Unmasking Masks:

Top 5 Mask Tips

Strategies to help make this unexpected “accessory” work for you.




Mask Filtration Demystified

Many people have been wondering what the point of wearing a mask is if it is unable to filter out the tiny size of a virus. That is a good question. When a scientist or healthcare provider enters into an environment where they will come in close contact with known and dangerous pathogens, it is appropriate for them to take the highest levels of precautions (and filtration) so that they limit their exposure and don’t carry that pathogen out with them into the world.

In most settings, however, pathogens aren’t transmitted as the malicious free particles floating about that we imagine. For example, viral respiratory infections are commonly transmitted via droplet spread. I.e. the virus is spread through very small drops of things like saliva and snot. This is the reason why we always see recommendations to “cover your cough.” Besides the obvious “ick” factor, this is why sneezing with abandon is simply not done. Droplets are obviously spread with the loud “achoooo!” of the common cold, but also may be shared via less-obvious means such as talking and laughing.

Non-medical masks, such as the now popular DIY cloth masks can be helpful to reduce the droplets that we unintentionally share with the world. Rather than going out into our immediate environment unchecked, at least some of them are stopped by the fabric covering our nose and mouth. Also, when interacting with someone else, a number of their would-be shared droplets may be trapped on the outside of our protective mask… rather than going directly to our vulnerable mucous membranes of the nose and mouth.  

Mask-Wearing Tips and Tricks

So now you have a cloth mask and are wearing it in public settings, but are having some struggles. Here are some strategies to manage common problems you may encounter. 



Since breathing freely is so important to our survival, it is hardly surprising that wearing a mask that impedes breathing could provoke a feeling of panic. Additionally, many people experience a feeling of claustrophobia in confined spaces. Mask fit, even in non-medical cloth masks, is key for both efficacy and comfort. When a mask is made of material that is too stretchy or clingy, it can pull against your nose and mouth, resulting in a stifling sensation. If the mask was designed for someone with a different face shape, it could be bunching in unintended ways that hamper breathing. While adequate layering and materials can be important for filtration efficacy, there could be too may layers (or improper materials used) if it is also blocking your air supply. Consider a mask that is specifically shaped for the nose and chin, without pulling or bunching. If you have underlying respiratory conditions that make breathing through a mask difficult, please discuss this with your healthcare practitioner (we can help manage your symptoms and discuss options!). While wearing the mask could be one trigger of anxiety, there are many potential aggravating factors and triggers right now. If you are experiencing increased anxiety or panic, please reach out to your support systems and healthcare practitioners. We are here to help (and you are not struggling with this alone, even if things can feel pretty isolating right now). 


Fogging Glasses

If your mask is continually making your glasses fog, that can be an indicator that it is not sitting securely on your face. When your mask is not secure at the edges (i.e. over the bridge of your nose, across your cheeks and under your chin) your breath often escapes out the sides (and right into your glasses) rather than passing out and being filtered through the mask. Try wearing a mask that has a piece of metal at the bridge of the nose, so that you can adjust the fit to be more snug at your nose and cheeks. Also consider adjusting your glasses so that they don’t slip down onto your mask. (*It is best practice to not touch your face… or things on your face, such as your glasses. The less adjustment you need to make during the day, the better!)


Skin Irritation

When your mask fits securely, or if you’re an essential healthcare worker wearing a respirator or surgical mask, you may experience skin irritation and divots from wearing a mask for an extended period. Be sure to wash cloth masks after each use. You don’t want to put the same exhaled breath, sweat and contaminants on your face day after day. In the times of COVID-19, you should also consider all outward-facing surfaces of the mask as potentially contaminated, remove it via the ear straps, avoid touching the surfaces, and put it into the wash after use. Gently wash your face after removing masks. Use moisturizer and skin-protectants as needed before you put on your mask. If you’re experiencing a new rash or flare of a skin condition, such acne as eczema, talk to your healthcare practitioner. Stress (such as life during a pandemic) and skin irritants can both be aggravating factors for underlying conditions. 


Ear Pulling

Too-tight elastic straps can pull on your ears, resulting in discomfort, headaches, and looking like a distraught elf. Try a thinner elastic for your masks. Alternately, use a hair tie or string to bridge the elastic ends behind your head, and prevent them from pulling on your ears. Tie-on masks can be a good solution for some people. Whichever option you use, be sure it is something that you can put on without needing frequent adjustment. Part of avoiding touching your face (without first washing your hands) is avoiding touching and adjusting your mask. 



