Ep.26 - Individualized Care & Women's Health | Samantha LeVine, ND — Candice sits down with naturopathic physician, Samantha LeVine to discuss individualized care, particularly as it pertains to women’s health. Dr. Sam tells us about the moment when, at age seven, she realized she would become a doctor specializing in women’s health. She describes naturopathic medicine, what differentiates it from a conventional practice, and how regulations vary from state to state. Candice shares how Dr. Sam’s approach was a real game-changer for her own personal journey of health and self-care. She shares about the mysterious stroke-like symptoms she experienced in her twenties and early thirties, and how most medical professionals she encountered failed to take her mental health into account when suggesting diagnosis and treatment. The two discuss other examples of how emotional landscapes can impact physical health, and Dr. Sam emphasizes how essential it is to be physiologically informed when it comes to emotional challenges. Dr. Sam offers a fascinating explanation of how sugar, both positively and negatively, impacts the brain and whether or not there is a difference between medicine and medication. The episode wraps up with some very practical guidance regarding peri-menopausal and post-menopausal considerations. Dr. Sam tells us how to better prepare the body for this 'change of life' using proper testing and then talks candidly about whether or not hormone replacement therapy is a good idea.

Samantha LeVine, ND is a board-certified naturopathic physician practicing general care in Portland, OR. She’s been in private practice for nearly 20 years and loves to support community members of all ages. Specialties include women’s health and hormones, thyroid support, nutrition, gastrointestinal complaints, mood imbalance, sleep support etc. Doc Sam trained in midwifery in graduate school (NCNM, now called NUNM) and loves to really treat the whole person in her approach to healing. In addition to being a small business owner, Doc Sam enjoys time with her two children, ages 13 and 21, gardening, reading, hiking, dancing, and cooking.


Ep.26 - Individualized Care & Women's Health | Samantha LeVine, ND

Thank you for joining me for another episode of The Deeper Pulse. This is Candice Schutter. Welcome back. We're diving right in this week with an episode with another dear friend, this time a gifted naturopathic doctor, Samantha LeVine. Dr. Sam was my personal primary physician in Portland for many years. And after 20 years of practicing medicine, let's just say she knows a few things. I have always been blown away by her unwavering presence and remarkable intelligence. Her Portland based practice is called Docere Naturopathic Wellness. And 'docere' is the Latin word, meaning to teach. Teaching is what comes naturally to Dr. Sam. This conversation is a masterclass in itself. We talk about a great many things, including naturopathic medicine from state to state the importance of individualized care, even perimenopausal considerations in the second half of life. This is a doozy of an episode, and you might want to have a notepad nearby to jot down some of Dr. Sam's useful insights. Let's not waste another minute. Here's my conversation with Dr. Samantha LeVine. Hello.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 1:27

Candice Schutter: 1:29
Thank you for agreeing to do this with me.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 1:32
Oh, it's an honor. A true pleasure.

Candice Schutter: 1:35

Dr. Sam LeVine: 1:35

Candice Schutter: 1:36
Gosh, we've known each other for a couple of decades. It's gotta be a long time now.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 1:41
I would say so. I base all timing on my daughter and she was born in 2000. I feel like I met you after she was born, right?

Candice Schutter: 1:48
Yeah, yeah. Not super long after though. She was pretty young when we met. Yeah. We ran in some similar circles for a number of years, and then I was having some health challenges. I recall coming to see you and feeling really vulnerable around what was going on for me, in terms of my health and just feeling really frustrated, going to see medical practitioners and feeling like they were in the room with me for less than 10 minutes. They weren't really present with what was going on. And I had been, a few years before to an appointment with a naturopath, and it was the first time in my life I really remember somebody sitting down with me and asking me questions and spending a big chunk of time with me to really kind of learn what was going on. And I walked away with some supplemental prescriptions, a couple of book recommendations, and just a real sense of holistic support. And yet the relationship with that particular naturopath wasn't kind of a long-term thing. So it had been a few years and it was struggling and I thought I need to see a naturopath again. And then it occurred to me, oh, Dr. Sam. So I decided to book an appointment with you thinking this is extra great because she's a naturopath, and also I trust her. And I remember I was in a really... I don't know if I even spoke to you about it, but at the time I was in a really dysfunctional relationship and it was contributing to a lot of the choices that I was making around how I was treating my body. And there was just so much that was going on and I came to see you and you spent an hour and a half with me, listening and asking me questions that really touched upon my physiology, but also my psychology and even, sort of aspects of how I was holding and framing things spiritually. And how was kind of all connected. And what I loved so much about, particularly that first session, was that I felt like I could relax, which is saying a lot because I was in a really kind of hypervigilant activated place. And in order for me to deal with what was going on with my body, I needed somebody who could create a space where I felt safe to be vulnerable. And then be asked, not just about what was going on with me physically, but what was going on with me overall. I was just so impressed by your intelligence and just how much I could tell that you were on top of it in terms of the research and you laid out before me, these are all the directions we can look in and we're going to explore them all together. And then I continued to work with you and it was really kind of a pivotal time in my health. I know you've done this for so many people. And when I thought, who do I want to talk to about health? You were the first person who came to mind. And when I reached out to you, like what, how did it land for you initially when I reached out and invited you to be on the podcast?

Dr. Sam LeVine: 4:46
Yeah. Well, I haven't done this before. I had one at the very beginning of podcast world. So I think almost 10 years ago I was interviewed on a particular medical subject. So I felt like when I came out of that, that was like, oh, that was actually easier than I thought, because really conversations are what I do, you know. What I do in my work is explore. And so, I realized, when I got your outreach, I can do this. It was like such a mix for me of nerves, just because I'm not someone who travels the podcast circuit, nor do I speak in front of my peers at conferences. I happen to be very shy, which surprises a lot of people, but when it comes to presentation, you know, I did a lot of theater in high school and college and never once did I get on stage. So it was always behind the scenes, and that's kind of descriptive about who I feel to be, right? So, but excited and also just, I love talking about my work and I love sharing it because it's not very well known. Even in Oregon where we have one of the most broad state licensures for naturopaths in terms of what we can do and billing for insurance. There's still a lot of people who walk through my door who really don't know what we do and what my work is. So for me, it's just a true honor to inform a few people who didn't know before that naturopathic medicine exists. Naturopathic medicine is based on our principles, which, I don't know by heart, but include things like, treat the whole person, obviously first do no harm, it's the medical principle in general. But doctor as teacher, which spoke to me a lot, just because I kind of feel like, Ooh, I can learn a lot and then share a lot and not just tell people what they should do, right? Which I felt like was something when I was exploring being a physician, which my story with naturopathic medicine is that I always wanted to be a physician. I knew from about the age of seven that I wanted to help women, after having a dream about being pregnant before I even knew how people got pregnant. And I woke up and said, oh, I want to be a doctor of women's health. I know, seven years old. And right before I applied to medical school, I learned about naturopathic medicine and was like, oh, there's that way too? And began reading. And in my university, there happened to be a woman who had started an organization for naturopathic exploration, teaching people about it. I started going to these meetings and was just blown away, and I just never looked back. And so a big part of it was learning about the whole body and how the whole body is contributing to the outward presentation and the experience that someone's having. So it was very investigational. And obviously the aspect of it that had to do with using the least harmful tools, so that included things like herbs and nutrition and counseling and lifestyle medicine just really resonated with me in terms of it being about people's lives, and not just maybe the medicine they take or the surgery they have, and there's nothing wrong with those things, but it seemed like that was mostly what I was being exposed to exploring general conventional medicine.

