Summer temperatures, spring blooms, now if only we could go out and enjoy it!

Over the past month, many of the patients who have come to my office have been suffering from seasonal allergies. Symptoms vary from mild congestion and colorful boogers to nearly uncontrollable sneezing that disrupts meetings topped off with eye swelling and irritation. Early wildflower blooms are now being met by different tree pollens and grasses that can be pretty severe allergen culprits.

While we’re struggling with the pollen brought by our beautiful blooming greenery, we’re also starting to encounter the haze in the air from distant (for now) wildfires. Of course we’d all much rather deal with wildflowers than wildfires, but it looks like this spring and summer may bring us a bit of both.

With respiratory irritants such as pollen and particulate matter from fires, it is particularly important to work on reducing other irritants and protect your respiratory system. If you or a family member smoke, now is an excellent time to quit. Evaluate cleaning materials, household and personal fragrances, many of which contain harsh chemicals that are respiratory irritants. Keep your living and work spaces well-ventilated. Consider using an air filter fan (HEPA filter) to reduce the particulate and allergen content of your enclosed spaces.

While you’re working on reducing irritants found in your home and work, it is also important to work on your internal environment. Having a balanced, varied diet with adequate nutrients is an important foundation to help your body better weather external irritants such as pollution, smoke and pollen. It is generally helpful to increase the amount of colorful vegetables in your diet. As it is Pride month, June is an especially perfect time to include a rainbow of vegetables on your plate. These colorful veggies contain antioxidants and other compounds that may promote stabilization of the cells that tend to respond to allergens and result in the unpleasant sniffling symptoms. This is also definitely the time to pay attention to staying adequately hydrated. A key part of maintaining hydration for most people is choosing water or herbal tea rather than processed sugary beverages and alcohol.

If your symptoms are disrupting your daily life or you’d like to talk more about things you can incorporate to improve your health over this season, please call my office. I’d be happy to set up a time for a complimentary phone consultation to discuss your concerns.  The Overland Wellness approach is to use the most effective, least harmful, naturally-rooted treatments that get you feeling better and able to go outside and enjoy your active life! Specifically, my in-office treatments for allergies and respiratory health tend to include acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrients and targeted dietary/ lifestyle changes.

Contact Dr. Overland

 

Summer Wellness Seminar


Overland Wellness is hosting a special wellness workshop event!

 

I will host an open session centered around developing a well-rounded wellness and self-care strategy that works for your active and busy lifestyle. We will talk about how routine exercise, meditative practices, wellness care and prioritizing your own wellness needs allows you to be a more healthy and balanced person.

There will be tea, stretching, a brief meditation and an opportunity to share and connect with the local community. 

 

Thursday May 16th from 4pm-6pm!

 

Open House & Social Hour

March 7th from 3pm-7pm


421 W Riverside Ave, Suite 335

Spokane, WA 99201

Contact Us

Spring into Wellness Open House

The Overland Wellness team is excited to invite you to our open house. This is an exciting opportunity for us to unveil our newly remodeled offices in the Paulsen Center. 

 


View from Overland Wellness

Get to Know the Dr. Without the Appointment

This will be an opportunity to get to know Spokane’s Naturopathic Physician and Licensed Acupuncturist, Dr. Heather Overland. You will have the opportunity to ask questions about acupuncture, natural medicine, holistic concierge care, and any of the other wellness topics you’ve been curious about. 


Dr. Overland

Open House & Social Hour

This will be a relaxing and casual event to socialize with Central Business District colleagues, enjoy our wellness space and talk to the Doctor. Refreshments will be provided. Stop by after work, stay for a bit, and enjoy!

 

New Year’s Resolution Tips

  • Specify Goals
  • Plan How
  • Set Reminders
  • Stay Accountable
  • Restart (if necessary)
  • Keep Going
  • Enjoy Being the New You!

New Year a New You


 

How to help those New Year’s resolutions stick.

It is that season again where the gyms get really busy and everyone seems to be on a “cleanse.” Last month I joined a new gym and this month I set aside time in my schedule for barre class, so I am also part of this throng of awkward January gym-goers. Unfortunately, this burgeoning focus on wellness seems to taper off for most people as the year progresses. You can make this year different with strategies to turn a new resolution into lasting change.

Create an actionable plan for your resolution, for example transform a broad resolution of “I want to eat healthier” into one or several attainable goals. One such goal could be “I want to eat a new vegetable every week” another could be “I want to make lunches ahead of time so that I don’t eat junk food at work.” Next, develop your plan for how you will implement this goal, what do you have to do each day and what do you have to do ahead of time to prepare for it (such as grocery shopping or getting a lunch bag).

