Northwest Wellness's Blog

Useful information for a healthy lifestyle.

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Happy Mother's Day

Mothers are our multi-tasking heroes. They are the ones who have many different roles to fill and make the balancing act look so easy. They hoist us up when we are at our lowest and praise our accomplishments.They are our number one fans before anyone even knew us. They are always there when you need them the most and are there for life.

While I personally am not a mother of human children, I am a daughter, and a Cat-Mom to two cats. So, in a way, this makes my Mother a Cat-Grandma and if you ask her she will always say how proud she is of my sister and I. I think we can all agree that being a mother does have its own rewards but definitely has moments of stress and panic. Mother’s Day is a chance for us offspring to recognize our Mother’s and tell them how much we appreciate them.

Every year I send my Mom a thoughtful card (sometimes it’s humorous) and flowers to let her know that I am thinking of her always. Later this month when she is in town, my sister and I are going to take her out for pedicures and dinner.

The main theme of Mother’s Day gifts or treats has always been something that makes her happy and what better way to make Mom happy then treating her with a massage! Massage will help her relax, unwind, relieve stress, and feel more rejuvenated

Treat your Mother to a relaxing massage with one of our in-house gift certificates! Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!  

Fun fact about Mother’s Day:

Mother’s Day is a special holiday that is observed by over 40 countries and roughly 95 countries (including the United States) observe Mother’s Day on the 2nd Sunday in May. Fun fact, in 1908 Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton West Virginia. St. Andrew’s now holds the International Mother’s Day shrine.

PNW Hiking Recommendations

PNW Hiking Recommendations

As an outdoor enthusiast, I appreciate all the amazing hiking and backpacking areas we have here in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve hiked and camped on many of the trails in Washington, but the possibilities are endless and there’s always more to explore. Here are some of my favorite hikes in the area, starting with my favorite, Colchuck Lake!

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Dr. McCarter's Spotlight on: Mental Health


Each month of the year observes certain health conditions. May is National Mental Health Month. There is increasing conversation surrounding mental health, which has served to increase awareness and remove the stigma that is associated with mental illness. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), 1 in 6 adults in the United States lives with a mental illness. Mental illness is generally divided into to broad categories: Any Mental Illness and Serious Mental Illness. Any Mental Illness refers to mental, behavioral or emotional disorders with a range from no symptoms/impairment to severe symptoms/impairment. Serious Mental Illness refers to mental, behavioral or emotional disorders with serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. Each of these broad categories can be further broken down into numerous conditions.

Given these definitions, it is likely that mental illness strikes close to home for many of us since 1 in 5 adults in the US experience some kind of mental illness in a given year. This can be relatively mild such as a bout of temporary depression or much more severe. In many instances mental illness is diagnosed fairly late as there can be decades between when symptoms first appear and when individuals/families seek help for themselves or a family member. Delays in diagnosis and treatment can have devastating effects on the life of the individual, their family and broader community. In fact, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) categorizes depression as a public health issue. For many, the delay in diagnosis and treatment can be due to the stigma associated with mental illness. This stigma has been internalized by many, particularly American culture where our society encourages attitudes and behaviors such as "be strong", "push through" or "don't be weak".

There is nothing weak about seeking help. You do not have to be strong or push through and suffer in silence. There are many resources that are available. Your first step may be talking to your primary care provider, who will be able to direct you to where you can receive appropriate care for you or your loved one. If you are in need of this kind of support, I am more than happy to provide it for you at Northwest Wellness and welcome the opportunity to do so. As a Naturopathic doctor, one of our guiding principles is to Treat the Whole Person. This means that I take into consideration the psychosocial and emotional factors that contribution to health and well-being and understand the impact that these factors can have on physical health. Additionally, I can be a member of your healthcare team to ensure that you get the services you need by those best suited to address your concerns.

Please check out the video below as well as the links in the resources section. Become a part of the movement to end the stigma of mental illness.



  1. Any Mental Illness (AMI) Among Adults. (n.d.).  from accessed May 3, 2018

  2. Serious Mental Illness (SMI) Among Adults. (n.d.). from accessed May 3, 2018

  3. Bring Change to Mind:

  4. National Alliance on Mental Illness:

  5. Centers for Disease Control:




Rotator Cuff & Shoulder Impingement

Rotator Cuff & Shoulder Impingement

The rotator cuff refers to four specific muscles of the shoulder; the supraspinatus, the infraspinatus, the teres minor, and the subscapularis. The rotator cuff surrounds the shoulder joint and is meant to provide stability to the joint during dynamic movement. Learn why these muscles are important for you to be exercising.

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Stretches for low back and hip tightness

Stretches for low back and hip tightness

There are plenty of reasons for low back and hip discomfort. Different diagnoses, muscle, disc or nerve involvements and pathologies require specific movements and modifications. Rather than getting into those details or specifics, I’m going to touch on general stretches for the lower extremity, hips and lumbar spine. These are basics that each and every one of us should be doing to maintain good range of motion, tissue flexibility, improve trunk posture and find relief from tension and tightness.

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Dr. McCarter's Spotlight on: Spring Renewal


Springtime is upon us! It may not look or feel like it when you walk out of your door, but it is here and there is a bit of a buzz in the air. There is an expectation and an acceptance of renewal and newness that accompanies this season. We have no choice but to feel it as it surrounds up in the budding of trees and flowers. Tomorrow, will conclude the Spring into Health Event at Northwest Wellness and it has been wonderful to see so many people taking advantage of the energy of this season and either starting fresh or starting again on their journey toward optimal health. 

Spring (as a verb) describes action. There are a number of meanings depending on its use but a few of the definitions that catch my attention are:  to move or jump suddenly or rapidly upward or forward; to originate or arise from, however, my favorite definition is to move quickly and suddenly toward a particular place or to a new condition. We are in the midst of a season dedicated to being in a different place. This can be physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. I believe that it is never too late to begin, whatever that new beginning may be. As a Naturopathic physician, I believe this to be true about your health in particular. It is never too late to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Even if it means just improving your quality of life. 

I often remind my patients of the amount of control that they actually have over their health. Outside of genetic factors, and these days, even with certain genetic predispositions, we have the power to effect great change in our health and lives. I think that embarking on the journey toward better health starts with investigation and requires commitment and consistency. One of the guiding principles of Naturopathic medicine is to treat the root cause. I complete a thorough investigation of an individuals health concerns addressing not only the physical aspect of the symptoms experienced but the psychological and emotional as well. In this way, both myself and my patients understand the connection between the mind and body and together, we develop a multi-pronged approach to their health concerns. 

I encourage you to take advantage of this season of renewal and literally, spring into the next phase of your life with better health-on all levels. There is so much that Naturopathic medicine can offer to you on this journey. Come in to Northwest Wellness so that we can get started!