Jessica Goodman, L.Ac.
I've been a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist since 2009. I have helped over 1000 people and performed almost 7000 acupuncture treatments since opening my practice, Denver Community Acupuncture. In my experience, I've found that most imbalances in my patients' health are directly related to an imbalance in their digestive system. Patients who report symptoms such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, fatigue, seasonal allergies, frequent illness, headaches, and painful periods have seen improvements in their overall health and well being with simple dietary modifications that relate to the principles of Chinese medicine.
I haven't always been comfortable in my own skin. I spent most of my high school years and all of my early adulthood battling an eating disorder, which led me to feel incredibly self-conscious. For many years, I convinced myself that it was normal to plan my entire life around diet and exercise. I stuffed my feelings with food and then when I couldn't stuff anymore, I purged them away. What I've realized, looking back, is that if I could have been transparent about my struggle, and given a voice to my emotions, I wouldn't have needed to use food to numb the fear and anxiety I was experiencing.
One of the most powerful lessons I learned from Chinese medicine is that there is no judgment attached to diet; there are no "good" or "bad" foods. As a Chinese medical practitioner, I am most concerned with the energetics of food and how it affects different body types. I don't look at carbs, proteins, or fats; I look at your constitution and decide which foods would best bring your body back into balance. For someone who spent nearly 15 years counting calories, this way of thinking about food rocked my world.
I am so passionate about nutrition because I believe food is the most nourishing way we heal our bodies. When we use food to help us heal, rather than to numb, we are empowered to take charge of our own health-- this is a lesson that I have learned and now live by. It is a lifestyle I am excited to share with you!
In good health,
Caitlin O'Connor, ND
I love food. Granted, I love eating more than cooking. Most folks that know me, know that a home-cooked meal is the fastest way to my heart. I also love feeling healthy and well. And as I tell my patients, you can't really feel that way until you figure out food. I love food because it is delicious fuel – powering us up to have more fun. Sadly, food doesn't always feel fun. It is near impossible to emerge from the ubiquitous diet battles and body image wars unscathed. It is easy to cast food as the enemy and the “perfect diet” as a white knight who will vanquish all our ills.
I have certainly been bloodied in this battle. Happily, I found a savior in sports, rugby, specifically. How amazing to find a culture where thick thighs and broad shoulders were admirable qualities – what a revolution! I quickly learned that my college dorm meals of black coffee and grapefruit slices - both spiked liberally with nutrasweet - was not exactly the breakfast of champions. I began to heal my relationship with food, understanding that food was the sustenance needed to power an awesome and energetic life. Years later, following my passion for science and a never-ending curiosity about the human condition, I became a Naturopathic Physician, earning a degree from Bastyr University. (I also picked up a certificate in Naturopathic Midwifery, which means I love working with women and their families during the reproductive years). This has allowed me the privilege of accompanying others as they discover what makes them feel happy and healthy, which always includes figuring out the foods that work best for them.
There is no one perfect diet for everyone. There is only what works and what doesn't work at this moment in your life. This includes what works nutritionally, economically, socially and psychologically. My journey with food has taken me many places. From fast food aficionado to hard-core vegan and many places in-between, I have settled into a comfy place of plant-focused flexitarian with a true love for fresh and local. Recently I have had the pleasure of observing how my diet needed to change to support different phases – pregnancy, then breastfeeding, and now adding the nutritional needs of a growing child to my dietary to-do list.
Join us on these nutritional programs and find out what works best for you. The long-term goal is a place of vibrant and flexible health. In the short-term, we experiment with different dos and don'ts, approaching them with authentic curiosity and deciding what works. My job is to provide options, support and expert guidance as you navigate your own path to health.