Incorporating something new into your routine, especially something on your face, can feel awkward. The more you do it, the more routine and casual it feels. You’ll start to notice other people doing the same thing and even have the chance to appreciate some unique DIY masks. This is a public health effort, but it is also a statement of solidarity in “these uncertain times.” There’s a lot that we do not know right now. There’s a lot to be frustrated about. While trying situations reveal flaws and failings, they also reveal hope and ingenuity in the face of adversity. 


COVID-19 Updates

As this pandemic impacts the world and our local community, we want to reassure you that Overland Wellness is here for you.

The Washington State Department of health has local statistics denoted by counties as well as updated recommendations at their website

The CDC provides guidance and regularly updated information available at their website. 


Using our messaging app, you can conveniently message Dr. Overland with after-visit questions. 

Automated Intake

Pre-screening questionnaires can be completed at your convenience before your appointment. 


Video Visits

Conveniently connect with Dr. Overland without having to leave your home. 

Schedule Now

Overland Wellness is expanding telemedicine virtual appointment availability.

You can now have a Naturopathic appointment or Acupuncture/ Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine consultation appointment from the comfort and security of your home.

As a patient of Overland Wellness, you have access to the highest quality vitamins and supplements. You can order them conveniently and securely through our online dispensary and have them shipped directly to you. 

Current DOH and CDC recommendations for hand washing and social-distancing are in tune with principles of holistic natural medicine. With newly emerging illnesses, such as COVID-19, information is scant and continually being updated. With the limited information at this time, it is best to approach unproven potential treatments with caution.

While current strategies to “flatten the curve” are appropriate, staying at home and social-distancing can feel very isolating. This is a challenging time for many people. This is also a time to cultivate connection in innovative ways, such as using technology. 

Dr. Overland would be happy to discuss any questions and concerns that you have during a telemedicine appointment. It is helpful to discuss information you may be getting from a variety of sources with a physician. Dr. Overland can provide insight into how such information may apply to your health and whether specific treatment considerations are appropriate for you.

Sometimes even the simple experience of talking through your health concerns with a trusted healthcare professional, such as Dr. Overland, can be helpful. 

Vitamins & Supplements

Targeted nutritional interventions to support your body’s response to stress and illnesses. 

Herbal Medicine

Dr. Overland is trained in both Western herbalism and Traditional Chinese Herbal medicine. Traditional herbal medicine is best with a naturopathic physician’s understanding of safety, quality and pharmacology. 

IV Therapy

IV Nutrient and Hydration therapy appointments can be scheduled for in your home or at Overland Wellness. IV Therapy infusions provide you with hydration and targeted IV nutrients to support healthy recovery from illness.

IV Therapy




We’re gearing up for winter at Overland Wellness!

Are you ready for the excitement (and stress) of the holiday season? We hope you have a restful holiday, meaningfully connect with your loved ones and enjoy festive nutritious meals!

It is helpful to delegate time for meaningful self-care during the busy holiday season. Schedule a relaxing acupuncture appointment at Overland Wellness, block time in your schedule for meditation, and check in on how you’re physically and emotionally feeling this season. 

As wintry weather makes an appearance, it is important to address how your muscles and joints are feeling. Did you take a fall last year? How is your balance and strength this year compared to last? Are you ready to be active and engage in outdoor activities or are you already feeling like you need to bundle up by a fire and hide out for a few months?

Now is a great time to address those medical concerns, improve your energy, optimize your sleep and get your body feeling revitalized and ready for winter weather (and the year to come)!


Fall Updates

Fall colors are here!

With kids back in school and summer sun exchanged for cool winds and crisp leaves, now is a time for change.

Is it time to check back in with yourself and start to address the lingering problems and low energy that you’ve been trying to ignore?

Imagine going into the winter bright-eyed, more active than ever and ready for snow!


Schedule Now

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Summer Adventures

How do your winter dreams of summer’s adventures compare to the reality of how these months have gone so far? What is holding you back? 

With days spent at the lake and longer hours for work and play, how is your body holding up? 


Goal Check-In

Those yoga classes you planned to take, the farmers market fresh produce you planned to eat, what goals did you go into summer with? Has the respite of warm weather and longer days allowed you to accomplish and enjoy everything you planned to this summer? 


There’s Still Time

For many of us, this summer has flown by. With limited month For some, old injuries or feeling worn down has put a damper on enjoying the outdoor activities that are quintessentially summer. 

Don’t let low energy or pain stop you from enjoying the rest of this summer. Now is a great time to take charge of your health and develop a wellness plan that will get you back to the active lifestyle you planned for this summer. 


Explore A New Place

Summer is a time for adventures. Have you had yours? 


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.”