A Naturopathic Clinic

Bellingham Natural Family Medicine is a multidisciplinary natural health clinic offering naturopathic and nurse practitioner care for all chronic and acute conditions. Services include primary care for the whole family, clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, exercise therapy, counseling, hydrotherapy and childhood immunizations. Our providers include Whitney Knickrehm, ND, Gabriel Durben, ND, Ashley Sullivan, ND and Becky Schayes, MN, CNM, ARNP.

The Naturopathic Physician

Naturopathic physicians are the only primary care physicians clinically trained in the use of a wide variety of natural therapeutics.  Naturopathic physicians are educated in conventional medical sciences and required to fulfill clinical training prior to licensing. Naturopathic medicine concentrates on whole-patient wellness. The medicine is tailored to the patient and emphasizes prevention and self care. Naturopathic medicine attempts to find the underlying cause of the patient’s condition rather than focus solely on symptomatic treatment. It is effective in treating both acute and chronic conditions. Naturopathic physicians cooperate with all other branches of medical science referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.

In practice, naturopathic physicians perform physical examinations, laboratory testing, gynecological exams, nutritional and dietary assessments, metabolic analysis, allergy testing, X-ray examinations and other diagnostic tests. Comprehensive, detailed histories are taken with every patient to help seek the cause of underlying health problems and move toward greater wellness.

Whitney Knickrehm, ND

Dr. Whitney Knickrehm, Naturopathic PhysicianDr. Knickrehm has been in private practice providing naturopathic family medicine in Bellingham since 2001. Her special areas of interest include the treatment of chronic and infectious diseases, women’s health care and pediatrics. Her practice focuses on strengthening overall health through nutritional therapy, botanical medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy and lifestyle counseling.

Dr. Knickrehm is the founder and clinic director of Bellingham Natural Family Medicine. She obtained her Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington, in 2001. She is a member of the Washington Association of Naturopathic Physicians and the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Locally, she is involved in organizations that work to promote integrated medicine and sustainable living economies.

Prior to entering the field of medicine, Dr. Knickrehm practiced massage therapy and led extended wilderness courses for Outward Bound. The mother of three sons, Dr. Knickrehm and her husband enjoy taking their family bike touring, traveling, skiing, hiking slot canyons in Utah, exploring art galleries and relaxing together around a healthy, home-cooked meal with family and friends.

Gabriel Durben, ND

Dr. Gabriel Durben, NDDr. Durben is a naturopathic doctor at Bellingham Natural Family Medicine where he provides care for patients from pediatrics through geriatrics. He earned his Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon and then continued at the same institution for 2 years as a resident physician in the general medicine residency and later joined the faculty at NCNM – teaching courses in minor surgery and psychology. His clinical experience has included community medicine and integrative health-care settings.

Dr. Durben’s clinical interests are broad – he loves the practice of family medicine and the profound impact that naturopathic medicine can have on an individual’s and a community’s experience of health. More specifically, his practice has focused on treatment of chronic disease, treatment of pain, pediatrics, and dermatology. Dr. Durben utilizes a variety of treatment approaches to help his patients move toward greater wellness including herbal, nutritional, homeopathic and conventional medications, dietary counseling, physical medicine, therapeutic exercises and minor surgery procedures.

When not working Dr. Durben can be found engaged in hybrid-sporting events (with ever evolving rules) created by his young children or acting as a living-room musician to any willing listeners in the Durben household. He also thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to spend time with his wife, ride his bicycle, read a good book, and practice yoga.

Ashley Sullivan, ND

Ashley Sullivan, NDDr. Ashley Sullivan is a naturopathic doctor who enjoys working with a wide range of patients to provide general family practice services. Via a balanced palette of modalities, Dr. Sullivan has a history of meeting patients where they are and helping them navigate through their health concerns whether it is a chronic illness or the common cold.

Dr. Sullivan received her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) in Portland, Oregon. She has completed additional training in advanced gynecology/women’s health and cardiology. Previously, she practiced at an integrative mental health care clinic in Portland where she worked closely with a team of naturopathic physicians, psychiatric nurse practitioners, counselors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, and other health care providers to create unique and well-rounded treatment plans for patients. She is also a certified provider of Holistic Pelvic Care™, a package of physical and energetic tools used to help realign the pelvic floor musculature to promote healing in the pelvic region.

A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Sullivan heads outside every chance she can with her daughter, husband, puppy, and friends. When she’s not running through Boulevard Park, biking Galbraith, or snowboarding Baker, Dr. Sullivan can often be found in her yard with garden tools in hand. As a self-proclaimed super-nerd, Dr. Sullivan can often be found buried deep within medical journals or curled up with a good novel and cup of tea.

Becky Schayes, MN, CNM, ARNP

Becky Schayes is a Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) offering women’s health care services in Bellingham since 2014. She believes deeply in each woman’s right to access kind, respectful, and high-quality health care. Her current practice offers a wide variety of services that address health issues throughout a woman’s lifetime, starting from adolescence and extending all the way through menopause. Specific areas of specialty include gentle and trauma informed speculum exams, gyn care for transgender individuals, contraception, fertility support, postpartum adjustment, and women’s mental health.

Becky earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lewis & Clark College in 2003 and returned to school at the University of Washington School of Nursing in 2008, where she earned a Bachelor of Nursing in 2009 and a Master of Nursing in Nurse-Midwifery in 2013. While her private practice has taken many forms over the last 6 years, she is delighted to have joined the team at Bellingham Natural Family Medicine.

She is active in the community as a co-founder of the Whatcom Perinatal Mental Health Task Force, a board member of Unity Care NW, and recently offered her first Trauma Informed speculum exam training to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners. She has two school aged children and may be seen riding her bike through all kinds of weather!