Dr. Heather Becker-Brungard

Biography

I am island born and raised, spending most of my childhood (and much of my adult life) sailing through and living on many islands of the Pacific. This upbringing has given me a unique view on life, which I carry with me daily. The ocean and island life taught me how to be calm and patient, how to appreciate the simple things in life (such as precious fresh water), how to trust in the unknown, and how to listen to the spaces in between. I have been exposed to many different cultures and ways of living, and know what it is like to live with the realization that life and death are intimately intertwined. I feel that these lessons helped guide me into the field of natural medicine, and also help me relate with what patients are going through as they navigate life changes and health challenges.

I have been fascinated by the body and the concept of health my whole life, and have always been drawn to the field of medicine. I first went into engineering, but after working as an engineer in Honolulu for a handful of years, I realized that my passion was for helping people find lasting health. I relocated to Oregon to attend the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM), and graduated with honors in 2017 with a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and a Doctor of Science in Oriental Medicine. In the process of getting these two degrees, I also studied massage therapy and gentle bodywork techniques, as well as medical qigong.

After graduation, I completed a rigorous 2 year residency in a busy, well-known clinic in Portland, Oregon, where I worked with a naturopath and acupuncturist with over 30 years of experience, and saw close to 5,000 patients in many different specialties of medicine. I spent much of my time supporting cancer patients and their loved ones, as well as treating chronic pain, anxiety and depression, gastrointestinal issues, women’s health, autoimmune diseases, and neurological conditions. I shadowed and worked with doctors in several hospitals/clinics in the Portland area in the fields of oncology, hospice, internal medicine, gastroenterology/ hepatology, addiction medicine, primary care, and pediatrics. I also have experience with worker’s compensation and personal injury cases.

I enjoy working with people of all cultural backgrounds and all age groups. I use food as medicine, lifestyle counseling and health education, acupuncture, gentle styles of bodywork, nutraceuticals, and Western and Chinese herbs to build and maintain the foundations of health. I incorporate western medicine, including labs, imaging, pharmaceuticals, and referrals as warranted. I love studying new things, and am usually reading multiple books at the same time and taking continuing education classes.

I moved back home to Hawaii in the beginning of 2020 to be close to my family, to the Ocean, and to the wonderful peoples and cultures of Hawaii. My interests include connecting to the rhythms of nature via qigong, hiking, photography, local foods, and anything having to do with being in or on the water. I have sailed across the Pacific Ocean twice in a 40 foot sailboat, and have spent many months in secluded areas of Southeast Alaska photographing wildlife and learning from nature.

I look forward to joining you on your journey!

Education

Year Degree Institute
2017 ND, DSOM National University of Natural Medicine
2010 Prerequisite courses Hawaii Pacific University
2006 Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering University of California Santa Barbara