Meet Dr. Camella Potter, Naturopathic Physician at Northwest Foot & Ankle

ImageWe’d like to introduce you to Dr. Camella (Mia) Potter, one of Northwest Foot & Ankle‘s naturopathic doctors. We recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Potter. Below is our conversation. If you’re in Portland area and would like to schedule a visit with Dr. Potter, please schedule online or contact the clinic!

Dr. Potter, thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Please tell us a bit about yourself. 

I was always interested in health and studied nutrition in my undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, but I do have an area of weakness. My first job ever was at Baskin-Robbins. As much as I love broccoli, kale, other vegetables and good fats, I have a weakness for ice cream. Growing up I wanted to be a professional ice cream taster, critiquing new flavors of ice cream before they were on the market during the day hours and a professional lyrical dancer performing in shows in the evening. I ended up becoming a naturopathic doctor, which is a great fit for who I am, how I view people and desire to serve people.

Check out Dr. Potter’s full professional bio.

How did you become interested in foot care?

There were three main influences: my own personal experience; my husband’s plantar fasciosis and bunion pain that were alleviated by the use of Correct Toes; and interning with Dr. McClanahan during medical school. Being a gymnast and dancer, I was always barefoot and never had any physical ailments until I began wearing running shoes. I was diagnosed with a leg length discrepancy, was given a heel lift and wore Nike Air Shox type shoes when exercising. I started to develop knee and back pain, which have all been alleviated since implementing the Correct Toes and natural foot philosophy. My husband and I both now wear zero-drop shoes and Correct Toes and finished the Warrior Dash in minimalist Lems and Merrel’s on our 9th wedding anniversary this past year with no post-race ailments.

Describe a typical visit with you.

After listening to and learning more about a patient’s particular problem(s), I educate the patient on anatomy, particular exercises and the impact of certain types of shoes on foot alignment. The physical exam includes assessing range of motion, muscle testing and soft tissue work that brings relaxation and ease to patient’s feet. By supporting natural foot alignment, many foot problems are alleviated and prevented.

What results have you seen in your patients using a natural foot health approach?

I have witnessed great results with all different types of patients. I have seen patients who were unable to walk, run or hike because of their pain, return with increased mobility and pain resolution. There have also been patients scheduled for foot surgery that no longer had to undergo surgery because their symptoms were alleviated with our treatment plan. Patients who still have pain post-surgery of a bunion, neuroma or other foot issue have come to the clinic and also experienced improvement in their symptoms. There are a few more complex cases where pain does not improve as desired, but overall, I see patients reach their personal goals of mobility and activity with the implementation of the philosophy.

Which types of people have benefited the most?

The people who have implemented the treatment recommendations on a regular basis are the one’s that have benefitted the most. Age, type of activity and athletic ability do not have as much influence as doing the treatment regimen on a daily basis. The children we see will also benefit the most in the long-term, because if we can support natural foot alignment as they grow, many ailments which take years for us to change will have been prevented in them.

What feedback have you received from your patients about the natural foot health approach? Please feel free to share a patient or personal testimonial, or a patient’s story about recovery from a foot problem.

Some people respond very enthusiastically and some are skeptical about the philosophy, which makes sense when someone has dealt with a condition for some time, or adjusted their lives to accommodate to pain. It is great to see them gain understanding of the approach through the office visit.  When I place patients’ feet in their natural anatomic position, they experience the difference in ankle stability or range of motion of certain joints, and this seems to be their “Aha” moment. I had a patient who enjoyed walking but was not able to walk, because her foot pain was so severe. At her follow-up visit she was pain-free and had changed all of her shoes to zero- drop shoes, because this, along with other treatment recommendations, had solved her problems.

As a naturopathic doctor, you’re trained as a primary care physician and can address a broad range of health concerns. In addition to foot care, what are your other areas of interest and expertise?

Other areas of interest and involvement are serving an underprivileged population as their primary care provider, weight management, and nutrition and recovery support in sports medicine. The later two areas are areas that will eventually come to fruition in the future. Working as a nutritionist prior to becoming a naturopathic doctor, I saw the various dimensions involving weight loss, body image, and lifestyle habits. I hope to educate and empower patients in these various dimensions of weight management so that they can live mentally and physically healthier lives. Being a competitive athlete, my background in nutrition and medical school training as a naturopathic doctor, have sparked a passion to educate athletes and the active population. Gaining an understanding of the physiology of exercise and how to optimize function and recovery through nutrition and other treatments can benefit health and performance.

