Exclusive Interview: Ellen Goldsmith on Naturopathy & Acupuncture

Co-founder of Pearl Natural Health, author and licensed acupuncturist, Ellen Goldsmith was interviewed by Paubox CEO Hoala Greevy. Pearl Natural Health is a Naturopathic, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Clinic in downtown Portland, Oregon

Here, is the brief of the whole interview, take a look.

Can you tell us more about your clinic?

Ellen: Pearl Natural Health is a Naturopathic, Acupuncture and Chinese medicine clinic serving the public in Portland since 2001. We pride ourselves on collaborative care in which our Naturopathic Physicians and Acupuncturists work together to deliver optimal patient care to people seeking solutions to their health concerns and problems.

What kind of conditions does Pearl Natural Health treat and who is an average patient?

Ellen: Many people come to us as an alternative to conventional care or when conventional care has failed to help them.

We are known for our integrative and programmatic approach to treating complex chronic health conditions including G.I. problems such as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s disease (IBD), as well as hypo and hyperthyroidism, chronic fatigue, hormonal imbalances and pain syndromes.

Do you take insurance?

Ellen: If your health insurance covers Naturopathy and Acupuncture then we are happy to bill insurance as a courtesy. Sometimes insurance will only cover a certain amount or number of treatments. Uncovered services are then billed to the patient, including certain labs, supplements and herbs and procedures.

We encourage the people to ask for medical insurance that covers Naturopathy and Acupuncture and to be aware of their benefits.

HIPAA - Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act

Source: Paubox

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Source: osha gov

Does Pearl Natural Health require HIPAA?

Ellen: Pearl Natural Health has HIPAA policies in place and does OSHA trainings for its staff. We follow the rules and regulations for Medical Clinics to ensure safety and confidentiality for our patients.

What was life like at your clinic before using Paubox encrypted email?

Ellen: Before Paubox we did have not encrypted email. Our patients would e-mail a lot of sensitive questions. Now we are confident that sensitive information is secure when sent to us via email and we can confidently respond.

Image of the Paubox homepage

Source: Paubox

What’s the workflow since after Paubox?

Ellen: We are sure now that all the emails that we receive are encrypted. We are confident that all the emails are safe and confidential. It is a great thing.

Can you tell about your published book?chinese medicine, ellen goldsmith, L.Ac.

Ellen: I wrote Nutritional Healing with Chinese Medicine: +175 Recipes for Optimal Health for everyone who eats and wants to feel healthier. It is the culmination of work in the field of Asian medicine that I have been studying and ptacticing for the past 30 years.

Every culture has traditions of food as medicine embedded in it. The beauty of Chinese medicine is its principles which are based upon the observation of patterns in nature. The principles of Chinese medicine are still alive in millions of homes and kitchens throughout China. The healing and therapeutic principles that apply to herbal medicine are the same ones that apply to food. In my research I found that these principles are found in other traditional cultures such as Iranian, Mexican and many African and indigenous peoples.

“When you change the way you eat you actually can change the way you feel. You improve health conditions.”

I wrote this book to inspire people and help them learn how to attune to and connect to their food so that they can make eating choices that are right for them.

How long did it take you to write the book?

Ellen: The book took one and half years to develop and write. I worked together with Maya Klein, Ph.D. to develop seasonal recipes that were both delicious and therapeutic.

What do you think the future of Acupuncture will be?

Ellen: There are approximately 18,000 licensed acupuncturists in the United States. Acupuncture is now utilized in some hospitals to help patients suffering from chronic pain or receiving treatment for cancer.

Hospitals such as the Cleveland Clinic incorporate Chinese herbal medicine, Sloan Kettering Cancer Center uses acupuncture as part of treatment plans.

There are also over 6o integrative medical programs in the United States. I’m training fellows, conventional medical professionals, through the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine (AIHM) in the theory of Food Energetics according to Chinese medicine.

What podcast or radio show that you listen?

Ellen: I have my own monthly radio show – Healthwatch on Portland, Oregon’s Pacifica radio station KBOO.

When I get some free time, I love to listen to Radio Lab, Ted Radio Hour, Terry Gross on Fresh Air.

How long is your radio show?

Ellen: Healthwatch is a half-hour radio show. I’m live with guests, but folks can also listen to the streams on the website. KBOO- FM radio

How did you get the show?

Ellen: A colleague of mine asked me to join the radio station. He was making a change after 15 years of his service to KBOO. I have always loved radio so when my colleague asked me if I wanted to take over I jumped at the opportunity.

How relevant are you to your patients?

Ellen: My work is to listen to every individual who comes to me for help and look for patterns of disharmony that may contribute to their health problems.

“Listening to people and listening to what their needs are and figuring out how to help them solve their problem keeps what we do relevant.”

Are there any different regulations by the state when you are doing Telemedicine?

Pearl Natural Health offers telemedicine visits. Telemedicine allows doctors to connect with their patients through a HIPPA compliant digital platform. This means we can help anyone from anywhere thus expanding the reach of our medicine.

Ellen: Naturopathic doctors are not licensed in every state so if requests for consults or telemedicine visits come from a part of the country where we can’t offer diagnosis or treatment we can still consult on lifestyle, treatment options and make recommendations or give resources.

Has telemedicine been good for business?

Ellen: Yes, it is great for business because people can connect from anywhere and get the help they are seeking.

SIBO test Kits

The SIBO test kit is a Lactulose Breath test. The kit contains a small balloon like gizmo which you can take home and blow into. Pearl Natural Health offers this test kit to physicians as well as patients who are in different parts of the country. Pearl Natural Health will send the test report back to the requesting Physician.

Affordable Care Act

Ellen: It was a great day for people and for all those who didn’t have health insurance prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Before the ACA many people couldn’t afford to go to the doctor. However, once people had coverage we started seeing really sick people with chronic conditions come in who couldn’t have before due to the fact that they did NOT have coverage.

Ending note of the interview

Ellen is hoping for a world with Universal Health Insurance “so people will not stress about getting the care that they need from any licensed, certified, health professional.” We want everyone to get the care they need.


Throughout the interview we learned a lot about the specializations of the clinic, new events and services that Pearl Natural Health has launched this past year including the publishing of Ellen’s book “Nutritional Healing with Chinese Medicine: + 175 Recipes for Optimal Health published by Robert Rose Books” and the offering of SIBO testing.

If you want to know more about how Naturopathic Medicine and Acupuncture can help you call Pearl Natural Health to make an appointment at 503 230-8973 or to contact us through email at pearl@pearlnaturalhealth.com.

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Ellen Goldsmith

Ellen Goldsmith

Ellen Goldsmith is a licensed and nationally board certified acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist. She has been in the field of Asian medicine for the past 30 years, teaching, speaking and working with thousands of people to give them the resources, skills and tools they seek to improve the quality of their health and lives. Ellen is the author of the well respected book, Nutritional Healing with Chinese Medicine: + 175 Recipes for Optimal Health. She is on faculty at the National University of Natural Medicine’s College of Classical Chinese Medicine in Portland, Oregon.

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