Alternative medicine has a devoted following in Central Oregon. Holistic practitioners can have a unique glimpse into the physiology of a body while also taking into account qi, or energy flow in a body, and other important factors for wellbeing. Ashley Hazdra L.Ac., Dipl.O.M. of Green Roots Acupuncture and Apothecary is adding another dimension to the high desert alternative community with her passion for the healing nature of herbal medicine and acupuncture.
The small business owner moved to Bend in late 2011 from Hawaii specifically to open her first office. “Bend came up for me a few times before I even left Hawaii,” she said, “and I thought it would have a lot of environmental diversity.” In order to set up her practice, Hazdra became nationally certified, state licensed, registered her business, retained insurance coverage, spent three months searching for the right clinic, and outfitted her office. “I put a lot of time and effort into the clinic, it is a work of love.”
Opening in April 2012, Hazdra joined the medical district at 2100 NE Neff Road, Suite. B., successfully bootstrapped the business, “I did all this on my own,” she said. “I lived way below poverty level and started with nothing…. The business is starting to flow, so now I can start to just focus on treating people.
“There were days when I wondered when it was going to grow; I wanted to be healing and had to throw myself out there,” she continued. “I had culture shock from moving from Hawaii; people here are outgoing and friendly, and I wasn’t used to that! I knew that would be awesome for business, but didn’t realize how much it would be word of mouth and connecting one-on-one.”
At the core of her business, Hazdra knows acupuncture and herbs can have a profound effect on lives, as she has personally experienced the relief and healing that results. “I feel like I was born to be an herbalist,” she said. “When I was 18, I started seeing an acupuncturist…and when I went to school I realized I could do both. That path found me, we found each other in the middle. I feel like I was put here to help people, to ease suffering. I feel like it is my purpose.”
What sets Hazdra apart from others in the field are her qualifications as an apothecary. While studying at the Traditional Chinese Medical College of Hawai’i, the four year, year-round program taught both Eastern and Western Medicine concurrently.
“Acupuncture and herbal medicine are very individualized approaches to treatment,” Hazdra explains. “Two people with the ‘same’ Western diagnosed condition could often be treated very differently with Chinese medicine. This is due to the belief and clinical observation that one disease can have a multitude of factors leading to its development (the root) as well as many different ways of expressing itself (the branch). Treatment is based off of investigating and treating both the ‘root’ and the ‘branch’ of illness.”
Chinese herbal medicine is a whole system of diagnostic and prescriptive healthcare. “Unlike pharmaceuticals, Chinese formulas are tailored to each individual’s unique pattern of presentation, condition, constitution and other factors. Medical conditions involve different factors and organ systems that must equally be taken into account if the best results are to be achieved,” Hazdra explains on her website.
She prepares each formula by hand and sources her herbs from reputable companies in which facilities meet or exceed FDA standards. Her prescriptions are targeted to address the whole person and draw on the innumerable formulas developed by the Chinese over the centuries.
“Most of my apothecary consists of herbs in granular form. Granules are basically an evaporated decoction of raw dried herbs. This remaining powder contains all the medicinal benefits of raw herb, is stronger per gram, instantly reconstitutes in water, travels well and is easier to store.”
While Hazdra is skilled at treating a wide variety of ailments, her areas of interest include women’s health, sports medicine and post-surgical recovery.
Hazdra also uses the Kiso method in her body work, a gentle and safe way to realign the spine, illia, cranium and scrum without the use of fast movements. “Dr. Cain saw the complementary functions of acupuncture, chiropractic and massage therapies and decided to train only these professions in the Kiso Method,” she said. “I trained under the direct supervision of Dr. Cain.
“I’m very pleased to find myself in Bend where friendly people and fun things to do are plentiful. I came here with an uplifting and opportunity filled vision of making this my home and having a thriving clinic all while exploring the vast richness and knowledge of the Northwest.”