This is by far the most common question that Dr. Kelsey gets asked. Part of her passion for doing this work is to share in other people’s stories. She will use this space to share a few of her chapters with you:
Barbies Are Safer Than Serial Killers:
I think it was clear from the time I was sticking Band-Aids on my Barbies’ dog-chewed arms that I had a passion for healing those who were injured or sick. Though, I perhaps didn’t realize this for an appreciable amount of time. In fact, my goals began in a completely different arena. As a child, I had many grand aspirations to be a famous horse trainer, actress, the first female president…the list went on. But as I entered my teen years and became hooked on the murder mystery novels of Alex Kava and characters like Clarice Starling, I felt an ever growing desire to be a criminal profiler in the FBI. I studied various aspects of the field and investigated schools – I even had an FBI sweatshirt from Virginia. However, about the time I turned 16, the 1st installment of the Saw movie series was released, and viewing this film forever changed my ambitions. People die in that occupation!
Stranded in the Saddle
What’s a girl to do when her fantasies are shattered in instant by exceptionally effective blockbuster thematics? Well, for me, I turned back to my childhood passion and life-long interest – horses. Every little girl wants a pony and I was fortunate enough to have 3 big ones. I’ve been riding since I was 7 years old and had always shared a spiritual bond with these creatures – it seemed like a perfect career choice. So at 17, I set my sights on an all-girls college in Kentucky to obtain a degree in Equine Therapy. As fascinating of a world as this was, especially in the beautiful and breathtaking middle of nowhere, I quickly learned that the business world of the horse industry was not welcoming to the soft-hearted-and-in-it-for-the-love-of-horses type. So once again, I found myself bereft of a foreseeable career path.
Yoga Mat Miracles, Tribal Alliances, and Neuronal Fireworks
I suppose it was likely by some divine intervention that all of this came to pass for it miraculously, and almost magically, led me to this next chapter. As I continued my general college studies, determined not to fall behind in my graduation trajectory, I, by some chance of fate, met a lovely woman in an elective yoga class that I will forever owe a great deal of gratitude towards. For those readers who are familiar with yoga, perhaps you understand me when I say that often times the only acceptable form of conversation in a yoga class is one that pertains to health and wellness. This class was not different. As weeks went by and together we mulled over the conventional medical system and our own personal woes and mishaps, I divulged to her my frustration that there should be the kind of doctor who really took the time to not just listen, but to actually hear you. The kind of doctor that would help you examine your life and identify ways to adjust what wasn’t working. It was at this admission that my fate became sealed. This sweet woman informed me about the holistic health programs offered at our college and I suddenly turned into a voracious being. My research led me to find what became my undergraduate major in Integrative Therapeutic Practices at MSU Denver (then called Metropolitan State College of Denver) and on the first day of the first class I took, I met the doctor I was looking for – a Naturopathic Doctor. I think my synaptic clefts (components of my brain) may have literally exploded in that moment. As I dove deeper into the degree I became increasingly sure that, at last, I had found my tribe. I was ignited by each discovery into a philosophy and practice so sensible and at the heart of earthly existence.
Stepping up to the Plate with Mad Scientists and Hippie Docs
After a year or so my mentor finally gave me the nudge I needed to remember those days many years before with my Barbies. It was time for me to step into the role that I believed my human community so desperately needed – it was time for me to go to medical school. I spent 4 of the best years of my life at Bastyr University, learning how to further let go of my rigid and limited understanding of medicine, and broaden my perspective to the lands of “woo,” where strong scientists and “hippie” doctors could come together in a well-balanced world of symmetry and acceptance. It was there that I learned how to see the spirit inside each cadaver, the medicine in each plant, and the physician within each patient.
Sharing Stories and Walking the Path Together
And now my journey has led me to you. We all have a story but are rarely given the space to voice it – it is my mission to change this. I cannot promise you a magic cure-all, but I can offer you an ally and a friend who will hear you, see you, and be with all that you are along your own path to living healthfully and well-fully. I will honor your struggles and celebrate your achievements and I will challenge you to exceed your own limitations. I know that each person contains within them the ability to heal and to grow, and I will be here to help you find that within yourself.