Candice Schutter: 8:21
Yeah. So seven years old, that's so wild. And one of the things I didn't speak to is that another thing that really was forefront for me was when I came to see you that I felt like you were treating me as a woman in terms of the unique needs that I have as a woman and the factors that need to be considered in terms of that. And it's just so fascinating to me that you sort of knew that element was a play at seven, like intuitively you felt drawn to a certain population and how wild that you were pregnant in your dream.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 8:55
I know, I know. Well and that that is the piece that brought me to doing predominantly women's health was just this knowing. I mean, I have only sisters. And my first child who I birthed when I was pretty young, was a girl. And so I was surrounded really with women, with female bodies. And then another part of my story is that when I began having gynecological examinations as a teen, which we don't really do them in less than needed as a teen anymore, that the preventive care has shifted, but maybe this turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I was on the GYN table and asked my gynecologist if he had a mirror, and then told him I felt like I wanted to become an OB GYN. And, you know, I have that memory seared into my brain of curiosity, not just about anatomy, but really like, what are you doing when you do a pap smear? And I'm curious, teach me. And unfortunately he, wasn't the kind of doctor that was very interested in lending a hand to my curiosities. But that was okay cause, frankly his, you know, repulsion, not in me, but in my questions because he really just threw them back at me. Like you don't want to do this. And a lot of that was rooted in the cost of liability insurance. He was an older guy and I think things had gotten really crazy with the way insurance companies end up kind of puppeting doctors, what they can do, and then their liability insurance is so high and he was pretty grumpy about the industry. But I think that reaction actually pushed me farther in because it was like, you know, when you get strong reactions about something, it often makes it more appealing. So that also was something that I felt young, which was curiosity about women's bodies.

Candice Schutter: 10:50
Well, and that curiosity, in the way that you supported me was really a driving component, sort of this curiosity, coupled with a real spaciousness around whatever it was that arose in the face of that curiosity, which really now that I think about it, spaciousness feeds more curiosity, right? It's just like the information comes in and then things become more expansive rather than more myopic. It's like I can sit across from you, feel you holding me, and also I can watch you sorting through all these possible components that are all systemically connected. And I feel a lot of trust. And I think that that piece you spoke of, of working as a naturopath, you're creating this opportunity for the whole body and the whole being to be treated, which is very different than the conventional health care models that you, you know, you turned your back on toward this other path. And do you feel like since then, I mean, when, when was it that you started your practice?

Dr. Sam LeVine: 11:50
2002. So we're headed into 20 years. Yeah.

Candice Schutter: 11:56
What are your thoughts on... if we look at them, if we get sort of basic about it and we look at them as like the traditional conventional health care track and the trajectory of naturopathic medicine. Have those two things converged more? Have they become more divided? Like what's your experience in terms of having done this for the past two decades?

Dr. Sam LeVine: 12:17
Yeah, I really appreciate that question because I think it also borders on the question of, you know, am I happy with how it's going? Does it feel like it's productive and successful for both me as a business owner and my patients? And I have a lot of curious pre naturopathic students that might email or call me and ask me my opinion about being a naturopath and there's a wide variety of answers to that question because it can be a difficult career path. It's a very expensive education, even more so now than when I graduated 20 years ago, almost maybe double or more the cost of the degree, which we do go to naturopathic medical school. It's accredited universities. There's I believe five of them in the United States. So there's not many. And, you know, we dissect cadavers and we spend I want to say tens to hundreds of hours learning about pharmacology, you know, drugs and a lot of conventional medical education alongside hundreds of hours of homeopathy and botanical medicine and lifestyle and nutrition counseling, and, for me, the passion that I brought to my work has been the thing that has just been the thread all along for these 20 years, which is exploration. And so I have elected to never give up on the amount of time I give with patients. It's something that becomes a little bit difficult from the business side of things, because I really only have time every day to see somewhere between five and seven patients per day. And, that becomes difficult when I'm billing insurance and the fee schedules that the insurance companies determine for me can be okay and they can be not okay. And I choose to not discriminate who I contract with based on that, so that I'm accessible to all people who have insurance. And in the state of Oregon, most people have naturopathic benefits under their insurance plan. That being said, if anyone's curious, who might be listening to this. It's really important you call your insurance company and ask specifically and not assume. So far, in the 20 years I've been practicing, I have much, much fewer these days, people whose benefits deny just naturopathic care outright. And that has a lot to do with the lobbyists that my state association has hired over decades and decades to try to create parity and equality for us with other medical physicians in our state. For me, it has felt like the time that I spend with people is what helps me do my work best. Frankly, it just feels like the kind of thing I can't surrender. There are naturopaths, a lot of us, who do elect to do primary care. And in those cases, they can't give as much time because they're doing more acute care and they really have to funnel people through their practices. So every naturopath is different in what and how they offer themselves to their patients. But I would say it tends to be a trend that we're more exploratory investors, tend to give more time per visit than the average physician. Usually.

Candice Schutter: 15:30
Well, yeah. I mean, I've gone to a primary physician in a conventional office there, they've got four rooms going and there's somebody in each room that they're running from here to there, and you can feel that in the way that they're present. And, you know, in some ways I empathize with the position that they're in and when you're coming in with a vulnerable need though, to have that one-on-one individualized attention is really key, which, which is sort of when we were exploring what we might talk about together. Obviously, giving people a sense of what naturopathic medicine is and who you are and what you do. There was also a brief exchange we had when I said something about women's health and I appreciated so much, which really underscores what I think is going to be one of the threads that runs through this conversation. You said, paraphrasing your words of course, you said, well, I'm not sure that I can offer generalized health care tips on a podcast that are going to apply to all women or a select group of people. And for both of us, that's when you know the ding, ding, ding, it kind of hit us, like that's the point. That's what we want to talk about is this difference between these generalized approaches to healthcare and this individualized approach and why that's so important and how you spending time with each patient isn't just about honoring and reflecting that person, it's also about in order for you to offer them the kind of care they need you need a lot of information versus some general checkpoints, that then you can apply some formulaic approach to treating them. I appreciate that you're so in your integrity around that, that immediately, when we talked about doing this podcast, you said, we need to make sure that we're reinforcing this truth, which is around individualized medicine. So can you talk a little bit about that?

