Stressed? Learn How It Impacts Your Health and How to Cope

Naturopathic physicians aim to treat the cause of disease. Stress is an easy target as an underlying cause, yet every stress and stress response is different.  The impacts can ripple through our health by influencing all aspects of our mind and body. NDs help patients by teaching simple techniques to manage stress and how to identify it and avoid situations that will have negative impacts on our health and well-being. ND students find many of these useful for helping during school as well.
During this webinar you will:
-Learn about the body’s natural response to stress
-Identify ways to minimize school stress
-Hear about a patient case that was successfully managed with naturopathic medicine

*Webinar does not qualify for CE

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To view the archive of past webinar recordings, please click here.

About the Presenter

As a licensed naturopathic physician in private practice and a professor at Bastyr University for over two decades, Dr. Brad Lichtenstein has helped people embody the lives they want to live. His approach integrates naturopathic medicine, mind-body medicine and biofeedback, depth and somatic psychology, Eastern contemplative practices, yoga and movement, and end-of-life care. He serves as an Attending Physician for the Mind-Body Medicine and Chronic Pain Clinics at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health and has a strong clinical and teaching focus on developing psycho-emotional-spiritual health while dealing with chronic, life-challenging illnesses. His approach to care was profoundly shaped by his participation in a joint research study between the University of Washington and Bastyr University where he provided over 500 guided meditations to hospice patients.

Dr. Lichtenstein has written many publications, including articles in Unified Energetics, STEP Perspective, Caregiver Quarterly, Naturopathic Doctors News and Review (NDNR), and the Huffington Post, and has contributed a chapter on Mind-Body Medicine and Men’s Health in Integrative Men’s Health. He continues to present nationally on a wide array of topics including mindfulness and meditation as a healing modality, determining the appropriate mind-body technique for healing, and the use of breathwork, HRV and biofeedback to increase resiliency. He hosts monthly Death Cafes around the greater Seattle area, and has led countless Advanced Directives parties, encouraging people to become more comfortable with the inevitable reality that faces us all, and to discuss preparation for the future, should one no longer be able to make decisions for oneself.

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*The information you submit in this registration will be used to inform you of updates to this event and will enroll you in the AANMC newsletter. The AANMC values your privacy. Please see how we protect your data in our privacy policy .

Evidence-Based Practice Guidelines on Integrative Therapies for Breast Cancer

Bastyr Alumna Dr. Heather Greenlee Discusses New Breast Cancer Integrative Care Guidelines


The Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) has recently released guidelines for integrative therapies to improve breast cancer treatment.  These guidelines are evidence-based and have been endorsed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) for use during and after breast cancer treatments.  The endorsement was announced in the Journal of Clinical Oncology after careful review by the ASCO Expert Panel.  In their endorsement, the panel stated that the SIO guidelines are “clear, thorough, and based on the most relevant scientific evidence.”


One of the co-chairs of the SIO task force, Heather Greenlee, ND, PhD, is a past president of SIO and has referred to the ASCO endorsement as “a very Dr. Heather Greenleeimportant step for the field of integrative oncology.”  Dr. Greenlee, who received her naturopathic medicine degree from Bastyr University in 2001, has clinical expertise in integrative oncology and cancer survivorship and has used acupuncture, mind-body modalities, and dietary supplements to help treat cancer patients and ease their symptoms from treatments.  Dr. Greenlee also serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University.


In compiling the guidelines, the researchers appraised more than 80 different integrative therapies currently available.  They then developed “grades of evidence” using the most relevant scientific research on the subject.  The SIO guidelines were originally published in 2017 and used peer-reviewed randomized controlled trials that were conducted from 1990 to 2013.  To ensure the quality and relevancy of these studies, they were required to meet the following criteria:


  • More than 50 percent of the studies had to include breast cancer patients or separately report results for breast cancer patients;
  • Had an interventional treatment that included an integrative therapy during treatment of the cancer OR used an integrative therapy as a means of alleviating symptoms and side effects from cancer diagnosis and/or treatment;
  • Address an endpoint of clinical relevance for breast cancer patients and survivors.


