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Why Wildwood?

Healthcare that treats the person not the condition

A conversation with Daniel Katz, co-founder of Wildwood, a holistic, integrative health practice on India Street in downtown Portland, Maine.

Katz’s calling into holistic medicine came right after college when he first became a physical therapist. He noticed a lot of patients coming in with particular issues, such as knee or back pain, but they would also have a laundry list of other problems.

At the time, I didn’t really have a context to understand why all of the things they were suffering from might contribute to their knee pain,” he explains. So, Katz started looking for what else might be out there to treat pain that was not related to his training as a physical therapist. At the same time, he started seeing an acupuncturist for sinus problems, which he had suffered from since childhood. This journey eventually led Katz on a path toward attaining a master’s degree in the Science of Oriental Medicine, in addition to his Physical Therapy degree.

Why Wildwood?

In 2005, Katz and his wife Dr. Sasha Rose, a board-certified naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist, moved across the country from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine. They knew they wanted to start a holistic healthcare practice, so they joined together to offer a unique eastern/western medicine approach. It all started in one small treatment room, just the two of them, and then Wildwood blossomed. Today the practice occupies a 4,000 square foot building on India Street, with seven health care practitioners offering naturopathic medicine, private acupuncture, physical therapy, massage, herbal medicine and a thriving community acupuncture program.

Why seek alternative healthcare?

Katz and Rose feel deeply connected to greater Portland and find that there’s a community of people who are thoughtful in how they want to be treated for their healthcare needs. Many do not want a complicated plan of care. “They want a simplified and down-to-earth way of looking at their health and many reject the notion of taking a lot of medicine,” says Katz. Wildwood patients often seek an alternative approach or some combination of alternative and conventional medicine.

There has been a bit of divide between alternative and conventional medicine, but I think that is being merged together now,” explains Katz, who has served as a mentor in the Maine Medical Center Integrative Medicine Department. “There’s much more alternative medicine in the conventional medicine world and vice versa,” he adds. People are no longer choosing only a conventional treatment or only an alternative treatment.

Some patients may have had a bad experience with conventional healthcare, or they want a different kind of approach, or they have new diagnosis and don’t want to go down a road that requires a lot of new medication. They are looking for a place that will treat the person and not the symptoms or condition.

At Wildwood, we don’t have a preconceived idea of what people will want when they come in,” says Katz. “We look at people with a holistic point view and meet them where they are on their road to health.”

Wildwood also works to help patients remove barriers to wellness. Some of the most common barriers include the cost of healthcare, work and time-related barriers, physical distance, restrictions, such as social barriers, and mindset. “Some people are locked into their own idea that their illness is part of them as opposed to something that can be treated,” says Katz. “Part of our job is to break down those barriers and see if we can help.”

The calling to be a healer

Katz says he knew from a very young age that he wanted to do something that was bigger than his own health and well-being, and he wanted to help people along in their journey. “I always knew that I was going into some sort of health care,” he says. When he was younger and involved in sports, he was fascinated by how people could come back after an injury even better than they were before. “That’s what drove me right out of high school into a physical therapy program,” he laughs.

Today, one of the things Daniel loves about his practice is that he doesn’t need a lot of equipment to treat people.

All I need is my mind, my hands, and acupuncture needles to help someone to heal.”


Virtual Healing

Relief from Acid Reflux is Attainable, Here’s How

Are you in need of digestive relief but can’t seem to get results, or worse yet, you can’t even make it in to see a doctor? If you’re seeking medications make sure you read reviews such as spectrum awakening reviews first. And if you want a holistic solution for your digestive problems but can’t get access to holistic or naturopathic medicine, there is hope. Technology has been a game changer in health care, and online medical consulting can provide fast, personal, and effective relief, according to Dr. Sasha Rose, a board-certified naturopathic doctor, digestive health expert, and owner of Wildwood Medicine in Portland, Maine, where she has a digestive heath practice. You can also find her online at drsasharose.com.

I treat lots of people who have been living with digestive distress for years. The good news is that it’s often not difficult to make positive changes, the payoff can be immediate, and help is available online,” she says. “With some simple changes patients often feel better very quickly.”

How does online consulting work?

Online health consultations are becoming increasingly popular, especially if you live in a remote area or even in a city where you have trouble getting to a naturopathic doctor or a digestive health expert.

Online visits are particularly effective for busy people and for those in rural areas,” says Dr. Sasha, and it’s not complicated. “If someone has the internet and some kind of camera on their computer or their phone then we can make it work.” After 14 years of practicing holistic medicine from a brick and mortar office, Dr. Sasha’s virtual consultation business is quickly growing and she admits that for many of her patients, online healthcare has been as effective as in-person treatment.

A holistic approach to digestive disorders differs widely from the conventional approach and is based on the premise that given the right tools, the body can health itself. Much of the relief available from acid reflux and heartburn is not found by taking pills or supplements, says Dr. Sasha, it’s found by uncovering the root causes of digestive disturbance. “Pills and supplements are nice adjuncts,” says Dr. Sasha, but they are short-term fixes and they often do not deliver the long-term or even permanent relief that is achievable.

Getting started with online consultations

To get started with online health consultations, Dr. Sasha recommends visiting her website to learn more. The easy step-by-step process begins with scheduling three initial visits to get on the road to better digestive health. Before the first visit, patients are asked to share as much past medical history as possible.

By the time I hear from people, they typically have already been to their primary doctor or their gastroenterologist,” she says, “I encourage people to send records and lab work ahead of time so that I have as much background information as possible before we actually have our face-to-face virtual meeting.” Once that has been done, Dr. Sasha will schedule your first online consultation.

The first online visit

The first virtual consultation usually lasts one hour and is very similar to what you would expect from a doctor’s office visit. Dr. Sasha will ask a series of questions, review your past medical history, your symptoms, supplements or treatments, and other aspects of your lifestyle.

Then we talk about what I think might be going on and we come up with a treatment plan that both of us feel comfortable with,” she says. “I lay out the various tools and inform people of what has worked for patients in other situations.” The first visit concludes once an initial treatment plan has been agreed upon.

The next visits

Your second visit will be scheduled for about two or three weeks out, depending upon the circumstances. In the meantime, patients have access to Dr. Sasha via internet or phone with any questions or clarifications.

I like to give patients time to start out on their treatment plan and make some of the lifestyle modifications, and if we are doing any testing, we have time to get those results and for me to see them.” The second visit is a chance to assess what is working and to make any necessary modifications.

According to Dr. Sasha, there are several big and small modifications patients can make to improve their digestive health. Many of these relate to:

  • when you eat
  • what you eat
  • how quickly you eat
  • your sleep hygiene
  • your stress level
  • your exercise/movement routine

Dr. Sasha’s online practice is designed to support patients in an effective way that produces fast yet permanent results and gets patients on their way to living the life they want to live.

The third visit is often scheduled much farther out so that patients have time to implement changes and start to see and feel lasting positive change. It’s important for patients to recognize that they may not see traction after only one or two visits. It can take time and Dr. Sasha has found that a minimum of three visits is needed to secure long-term solutions. The beauty of virtual medical consulting is that Dr. Sasha is available to support your journey back to health and you don’t have to wait for an in-person visit to get advice, support, and treatment.