Dr. Sam LeVine: 17:19
Yeah, I would love to, you know, specific patients just keep popping to mind because it is so true that sometimes people will come in and they'll have read something on Google or talked to a friends and they say, is this appropriate? What do you think of that? And this even happens. I have one particular family member who has, over the years, called me and said, what should I do about this diagnosis? And probably 12 times I've said, please remember, I don't treat diagnoses, I treat people. And I am not your doctor.

Candice Schutter: 17:53
I want you to say that again.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 17:54
Yeah. I don't treat diagnoses, I treat people. Yeah. Which is, I think where a lot of conventional medicine has gotten lost. It becomes about the diagnosis, and it becomes about the tools we have for the diagnosis. And I can tell you, over 20 years of practicing, people rarely are their diagnoses, right? They are what made them present as a diagnosis? I mean, acute medicine might be one of the primary exceptions to this. You know, someone has a boil on their skin that needs to get treated as a boil or, someone has a broken leg. There's not a lot of individualized care there other than sensitivities to medicines, et cetera, maybe why they broke their leg. Maybe there's, bone density issues, you know, those kinds of things obviously would be at play. But most of the time when people land in an office like mine, perhaps they've already sought some care for the things they're presenting with and what my job is, is to really pull back the lens and understand what got them to where they are. Why might someone's menstrual cycle cause a lot of pain? And it may be very anatomical, like fibroids or endometriosis, but it may be more about hormone balance, which is maybe less to do with something physically present and more to do with how their body is metabolizing their hormones and or the stress that they're experiencing and, or, how well their stress is being managed. So then we might look at things like sleep and nutrition. And even relationship quality and status. Cause those kinds of things can translate energetically as well, which can present physically. Right? So there's scenarios where, and this is not always the case. And so it's really important, I feel like I need to say here that we talk about the energetics of how our lives and our lifestyles are affecting us. It doesn't mean that's true for every single person, again, individualized medicine. But you know, I've had cases where... one in particular, I can remember where a woman on her first visit, it was about pain with intercourse and everything appeared normal. You know, all the things that I should be doing as a gynecologist appeared normal and the pathology things, pap pap smears and STI screens and examination, and it was all normal. And on her return visit, she came back to do some lab work and review the results with me and again, all of that was also normal. She looked somewhat frantic and I said, is everything okay? And she said, actually, I'm going from this visit, my car is packed, I'm moving. I found out within a week of our visit that my partner was having sex with other people. I didn't know. I'm devastated, I'm leaving, I'm moving in with a family member out of state. And, you know, I, I just took a deep breath and I said, do you think your body was telling you something? When you came in to see me, like, was your pain with intercourse with this person, perhaps some sort of message? And she said, a hundred percent, I was experiencing that because of intuition or some kind of non-physical peace, you know? So sometimes that plays a role, too.

Candice Schutter: 21:23
Yeah. What a great example. I've certainly had those instances where it's, it's sort of a psychosomatic manifestation I guess. I mean, I know for me, for years as an example, now I know that they were an extreme form of panic attacks. When I was in my twenties, and they would present as I would have numbness and tingling. I would have auras in my vision. My tongue would go numb. Sometimes my hand and my fingers, my leg would go numb. And at the time I didn't have health insurance and I went to a college clinic to get support. Ironically, I was studying psychology as an undergrad at the time. It's a great irony that I had no awareness that this could be what was happening. And when I went to this clinic, they took me off of my, the birth control I was on. I was on the Depo-Provera shot at the time. They thought, well, it could be because of that. And really the only thing we can do is refer you to a neurologist to get this crazy barrage of tests. I didn't have health insurance, so I declined to do that. And for years, whenever it would happen, I thought for sure I had a brain tumor or there was something lethally wrong with my body and I didn't have the means to go explore. And I was also somewhat afraid to go explore. And in, in retrospect, when I look back on it, because there would be sometimes eight years between episodes. Now I know. I went to a really incredible trauma informed therapist in Portland and did a lot of healing. It's been many, many years since I've had an incident like that. She was the first person, I was 37 years old, and she was the first person who said to me, anxiety can manifest that way.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 23:02

Candice Schutter: 23:03
And it blew me away.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 23:05
Wow. Is that she was the first person to say that. Yeah.