Dr. Greenlee speaks highly of how thoroughly the guidelines were scrutinized, stating, “We looked at all of this with a critical eye…We have a very high bar and followed a very rigorous process with both the SIO and ASCO to evaluate these therapies.  There were many different disciplinary eyes vetting them.”  These guidelines were the result of collaboration between naturopathic doctors and international institutions from across multiple disciplines.



Dr. Ben Lynch – Bastyr

“…the connection between understanding how the body works, how it gets broken and how to naturally restore its function resonated with me way more than the conventional way of stopping symptoms.”

Dr. Ben LynchWhen Dr. Ben Lynch discovered the world of naturopathic medicine, it was immediate for him: “I was sold.” He has certainly checked off all the main reasons for wanting to become a naturopathic doctor saying, “I love nature. Check. I love being able to fix things. Check. I love learning. Check. I love being free of medications. Check. I love helping others. Check. I love how I became healthy while following the recommendations of various naturopathic physicians. Check.”

Laying the groundwork to become an ND

The groundwork for becoming an ND was laid early on when Dr. Lynch “experienced ‘stopping’ my symptoms with medications as a child and young adult.” He was not pleased with those experiences and knew deep down that there must be a better way, all before he even knew about the existence of naturopathic medicine. And then, during college, he was a bit lost, wandering through life not sure of what his path would be after he left the University of Washington. After backpacking through parts of Asia, he became very ill while in India and was sent to a local doctor who introduced him to the medicinal value of herbs. Once his health improved, he threw himself into learning more about the practice of Ayurveda. When he returned to Seattle, he met another Ayurvedic healer who was an ND. This eventually led him to discover Bastyr and the world of naturopathic medicine.

Bastyr as a springboard

Dr. Lynch was drawn to Bastyr through his undergraduate background and the fact that it was only fifteen minutes from his home. While at Bastyr, he learned the fortitude that is necessary to become a success in any profession, but certainly in naturopathic medicine. As Dr. Lynch points out, the advanced courses in biochemistry, physiology, and nutrition were challenging, but “with challenges…come great things.” Bastyr provided him with a great deal of foundational background and knowledge which has served him well as an ND. It also provided him with “the ability to support people’s health naturally and more importantly, to teach people how to prevent disease rather than treat it.”

From Dr. Lynch’s time in Bastyr, if he found something he enjoyed or that he wanted to learn more about, he simply went out and learned more about it. He explains that “I went and got what I wanted. I didn’t wait for it.” He learned that the constant acquisition of knowledge is the key to success as an ND. Dr. Lynch notes it is important to “build his practice around his life” and not the other way around which makes your life subject to the demands of work, something he sees as the key to avoiding burnout.

“Living the dream” after graduation

Following graduation, Dr. Lynch continued with a successful online business selling natural health products. After finding fulfillment and financial success, he sold that business and began another—Seeking Health. This has proved prosperous as well, going so far as to be named the fastest growing business in Washington state for 2015.

Dr. Lynch feels that, unlike many people, he doesn’t actually work. For him, the term “work” implies something negative and instead he sees his profession as being something he enjoys. As an example, he points out that “the majority of the time I thrive creating tools which help people transform their life.” Now, his team includes about 25 employees and he is able to delegate his work as needed.

As a result of his ability to delegate and his flexible schedule, he is able to enjoy about two months a year of vacation with his family. He is able to not only take care of himself and his family while providing incomes for the members of his team, but he is also able to donate his time and resources to various charities including disaster aid to Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and California, among others.

Finding fulfillment as an ND

For Dr. Lynch, finding fulfillment as an ND has gone hand in hand with finding fulfillment as a husband and father. In fact, the day before his graduation, he stood in a circle with his classmates and declared his promise that he would be successful at all three aspects of his life. He adds that he is “most passionate about being a naturopathic doctor because it allows me to help my family, myself, my friends and those who I have never met, achieve health the way it was meant to be achieved—naturally.”

In addition, he finds fulfillment and happiness in the flexibility that is afforded him by the nature of the profession. As a naturopathic student, people think they must open a practice to be successful. But Dr. Lynch insists that is not necessarily the case and the “key is to identify what you want to do with it…Options are endless.”