Thank you, Dr. Potter, for sharing your experience, and for helping keep Portlanders pain-free and active!

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Natural Feet Unite!

Prepared by Sanatan Golden, DPT of Optimal Results Physical Therapy, about his professional partnership with Ray McClanahan, DPM of Northwest Foot & Ankle.

When I moved back to my hometown of Portland in 2010 with my wife and infant daughter, I did so to be closer to family. I did not expect to get any more traction in the medical community with my natural-foot treatment concepts than I did in Seattle, which was basically none. Yet again and again, I heard other practitioners saying: “you’ve got to meet this ‘barefoot-podiatrist-guy’, Dr. Ray McClanahan. You guys are speaking the same language.”

Soon after meeting, we realized that despite coming from two distinct disciplines [podiatry and physical therapy], we had reached many similar conclusions about the foot’s ability to support itself and the problems with most modern footwear. With a blueprint hashed out on the back of beer coasters, Dr. Ray and I decided to try to create Minimalist Mondays, a weekly community-education program designed to share some of these concepts with the public, and help those interested to become happier and healthier runners. 2+ years, 90 clinics, and thousands of miles run and walked barefoot by participants later, and the message continues to grow.

We have filmed the entire 12-week Minimalist Monday series in its entirety, from special guest speaker Michael Sandler in Week 1, to the cross-Portland relay Tabor2Crest in the Week 12 finale.  So even if you can’t make it down to the live sessions in Portland’s waterfront park, you can follow the program at home with weekly episodes released on Northwest Foot & Ankle’s YouTube channel.

Overall, I feel blessed to have connected to Dr. Ray and my patients have benefited greatly. From his ingenious Correct Toes, to introducing me to Dr. Rossi’s influential articles, Dr. Ray has been nothing short of a great influence to my practice, and gracious colleague. We have worked together successfully on many patients and I look forward continuing to grow for years to come.

Dr. Sanatan Golden’s Professional Profile

Sanatan (pronounced sah-NAH-tahn) started his professional life as a mechanical engineer, but soon realized that the ‘machine’ he most loved was the human body. After years as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist and personal trainer he decided that there would be no better way to improve his ability to help others grow strong and healthy, than becoming a Doctor of Physical Therapy. He received his degree from The University of Washington Medical School, where he was honored with the McMillan Fellowship for being the top applicant in his class. He is currently pursuing advanced manual therapy training through the North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy.

Sanatan is recognized as a regional expert in running mechanics and efficiency, and specializes in lower extremity injury prevention and treatment. He instructs physical therapists, doctors, and other healthcare practitioners with his continuing-education course: Successfully Integrating a Natural-Foot Perspective Into Your Practice. While personally an avid barefoot runner (yes, skin to the ground) since 2008, he has found that his patients need not get rid of all their shoes in order to reap the strength, power, and healing benefits provided by the restoration of natural foot posture and function.  Sanatan partnered with podiatrist Dr. Ray McClanahan in the founding of Minimalist Mondays in 2010, a 12-week program for those interested in the many benefits of transitioning to more minimalist shoes (or none at all!) to restore natural running and walking gait. They have since hosted over 90 clinics in Portland and helped countless runners find a natural stride that is more efficient, injury resistant, and fun.

Spending years as high-flying competitive Ultimate Frisbee player at the collegiate, national, and international levels, Sanatan certainly knows the demands of sport on the body. A bit more grounded now with a 3 year-old daughter, Nalu, and 1 year-old son, Levi, he also understands the challenges of trying to stay active and healthy within our busy lives. If you feel too busy for exercise, be sure to ask him about ‘opportunistic therapy/training.’

Sanatan is psyched to be part of the interdisciplinary team at Optimal Results Physical Therapy Downtown Portland, and looks forward to helping you and your body move naturally down the path towards health and wellness.