One key piece to any new resolution is a plan for how you are going to remember to do it. Whether it is an app, a whiteboard calendar or weekly agenda stuck to your fridge, some means of scheduling your resolution and monitoring your progress is going to help you stick to it. Check out your device’s app store or invest in that cute weekly planner and start writing out the things you plan to do and when they’re going to be done.

 

A strategy to turn a resolution into a change that sticks is to use the concept of habit formation. This involves using association, repetition and consistency to develop new automatic behaviors. When we do things over and over, such as buckle our seat belt before starting the car, it becomes an automatic action that you don’t even have to think about or remember to do. This automatic action with association (such as getting in the car) didn’t start right away, but likely took several repetitions and thought out actions before becoming a habit. When starting a new exercise plan such as stretching every morning, you will likely have to use reminders such as phone alarms or sticky notes to tell you it is time to do so. Soon you will associate getting up in the morning with having a second “time to stretch” alarm, eventually you will have the automatic response of stretching in the morning, and then it will start to “feel weird” to not stretch in the morning.

Disruptions to associated activities can definitely strain resolution success or habit automaticity. If you associate stretching with your morning alarm wake-up, you might just not remember ore even think of doing it when you’re on vacation. Eating a pre-planned lunch could become your regular routine but fall to the wayside if you rush out to work in the morning or your colleagues invite you out for lunch. This sort of disruption and return to your pre-resolution behavior are really common. One less-than ideal meal or missed work out doesn’t merit tossing out a new year’s plan entirely. These experiences can help you develop awareness of what things in your life are challenging your ability to successfully make a change. With that awareness you can restart your resolution, allow for a little flexibility and self-acceptance, and move forward.

 

Before starting a new exercise or dietary strategy it is a great idea to consult your doctor about your health and whether the new program would be a good fit for you. If you don’t currently have a doctor or would like the help of a wellness expert, feel free to schedule an appointment with me, Dr. Heather Overland. I can give you personalized dietary and lifestyle recommendations that will get you started on your optimal wellness plan and also provide you with regular reminders, a space for accountability and assistance with plan modifications to help you succeed in meeting your wellness goals.

 

Contact Dr. Overland

 

Dr. Heather Overland

Naturopathic Physician

Licensed Acupuncturist

 

 

 

 

  • Conferences to stay up to date on Restorative Medicine and Integrative Healthcare Topics
  • Navigating Changes and Trends in Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Coordinating Care with Top Local Doctors
  • Promoting Wellness at the County Health Fair
  • TBI, Post-Concussion Syndrome
  • Hormone Balancing
  • SIBO, Prevention and Treatment
  • Strategies in Pain Management
  • IV Therapy for Wellness
  • Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease and Promoting Mental Clarity

Fall Wellness Updates


Continuing Education

After years (decades) of schooling, the last thing many of us want is to go back to school. However, continuing education is both a requirement to maintain an active license as a doctor, and part of how to stay current in the continuously developing world of medicine. 

While my practice is rooted in traditional medicine and includes techniques such as acupuncture that have been used in some form for thousands of years, I feel that the practice of holistic modern medicine is rapidly changing and improving. I am quite happy for the opportunity to use the best new laboratory studies, sterile single-use supplies and diagnostic equipment that is leaps and bounds above what it was ten years ago (let alone 1,000 years ago).

One of the pleasant changes I’ve noted recently is the collaborative and truly integrative nature of many of the continuing education courses. Nowadays, many doctors and allied health professionals from differing backgrounds and seemingly different schools of thought are getting together to learn strategies and clinical updates to best help their patients. Our shared desire to provide optimal care for our patients has led DOs (Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine), MDs (Medical Doctors), and NDs (Naturopathic Doctors) like myself to get together, share our clinical experiences, and pursue continuing education focused on holistic and integrative therapeutic techniques.

Clinical Updates

I’ve focused on topics that I personally find interesting and feel are highly pertinent to the active patients I see every day. Topics have include TBI (traumatic brain injury), integrative pain management, injury recovery, and IV therapy. One amazing thing about conferences is that I can not only refine my current practice, but I also gain the opportunity to learn about topics I may not see daily, such as SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) and clinical applications for LDN (low-dose naltrexone) therapy. 

Naturopathic Doctor Montana Naturopathic Physicians

The opportunity to take disparate clinical focuses, such as gastroenterology or pharmacology, and incorporate their nuanced understanding about specific systems into a larger understanding of how an imbalance can contribute to the progression of commonly seen symptoms and diseases is one of the awesome things about holistic medicine. We get to treat the patient as an entire person, not just component parts or systems, and we also get to learn from the expertise and in-depth understanding of specific systems to best address the whole. 