Advice for aspiring NDs

Dr. Lynch is adamant that in order to become a naturopathic doctor, one must walk the walk and talk the talk. He affirms that “you need to personally live by the naturopathic principles…You need to be proud to be called a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.” His suggestion for knowing easily if a career as a naturopathic doctor is your calling, to ask yourself “if you love learning, if you love nature, and if you love understanding how your body truly works and how to support it, then you’ll absolutely love becoming a naturopathic physician.” He sees this as being a part of living life as nature intended it to be lived.

Learn more about Dr. Ben Lynch:

Dr. Ellen McDonell – CCNM

“We need more bright and motivated minds to help us shape the course of naturopathic medicine over the coming decades to bring the profession to its full potential.”


Dr. Ellen McDonellDr. Ellen McDonell didn’t waste any time diving into the field of naturopathic medicine. She had been interested in nutrition, exercise, and preventative medicine from a young age, and she was planning to apply to medical school after graduating from the University of Ottawa. “During my degree, I was introduced to naturopathic medicine, and realized this would be a great fit for me, as it would allow me to treat patients with a stronger focus on the lifestyle medicine I was so passionate about,” Dr. McDonell says.

“I feel fortunate that I became aware of naturopathic medicine prior to finishing my undergraduate degree, and went directly from the University of Ottawa to the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine,” she says.

Finding her way to becoming an ND

Dr. McDonell was excited about her career prospects as an ND, and she pragmatically considered the benefits of going to ND school. “I felt inspired and motivated at the thought of applying, studying, and ultimately practicing naturopathic medicine. I did not have the same feeling for other career choices, including other healthcare professions,” she says. “I certainly thought about the decision a lot, as the career path of a naturopathic doctor is less linear than many other professions. I considered how I would feel about being an entrepreneur and creating my own career opportunities.”

Ultimately, it was these factors, as well as the engaging curriculum at CCNM, that solidified Dr. McDonell’s passion for naturopathic medicine. “I enjoyed every minute of it. I never lost the feeling that it was and is a privilege to study the human body and learn how to resolve illnesses, reduce risk factors for disease, and improve quality of life for individuals,” she says.

A varied education at CCNM

“CCNM is the first accredited naturopathic medical school in Canada,” Dr. McDonell says. “At the time I applied, the program graduated students with a diploma, however, degree status was imminent. I graduated as the first class at CCNM to receive a degree in naturopathic medicine, which is the first and only program in Canada to offer this.”

“Beyond learning how to diagnose and treat illness, communicate with patients, and develop critical thinking skills, I had great exposure to different clinical presentations during my internship year. I had the opportunity to see patients at four different clinics, including the Brampton Civic Hospital’s naturopathic teaching clinic. I was introduced to integrative cancer care on the adjunctive cancer care shift at the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic, and through an externship at the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre where I now work,” she says. “This exposure allowed me to find areas of medicine I am passionate about.”

“I also developed leadership skills through executive positions on the Naturopathic Students Association,” she adds.

From campus to clinic

Dr. McDonell knew what she wanted in her career prior to graduation, and went after it right away. “I wanted to work in integrative cancer care,” she says. “I also knew I wanted to do so at the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre (OICC) due to the clinic’s integrative approach to care and active research department. I wrote a proposal to develop a residency position at the Centre, and was fortunate that they decided to implement a research residency. After writing and passing NPLEX and the provincial board exam, I began working there as a naturopathic doctor and research resident.”

Now, she works at the OICC full time. “I spend approximately 60 percent of my time working in research, and 40 percent in clinical practice,” she says. “The OICC has an active research department, conducting clinical trials, observational research, and synthesis research.  I also lend a hand with the group programming, nutrition presentations, and blog posts for the OICC, which provides great variety in my week.”

Providing adjunctive cancer care

“In my clinical practice, I use primarily nutrition, nutritional supplementation, herbal medicine, and lifestyle counselling to support individuals before, during, and after conventional cancer treatment. I am a strong proponent of evidence-based integrative medicine, and send communications to the local hospitals regularly to ensure the best possible collaboration,” Dr. McDonell says.

“My practice is almost exclusively focused around adjunctive cancer care. I do welcome family members and caregivers of individuals with cancer, and people looking for primary cancer prevention, which accounts for approximately 5 percent of my patient base,” she adds.