Education & Professional Certifications

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy from University of Washington
  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
  • ASTYM Certified
  • BikeFit Certified
  • Certified Level 2 MovNat Trainer

Specialties / Interests

Ultimate Frisbee, Natural running and Barefoot running technique, Movnat training, Primal movement, Cycling, Kettlebell training, Olympic-style lifting, CrossFit.

Dr. Sanatan Golden’s New Practice

Dr Sanatan GoldenAfter three great years practicing physical therapy at Therapeutic Associates-Downtown Portland, Dr. Golden has decided to become an independent practitioner. An expert and instructor in the field of functional natural foot health, his innovative practice is now in the heart of Downtown Portland, at: Optimal Results Physical Therapy.

Sanatan (as most of his patients call him) is very excited about his new venture, which will allow him to not only give more time and attention to each of his patients, but also spend more time with his young family. Over a long working relationship with Dr. Ray McClanahan, Sanatan has developed many complementary treatments to help accelerate the process of healing lower extremity injuries, including:

  • Total body evaluation and assessment to find root-causes of pain and treatment.
  • Building you a personalized, and laser-targeted, home exercise program to address your specific needs
  • Targeted manual therapy:  A hands-on method of restoring proper motion and function.
  • The Astym System: A manual treatment the stimulates the body’s own healing response.
  • Real-time running technique video analysis and specific training drills to immediately improve technique.
  • RESTORE: The natural foot function restoration program.
  • Full access to the only AlterG Antigravity Treadmill in Portland, outside of OHSU. Click the link to see an amazing short video of one of the most revolutionary pieces of rehab equipment around. From the Olympic track stars, the Portland Timbers, to weekend warrior trying to run their first half-marathon, to a patient the day after a hip replacement, the AlterG can help folks get back on their feet sooner, and go for longer, than ever before.

Special Offer For Correct Toes Newsletter Recipients: As a token of appreciation for his ongoing partnership with Dr. McClanahan and Northwest Foot & Ankle, Dr. Golden would like to extend the offer for a complimentary injury examination and consultation or AlterG trial for all those looking accelerate their healing process. Between now and December 1st, contact Optimal Results and mention the Correct Toes Newsletter to get your complimentary appointment.

Optimal Results Physical Therapy
Portland, Oregon
Phone: 503-294-7463
Fax: 503-294-7405
Email: sanatan@optimalresultspt.com

If you would like to see Dr. Golden’s Specialties and Professional Profile, click here.
If you would like to read more about Dr. Golden’s practice and relationship with Dr. McClanahan, click here to read Natural Feet Unite!

Meet Dr. Athena Paradise, D.C.

ImageDr. Athena Paradise is a Portland, OR chiropractor (and Correct Toes supporter) known for her intuitive and thoughtful approach to healing and her great empathy and compassion. Dr. Paradise practices at Portland Natural Health in SE Portland. Below is an interview we conducted with Dr. Paradise to learn more about her practice and how she uses Correct Toes to help her patients:

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your practice.
I have been a chiropractic physician for 27 years now! My dad was a chiropractor, and I remember watching him help people. I decided that was what I wanted to do, too. Having sustained some serious injuries during a car accident almost 20 years ago, I work with a great deal of compassion, gentle adjusting, and lots of exercise and rehabilitation. I love working with nutrition, and giving people the tools to change their world from the inside out!

How were you introduced to Correct Toes?
Robyn Hughes, ND, whom I had the great pleasure to work with for a time. They are awesome and help people with everything from low back pain to foot issues.

How do you use Correct Toes in your practice? Does using the product affect your overall treatment approach?
I recommend Correct Toes to many patients. I am all about getting to the cause, not just treating symptoms (although that is helpful short term!!). Correct Toes help cure the problem.

What results have you seen in your patients using the Correct Toes? Which types of patients have benefited the most?
Plantar fasciitis, hammertoes, bunion, foot pain, ankle pain, knee pain, low back pain: I have seen great results with all these problems! I work with some dedicated athletes, who are aging and noticing they need more support, something different so that they can keep running or dancing without wearing their body out — Correct Toes have been helpful.

What feedback have you gotten from your patients about the natural foot care approach?
I hear from patients that Correct Toes work, reduce their pain and increase their flexibility and ability to move. People love to have tools that work, and that they can use themselves.

