I'm Dr. Karen Cureton, a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and Acupuncturist located in Portland, Oregon.
My path to a career in Naturopathic, Functional, and Chinese medicine began over a decade ago. I was in college and doing quite well during my first year as a double science major, working in a lab, with a part-time job, and active in sports. It was sometime during my second year of college that my health started to slip away from me.
I became exhausted, barely able to get through the day. I lost most of my muscle mass in a matter of months without any change to my diet or exercise routines. I developed hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, mood swings, hair loss, and horrendous brain fog, but that was just the beginning of my problems — My list of symptoms was literally a page long.
I went to three conventional medical doctors who spent less than 15 minutes each with me. They read my list of symptoms, ordered screening lab work, and called it a day. When my screening lab work revealed minimal abnormalities, they simply told me that it was probably just psychosomatic (read: all in my head!) and might be helped by talking to a counselor.
I began trying to self-treat — I dramatically cleaned up my diet, did yoga, and meditated. These changes seemed to help a little bit, but not enough to feel even remotely well. By my senior year of college, I felt like a 65 year old in a 21 year old’s body. I had let go of my social life, sports, and nearly everything I enjoyed. I felt desperate to get well, but by this time, I was not optimistic that it would ever happen. I continued to pursue a career in biomedical research, but started to question if I would be able to get through a higher education program because of my health.
I was at the end of my rope.
Around the time that I was going to PhD program interviews, a friend of mine introduced me to a naturopath and acupuncturist practicing in town, and told me that I should give her a try. My first visit with her was an hour and a half long. She read my entire list of symptoms, the story of how it all came about, and asked me a ton of other questions that no other practitioner had asked me before. At the end, she reached across the table, held my hand, and said “Karen, I know it’s been a hard road getting here, but I have some ideas of what may be going on with you, and I believe I can help you. Regardless of whether I have all the answers to why you’re ill right now, we will work together to figure it out, and you will get well.” In that moment, I sobbed with relief, because that is the first hope I received. That is the moment my healing journey began.
As I healed with her care and guidance, I realized that her unconventional diagnostic tools and treatment approaches were rare, and so incredibly needed by both me and many others. I realized that if I fell through the cracks of the conventional medical system, so were millions of other people. It was in that transformative healing process that I realized it was my calling to be a part of the change to the medical paradigm.
Due to my own experience with the complexity of factors contributing to my own illness, I became passionate about helping others who are lost in the confusion of a complex condition; those who have seen many other doctors and not found any help; those who feel they are at the end of their rope. Together, we’ll peel back the layers, and walk your path to wellness.
Education and Training:
Undergraduate: University of Georgia- double major in microbiology and cellular biology
Medical: National University of Natural Medicine (formerly National College of Natural Medicine)
Clinical Mentorship in Women’s Health with Dr. Tammy Ashney and Dr. Lisa Taulbee
Clinical Mentorship in Cardiopulmonary medicine and Endocrinology with Dr. Martin Milner
Clinical Mentorship in Chronic Illness and Biotherapeutic Drainage with Dr. Amy Bader
Clinical Mentorship in Japanese Meridian Therapy with Bob Quinn and Daniel Silver
Clinical Mentorship in Five Element Acupuncture with Dr. David Berkshire
Three year mentorship in energetic body work
Post-graduate study of chronic infection (including Lyme Disease & Co-Infections through ILADS, the Klinghardt Institute, TFIM, Horowitz and others) testing and treatment, mold toxicity, heavy metal & chemical toxicity, neurotransmitter testing and treatment, advanced cardiometabolic testing and treatment, micronutrient testing and replenishment, hormone balancing with herbs, nutrients, and bioidentical hormone therapy, functional approach to thyroid disease management including T3 therapy and Wilson’s Protocol, Low Dose Immunotherapy/Low Dose Allergen therapy, Ozone Therapy, Perineural Injection Therapy, Prolozone, Neuraltherapy, Biopuncture, and Autonomic Response Testing.
Acute & Chronic Pain
Chronic Viral, Parasitic, Bacterial infections including Lyme Disease
Environmental toxicity including Mold, Glyphosate, and Heavy Metal toxicity