Finding fulfillment in her career and her life

“I like the opportunities that being a naturopathic doctor presents,” Dr. McDonell says. “You can go into clinical practice, which in itself is hugely variable based on the focus you choose to have. You can also go into research, policy and government, private sector nutraceutical work, or teaching.”

“My days and weeks are incredibly varied between seeing patients, conducting research, developing and delivering group programs, and public speaking,” she says. “Attending conferences and participating in continuing education allows me to keep expanding my knowledge and network with other healthcare providers and researchers. Obtaining the ND degree is just the first step, and opens doors in many different areas.”

In addition, she makes a point to maintain a healthy work-life balance. “Outside of work, I pursue my other passions of running and triathlon. Having a balanced life and personal goals is important to my overall health and wellbeing,” she says.

The path forward for future NDs

“Naturopathic medicine is a growing and evolving profession, which makes it an exciting time to be and ND,” Dr. McDonell says. “We need more bright and motivated minds to help us shape the course of naturopathic medicine over the coming decades to bring the profession to its full potential.”

She also advises that becoming an ND requires dedication. “Graduating from naturopathic medical school requires hard work and sacrifice; so does being a naturopathic doctor,” she says. “You have people’s health in your hands, which should not be taken lightly. Work hard, because your patients deserve that.”

Dr. Chad Aschtgen – Bastyr

Being a naturopathic doctor is about “helping people—in times of personal crisis, usually health-related—but also in efforts toward living a healthier, more fulfilling life.”


Dr. Chas Aschtgen Dr. Chad Aschtgen came across naturopathic medicine by accident. He saw a small Bastyr poster on the wall at a health food store while he was attending university in Boulder, Colorado. Given his interests in the outdoors and holistic health care, ND school was a natural next step for him.

Before attending Bastyr, Dr. Aschtgen was an instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School, leading courses in the North Cascades, the Canadian Coastal Range, the Yukon, Wyoming, and more.

Discovering his passion at Bastyr

Dr. Aschtgen chose Bastyr because of the school’s “reputation for combining science and research with the traditional medicine modalities.” While studying there, he began to really connect with naturopathic medicine. “I was a few years into the program at Bastyr and realized that my interest in the coursework and profession continued to grow and strengthen,” he says. He soon became more involved by joining professional organizations and serving as a teaching assistant.

Of his time at Bastyr, Dr. Aschtgen says, “I gained a pathway into a very satisfying profession where I have been able to be quite successful. In retrospect, I also developed some great connections with colleagues who I continue to work and collaborate with still today.”

Building a diverse career

After graduation, Dr. Aschtgen went on to a residency program at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center. There, he had the opportunity to learn from some of the most well known naturopathic oncologists in the field.

Now, he keeps busy with his practice, Seattle Integrative Oncology, which has three clinic locations in Seattle, Olympia, and Everett. His patients range from those currently undergoing conventional therapy or surveillance, to those with a history of cancer themselves or in their family.

In addition, he lectures and writes regularly on the topic of naturopathic oncology and is actively involved with numerous other professional organizations and programs. He volunteers with the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians, is a member of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology and serves as the Chair of the Washington State Board of Naturopathy, a governor-appointed position. Dr. Aschtgen is also the director of the first and only naturopathic residency program in the Puget Sound region.

With all these commitments, he still manages to maintain a healthy work-life balance. “I very much like being self-employed with a tremendous amount of flexibility in my schedule. I try to take no less than six weeks of vacation away from clinic each year,” he says.

Recommendations for future NDs

Dr. Aschtgen says those considering a career in naturopathic medicine should “meet and spend time with a number of practicing naturopathic physicians. Have lunch with one in your home town. Try to spend a day with one who practices in a location and type of practice that you could see yourself at in the future. Build relationships now, before school, as well as all throughout school.”

“Consider school and classwork as just the beginning of your education,” he adds. “Take advantage of every opportunity, including conferences, weekend seminars, after school events, and more to learn about what niche of naturopathic medicine may be right for you and begin to chart a path for yourself so that once graduation comes you have at least one great opportunity, possibly more, for further training and mentorship.”

Given Dr. Aschtgen’s full schedule and fulfilling career, aspiring NDs would do well to heed his advice.