Dr. Liz Carter, ND, LAc

Naturopathic Medicine, Acupuncture, Craniosacral Therapy

Hi I’m Dr. Liz

I love helping people transform their relationship with health from frustrated, confused, and overwhelmed to empowered, engaged, and excited.

I strongly believe that our bodies are intelligent and are always trying to help us heal through the symptoms they create.

Learning to interpret those symptoms and navigate the unpredictable path of healing on your own can be tricky, and that’s where I’m happy to help.

Guiding you through the process of learning to trust and listen to your body is some of my very favorite work. 

My goals for our treatments are to…

  • Help you reconnect with your body
  • Find and address the root cause of your issues 
  • Increase your confidence in your own inner ability to heal
  • Create a safe, trusting environment where you can show up as your whole self

…so you can start thriving in your life again!

No single approach is right for everyone, so I blend a number of therapies together based on your needs, like naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, visceral manipulation, counseling, homeopathy, and botanical medicine. Read more about what to expect in your visit here.

I believe that people should have access to reasonably priced healthcare, so I offer a sliding scale, which you can read more about here.

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My specialities:

I like to work with those who are committed to improving their health in the long term, not looking for a quick fix.

I have a special interest in gut health and typically recommend dietary evaluations for all of my patients to help them find the foods that best support and nourish them. I am sensitive to disordered eating issues like bingeing, restricting, bulimia, body dysmorphia, and more as I struggled with several of these concerns for over a decade. 

I also love to work with mental and emotional concerns like trauma, PTSD, anxiety, life transitions, obsessions, difficulty processing emotions and stress.

My favorite conditions to treat are:

  • Energy + fatigue issues
  • Trauma, emotional stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Allergies, chronic sinusitis, asthma, eczema, and psoriasis
  • Autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto’s, RA, lupus, and more
  • Chronic pain issues like fibromyalgia, arthritis, and chronic injuries
  • Hormonal issues including PMS, menopause, irregular cycles, endometriosis, PCOS, and infertility
  • Digestive issues including acid reflux, hiatal hernia, gas and bloating, inflammatory and irritable bowel conditions, food reactivity issues
  • Headaches + migraines
  • Sleep problems
  • Thyroid issues

Fun things about me

I was born and raised along the mighty Mississippi River in Iowa and though I love the Pacific Northwest dearly, I still miss thunderstorms. 

I will laugh uncontrollably 10 out of 10 times when my husband says “don’t smile” when I ask him to take a photo.

I never get tired of talking about personality types, my favorite systems being the 5 elements of Chinese medicine (which we might chat about during our visit!) and western astrology.

My guilty pleasures are reality TV baking and relationship shows and 90s Star Trek.

In my spare time I enjoy writing, knitting, sewing, photography, hiking, and dabbling in rock climbing.

Educational Background

My undergraduate education included pre-med studies and majors in psychology and women’s studies from Washington University in St. Louis. From there I made the trek across the great midwest to Seattle where I earned my doctorate in naturopathic medicine and a master’s in acupuncture at Bastyr University in 2011.

I studied craniosacral therapy with Dr. Faith Christensen and Dr. Masa Takakura, visceral manipulation with Dr. Ron Marrotti, and 5 Element Acupuncture with Jim Dowling and Lonny Jarrett.

My Story

I had the best family doctor growing up. 

He was always running late, but once he stepped into the room he was thorough, kind, unrushed, and loved connecting with his patients. 

From a young age I felt that I wanted to follow in his footsteps and planned to attend western medical school.

This dream evaporated during my second year in college when I shadowed physicians as part of my pre-med curriculum.

One doctor would spend 5 minutes in the room with a patient, tell them to eat healthy, and then get McDonald’s for lunch for himself. 

I shadowed others who:

  • Were so burned out they couldn’t muster sympathy for patients
  • Had no time to understand the full picture of people’s health issues due to insurance time constraints and patient load (and frankly some didn’t want to) 
  • Prescribed to deal with symptoms rather than investigating why those symptoms were occurring

During the same few months, I experienced an incredibly dehumanizing visit to the dermatologist that involved stripping down in front of two male residents barely older than I was while I had two active eating disorders and body dysmorphia. 

Adding to that humiliation, I literally had to fight to keep the attending physician in the room for more than 3 minutes to answer my questions. 

 

My brain wrestled with the meaning of healthcare as I had understood it versus what I was currently observing and experiencing. 

 

I realized that my family physician as a child was the outlier rather than the norm.

There was so much hypocrisy and so many systemic limitations that being a doctor didn’t feel like it would ever satisfy my dream of truly helping people the way I had envisioned.

 

I learned that there was a difference between being a doctor and being a healer. I wanted to be a healer.

 

Growing up I wasn’t exposed to alternative medicine and really had no idea what was even possible outside of the western medical system. 

Eventually, I stumbled onto a book that mentioned Chinese medicine and naturopathic medicine and their philosophies deeply resonated with me.

Chinese medicine and naturopathic medicine:

  • View the body as an integrated whole 
  • Treat the root cause rather than chasing or suppressing symptoms
  • Believe that the body is capable of healing itself
  • Value teaching as a part of the healing process

 

I applied to Bastyr University in Seattle and spent the next five years studying naturopathic medicine and acupuncture.

 

During this time I learned that you’re not ready to heal others if you’re not ready to heal yourself.

 

Remember those eating disorders I mentioned? Yeah, they were still there. 

I was using sheer willpower to deny they were a problem but my hypocrisy became clearer the longer I left them unaddressed.

When I started seeing patients in the student clinic, I asked people to treat themselves with compassion and to be patient with their process. 

But I had never cared for myself in a loving way in my life so my suggestions felt empty and inauthentic.

This superficial pursuit of my dream made me start to question my integrity.

Deep down, I knew that I could only help people as much as I was able to help myself.

 

You can’t heal a part of yourself without understanding your whole self.

 

That understanding has to be earned through our own deep, messy, vulnerable work of confronting our shadows, our demons, our grief, and any dark, sticky places we find within ourselves.

So I started weekly counseling with a naturopathic doctor. I exposed my bruised and broken self fully to her which was utterly terrifying. 

She held my vulnerability with compassion and without judgment. 

She gently challenged my core beliefs of worthlessness and never feeling good enough. She encouraged me to look at the parts of myself I was spending a ton of energy denying.

After working with her I felt:

  • Engaged with my body; I could listen to it and respect it rather than fight its signals
  • More accepting of myself; my perceived flaws became areas to work with rather than failures
  • Empowered to finally step onto my own path in life and shed old layers that were no longer relevant to the person I was evolving into
  • Clear on the value and sacredness of the patient-practitioner relationship and the level of trust and integrity necessary to create a healing space

 

When I graduated from Bastyr University in 2011 with degrees in naturopathic medicine and acupuncture, I was determined to offer the transformational healing I had experienced with my naturopath to all of my patients.

  • Ready to feel better naturally? We’ll get to the root of your recent or chronic condition and get you back to living your life:

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  • I have been seeing Liz for almost 8 years, she has been such a huge part of my healing process. Her knowledge and understanding of the body and the way it functions matched up with her intuition really has gotten me to a place in life where I can function and not be in pain all the time. I cannot even express how much I appreciate this woman and her healing abilities. If you feel lost and are ready to heal, this is your lady.

    - Nicole L., Seattle, WA

    “Every patient carries her or his own doctor inside.”
    ~Albert Schweitzer