My practice is called My ND Integrative Health. In my practice, I care for people who would like to prevent cancer, those with a cancer diagnosis, and those looking to establish a holistic survivorship plan. I specialize in hematologic malignancies but also see those with solid tumors. I also work with people without a cancer diagnosis, which is wonderfully refreshing. Lately, I’ve been seeing lots of people looking for naturopathic preventative medicine, people with autoimmune disease, and those with chronic pain. I practice in the historic Bok Building in South Philadelphia
Marie Winters is a 2006 graduate of Bastyr University. She was the first naturopathic doctor to establish a free-standing practice in Philadelphia and has experience working in both private practice and hospital-based settings. In addition to serving patients in her private practice, Dr. Winters is committed to the growth and development of the field of naturopathic medicine. As such she serves as Adjunct Faculty at Bridgeport University College of Naturopathic Medicine where she supervises Integrative Oncology shifts in their teaching clinic, and as the President of the Pennsylvania Association of Naturopathic Physicians. She was instrumental in the successful legislative effort to regulate naturopathic medicine in Pennsylvania. Dr. Winters has presented naturopathic and integrative oncology research at national conferences including the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians annual conference, the Society for Integrative Oncology’s annual conference, and the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians’ annual conference.
How did you get into Naturopathic Oncology?
Back when I was a student at Bastyr I fell in love with a pair of boots, but I was a poor ND student and couldn’t afford these boots. They were amazing – Fleuvogs, for those who might be interested. I think they were purple and red. I happened to see a notice for a Wise Woman Herbals Scholarship that would award the exact same amount of money as the boots to one ND student who wrote a comprehensive review of a botanical medicine and an under-utilized application. I wrote a review of Withania somnifera and its potential application in the field of integrative oncology. This review did three things: 1) It furthered my love for this botanical, which was already pretty deep. 2) It won me a scholarship (but alas the boots were sold out when I received the check). 3) It introduced me to a field of naturopathic medicine that I never would have otherwise considered.
What do you do on your downtime and/or what do you do for fun?
I’m the mom of a pretty serious dancer, so I spend a lot of time at the studios of the Pennsylvania Ballet and backstage at the Academy of Music – the oldest opera house in the country. I have an undergraduate degree in English literature, and I love reading and writing contemporary fiction. I love exploring Philadelphia – its neighborhoods, its restaurants, its art museums. I also love to travel, although I don’t get to do it as much as I’d like.
What is your “broken record” statement to your patients?
Over the years I’ve started telling almost each and every one of my patients to breathe. People diagnosed with cancer tend to be anxious – for good reason. Anxious people tend to breathe in a shallow fashion, not into their diaphragm. I take the time to explain to people the benefits of diaphragmatic breathing – how it will strengthen their parasympathetic nervous system and what that means for them: how this will help them to feel calmer, how it will help them digest their food, how it will help them to sleep better, how they’ll be better able to manage stress, and how it has the potential to make very deep epigenetic changes to the health of their DNA and even influence the way their DNA is read. Each and every one of my cancer patients receive a recommendation for at least 10 minutes a day of quiet diaphragmatic breathing, and those that follow the recommendations report immense benefit.