Practitioner Spotlight – Dr. DeAun Nelson, ND, LMT!

Welcome to the third installment in our Practitioner Spotlight series!

Part of the culture here at Watershed Wellness, is celebrating what makes every practitioner here unique and a necessary asset to the team. This quarter, we’re shining the spotlight on one of our naturopathic doctors, Dr. Deaun Nelson, ND, LMT. Dr. Nelson’s body-positive approach to her practice is a breath of fresh air, in a society where not everyone gets equal-opportunity healthcare due to size, gender identification, or otherwise.

Clocking in three years as part of the Watershed Wellness staff, we’d like to give you an inside look at what life is like for this Naturopathic Doctor outside of the office.

Q. What do you love most about the Pacific Northwest?

The rain and the green. I am from Dallas, TX and it is nice to be away from heat the majority of the year!! I also really love to see the mountains and trees most days and that I am less than two hours from the ocean. I would love to live next to the ocean.

Q. Favorite cuisine?

Depends on my mood really. I can almost always go for Italian or Indian.

Q. If money was no object, where would your next dream vacation be?

World tour for sure. I would take a year and travel all over, then end my travels in Fuji for some sleeping, swimming, and delicious food in one of those huts on the water.

Q. What’s your favorite neighborhood in Portland and why?

Hmm. I rather like Sellwood. It is quiet and near the river.

Q. What’s in your Netflix queue right now?

Madame Secretary. Great show if you get a chance.

Q. If you weren’t a healthcare practitioner, what would your next career choice be?

I would probably go back to theater. I miss being part of that big creative process. Or writing.

Q. Out of the five Phase Elements of Chinese Medicine (earth, air, fire, water, metal), which one do you identify with the most?

Water. I am mutable and changeable and I often underestimate my power.

Q. lt’s your day off and you have no responsibilities. How are you spending your leisure day?

Reading, painting, or knitting. If I could do any or all of these things while either on the beach, or in a nice hotel overlooking the ocean on a cloudy, but not rainy or super windy day, (paint and sand do not go well together all the time), that would be ideal.

Q. Your top five favorite movies?

The Princess Bride, The Last Unicorn, Last Holiday, The Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings

Q. What’s your favorite season of the year?

Spring. I love the new flowers and the mild weather.

Q. Tea or coffee? Favorite teamakers or roasters?

Yes please. 🙂 I do tend toward tea though. Townsends has a lovely Vanilla black tea that I love.

Q. Read a book or listen to a podcast?

Can I choose listen to a book? 😉

Q. What was your “aha!” moment that made you realize you wanted to be a healthcare professional?

Strange story. I had been doing theater and film, then I ended up in an office job that I didn’t really want to be in. I was in my office, considering my next steps, when “massage” popped into my head. I had never had a professional massage in my life and knew nothing about it. I ignored the idea until 2 weeks later, the same thing happened. I logged on, looked up massage schools, and within a month I was in massage school. I shifted to being an ND because I found that I was being asked a lot of things that I could not answer, but wanted to answer. I also love learning, and this is definitely a way to do that!

Q. Three words that describe your personality?

Talkative/gregarious, caring, creative

Q. What’s in your music queue right now?

I have been listening to a lot of podcasts lately, less music. I generally have Indigo Girls, Melissa Ferrick, Mary Lambert, and kd lang in my queue though.

Q. What was your favorite part of medical school/trade school?

Tests!! Just kidding. I liked learning new things and then questioning a lot of those things. I also liked the chance to expand my horizons and think critically about what I was learning. I really really liked our IV class, I even was a teacher’s assistant for that.

Q. Where do you hope your practice lands in the next five years? (and/or) What’s your biggest goal and hope with what you do? </h3?

I would like to continue with my clinical practice, but my passion lies in teaching other providers how to work with patients of all sizes in unbiased and effective ways. I would also really like to write a book or two, probably fiction, but not ruling out non-fiction either.

Q. What is a health care modality that fascinates you, that you’d like to learn more about, or that you just greatly admire?

I would like to learn more about cranial-sacral therapy and I think it would be great to get back into IV therapy someday. My biggest interest right now is to learn more counseling skills, because that has become a big part of my interactions with my patients and I’d like to grow the skills I have.

Written by DeAun Nelson

My philosophy is that we are all in this together. If you have compassion and care for yourself, that compassion and care will extend to those around you. Naturopathic medicine is all about treating the whole person. In my mind, this means treating not just individuals, but communities. We all have incredible bodies that do incredible things, even when we are suffering. We live, breath, laugh, and love. You are an important being who deserves respect and judgement-free care.