Thomas Lee Abshier, ND
I began practicing as a Naturopathic Physician in 1989. I practice in Portland Oregon, in the Gateway area near NE Halsey and 109th Ave. I focus on cause-oriented, systemic balance medicine to restore health to the whole person. I am a primary care, family medicine, General Practitioner. I use natural medicines to facilitate the body's own healing abilities to repair and regenerate.
I practice with my wife, Dr. Margo Abshier, at our home-office. For those who wish to call to find out if we can help you with our services, we both provide a brief "get acquainted phone visit". Those who wish a more thorough phone or office consultation about general medical concepts may do so for a consultation fee of $75.00/hr. You may schedule a phone visit to obtain opinions and impressions about general medical principles for particular health issues.
Statement of Philosophy and Summary of Practice:
As a Naturopathic Physician, I am a primary care provider, licensed by the State of Oregon. I have practiced full time since 1989. My advertisement can be seen in the QwestDex Yellow Pages. That advertisement lists a summary of some of the conditions we treat. My practice is general, and patients come to see me for a wide variety of internal medicine problems. I also do Christian Counseling, and my advertisement for this service can be found in the Yellow Pages under "Family and Marriage Counselors". I diagnose and treat most medical and psychological conditions, and I refer patients for treatment when their conditions fall outside of my expertise.
Many people who come to see me have already been diagnosed and treated by the medical system, and drugs or surgeries have failed to restore their health and/or relieve their symptoms. Nevertheless, using the principles, methods, and materia medica of Naturopathic medicine, I often see these patients obtain relief from their conditions.
Some patients come to me because they want to pursue their healing using natural methods instead of drugs. Other patients choose me as a doctor because they want a Christian Naturopathic doctor, and still others choose me because they have a friend who was helped. I am open about my faith because it has been such an important part of my life, and is so integral to my approach to healing. I was raised as a Christian, but I had to prove the faith for myself as an adult, so I spent many years searching for truth. I participated in many world religions and lifestyles, but by God's grace, I was able to come to come to a faith in Jesus as Lord, even with, or possibly because of, my strong background in science. I made an adult commitment to Jesus in 1987, in my mid 30's just as I was finishing my clinical work at the Naturopathic College. Since that time, I have diligently pursued a deeper understanding of how to live properly according to the Word in His world. As a result of my own search, I am often able to empathize with the struggles my patients have around questions of spirituality and faith, moral dilemmas and failures, and the need for compassion, forgiveness and discernment in the Christian walk. I also see patients who are of other faiths, and we are usually able to work well together as a team to restore the health that I believe God desires for every person.
I shall attempt to summarize my practice and philosophy of natural medicine:
I believe God gave us natural medicines to use to maintain and restore our health. God made us and embedded our bodies with the biochemical programs which give the body the ability to restore itself to normal function. Proper nourishment, lifestyle, prayer, and right relationship with God are the foundations for long term health.
The medicines of Nature such as herbs, foods, water, air, sunlight, exercise, right thought, right action, and prayer are usually sufficient to restore and maintain health. But, sometimes the stronger interventions such as drugs and surgery are necessary, and they should be used to restore or maintain life when the natural methods would take too long, or there is not enough body vitality available to heal itself without such strong externally administered support. Ideally, as the body is strengthened by proper nourishment, etc. the body will be able to eliminate its dependence on drugs and/or machines and assume autonomous function.
The medicines of nature are meant to work with the body and support it in healing itself. I believe God made our bodies to be self-healing if they are properly nourished, cleansed, stimulated, tonified, or sedated. Naturopathic medicine simply works with the processes of the body to assist it in returning to the pattern of health inherent in God's design of the body.
This approach to healing is easily integrated into the conventional medical approach to healing, and can be used as an adjunctive therapy to conventional medicine. Or, this medicine can be used to transition from sickness and dependence on drugs, to a healthy body using herbal, nutritional, homeopathic, and other natural remedies. Health may then be maintained using the proper nutrition and proper lifestyle and a minimum of ongoing therapeutic interventions to support the inherent weaknesses of the body.
My approach to diagnosis is to take a complete history of the present illness, perform a physical exam appropriate to the condition, evaluate the complaint in relationship to the past medical history, current diet, exercise, interpersonal stresses, habits and vices, family history, and exposure to toxins. I recommend a broad spectrum panel of laboratory tests. I use an optimum range around the center of the laboratory reference range as an indicator of metabolic health/balance; and correlate symptoms and laboratory values to give added weight to the appropriateness of a diagnosis and treatment. I recommend more detailed lab tests when suspicions warrant to confirm, eliminate, or to broaden the search for a possible diagnosis. I look at the symptoms and laboratory findings as indicators of the level of function/dysfunction of each organ system. Ultimately, we (the patient and myself) attempt to integrate the diagnosis with a causal chain associated with life events, stresses, and weaknesses that may rationalize the disease etiology (how this condition has developed).
This approach brings about a deep understanding of the causative sequence and factors which have lead to the current health condition. This analysis and diagnosis of the cause and nature of the dysfunction helps create a clear picture of the disease, which in turn makes the healing approach more logical.
This approach to medicine is time intensive, but I feel that I can obtain a much firmer understanding of the patient and his/her condition by spending the time necessary to thoroughly examine the full picture of health.