Reflections on a Year Serving Summit County: Interview with Dr. Lisa Pomerantz, ND
We are grateful to have Dr. Lisa Pomerantz, ND as a colleague at the Mountain-River Naturopathic Clinic. She brings fresh vibrancy to our mountain community, along with an incredible mind-body-spirit focus in her practice. Having made it through her first winter and full year in Frisco, she says she has begun to feel rooted here.
I got a chance to sit down and ask her to share a few reflections that might help people in the community get to know her better.
Dr. Justin Pollack: What makes you unique as a naturopathic doctor?
Dr. Lisa: I have a heavy emphasis on the mental-emotional component of health. I really like to dive deep in there, and understand the mind-body connection that is influencing a person's physical disease state. So often people neglect just how much stress and trauma affects their physical body and can be a root cause of their disease. I like to have conversations about how stress is appearing in someone's life and early childhood things that happened to them that may have conditioned their nervous systems to respond in certain ways. I do a lot of things similar to how other naturopathic doctors do, with calming herbs and nutritional support to help the nervous system function more optimally, but I'm also incorporating some additional things. What sets me apart from other naturopaths is my emphasis on the mind and emotions. This isn’t every naturopath’s cup of tea, but I love this work. I find that the emotions are often the cause of disease that gets pushed to the sidelines. When we address the emotions, incredible things happen in the body.
One of the things I have is auricular chromotherapy, and this is a treatment where you shine light on a person's ear, which is an area that is associated with the limbic system of the brain. The different colored lights help to regulate the nervous system so the person isn't so attached to past traumatic events. It can also be used for intense emotional states that have consumed a person. I am studying what other therapies along that line will be the most beneficial for my patients. Some things that are on the horizon are neurofeedback, having a computer system sent the brain certain signals that the brain can then adopt to help it calm down. It is a beautiful experience to come out of that and realize you're more able to be the observer and not as emotionally attached. NAET is another therapy where we help to release emotions from the body.
In your personal and professional life, what are you most passionate about?
Dr. Lisa: Well the first thing I am most passionate about is living up here in nature. I grew up near a city, and moving up here in the mountains has been a complete re-balancing for my nervous system. Now when I go down to cities, I have to tap into another part of me from my younger years which feels much less grounded, and much more guarded in order to hold my own in a city.
I'm passionate about exploring different things in the mountains, new activities. I'm getting into rock climbing, I've tried mountain biking, and I will be snow-boarding in the winter. I'm passionate about making connections in the community. I started a Facebook group called the Summit County Women's Connection. It's a place where we host women's events, like a fall wreath crafting event that I did, we did a happy hour, and we do a lot of moon gatherings. I'm in the process of deepening my spirituality, and as I grow in this its something I will bring to my practice. The moon gatherings are a wonderful time with these ladies to set intentions, with the full moon is a time for releasing and the new moon for setting intentions for moving forward. As I am able to deepen that in my life, I am getting in touch with parts of me that have been repressed, like the defense mechanisms in cities. We all put up these walls and boundaries, so this more spiritually guided work is able to help me release these stories and truly show up as my highest self for my patients, and then guide my patients to connect to their highest self.
Another thing that is on the horizon is embodiment work. Helping people to get in touch with their deeper emotions and karmic things and stories that are stuck in the body that might be repressed. By tuning into different sensations in the body instead of running from emotions, but really allowing them to move through us we can come to deeper states of healing than we can imagine. I'm passionate about that in my personal life, and I want to bring that to my patients as well.
What would you like the community to know about you?
Dr. Lisa: I guess I should talk about how I complement all that energetic and ethereal stuff with grounded science. I'm doing things like studying organic acids testing, and doing a deeper dive into autoimmune dysfunction. I'm so fascinated by biochemistry. It is so flipping cool!
One of my other clinical passions is knowing the specific pathways in the human body that might be malfunctioning, and how we can go in there and target them specifically so we can have them function optimally. Instead of just saying, “take this multi-vitamin,” we find out what this is actually doing for us. Vitamin B3 is a co-factor for so many enzymes, more than any of the other B's. So my practice is coming up from the ground with that solid, researched, physiology-based healing; from the top down with that energy-healing, emotional component; and it meets in the center.
Who are your mentors?
Dr. Lisa: Well, first of all, you and Kim! Huge mentors for me, welcoming me into this family and sharing your knowledge from nearly 20 years of practice. You guys are clinical mentors, business mentors, mountain mentors. Every time I have questions about patients, you guys are always so excited to share your knowledge and I don't feel like I'm reinventing the wheel because I have you guys so willing and ready to be such amazing mentors. It means a lot!
I think one of the reasons we mesh in here so well is that love of the core of the medicine. The root-cause medicine. The heal thyself. The healing power of nature. The other mentors that I have gravitated toward in the past have been the old-timey doctors who have been in practice for 30-40 years. They have seen the medicine change so much, and the rise of the naturopathic doctor who has come to rely on conventional standards of care and lose faith in the healing power of nature. These old-timey doctors are really passing down the torch to those of us who want to listen. The body is so powerful to heal itself and we need drugs to treat much less often than the new age of naturopaths is being taught. Dr. Jim Sensenig, Dr. Jared Zeff, Dr. Leticia Dick who has the wonderful lineage of her father Dr. Dick and before him OG Caroll. They are probably the biggest names when it comes to the history of the profession.
Dr. Justin Pollack: Thank you for sharing all that, and we are so fortunate to have you serving our community with traditional, rooted, vitalistic natural medicine! Dr. Nearpass and I are honored to serve as some of your mentors in the clinical setting, and we encourage that work-life balance play in the mountains and rivers as much as possible.
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Dr. Justin Pollack, Dr. Kim Nearpass, Dr. Lisa Pomerantz.
Three naturopathic doctors, sharing our love of natural and holistic medicine. How can we help you?