Candice Schutter: 23:09
Yes. She was the first person, Sam. And I was in personal growth circles, I had been to other therapists, and on some deep level I knew that it was emotional because I had suffered from anxiety most of my life. And I was a trauma survivor and all of that. And yet, every time I sought medical attention, it was always treated as there must be something in your brain. We need to look at your brain. And there was never really any curiosity around what was the trigger? Like, what was happening right before this incident happened? Like, the kinds of questions that I know that you would have asked me, like what's happening in your life? What situation were you in at the moment that this happened? And has this happened before? When did it happen before? All these questions and dialogues that don't happen because there's this emphasis on diagnosis rather than prevention, which I think is also another big key to why I personally seek naturopathic support over traditional medicine. And obviously, I want to be really clear here and say, there are instances where I am all about going to a conventional doctor. And I'm all about using medication when it is needed for something like you said, acutely, or for exploration or tests or all of that. So I just want to be super clear. I'm not saying this is better than that. I am saying though, when it comes to someone who has the experience like I do. If I have something emotionally going on, it shows up in my body. For example, one of the things we worked on when I met with you is I've always had digestive issues. I suffered from constipation starting at nine months old actually, was when it began, which is around the time I experienced, childhood sexual abuse. So there was this trauma imprint and I carried it with me. And it was resulting in digestive issues that when I would go to conventional doctors, they would try to give me medications for. And when I went to you, again, you were the first person who actually introduced me to probiotics, which were a game changer in terms of my digestive health, that in combination with therapy and a few other things, like actually dealing with what are the conditions that are creating this outcome? I feel like is so key, and I'm kind of rambling here, but I just, I want to hear from you around this, this different approach in terms of treating the diagnosis versus treating the person. And getting to the source, the root.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 25:34
Yeah. Yep. So, using your story as maybe a launching point or an example. With the way in which panic disorder was manifesting in your body and then learning that it very well may have, and was in fact, rooted in anxiety disorder and panic disorder for you. Of course, you know, first and foremost, ruling out the things that it maybe was looking like it could be right. Like whenever someone's got numbness and tingling of alternate or both extremities, and that comes and goes, you know, as physicians, we're trained to put MS on our list and we have to kind of always keep that in mind and say, are other things pointing towards that? Or is there lab work we can do to begin to explore that and ask questions around things like family history and other autoimmune conditions. So gathering a really deep understanding of your body as a whole. But then also let's say you don't, or we have ruled that out. You know, I also think about if we have landed on this is about panic or anxiety or both, what else might be contributing to the predisposition to those physical presentations? So something like blood sugar balance or hormone imbalance, or a thyroid disorder or digestive issues that are burdening the body from other directions. Cause I think we tend to lose sight as human beings of the fact that we're a huge web of complex processes. And when we touch the web in one corner, you can sometimes feel it in another corner and they're very far apart from each other and yet, they affect each other. So, I've learned to never rule out really any other systems or genetic predispositions. And by that, I'm also referring to things like we know so much more about people's individual genomes and their propensity for having what we call polymorphisms, which is essentially, you know, we've gotten from our biological mother and or father, the tendency to say, not make an enzyme to be as productive as it could or should be. And therefore we have a pathway in our physiology that is dysfunctional and that might affect something like whether or not we clear histamine easily. And so someone with allergic tendencies, there are lots of hives. We tend to think about allergy. We don't tend to think about maybe their body's not clearing histamine well. And so, you know, genetics, not just, oh, well, my mom has celiac, so I might have celiac. But genetic meaning, what's the blueprint that is in every one of our cells and our DNA, and how is that affecting how our whole physiology is functioning. In the medical world, naturopathic medicine really is the original functional medicine, but the conventional world has become to embrace the idea of functional medicine, so a lot of MDs are getting education and certificates for, and are practicing as functional medicine doctors, which I think is really great because it just means there's more naturopathic-like people out there. Functional medicine is exploring all aspects, considering things like digestive issues, genetic predispositions for hormonal imbalances, thyroid imbalances. So many things when we're looking at the presentation. Is that person anxiety disorder? Or do they have a lot of food intolerances? I mean, I have so many examples of what that could be an addition to anxiety disorder, which may be contributing and making the anxiety symptoms, present, more or in particular times and places. And so it's what is contributing that I feel like is the primary element of individualization versus treating a diagnosis.

Candice Schutter: 29:39
I love that. And one of the things I just really want to underscore here, cause I think people who aren't familiar with naturopathic medicine might make certain assumptions about it. They may not understand the way that there is really a marriage of these conventional approaches with this more holistic approach that it's not. I think sometimes people think in terms of extremes, myself included. And so you've got this really scientific based, every it doesn't count unless you can measure it approach. And then you've got practitioners out there who are intuitively just feeling their way through. And again and again, I hear you talking about utilizing the science to inform this more holistic approach. Again, I think people who are wary might have this idea that it's a little woo or a little touchy-feely when in fact it's actually very much married to the science and you continually in my work with you would use the tests to then ask me better questions and to fine tune the approach. And one of the things you said to me as you were looking at my panel, you asked me about my sugar intake and caffeine. And it makes me laugh now because at the time I was really resistant to letting go of certain habits I had around those things, because it was my way of self-medicating around my anxiety. And I have since learned, like I haven't had caffeine for two years, it was two years in February and I have very little sugar in my life. And the impact that it has had on my mental health is profound. It's like I have the predisposition for anxiety and I have way less of it for lots of reasons. Cause I did lots of therapy, this, that, and the other. And when I do indulge, in sugar even, I feel it come online faster. And you, way back in the day, were saying to me, you know, I want to address what's going on with you physically in your gut. And I also want to address what's going on with you emotionally. Hey, let's talk about sugar. Let's talk about caffeine.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 31:40
Yeah. Yeah. And for me, I love, I love science so much. And what I've learned along the way and my mostly continuing education after medical school in this particular case was that glucose, which is the base molecule for sugar, sugary foods, as well as fructose and dextrose, but let's just talk glucose because it's the micro molecule that our body uses to make energy. So we need it. Right. And it's our brain's primary fuel. You know, there's lots of reasons why we might desire and crave and even be supported by intaking some sugar. And there's a difference between sugar cane the plant, and, you know, eating lots of sugary foods and then just glucose the molecule. But let's just combine them for the sake of ease in this conversation. Our body makes different neurotransmitters. One of them called GABA, gamma aminobutyric acid, is made from glucose, and that neuro-transmitter helps us to inhibit our excitatory neurotransmitters. So it balances out the neurotransmitters that help give us physical energy, but also tend to be kind of agitating, not always in a negative way, right. It can feel good to have lots of things like serotonin and even epinephrin or epinephrin and dopamine on board. Well, GABA balances those out. And so we think of GABA like an anxiety preventing neurotransmitter, and if we're not getting balanced intake of GABA in our diet balanced is the key word there. Then we may have issues with the way GABA's functioning and thus be predisposed to anxious tendencies. And I see it left and right. You know, I see it if people aren't consuming enough protein. So a lot of people maybe who, and I'm going to generalize and I apologize for doing so, but I happen to see a lot of people choosing vegan lifestyles. And when you have vegan restrictions, there's a lot fewer options for protein intake. And so there can be some protein deficiencies in that population. And as a consequence, we can end up having a tendency for more anxious presentations, because with protein deficiency comes blood sugar imbalances, with blood sugar imbalances comes a tendency for anxiety presentation. So it's interesting to me, you know, like the actual science of it all. Like, GABA's made from glucose. Glucose is sugar. So if we're eating lots of very sugary foods, we might have a real strong high and low like a rollercoaster of blood sugar. Or if we're protein deficient, then we may, you know, have again like a faster absorption of the sugars that we are eating. Even if those sugars are not, you know, simple sugars. But if we're not eating enough protein, that actually speeds up how quickly we absorb something. And so, the very science-based piece of it is underlying some of these external, individualized approach pieces of naturopathic medicine. I just love biochemistry, really. Yeah.

