About Dr. Weiss
I am an osteopathic physician or doctor of osteopathic medicine and am board certified in Family Medicine. My practice is primarily traditional osteopathic medicine for infants, children and adults, with a focus on Biodynamic Osteopathy. In addition to osteopathic treatments, however, you may be given prescriptions for medicine or supplements, nutrition counseling, exercises, or referrals to other health specialists. Because of my training in the broad based specialty of Family Medicine, I am able to consult with you on treatment recommendations you may have been given by another provider or to help you research health options you are considering.
I entered higher education with the goal of becoming a writer and graduated from the University of California in Santa Barbara with high honors and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and an emphasis in Creative Writing. Towards the end of this training a back injury took me on a journey through the medical world. I was introduced to Alison Zuber, began to heal, and shortly after was inspired to begin my training in the health field. In 1992 I began practicing Ortho-Bionomy™ and massage. After several years of this work, I returned to school to become a physician. I graduated from Touro University, Osteopathic Medical College in Vallejo, CA in 2003 and entered Residency at the UCSF, Santa Rosa Sutter Family Practice Program, and became board certified in Family Medicine in 2006. I began my private practice in 2005 in Sebastopol and moved my practice to Santa Rosa in 2007 after the birth of my daughter.
My work today is influenced strongly by many different teachers but two, in particular, have been instrumental in shaping my perspective. Alison Zuber, Instructor of Body Mind Centering™ and Ortho-Bionomy™ helped me to begin this journey and continues to teach me today. Perhaps the single most important skill she showed me can be summarized with her teaching to “meet each person where they are.” This simple blessing is a reminder that each of us is unique and that we are constantly evolving and changing in every moment. Wherever we are in the moment of the treatment, we meet. This exchange – being truly present for another being – is healing. When we meet another person in exactly the place that they are, what emerges is truth and grace and reality. The potential and possibility that arise are limitless and often surprising.
During my medical training I had the great honor to meet and begin a journey with several brilliant osteopathic physicians. My training has taken me across the country many times to work with, be treated by and teach with Dr. James Jealous. I continue this training at every opportunity. Dr. Jealous developed a model of osteopathy that he calls “Biodynamic Osteopathy.” This gentle work focuses on finding the health, and forming a relationship with the embryonic patterns of development still present in the adult. It is from this perspective that I begin every treatment.
Taking these two simple concepts meeting a person where they are, and looking at their Health allows change to occur. Instead of focusing on what is stuck, I am listening for what is vibrant and ready to shift. It is an exercise in futility to try to move a bone if the bone thinks it is a mountain, but if the bone decides today it is fluid, than it will move. Every part of the body has a voice, and sometimes there is discord, sometimes harmony and sometimes only one single note. Each session, each moment in a session, is an opportunity to listen for these sounds and choose pathways that lead to lasting healing.
My private practice which started as a solo office and is now a practice of two osteopathic doctors. I created this practice so I would I have the space and time to focus on what I love about Health and Healing and not be directed by insurance companies and managed care in my time or treatment choices. I treat and diagnose with my hands. As part of my work with my patients, I spend time in study and contemplation outside of the scheduled appointment. During appointments I rely on medical nutrition and my thinking hands first – before using more direct treatments such as herbal remedies, supplements and bioidentical hormones or prescriptions.
In addition to my private practice in traditional osteopathic medicine, I am the director of clinical curriculum at Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine. My work at Touro working with 3rd year medical students in the fields of Family and Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Surgery and Psychiatry using online technologic resources to deliver a distance learning program.
LINEAGE AND TRAINING
Osteopathic Training has two important components. The first it is analogous to the medical training received by M.D.s and includes four years at an accredited University of Osteopathic Medicine and an additional 1-5 years of internship and residency. During this training, which parallels M.D. training, there are courses in which all D.O. students must learn the philosophy and practice of traditional osteopathic medicine. However, a large percentage of the training is focused on amassing the information necessary to practice allopathic medicine. The second component of training for a classical osteopathic physician is similar to a traditional medical apprenticeship and includes working with mentors in the field of traditional osteopathic medicine. There are educational seminars that include small groups and opportunities to work in the offices of physicians.
Though I have worked with many osteopathic physicians during my training, most of my mentoring comes from Dr. James Jealous and Dr. Andy Goldman. The chart shows the direct lineage of my training in osteopathy. This personal style of training has been occurring since 1874. The field of osteopathy has grown – there are over 30 osteopathic medical schools in the United States with close to 5000 physicians graduating per year, yet most of these new osteopathic physicians, will not choose to practice traditional osteopathy. Those that do choose to practice traditional osteopathy may choose different teachers and use different models of treatment.
Interestingly, most traditional osteopathic doctors practice late into their lives. Currently, in this lineage, only Dr. Goldman and Dr. Jealous and myself are still training osteopathic physicians in the traditional manner of mentoring and teaching small seminars. All of the other physicians in this chart are deceased. I am deeply grateful to have these teachers to work with and learn from.
On a more personal note, my favorite thing in the world is my daughter, Paloma Nesya. I also am passionate about all of my family, knitting, cooking, reading, learning new things and spending time breathing fresh air. I still love a great novel and hope someday to realize my fantasy of writing one. I am blessed with a love of osteopathy. It has myriad facets – it is my work, a spiritual journey, a meditative practice, a community, an opportunity for service, a form of artistic expression, a great mystery, a doorway…..
My goal is to listen deeply to all of the information presented by each individual. I find, over and over, that each person is carrying all that they need for health and healing – if it can be accessed. In medicine and in life, I have found it necessary to have a level of willingness and faith, which allows me to listen beyond my ego and my predispositions. This willingness and faith comes from resting on strong values to move me forward and inform the choices I make. These basic values include community, growth, service, truth, joy, love, and health. It always takes hard work to bring values to the forefront of life but I find that daily reflection on myself and constant renewal of a commitment to do better, learn more, be more fully present to this life allows me to live life in a full and rich way.