medicine, where it was going, and his surgeon colleagues frequently advised me to rethink my career choice. Not to be deterred, I began a Pre-med/Biology undergrad program in Fairbanks, Alaska. Two years in, while surviving Fairbanks winters, living in a cabin with no running water, hunting and fishing in the Alaska wilderness, and falling in love, I heard a very strong internal voice stating: “this is not the path.
You won’t emerge from medical school the person you are meant to be.” It wasn’t the first time in my life I had heard this voice, nor would it be the last, and each time, thankfully, I have listened. Although at the time, it felt like an existential crisis as it uprooted all I had so carefully mentally designed… undergrad, wedding, med school, two children; you get it, the well planned white picket fence life. And, life laughed, gently but firmly, inviting me to be patient. This path was not to be mine. Working in a variety of fields after college from fisheries to business and education to mental/social health services, I continued to look for what life had in store if it was not medicine.
Living two years in a Native Alaskan community of 53 people on an island in the middle of a river with the only small plane and boat access and struggling with my own continued headaches, anxiety and infertility, I was immersed in self-exploration. I also heard human stories that brought me to my knees, had experienced life in extreme and beautiful and extraordinarily difficult ways and recognized the elements of what I wanted to bring forth, but I had not yet found the path that would lend a resounding yes to that internal voice.
I was looking for a path that would embrace health at all layers of being, honoring the story each person bears, incorporating touch, healthy food, education, science, skilled diagnostics and individualized treatment. Then, one day, I was introduced to a Naturopathic Doctor, while at the same time reading Christianne Northrup’s book, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. And, that internal voice leaped forward, with the same intensity, a resounding yes, this is what you have been looking for.
A year later, I was enrolled at what is now the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR, the oldest Naturopathic Medical school in the country, steeped in skilled clinical medicine as well as science and spirit. I entered an old brick building with the original hardwood floors and short toilets of what was once the Failing Elementary School, the school my grandmother had attended many decades prior, a grandmother I held dear who was no longer alive to see and share this part of my journey.
And, I felt her blessing, her joy. Returning to Alaska to start a Naturopathic Family Practice clinic, I spent 8 years practicing medicine in a small town, witnessing the beautiful and unique stories of individuals and families who entrusted their care to me, a new and growing doctor. These early years as a doctor took me to my own places of deep grief, vulnerability, humility, and ever-deepening compassion and wonder for what it is to be human. And with an ever-growing curiosity and realization that there were more things I did not know than what I would ever know, and a love of the question “why,” I continued my studies, pursuing Ayurveda and then Endobiogenic Medicine.
I also learned to trust and delight in the intuitive, plant whispering, feminine, nature sprite within. I played with the dance of science and spirit. I came to honor and love the individual way life shows up in every person I encounter. Each one of us has a beautiful, unique pattern of being which imbues us with strength and character and also gives a map for how we can each go out of balance or out of harmony when overwhelmed by emotional, mental and physical demands. Moving to California in 2014, I have built a private practice that integrates the various elements of learning and systems thinking gathered through the years, and also have cultivated space for writing, workshops and teaching.
My goal is to understand, witness and mirror for each patient, no matter the age or stage of life, their own unique beauty and capacity as well as offer the tools to take agency of his or her own health, restore resilience and live a thriving life. I have become passionate about what it is to be human, how life takes shape and how we can be the most vibrant vessels for life to express and create through our unique forms. The life-affirming choices we make may take the form of healthy food, nourishing our senses, cultivating healthy relationships with self and others, learning to communicate our needs, learning to receive, play, and reconnect with our natural world both as companion and healer.
Plant medicine, metabolizing our experiences and being engaged with ourselves and our world provide the foundation for many of the tools of my practice. In all of this, I remain an avid observer of my own patterns, honoring the paths that have led me to this place, and joyfully witnessing how life has moved through me; sometimes with great resistance and sometimes with ease. I delight in the desert, mountain and ocean spaces, human connection, laughter, beautiful and healthy food, creative play, movement, space for quiet, constant learning and the play of ideas, questions, exploration and the adventure of being alive.
And I surrender to and eagerly await witnessing and showing up for life as it continues to play through me.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The roads most worth traveling are rarely smooth, and I truly wouldn’t have it any other way. I love the bumpy, gravel back road that leads to an obscure and beautiful, hidden oasis. I have learned that the more I trust, the more I surrender, the easier it becomes to live in wonder and delight, witness to life as it emerges in and through me. While still bumpy, it is much more fun than traveling the road with fixed agendas and resistance to the uncomfortable places. With more spaciousness, I am incredibly grateful to see the beauty around each bend.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Soaring Crane Clinic – what should we know?
I am a Naturopathic Doctor specializing in Endobiogenic Medicine and Integrative Physiology, a systems medicine that recognizes the hormones, the endocrine system as the manager of physiology. This gives a map for understanding the unique way each person comes into the world, adapts, moves through challenges and traumas, how they are most resilient and how they are vulnerable to particular symptoms or diseases.
With this map, treatment plans are individualized allowing for the removal of obstacles to healing and support of the individual system in the ways he or she is most resilient. I work with children and adults, providing education about each person’s unique physiology because information and knowledge allow for health decisions and healing.
I offer treatments from a large toolbox including but not limited to nutrition, lifestyle choices, herbal medicine, and homeopathy. I look for patterns. I pull puzzle pieces together and I integrate information and treatment strategies. And, I hold space for stories and for the journey of life and thriving to unfold over time.
I have a small private practice, but get to work with Four Moons Spa, an incredible wellness space in Leucadia with a vision for the healthy and connected community, education, rest, rejuvenation, health, vibrancy, sustainable living and the support of women and children worldwide.
I also offer workshops and teach on a wide variety of topics, all related to the beautiful nuances and complexity of being human and thriving. Topics include fertility and creativity, feminine sexuality and power, grief, communication, play and pleasure, plant medicine, flower and gem essences and more.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Listening and Observing, Patience, Trust and Gratitude.
- New patient appointment: 300-450.00
- Follow up appointments: approximately 180.00
- Address: 775 N Vulcan Ave Encinitas, CA 92024
- Website: www.soaringcraneclinic.com and www.fourmoonsspa.com
- Phone: 858-332-1645
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @amychadwicknd
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amycnd
TJ Devadatta Best, Amy Chadwick