Candice Schutter: 34:58
And I just love how you speak about it, the way that you articulate it and the passion that you have for it and how you make it so practical. I've always loved that sitting with you, it's like, I feel this scientist and this sort of, for lack of a better word artist sort of colliding in this expression. It's like, you're painting me a picture that looks like me. That brings tears to my eyes a little bit, because why does that make me so emotional? Because it's so rare when we're being treated around our bodies, specifically. I mean, it's difficult to find in general in a lot of healing containers, but especially in medicine and to be able to trust someone because of the knowledge that they have. I mean, one of the things I think is so profoundly vulnerable about going for health treatment is that we don't know. And we have to be able to rely on the person across from us and their education and their know how, and we have to be able to rely on them as the scientist to be able to do the investigating. Like you have to do incredible investigation to really know. And I think it's part of why, for me, it's so triggering when I go and I get the easy diagnosis. Because I feel like there wasn't any investigating and I can tell there wasn't any investigating. I told you three things that were happening and you gave me a label and you told me to go buy something at Walgreens. And I want that investigation, but then again, I want that person to be able to paint that picture like you can and say, this is complicated and I'm not going to give you an easy answer. And I'm not going to pretend we're going to be able to figure this out in one session. We're going to work together to keep asking better and better questions. And I just love so much what you do and the way that you express yourself around it. So...

Dr. Sam LeVine: 36:43
Thank you.

Candice Schutter: 36:44
I just have to say that. More praise for Dr. Sam.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 36:47
Thank you, thank you. I, I, you know, it's funny cause I actually used the phrase start painting me the picture of who you are at my initial visits, at times, because that's exactly what I feel like I'm doing. I feel like we are painting the picture of you for me. Yeah.

Candice Schutter: 37:03
It's so is, and you provide such a large canvas and so many, I don't want to beat the hell out of this metaphor, but like so many colors, you know, it's like, it's not a black and white issue. There's nuances. There's a full spectrum of experience and you lay out all of that and together you help us to, and I love that you put the authority back on the person who's sitting across from you. It's like, really, we're the ones painting the picture. It's just, you're helping provide us with resources. Yeah.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 37:33
And you know what, not everybody who comes to me wants all of this, either. Some people want it to be black and white, some people walk through the door and they have a headache and I find they have high blood pressure and they want the medicine. Cause it's the eighth visit in a row with a doctor that told them they have high blood pressure and they just want their headache to go away. And I can say, hey, let's explore. And let's look at other things and let's learn about what is stressful in your life. And they might say, actually, thank you no, I am not interested in that, in that. And that... I mean, that's not optimal in my opinion for long-term health, but I'm also here for my patient, not my soapbox. And so if people really want to do straight forward medicine with naturopaths, because again, we're public servants, I believe. And to me, that means that I'm here to meet my patients where they are at. And that's okay. Yeah. So I know for the purpose of this conversation, it's important to explore what I do in full, but I also want people to know that if they just want a naturopath, because of where they're located or that they're covered on their insurance, or because they might be able to do some stuff, but they don't want to do the whole big thing. It's okay to seek care from a naturopath and ask for what you want. Absolutely. That's really important. Yeah.

Candice Schutter: 38:56
So, you mentioned medicine, and I wanted to get your take on this I, not too long ago and I can't remember the source, but I heard someone speaking about the difference between, in at least how they were conceptualizing it, the difference between medicine and medication. And they were defining it as medication is something that treats a symptom. Whereas medicine is something that actually treats the condition itself like at it's root you. Do you have any thoughts on that? Does that resonate with you? Or... I know it's a little simplistic, but,

Dr. Sam LeVine: 39:30
I don't think it's simplistic, I think it's really complicated. And I have never differentiated those two words when I either speaking about them or thinking about them or hearing them, But I prefer personally to consider the word medicine in its totality, which I would think more of as tools. Right? So medicine might be plants. We use the word plant medicine in our learning about alternative healthcare options. We don't really use the term plant medication. Right? I mean, we use plant medicine, we use homeopathic medicine, and these are tools that again are used to create balance versus suppression. You know, that's maybe another element. Is that tool suppressing, then it might be the word medication might fit a little bit better. But if the tool is supporting balance, it might be more of a medicine that's coming on board to nudge or encourage instead of maybe suppress, right? So like, things like pain medication, you know, most of the mechanism of action of pain medication is through suppression. It's altered pain pathways, it's nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, those are predominantly suppressive in their pathophysiology, how they're functioning. Whereas, you know, understanding what's causing inflammation, you know, maybe looking at posture or foods, provoking inflammation, or healing the gut, if someone's inflammation is in their stomach, gastritis. You know, a perfect example of this might be so many people come in, they've been diagnosed with inflamed stomach, otherwise known as gastritis. Maybe they have heartburn or reflux and the treatment tool predominantly is acid suppressors. That's very suppressive because it's not treating at all the symptom. It's also important for someone to be relieved of their pain, in order for them to be able to keep eating, et cetera. But you're really not treating the cause at all when you're treating gastritis to suppress acid. So when we can, we like to taper acid suppressors and soothe the gut lining. There's beautiful herbs that are so successful. And then, you know, lots of times we'll taper the acid suppressor down and bring the herbs in and then eventually the acid suppressors go away and then we keep soothing the stomach and learning, right. Because learning takes time. What are the triggers? So that would be an example of the way naturopathic medicine might differ from conventional medicine and our approach to a pretty medicalized diagnosis, you know, not everybody's gastritis comes from the same cause.

Candice Schutter: 42:22
Right, right. Yeah. Well, and that really speaks to, if the industry is built in such a way where... I'm gonna use a restaurant term, cause that was the world I had worked in for so long. It's sort of turn and burn, turn and burn, turn and burn. Right. So if that's the business model, because capitalism, because the health care industry, because whatever, and in order to actually treat with we'll call it medicine versus medication, you have to do that deep dive. And there's not room and space to do that deep dive.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 42:53

Candice Schutter: 42:54
Of course, medication is going to be the default because there's a room to, yeah, it's fast and it's effective in the sense that the symptom, there's a suppression. And so the symptom is masks and it goes away. And, I love what you said about tapering though, that you might use that medication to treat the reflux and help with those symptoms while you're also exploring and investigating the root cause and building that, the gut lining back up using the herbs and doing these two things in conjunction so that somebody can wean off of the medication.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 43:27
That's right. Yeah. That's a big piece of what we do. And I think there's a reason why there's been a tradition to call anything, you know, naturopathic medicine, chiropractic medicine, massage therapy, acupuncture, et cetera, complimentary medicine. We've kind of moved away from that term. But I do like it because I think I don't use it really, but I like that it's reminding people that general medicine is not the only way. And it can be really helpful if you have healthcare benefits or resources or even access, you know, that is doable for you to consider, well, let's call it second opinions or just complimentary care, you know, like what else could be helpful in terms of approach. And also, I think a good, any practitioner, but I'll say naturopath cause that's my field, you know, knows where their limits are and will just refer out. I have people walking in the door telling me the situation. I say, I'm not the doctor for you. You have a scenario that's over my head. It's not my specialty. Or I just feel like I'm not informed enough. You know, I'd like to refer you or maybe just give you the name of another naturopath that might be able to suit you better because that's exactly what this person does. For me, something like Lyme disease. It's pervasive, it's chronic viral. We know these things now, especially with COVID and long COVID, there's becoming a little bit more validation for chronic viral issues to be real. And I'm not a Lyme literate physician. I could run some basic tests to begin an exploration, but if someone gets diagnosed with Lyme disease, I refer them out. That's an example.

