--- Who is Dr Ben? ---
I am not one to speak in third person so I am going to simply say it straight:
I hold a bachelor of science in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Washington and a doctorate in naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University, the nation's leading naturopathic medical school. While these degrees demonstrate knowledge, they do not demonstrate who I am and why I decided to become a naturopathic physician.
I was raised on a 100 acre horse ranch in a small town, mucked horse stalls and commuted 50 miles each way to school. Childhood was busy and a lot of work but the natural setting and life lessons learned on the ranch set the foundation of who I am and why I am doing what I am doing.
After high school, I joined the rowing team for the University of Washington Huskies while majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology. Our team consisted of Olympic rowers from all over the world and junior national champions. We worked hard, raced well and also hurt ourselves often. The injuries and intensity from being an elite athlete added to my reasons for becoming a naturopathic physician. If I knew what I know now, I would have been an even better athlete and my teammates would be spared from countless injuries and illnesses.
After my junior year at University of Washington, I felt I had to spread my wings and stretch them widely. After 4 months of preparation, I packed my backpack and set off for a one year backpack trip through South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Why did I do this? When you grow up as a child, you're told what to do. As a student, you are told what to do. As a patient, you are told what to do. As an athlete, you are told what to do. How is one supposed to know who they are if all they do is take orders their entire life? I am very thankful for the advice and discipline received from my parents, professors and coaches, however, none of that truly shapes the underlying psyche of an individual; it is merely knowledge and habits. I felt if I packed up and went solo throughout these countries, I would experience life and figure out who I was and what I should really do with my life.
I experienced life on this trip. No question. I was hired as one of 7 cowboys on a 3 million acre ranch called Austral Downs located in the heart of Outback Australia; I hiked all throughout the forests, mountains and coasts of Tasmania for a month; volunteered with Mother Theresa, her Sisters and other volunteers at the Prem Dan in Calcutta, India; was bit by a poisonous spider in New Zealand and had a serious leg infection from it; experienced a 'white squall' while I was a crew member on a 70' schooner sailing yacht, the Sensation, during the Darwin-Ambon Yacht Race; lived on a remote island with a very happy, yet "poor" Fijian family located in the Somo Somo Islands of Fiji and experienced life without electricity, plumbing or any modern convienances; experienced the beauty of the massive Himalayan mountains of Northern India; experienced a serious illness in Jaipur, India and from this, discovered by accident the effectiveness of Ayurvedic medicine; lost my vision momentarily and collapsed on a sidewalk in Calcutta, India; bungee jumped from a 300 foot suspension bridge in Queensland, New Zealand; worked on a fruit orchard in New Zealand and was sprayed fully with herbicides by a passing tractor; made it back to America with 80 cents in my pocket in three different currencies. I left on this trip short haired, fit, strong, healthy and weighing 213 pounds. I arrived back to America sick, long haired, treating a bout of scabies that I picked up in Calcutta and weighing in at 165 pounds.
The key points here are the facts that I learned on my own about life and what it can bring you. I learned more on this one year adventure then I would learn in a lifetime of schooling. I learned that those who live simply, live happily. What impressed me the most; however, was a different form of medicine that I never experienced - nor would I have experienced in mainstream education.
Here I was taking pre-med classes at University of Washington and some 'doctor' in India gave me a bunch of plant material and told me to make a tea from it. I argued with him but there was no point in that as he didn't speak English and I didn't speak Urdu. The point is I got better within the hour - significantly better - and I had to find out more about this form of medicine.
This led me to Bastyr University which led me to the Mind-Body Connection, Environmental Medicine, Functional Medicine and eventually, Epigenetics.
I've studied with William Rea, MD; talked shop with Doris Rapp, MD; played basketball against Joseph Pizzorno, ND, become a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians; wrote a section in Leon Chaitow's book on Naturopathic Physical Medicine; attended countless medical conferences in United States, Canada and Turkey and I research medical literature constantly.
This led me to creating www.SeekingHealth.com as I saw the huge need for people to obtain foundational nutrients and provide you the information why you need them.
Without foundational nutrients, biochemical dysfunction occurs and causes symptoms. Doctor after doctor and person after person do not understand the absolute requirement for our bodies to have the tools to maintain function. Without water, we die. Without food, we die. Without probiotics, we get digestive disorders. Without a multivitamin, we become depressed, fatigued and sick.
I look forward to working with you on your journey to seeking, obtaining, and maintaining health.
--- Personal Level ---
On a personal level, I am a father of 3 boys, Tasman, Mathew and Theo and happily married to Nadia, who I met while on one of my overseas travels in Russia. I speak Russian fairly well, and enjoy spending some summers in the wild Russian countryside near the Sea of Finland at the family 'dacha' (cabin).
I don't have a cell phone, microwave or wireless phones in our home. I don't use wireless technology for our computers. I and my family live by the naturopathic principles as much as possible. We're a gluten and dairy free home and cook 99% of our own meals. We enjoy a night out at restaurants every so often and an evening at the movies with candy and popcorn for the kids. We live simply, modestly and enjoy the outdoors often. The sauna is one of our favorite family events which we do once a week while in Russia and as often as we can while in the States.
--- Team Seeking Health ---
Based in one of the nation's greenest places to live, Bellingham, Washington, Seeking Health is operated and managed by a dedicated and like-minded team of individuals.
Our dedication and commitment to excellence is evident by our team's ability to maintain operations without directors or managers. We believe in a horizontal building of a business rather than a vertical hierarchy. Thank you to Paul Hawken for enlightening us with effective business management.
Jatone' – VP of Sales, Marketing Social Media and Web Developement
Favorite Seeking Health Products:
- NAC – I call it Magic in a bottle! Whenever I feel a bit congested I take NAC to cleanse my lungs and also protect them from other ailments.
- Optimal Multivitamin – After a month of taking Optimal Multi Vitamin I have noticed a significant change in my energy level and I am not as susceptible to catching a cold.
- Magnesium Plus – Magnesium Plus has helped me to control my mood swings and provides me with an overall sense of well being.
Jatone is the Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Social Media of SeekingHealth.com. She also assists with website developement, creating content for our product pages, SEO, and provides I.T Support. With her expertise in delivering quality service and superior problem solving skills, she has consistently provided our clients with the friendly, fast and efficient service that is needed. Jatone manages our wholesale and professional accounts while overseeing our marketing and social media department.
Jatone is a native of New York City and enjoys exploring and plans to visit every corner of the earth at least once. She wholeheartedly believes one will never know the true meaning of life without seeing it through another person’s eyes. Also a singer, you can find Jatone sitting on her front steps singing a soft tune over some rhythmic beat boxing. A driven individual, she describes her personality similar to the city of New York – a colorful, eclectic mix of passionate souls.
Jennifer – Accounting
Favorite Seeking Health Products:
I enjoy the people I work with, love what I do and truly appreciate being trusted to do what is in the best interest of the company – no micro managing.
Hobbies – Volleyball, dancing, working in my yard.