 

Local Top Docs 

Thank you to everyone who participated in the fall Gallatin County Health Fair! I was given the honor of being asked to host a booth at the county health fair, and had the privilege to promote wellness while coordinating with other local health and wellness providers. 

I also had the enriching experience of pursuing continuing education and connecting with my colleagues at the Montana Association of Naturopathic Physicians fall meeting. While they may not have the high numbers of Naturopathic Physicians that Washington has, Montana and Washington both have very high quality practitioners who are dedicated to providing excellent healthcare and improving the wellness of our local communities. 

” Our shared desire to provide optimal care for our patients has led DOs, MDs, and NDs like myself to get together, share our clinical experiences, and pursue continuing education focused on holistic and integrative therapeutic techniques.”

 

 

I’ve been dreading the hazards of summer. The lingering snowfalls of winter turned into a blustering, stormy spring that provided green landscapes through July. This verdant beauty allowed me to maintain a naive sense of optimism regarding what summer would hold. I held out hope that the heat and smoke of last summer was a rare occurrence, wishing that clear skies, warm temperatures and living greenery could persist until we reach the cooling and drying effects of fall. Most of all, I dreamed of never seeing the hazy discoloration of smoke obscure our perfect mountainous horizon. My idyllic summer fantasy wilted a bit after waking up coughing in the dark this month. Unfortunately, both the sun and my lungs had to fight through a blanket of smoke to start the morning.

The smoky haze in the air appeared as if it came from a gritty post-apocalyptic movie. While no futuristic vehicles and villains have accompanied this change to our landscape, it is not without its own dangers. Wildfires, grass and debris burning can cause a significant impact on our air quality. While fire is a valuable part of the life cycle of certain plants, some habitats may not be as able to cope with fire. The effect of fire can also be very widespread. While some of the smoke has come from nearby fires, some of the diminished air quality and visible smoke is attributable to fires raging in other regions. The sometimes heated topics of water allocation, forestry management and land use regulation are outside of my area of expertise. However, I am highly familiar with the health consequences of fire season.

Some studies have confirmed the obvious, that wildfire smoke exposure increases respiratory illness and severity of respiratory symptoms. Others have even noted an association between smoke exposure and worsening mood. Some have made the startling observation that when it is smoky out, people may be more likely to die in general, not just from respiratory complaints. Further research is needed to determine who is particularly susceptible, what toxins or particulates are culpable for the worst consequences, and to determine what methods are the most effective at preventing and reversing the health hazards associated with smoke exposure. If such smoke exposure continues to become a regular part of our seasonal summer experience, both research and a practical plan to cope with such seasonal exposure is necessary.

For people with respiratory illnesses and sensitivities, a specific action plan tailored to their illness and treatment options should be developed with a physician. This is a time where having up to date prescriptions and appropriate dosing strategies for both daily and emergency medications could be life saving. Other parts of the plan can include reducing other exposures and evaluating what lifestyle and household modifications are necessary. Complementary strategies can include therapeutic nutrients, herbal medicines, acupuncture, and even dietary changes to better cope with the added strain of smoke exposure.

There are pharmaceutical as well as complementary strategies to manage respiratory illnesses and stay healthy during fire season. 

Now is a great time to schedule a check-up with your physician and to develop a comprehensive and holistic wellness plan with Dr. Overland.

Contact Dr. Overland

Now that most of the snow has melted, our skis are put away and springtime is upon us. It is time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. With these warm temperatures, a great way to start your active day is with a smoothie.

Spring Smoothie Recipe

Dr. Heather Overland, ND LAc

Spring into the air with a smoothie.


Ingredients:

1-2 cups fresh raw Chard

1-2 cups fresh raw Spinach

1-2 cups fresh raw Kale (baby kale works best)

(if using a mixed greens blend, aim to add approximately 3 handfuls or enough to loosely fill your blender ¾ of the way full)

2 cups of unsweetened Hemp or flax milk

Blend till bright green and no large leaf or fiber pieces are left.

1 cup frozen Blueberries

Blend until smooth between each type of berries.

⅓ cup frozen Blackberries or Raspberries

⅓ cup frozen Bing/ Dark Red Cherries

⅓ cup frozen Strawberries

Serves 3-4 people

 

 

Optional Modifications: 

  • Vary ingredient amounts to fit your blender and desired number of servings.

