Up & Up is my vision of how health ought to be cared for. I’m Dr. Michael Stanclift, a naturopathic doctor from California. This is my story of how I came to this unique profession and ended up in Scotland.
I grew up in a tight-knit mountain community in sunny Southern California, where my friends and I spent a lot of time exploring the outdoors. We learned to identify plants and animals that would harm us, like nettles, poison oak, ant hills, and rattlesnakes. I suppose those were my first lessons in preventative care.
In high school I found I had a knack for physics, and this led me to seek out more science classes when I went on in my education.
At San Diego State University I found my talents for understanding biology and psychology. I enrolled in SDSU’s rigorous pre-medical program, and earned my bachelor’s of science degree as the school was named America’s number one small research university. Certain I would have a career in medicine, I started to look for medical schools that would also foster my interests in meditation, yoga, plant medicines, and nutrition. I found few medical schools addressed these subjects, until I stumbled upon a small school in Seattle, Washington called Bastyr University. The Princeton Review named Bastyr University one of the top medical schools in the United States, and the more I looked into Bastyr, the more it fit into my vision of the doctor I would become.
My friends in sun-kissed San Diego thought I was crazy to leave the sunshine for the rainy weather of Seattle, but the place soon became home. Bastyr University’s campus was situated in the middle of a beautiful woods, and between classes I would find myself (both literally and figuratively) there, with the same wonder I had as a boy. By my third year of medical school, I had learned how to balance the tremendous work load with the rest of my life. Instead of resulting in compromise, I found the balance strengthened my understanding and passion for medicine, and life outside my studies.
My interests in neuroscience, and psychology led me to dig deeply into the science behind mind-body medicine. At the Bastyr Center for Natural Health, and affiliated community clinics where I underwent my clinical rotations, I found myself working with patients with a variety of diseases. I discovered unmanaged stress to be a common thread amongst many, and focused my practice on addressing conditions related to stress, lifestyle, and nutrition.
I take the philosophy of naturopathic medicine to heart in my practice. I listen intently to my patients, and ask them questions that reach beyond their physical symptoms. I strive to educate, as well as learn from my patients. I address them as individuals, treating them as a whole person, not a disease. I believe no matter your degree of health, a visit to the doctor ought to be an opportunity to learn valuable lessons.
I came to Edinburgh in 2011 to live with my wife, Nicole, while she studies veterinary medicine. Edinburgh, and the wonderful people of Scotland, have been truly inspirational. I spent much of my time writing while searching for a suitable place to practice.
I am pleased to to say I have found that place with Sue and Paul at The Natural Health Clinic. We’re excited to deliver quality care together. I am currently accepting new patients and look forward to hearing your story…
Michael Stanclift, N.D.