"Unlike any other health care professional I have seen” –KM
Dr. Grace Charles is a registered naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist now practicing at Steamboat Naturopathic. The following is from an interview with Heart of the Springs Magazine.
Where did you grow up? How long have you lived in the area? Tell us about your family.
I grew up on the north side of Chicago, as a teenager I wanted to live in the mountains of Colorado. I earned my undergraduate degree in Massachusetts, went to naturopathic medical school in Seattle, and completed my residency in Colorado Springs. My husband and our yellow lab, Piper, finally made it to Steamboat last year.
Tell us about the events that led up to where you are now.
I’ve always had an interest in medicine. Some personal health complications in my teens opened my eyes to a few of the pitfalls of the conventional medical system. When I found out about an alternative path, naturopathic medicine, I was thrilled. Naturopathic medicine really walks the line of conventional and alternative medicine, recognizing the importance of both.
What is your business? Why did you start your business?
I began my private practice, Steamboat Naturopathic, because there is a need for more naturopathic doctors in Steamboat. There are a lot of fabulous conventional MDs, DOs and alternative healthcare practitioners. Unfortunately, there is a lot of patient confusion in the middle. My role, so far, has been to help people understand when the conventional path is appropriate, or when it’s better to take advantage of an alternative approach.
What is unique about your business?
Patients like that they can get both alternative and conventional perspectives from one practitioner, and that’s what makes me unique. My priority is to find a diagnosis and then treat at whatever level the patient is comfortable.
Given your business expertise and the nature of what you do, what advice can you offer to the residents?
Steamboat is an incredible place to practice healthy living. Finding balance between work and play seems to be everyone’s goal here because play needs as much attention as work. What I don’t see enough of is rest, which deserves equal treatment. If you’re pushing all the time, the body will eventually push back. I end up giving a lot of advice about reversing the effects of not resting (fatigue, weight gain, irritability, etc.). The hot springs are a great resource for this.
What else we should know about you, your family, or your business?
My goal is to become a resource for the community. My training is vast, and I want Steamboat to make use of that. If doctors in the community have questions about natural medicine, I want to be the person they call. If com- munity members have questions about products that they’ve read about or side effects of certain supplements, I want them to call my office, whether or not they are my patients. I don’t plan on going anywhere. My husband and I love Steamboat and we want to make it work here for the long haul.
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