“Dr. Erica Zelfand’s patients appreciate her down-to-earth attitude, upbeat personality, and commitment to educate, inspire, and empower her patients as they heal. Although she wears a stethoscope, Dr. Zelfand approaches medicine radically differently than most other doctors. She looks beyond the mask of symptoms to understand and ultimately nourish the underlying imbalances that cause illness. This approach has better outcomes than the conventional model, with the health benefits being both profound and sustainable.”
Website: www.naturaintegrative.com | Phone: 971-317-0222 | Online Scheduling | Facebook: www.facebook.com/DrZelfand | Twitter: @DrZelfand | Practice Location: 11790 SW Barnes Road, Suite 120, Portland, OR 97225
About Erica Zelfand, ND
Dr. Zelfand integrates her knowledge in western and natural medicine to offer a full range family practice, with special interests gynecology, endocrinology, autoimmune conditions, and digestive health. A visit with Dr. Zelfand typically entails a conversation about you or your child’s health over a cup of tea, a thorough physical exam, and working together to come up with a realistic treatment plan.
My work as a medical intern and resident has included many service locations, including: Outside-In, Portland’s public health clinic for homeless youth, Rose Haven, a clinic that serves women facing abuse, loss of a home, and other disruptive life experiences and Central City Concern Old Town Clinic, a public health facility servicing mostly homeless individuals, many of which are working through trauma and abuse. I also completed a mentorship training in gynecology and women’s health under the supervision of Kimberly Windstar, ND. In my private practice, I also treat a number of women who are survivors of abuse and assault. I have also supported women in abusive situations to get out of them as safely as possible.
My Interest in Working with Survivors
We talk about survivorship like it’s this obscure subject, when really it is estimated that one in three women will be sexually assaulted in her life. I hope to see that statistic drop significantly within my lifetime. While we work as a community and as a nation to raise awareness, the survivors we do have in our communities need services and support in the meantime.
Having done my medical training at one of only five naturopathic medical schools in the country, I am well versed in a number of healing modalities. The nice thing about having so many tools in my toolkit is that some modalities resonate with certain patients more than with others. I like having that versatility when helping my patients heal: the combination of therapies I use is unique to each patient.
Some of the modalities I commonly use include:
- Primary care for all ages: This includes the management of acute illnesses (colds, flus, etc.), as well as annual physicals, well woman exams (gyn exams, pap smears, etc.), vaccine administration, and routine blood tests. (I can draw blood here in the office.)
- Conventional medicine: Basic prescriptions like antibiotics for pneumonia, antivirals for herpes outbreaks, and cough suppressants for cold and flu season.
- Clinical nutrition: This includes dietary counseling, support with meal planning, and the occasional use of nutritional supplements.
- Medical herbalism: The use of botanicals in the form of teas, tinctures, capsules, compresses, and/or salves.
- Homeopathy: The use of diluted, gentle-yet-profound energetic formulas. Dr. Z uses classical homeopathy as well as flower essences and bio therapeutic drainage formulas. This is a great modality for sensitive patients, as well as those whose physical complaints have an emotional aspect to them.
- Lifestyle counseling: Examining and discussing how changes in lifestyle (attitude, job, exercise, living situation, etc.) can enhance healing.
- Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy & Holistic Pelvic Care TM: This therapy includes gentle intra-vaginal trigger point massage paired with calming breath work techniques to enhance blood flow through the pelvic bowl and help shift both physical tension and emotional blocks. It’s an effective therapy that can help with chronic pelvic pain, difficulty with sex, postpartum pain or weakness, healing after trauma or abuse, and recovering physically or emotionally after a miscarriage or abortion.
- Injectable therapies: Like nutritional IVs, B12 shots, etc.
- Osseous manipulation: Similar to chiropractic, osseous manipulation can help relieve pain, tightness, or dysfunction associated with bones being out of place.
How Naturopathy Holistically Addresses the Impacts of Sexual Violence
Survivors of trauma not only need energetic and psychological support, but physical care as well. Perhaps you’re dealing with malnutrition, sore muscles, fascial pain, or even just a run-of-the-mill ear infection. I provide a warm and welcoming environment for us to take care of “all the other stuff.” My visits are much longer than at a typical doctor’s office, so we have time to delve in to the things that require more care and attention.
In addition to the basics, I can offer botanicals, nutraceuticals, homeopathics, and on the rare occasional pharmacueticals to help balance emotional and psychological turbulence. The mind and body really are related; it can help to have a doctor who sees that and addresses it!
I also offer gynecological services, providing patients with a friendly and welcoming setting for gynecological exams and paps – complete with cloth gowns, a heated table, and fuzzy stirrups! I can remove IUDs, treat many sexually transmitted infections, manage yeast infections – all in the comfort of a familiar office with a doctor you know.
Many of my patients, when they’re ready, also notice dramatic healing from a few pelvic floor physical therapy sessions with me. This is by no means a requirement for working with me, but another service I offer to those who are interested. Through combining breath work, energy work, and physical massage, we work together to not only move physical congestion out of the vagina and pelvis, but to also energetically reclaim this sacred space as yours.
Modifications for Survivors
My office is in a medical complex, so it’s easy to walk in the front door without it being clear which office you’re heading to. Likewise, we have a big two-story parking lot shared by four buildings, so if somebody saw your car in the lot, they wouldn’t know which building you were in, let alone what suite.
In addition to regular 9am-5pm hours, we have some evening and nighttime appointments for those needing to come after work or later in the day for another reason. Our windows are frosted, so nobody can look into the clinic from the outside. We have a private bathroom in our office suite for patient use only. Per HIPPA requirements, patient confidentiality is a top priority for our providers and staff. Our laboratory drop boxes are kept locked. Once we’ve established care in person, we can also do follow up appointments by phone for those occasions where you can’t come to the office physically. I can also modify most treatment plans to be alcohol-free for those who are avoiding alcohol.
I work with a number of patients who are trying to quit drinking alcohol and/or using drugs. An overwhelming percentage of my clinic is comprised of women – whether it’s a depressed teenager, a woman trying to conceive, a woman healing from an abortion or miscarriage, a working mom, a woman going through menopause, or an honored elder – many of my patients are survivors of abuse and violence. Sometimes I know they’re survivors, and I imagine sometimes I don’t. I can honestly say that I provide them all with exceptional care.
For those who do not have insurance that covers my services or a flexible spending account/health savings account, I do have a limited number of discounted spots available. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation to meet me in person, see if I’m the right fit for you. We can discuss your financial needs at that time as well.