 

  • Other non-dairy “milk” could be used, but look at nutrition information and aim for no added sugar, no artificial sweeteners, low in carbohydrates and high nutrient/ vitamin content.

 

  • If small seeds are a problem for your teeth or digestion, substitute another berry for blackberries.

 

  • For more tropical flavor, you can add 2 tablespoons chunked pineapple (not suitable for those limiting sugars).

 

  • For a nuttier flavor with added protein and fats, you can add 2 tablespoons almond butter.

 

  • For the mall smoothie flavor, add 1 small peeled orange and 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract (made from real vanilla beans and without sugar).

 

All ingredients should be organic, washed and trimmed as necessary before being added to the smoothie. 

Looking at smoothies from the traditional Chinese medicine perspective, for some people smoothies and cold raw foods could lead to digestive troubles because of their cold and damp properties (like achy joints in cold wet weather).

For people who are active, can digest foods properly, and are located in warmer temperatures, smoothies are generally a fine addition to your healthy diet. For some people, such as those with diabetes or with specific dietary requirements, this may not be the best choice. Consult your physician (or Dr. Overland) if you’d like to determine what the best nutritional options are for you.

Our Services

concierge doctor natural medicine acupuncture

I don’t like going to the doctor.

Experience the Difference with Overland Wellness


  • Typical doctor’s visits are unpleasant
  • Dr. Overland has been a patient, too
  • Overland Wellness is different
  • You deserve to be treated with respect and care
  • What’s a concierge doctor?
  • How you can receive the best medical care
  • The quality of wellness care

Dr. Heather Overland, ND LAc

Unfortunately, as a lifelong athlete and active person, I’ve gotten several injuries. Accidents happen and physician visits are needed. The waiting rooms almost always smell peculiar and the chairs are both ugly and uncomfortable. When my injuries have been severe enough to force me into the doctor’s office as a patient, I’m not very comfortable to begin with. Between concerns about germs, feeling terrible for the screaming child or drilling noises coming from the next room and a generally uncomfortable impersonal clinical experience, it can be difficult to muster the motivation to get into a doctor’s office. For general check-ups and wellness care, it is nearly impossible to want to go into a place that is so unpleasant that just being there makes you feel unwell.

Not everything is bad, I’ve become very selective about where I receive care, I’m usually impressed by the friendly demeanor blended with professionalism of the medical assistants, the no-nonsense wisdom of the nurse, and the technical skill of the medical doctor, physical therapist or acupuncturist. There are aberrations, especially before I became a physician. Unfortunate experiences of being talked down to, dismissed, misdiagnosed and feeling worse after my visit than I did before. Despite the good medical care I’ve experienced, it is the bad that has stuck with me.

The worst isn’t the memory of a serious illness or injury, it is the sense of not being heard or recognized. The feeling that I wasn’t a person, just a hazy medical records number in a hospital gown. Rather than even being seen as a body, I felt reduced to my (broken and bent) parts, “the possible ACL in room 201.” It is frustrating, because a knee isn’t just a damaged part to me, its stability allows me to walk across fallen logs in the forest, its flexibility allows me to cope with snowboarding on bulletproof ice when my hope was for powder. Even beyond what a specific body part means to the person who has it, it is the feeling that there is so much more to the story than the injured area, the dietary preferences, the nutritional supplements, the ability to do recovery-promoting physical activities. Alternately, the whole picture includes the requirements of a job, event schedules and family obligations. Ignoring the whole picture can send even the best in-office treatment plan to disarray.

The Difference with Overland Wellness

As a practicing physician, I am particularly sensitive to the plight of the patient. I believe that the best medical care should recognize that the patient is a person. Patients aren’t just numbers, statistics, diagnoses or body parts.  You are a person, you are loved by people important to you, you are needed at work, you are motivated and inspired by specific wonderful things. You are unique, and your medical care should be, too.

Why a Concierge Doctor and Wellness Care

This is why I’m a naturopathic physician, an acupuncturist and also a concierge doctor. I want to be part of the best experiences you’ve received, not just another cog in the machine of barely tolerable health care. An office visit shouldn’t be one additional stressor on your life, it should be a rejuvenating and inspiring break from your daily schedule. Treatments should be individualized and goal-oriented. They should also recognize that you, the patient, are the one who sets the goals. As a concierge doctor, I see my patients when they need me to. Not to take care of emergencies or just “put out fires,” but to provide wellness care, luxury experiences, the best acupuncture and naturopathic medicine. Concierge visits can occur in the office at a time that works for your schedule. When my patients come to historic downtown Spokane for an office visit, my office is tranquil, welcoming and very different from the stark white, shabby greige and awkward pastel doctors’ offices many of us grew up with.