Candice Schutter: 45:09
Yeah. So speaking of this, you're a doctor practicing in Oregon, which is very different. It seems like the state laws are super different in terms of access to this type of care. Am I right in saying that?

Dr. Sam LeVine: 45:23
Absolutely. It's something that's so important for people to know because a person living in Arkansas has no access to licensed naturopathic physicians. Anybody can hang a shingle and call themselves a naturopath in an unlicensed state. And there's, I believe only still 22 or 24 states in the United States that have licensure for naturopaths and every state has to lobby for it individually. So I believe, Oregon and Washington were the original states. And I think that we were licensed in the thirties. So we're going on a hundred years or 90 something years, which has allowed for many opportunities to lobby for laws in our favor versus someone who's recently licensed. For example, California was only licensed, I'm going to guess about eight years ago now. And so you can't bill insurance in California if you're a naturopath, doing that takes a lot of legislation and bills and laws and recognition. And so it's a lot of legal hurdles, unfortunately. A lot more naturopaths are doing tele-health only. And to me, that is a little bit of a different beast. It's great. And that some people's education are the same, but you're not touching bodies and you're not accessing all resources when you're doing tele-health only. And so, you know, I think it's really important to kind of like look at the history of a physician you're considering utilizing and making sure that they're educated from an accredited naturopathic university, and, you know, be aware of what your state's laws are. I'm licensed in the state of Oregon. I can't see patients who are physically located outside the state. So, you know, hopefully some of the laws around telemedicine are going to change as we learn that telemedicine has a place in healthcare in general and is probably here to stay. But if I have a patient who moves to California, this just happened this week where she called in for her tele-health followup and she gave me her updated address and she was in California and I said, you know, I can do it this one time, but I got to tell you, I can't be your doctor anymore. Even though we've been doing tele-health two years. It's not within my scope in my license. And you know, that seems kind of silly, cause nothing's different. We've been doing tele-health for two years, but still like, if she were to need me to touch her body or look at a rash or do a GYN exam, I can't do that. And that becomes an out of scope piece. So every state is different. In Oregon, it's pretty strict. And for people who are honoring the scope of their license, they can't practice outside the states or state that they're licensed in.

Candice Schutter: 48:03
Yeah. I'm thinking about the listeners out there who perhaps reside in a state that they don't have licensed naturopathic doctors and they don't have access to this type of care.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 48:14
Number one, keep your eye out for medical doctors, MDs who have been trained and are practicing functional medicine. That's very similar to naturopathic medicine usually. Sometimes they can't bill insurance, so unfortunately this can be an approach that is rooted in privilege and that's something that we need to address and make some changes around somehow. The other piece is, there are definitely highly trained naturopathic physicians who are practicing in unlicensed states that they just can't do doctorly things. Maybe they can't do GYN exams. Maybe they can't order labs, but they hopefully have relationships with people that they like and trust that they work with. So that you can do more consulting type work with those naturopaths for their, for their approach. But then do the assessment piece with someone who's licensed to touch bodies, order labs, and maybe prescribe medicines. So, again, collaboration, complimentary care.

Candice Schutter: 49:13
How might somebody whose only option is really a general medical doctor. What are some ways that people might advocate for a more individualized approach when they're in a more conventional environment?

Dr. Sam LeVine: 49:26
Yeah. I have a couple of ideas. I feel like there's, this is a little bit less on the individualization piece of this, but definitely on the doctor as teacher piece of this, there's so many webinars and seminars and weekends that people are doing that really helped to broaden peoples and podcasts. You know, like the learning piece is so much more out there in the last five to 10 years than ever before. Maybe you've heard the words SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and the symptomology of that lines up with your body experience. And there's modules that you can learn about. If anyone wants to reach out to me to say, I'm located in this unlicensed state, do you know anybody where I could either do some learning or secondly, people could do more tele-health work with a naturopath, as I said, there's plenty of naturopaths that are actually practicing in an unlicensed states, in which case they can actually have a lot more of a broad access. So a lot of my colleagues are practicing across state lines because they practice in unlicensed states. It's tricky. You know, I personally, as a person who sought to become a physician, want to both touch bodies and also be more medical in my approach than somebody who's just sort of like doing a telehealth or a phone call with someone and offering advice. So, you just got to kind of keep that in mind that, that kind of approach can be life-changing for someone, but it's also limited.

Candice Schutter: 50:56
Right. So it's more like you're hiring them as a consultant, as a health consultant. But in terms of getting actual treatment, you're going to your... that's,

Dr. Sam LeVine: 51:05
I think it's really important to just look at someone's education because there are online degrees that people get educated with, which I become highly suspicious of that being adequate education to be giving any healthcare advice.

Candice Schutter: 51:18
Yeah. I mean, I really resonate with that in terms of having been a life coach for 16 years and how like the spectrum in terms of what you get underneath one label is so vast. So it's really great advice.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 51:30
Unfortunately, the individuals that are most opposed to us in the states that are trying to get licensure for naturopaths are not medical docs but are usually other alternative health care practitioners whose livelihoods would be threatened if naturopaths became licensed in that state. So it's pretty interesting to think about.

Candice Schutter: 51:51
Yeah, that's really interesting. So I'm going to take a, kind of a hard turn cause it's something else I just really wanted to ask you about. And I know as we've, we've spoken about individualized care and not generalizing in terms of treatments or approaches to things that are going on in our bodies. And I'm curious, in terms of understanding and advocating for needs, I want to get specific for a minute. And this is partially selfishly motivated. And also because I know a little bit about my listenership, that I really am curious to hear what you have to say in terms of how we can better navigate accessing appropriate expansive treatment when it comes to perimenopausal season of life, and all of the physiological things that come along with that and emotional things that come along with that. Women's health is definitely one of your specialties. And so I'm curious to know for myself and for the listeners out there, when it comes to perimenopausal and menopausal years in our life, what do we need to be thinking about when we're approaching our medical professionals?

Dr. Sam LeVine: 52:58
Yeah, such a big question.