Many healthcare providers (e.g., chiropractors, physical therapists, naturopaths, acupuncturists, and bodyworkers) are using Correct Toes in their practices. Do you see a role for Correct Toes and and its associated natural foot health principles in general spine and joint care?
Remember the old song, “the foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone, the ankle bone etc.”? Well, it is true. If we address the foundational elements of a problem, everything gets better from the ground up. That is solid healing.

Please feel free to share a patient or personal testimonial, or a patient’s story about recovery from a foot problem.
I had broken my big toe as a child, and it never healed well. I finally had surgery when I was 29, and that helped, but I still had pain. Once I started using Correct Toes, my pain disappeared! I could hike, dance, and be on my feet all day without pain.

Thank you, Dr. Paradise, for sharing your experience, and for helping keep Portlanders pain-free and active!

FREE Barefoot Running Clinic “Have Mercy On Your Feet”

Doctors join forces to host a

FREE 12 WEEK BAREFOOT RUNNING CLINIC AT THE WATERFRONT-  DONATIONS BENEFIT MERCY CORPS,

“HAVE MERCY ON YOUR FEET”

Portland, Ore., July 9, 2012 — Drs. Sanatan Golden, PT, DPT, CSCS and Ray McClanahan DPM, and their respective staff at Therapeutic Associates Downtown Portland and Northwest Foot and Ankle are excited to announce their clinics will be offering a new program on how best to benefit from barefoot running techniques. The condensed new 12-week “Minimalist Mondays” curriculum will feature weekly clinics.

Who: Clinics are FREE and open to anyone interested in reducing injury and increasing running efficiency, regardless of running experience or current footwear.
What: Doctor of Physical Therapy Dr. Sanatan Golden of Therapeutic Associates and Podiatrist Dr. Ray McClanahan at Northwest Foot and Ankle will help participants understand the safest and most effective methods of transitioning to minimalist and/or barefoot running.
Where: Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Downtown Portland, OR at the Salmon Street Springs Fountain.
When: Every Monday from 12:00 to 12:30pm from July 23rd through October 22nd. Each clinic is followed by optional break-out run.

Minimalist Mondays will also feature a charitable partnership with Mercy Corps, global leader in humanitarian aid, to create awareness and support for the people of Ethiopia and Somalia through, “Have ‘Mercy’ on Your Feet: Barefooting for the Horn of Africa”. This unique program raises funds by collecting donations based on the distance walked or run barefoot while completing the Minimalist Monday curriculum. On the last session, the group will present donations at the Mercy Corps World Headquarters at the end of a 5k fun run/walk down the Waterfront. Ethiopia is home to many of the world’s great runners, including 1960 Olympic marathon gold medalist Abebe Bikila, who ran his winning race completely barefoot!

Drs. Golden and McClanahan are both avid barefoot runners and have been recognized as regional experts in transitioning to minimalist running, often speaking publically on this increasingly popular topic. Dr. Golden got the idea for Minimalist Mondays as a community-education project last August, when his clinic began seeing an increase in new patients sustaining injuries attempting the transition to running in more minimal footwear. He describes, “It broke my heart seeing people hurting themselves trying to return to running how humans have for millennia, with minimal to no footwear. Unfortunately there is a lack of useful information readily available and many people dive into this technique unprepared and under-informed, which may lead to injury. Ray and I designed Minimalist Mondays to be the solution. We want Portland to be ground zero for the natural running movement, so its citizens become the healthiest, happiest, and most well-informed runners in the country.”

Many participants in Minimalist Mondays are very impressed with the results after taking part in the clinics. A recent participant states, “I had near-constant knee and foot pain, and was told that I would always need orthotics. Now I am stronger than I have ever been and not only do my feet no longer need outside support, but I can count on them to support me in my running, biking, stair workouts, and boot camp classes.”

For detailed information on Minimalist Mondays, including a curriculum outline, please visit http://www.therapeuticassociates.com/locations/oregon/portlandvancouver/downtown-portland/minimalist-mondays/

Watch examples of barefoot running techniques and drills used in this program. http://www.youtube.com/MinimalistMondays