As a naturopathic physician, I have been trained to “treat the whole person” and recognize that there are complex processes and contributors to the onset as well as the experience of disease. I don’t specialize in fixing just one problem or managing a particular issue, I don’t even identify with a singular therapeutic technique, even though I am also a licensed acupuncturist. Instead, I recognize that one-size fits all approaches fall short of the human experience. You are more than your injury and you are not your disease. You are a complex and wonderful human being. As a doctor, I am focused on your wellness: actively helping you improve your well being so that you can enjoy a full and high-quality life.

Because of my promise to focus on you and dedicate my time to optimizing your wellness, I don’t see the hundreds or thousands of patients that other doctors do. As a concierge doctor, I limit the number of patients I see. This means that I can provide the highest quality rather than the highest quantity of care. This means that I set aside time so that you can have same-day appointments when necessary. You can have treatments when you need them, not days after. With me as your concierge doctor, you won’t be filtered out or disappear into a receptionist’s pile of messages. I’ll talk directly with you and respond quickly to emails, messages and phone calls. I’ll continually strive to improve your experience and hone my expertise so that you can have the best possible care. Together, we can transform the unpleasant stereotype of going to the doctor. Lets replace it with the feeling of a luxury wellness experience.

Learn More About Concierge Care

 

Vitamins and Supplements

The Truth About Supplements


Dr. Heather Overland, ND LAc

One of the things I get asked about most commonly is whether a specific supplement is good or not. We’re inundated by articles touting the efficacy of the “next big cure,” the “one simple thing” to drastically change your life. We’re also overwhelmed with scary excerpts from studies demonizing seemingly innocuous every day things, talking about toxic supplements, and exposing misleading claims. 

The vitamin and supplement industry is just that, an industry, and one that is not well regulated by the FDA. That being said, I strongly disagree with slanted, poorly constructed studies and articles written by people with very limited knowledge of the subject matter. (Gosh, a study on an herb’s desiccated leaves in healthy people shows no benefit…not surprising when its standard herbal preparation is root extracted in alcohol and administered for a specific condition.) I also strongly disagree with the plethora of advertisements and companies that seek to take our money by preying on our fears and desire for wellness, while providing a sub-standard product. It is certainly a waste of money and possibly even a danger to your health to take unnecessary supplements, things that don’t actually do what you want them to do, and don’t actually contain what you think they do.

 

It is also frustrating that doctors are often ill-equipped to help patients navigate this. A combination of lack of focus on diet and nutrient therapy in medical school, very limited experience with botanical/ herbal medicine, and extremely restricted time to actually engage with their patients has resulted in healthcare providers who simply can’t provide adequate patient education or who choose to cover this lack by spouting highly polarizing opinions such as “all supplements are harmless” or “all supplements are dangerous.”

 

In the makings of a perfect storm, not only do we have limited healthcare resources to help understand what vitamins or supplements we may need, we are also barraged with advertisements for seemingly helpful supplements. Time and time again, I am disappointed to see vitamin supplements that have great, necessary nutrients…just in a minimally absorbable form. They can also be combined with less-great substances that actually end up blocking the intended nutrient. Oils are frequently contained in potentially harmful containers that could leech into and contaminate the substance you’re taking (so much for the health benefits). Alternately, I see suggested serving sizes that are ridiculously inconsistent with standard dosing. This makes your seemingly inexpensive supplement end up being veritably useless, unaffordable at proper dosing, or unpalatable (I’m looking at you, pile of horse pills).

 

This leaves the average person unlikely to achieve therapeutic targets (and more importantly, feel the results) that they intended. You may have guessed from this article (or from seeing me with an arched eyebrow perusing the supplement sample at our grocery store), frankly, I get a bit upset.

 

This is where I’m supposed to offer a solution, but wellness is a multi-part process that can’t be achieved with one pill or trick. Your health is so much more complex and precious than a one size fits all approach. If you have questions, ask your doctor or nurse. Never be afraid to ask why or request more explanation. “What can I do to help my condition? Are there any nutrients that I might be lacking because of my diet, lifestyle, disease or medication? What can I do to support my health? I want to optimize my wellness, where do I start?”

 

If your questions aren’t answered sufficiently by your healthcare team, or you want to get started with optimizing rather than just treating, feel free to reach out to me, Dr. Overland. I’d be happy to schedule a visit with you to evaluate your treatment plan and streamline your supplements. 

 

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