Candice Schutter: 53:01
Yeah, it is a big one.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 53:02
I love it. I want to start, because I feel like this really is probably the most important thing. Well, there's so many, but the thing that really pops in, because it's something, as part of my license in Oregon, I need to do it's now 35, but for years it was 50 hours of continuing education. So we're always updates, updates, updates, updates, as any good doctors should. You know, we're learning more and more and more about how important the inflammatory body state is when it comes specifically, and especially to women around perimenopause that the less inflammation we have going in, the better we are when it comes to how we feel, and then our risk factors for other things like heart disease and mood disorders, et cetera. I feel like that's the first thing to say is, it's never too early to start asking about doing body assessments and ask about doing some labs. There's inflammatory markers called C-reactive protein or highly specific C-reactive protein and ESR or SED rate can be run as like basic screens for inflammation. It's not like an official rule out if it's normal or negative for you, but if it's high it's worth paying attention to. And something, I can't imagine a general doctor saying, no, I won't do that test. It's not an inexpensive lab. Even if you needed to pay out of pocket. I want to say it's somewhere between probably 10 and 30 bucks each to run one of those. And then just, of course, reflecting what might I be doing or eating or lifestyle wise that might be promoting inflammation in my body because the transition from robust hormonal fluctuation, normal hormone fluctuation in a reproductive female body to less output of hormones say on average in our early forties to late forties. And that transition starts in our mid thirties. So it's a very long transition in our bodies that the average woman begins to often feel this starting in our early to mid forties. To assess how inflammation might affect how your body perceives that transition. Okay. So a lot of menopause is change. The change, right? That's what they used to call it. And really what's happening. Our female hormones naturally flux up and down throughout the months if we're not being suppressed, usually by either a pathology state, amenorrhea for some reason, or maybe the pill or the depo shot or something might also suppress the normal flux of hormones. Let's say that's not happening. Normal flux of hormones, you know, throughout the perimenopausal years, that begins to go down. So chaos plus change. Chaos, meaning up and down hormones, plus change is going down in our forties, is perceived as stress in the body. And if that system is distracted by other things, by other inflamatory factors, it's much harder on the body to tolerate. So, it sort of is true that really tending to the deeper layers of health in our forties as women is very important. You know, if you're not already being mindful of the things that are individually provoking in your gut with food, it's a great time to do that. There's also hormone tests that are not usually offered conventionally because they're not properly assessed through the blood, that can really help us learn more about our individualized imbalances in hormones. And I love assessing hormones before someone's periods become irregular because it helps me learn what their tendencies are for how they're metabolizing their estrogen or how their estrogen and progesterone balance might look. It's not just for that moment. It's often for whether or not I'd be recommending hormone therapy around peri or post-menopause, it might be, oh wow, this particular body state may actually be pretty inflammatory in your system, but you didn't really know that because it's atypical in how it presents. So, some testing might be really helpful for women at all ages, but maybe like, if we're really assessing pre menopause, peri-menopause, or even post-menopause, someone's menses has ceased for over a year. Learning about any triggers that are pro-inflammatory in that body are really important. Also risk benefit ratio for using hormones around menopause or after menopause. It used to be more controversial than it is now. The evidence is proving itself to be pretty firm that for most people there are benefits that outweigh risks of using hormones to support women. It really depends. This is very important to be individualized, very, very, very important to be individualized, because there are risks. There are also people who just are not interested in using hormones. The truth is, is our bodies are designed to naturally go through menopause. So it is a somewhat quote unquote unnatural thing, right? But in naturopathic medicine, it's not just about the most natural thing. It's also about benefit and prevention. And for some women using hormones for bone health is critical using hormones to reduce their risk of heart disease is real. And it can be important to know that that's oftentimes not something to be afraid of. In the early two thousands, there was a big study that kind of came out in the news as showing that hormones have the risk of increasing someone's chance of having a breast cancer diagnosis. It's very important for women to know a couple things about this study. Um, you know, in naturopathic medicine, we were like, oh, now we have evidence that hormones might not be benefit over risk for a lot of people. But what we have since learned, and that was 20 years ago, is that the Women's Health Initiative actually was misinterpreted, possibly intentionally, possibly by accident, and that the increased risk of breast cancer, number one, it was predicted using synthetic hormones PremPro, Premarin and Provera, which naturopaths don't tend to use, we tend to use bio-identical hormones if we are going to supplement hormones. So that's really important to remember just because that study showed a slight increase risk of breast cancer, it doesn't mean that all hormones put people at risk. And then secondly, I've done hundreds of hours of followup education on this subject. So this is a super brief summary, but I just like to tell people who are like, I don't want hormones they're bad. And I say, you know, I kind of used to think the same thing when I was a young, fresh grad and the Women's Health Initiative came out. I was in the same camp, but we've had 20 years of really learning to know that there's actually some really significant and sometimes really important benefits of using those hormones. And a lot of it has to do with, when do you start it? How long do you use it? What dose are you using? How are you following up with people when they're on it? And so, you know, it's not like we throw them at everybody. It's not like benefit always outweighs the risk. But the risks that we perceived about 20 years ago have actually been proven to be wrong, on some level. There is still a very slight increase risk of breast cancer for people on PremPro, so Premarin and Provera, the women who do have uteruses. And yet, I just need to say that when we're talking about statistical significance, that percentage of increase is not considered statistically significant. So that was the piece that tended to be amplified and then literally put on the cover of Time and Newsweek, et cetera. People might remember that, you know. And everyone went off their hormones and that might've been good for some people, but it might've also been kind of detrimental or created some concern that was unwarranted for other people.

Candice Schutter: 1:01:18
Yeah. Thank you for that. That's really important.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 1:01:21
Yeah. There's a great book called Estrogen Matters that actually outlines the whole Women's Health Initiative, what it said, and what was wrong. It's a little pro hormone, which you can kind of tell by the label, but honestly, it's very scientifically based and a lot of the naturopaths who are doing women's health do refer to that book. So,

Candice Schutter: 1:01:40
So when you spoke about requesting this hormonal panel that's not usually done it. Can you tell us what that's called and how would one might go about requesting that?

Dr. Sam LeVine: 1:01:50
Sure, yeah. The one I use and there's actually other labs out there that do urinary testing of hormones, I think probably the most popular one right now is called the Dutch test. I think part of it is that it's fairly affordable. Back when I was doing hormone testing over 10 years ago, you know, it would always cost women somewhere between like $400 and $600 to test their hormones one time. And it just was really financially inaccessible. You know, it was, it became again like medicine for the privileged. And I always felt really uncomfortable with that piece. At this point, the test, it kind of depends on if someone does have a regular cycle or if they don't have a period or if they have an irregular cycle either cause they're peri-menopausal or for another reason, but it's anywhere from about 150 to about $325 to do the female hormone testing, or we call it sex hormone testing, because it's also checking DHA and testosterone levels. But what it's testing is metabolites. So it's telling us what your body does with your hormones. It's not telling anything about how it attaches to receptors, but it's telling us how it metabolizes them. And if there might be any issues, it's screening those hormones, which if anybody's still listening from when we first started this conversation, understanding how someone's individual pathways work is so helpful at individualizing medicine. So Dutch is an acronym. It stands for Dried Urine Test for Complete Hormones. And so you would ask for the Dutch test, if you are seeking care from an alternative health care provider that might offer a functional medicine testing like that.

Candice Schutter: 1:03:29
Awesome. I'm going to get me one. I want to get me a Dutch test. So as we start to wrap things up, I want to ask is there anything that you are particularly excited or passionate about right now when it comes to your work or just the direction your life is going right now? I know there's so much going on culturally. And so there's just, there's a lot. There's been a lot for a while and there's a lot. And I ask this question because I think it's so important that we are present for everything that's happening, and that we also have outlets where we feel a sense of passion, excitement, and joy around things. So whether it's personal or professional, what's got, you fired up in the best possible way right now?

Dr. Sam LeVine: 1:04:17
Yeah. A couple of things popped to mind and they're very well, are they separate? Of course they're not.

Candice Schutter: 1:04:25
Of course not. Says the naturopath.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 1:04:29
Totally, totally, it's three seemingly separate things. Um, first and foremost, the trajectory of what we just were talking about. You know, I'm 48, and so I'm in the zone of perimenopause. And I wasn't, you know, I started practicing medicine when I was 28. And so like just what's happening in my body, of course informs my curiosities, as it should. And I'm really excited to be shining a light on peri and post-menopausal concerns for women, even more so than I was when I opened my doors. So that piece, and especially as we're learning more about hormonal support. Um, secondly, I would be so remiss if I didn't acknowledge the prevalence of anxiety and depression in today's younger population, especially. So, all of us and I don't mean to shine a light on the youth, but I have children, mine are almost 13 and 21. And I don't know a young person these days who isn't struggling emotionally, predominantly because of pandemic, you know, at homeschooling and it just has taken a toll, and it's taken a toll on my teacher clients, you know, there's so many people that need support. So really broadening learning. To be really honest with you and your listeners, I am not shy about using medication where needed for mental, emotional support. I would say I was a lot more hesitant until about a year and a half ago, you know, to like try everything else first obviously, always meeting my patients where they're at, and if someone walks in the door and says, I'm ready for Prozac, you know, I do the intake and prescribe if appropriate. But you know, most of my patients are not doing that. And yet in this day and age, we are just seeing a lot more struggle and as a bridge to get people to the other side, which the other side means that they feel like they have the capacity to incorporate lifestyle medicine and regular supplement use to help their mood, prescribing medicine is an option. It's just an option, not for everybody, but I think it's really important. And so emotional acknowledgement is the second thing. And then the third thing, which I just feel like is out there and people are learning more about it and, the ability for me to learn more and actually become more of a provider of this perhaps is the use of psychedelics in medicine. I think is where we have just cracked the door to the potential to use both psychedelic therapy as well as micro-dosing psychedelics. I've done a couple dozen hours in continuing education. We can't by law use these substances yet, but learning about how that might become a tool down the line. I hope to be practicing medicine and another 20 years, and I would be really excited to have psychedelics as a member of my toolbox down the line. I literally think I would need to put everything down and probably spend a year or two in training. When it comes to outcomes, we rarely ever see the positive outcome percentages that we're seeing in the studies so far around psychedelics, properly used to support people in their exploration of health and wellness. Properly used, right? So we're not talking recreation.

Candice Schutter: 1:08:04
You live in the right state to explore this and to be around folks who are researching and really diving deep with all of that. So,

Dr. Sam LeVine: 1:08:12
Yes. And I know that the people who set the laws into place a couple of years ago made sure that naturopaths were written in as potential providers, I believe. And so I know it's not going to be restricted to therapist psychologist. So that's exciting for them and [inaudible].

Candice Schutter: 1:08:31
And exciting for that collaboration you were talking about, the more everyone's equipped, the more you can collaborate, ironically. Yeah.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 1:08:38
Exactly, exactly.

Candice Schutter: 1:08:40
Yeah. That's so great. I just want to thank you so much for spending this time with me and with us and for the way that you have always held me in care. And I just feel so much trust and relaxation when I'm in your presence as a friend and also as a healthcare provider, even though you're not technically my doctor anymore. Especially talking to you today, I'm like, oh, those state lines. Um, and I'm excited, cause I know I have quite a few listeners in Oregon, so we'll obviously at the end of this podcast, I'll share your information. If anyone in the Portland area wants to connect with you, I highly recommend you as a doctor and as a human and as an ally and an advocate. So I just am deeply grateful that you said yes to do this with me and that you trusted me and that you stepped outside of your introversion to be with us.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 1:09:38
Oh, I didn't say I was an introvert. I just said I was shy.

Candice Schutter: 1:09:42
Oh, okay. All right. Well, that's, let's do a podcast on that. That's a good one. That's funny because I'm the opposite. I am an introvert, but I'm not shy.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 1:09:51
Oh, that's so... we do have a lot to talk about. Yeah.

Candice Schutter: 1:09:54
We do have a lot to talk about there.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 1:09:57
Thank you for having me. It's so sweet to be honored by you. And I love the thing you said that we didn't really touch on is this word trust. And I just, I think that when people are seeking providers, it's just so important that they're tapping into their inner sense of trust. Like, do I trust this provider? To help me make some choices about my health and wellness. And it is just the biggest blessing for my patients if they feel trusting in me. I just feel like, you know, we're halfway there, really.

Candice Schutter: 1:10:28
Yeah. Ditto in my work. Yeah. I get that. Well, I love you to pieces.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 1:10:33
Love you, too. Good to see you, honey.

Candice Schutter: 1:10:35
Yeah, you too. Have an amazing day and send some love to your family.

Dr. Sam LeVine: 1:10:38
And to Chris, too.

Candice Schutter: 1:10:39
All right. Bye. Don't you just love her. I could talk body wisdom with Dr. Sam all day long. Every single time I walk away from one of our conversations, I have a new set of practical tools when it comes to my health. I sincerely hope that you found something of value in our conversation. And if you want to reach Dr. Sam directly, you can find her at docerenaturopathicwellness.com. You can find a link in the show notes. All right, that's it for now, folks.

Thanks for tuning in and I'll see you next time on The Deeper Pulse. Until then be well and keep on moving toward what moves you. Lots of love. Ciao.

© The Deeper Pulse, Candice Schutter