Medical Director, Dr. Kotarski
Dr. Kotarski is the Medical Director of NaturKur Wellness Center and a licensed Naturopathic Physician in Seattle, WA. She is dedicated in helping her patients determine root causes of their illnesses and disease prevention. Her areas of interest include, mind-body medicine/ psychoneuroimmunoendocrinology (PNIE), environmental medicine, nutrigenomics, nutrition and digestion, and LGBTQIA health care.
Dr. Kotarski blends theories and therapies of western and eastern medicine to provide individualized care. She is committed to empowering her patients and to supporting their innate ability to heal. She is passionate about equal access to health care for all, understanding social determinants of health and reducing barriers to access health care.
Dr. Kotarski attained her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, Ontario. Her naturopathic medical training included primary care assessment and diagnosis, botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, physical medicine, homeopathy, Asian medicine and acupuncture, psychology and lifestyle counseling. Prior to attending medical school Dr. Kotarski attended Buffalo State University of New York, where she graduated with honors earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
I grew up in and around Buffalo, NY close to Love Canal; one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in history. The devastation it caused to families, the community, and the land lit the spark in me that would later fuel into my passion for social justice and environmental medicine.
After living there for awhile, I began experiencing my own health concerns. For decades I was plagued by female health issues, hormone instability, anxiety, depression, digestive issues, physical pain and recurrent infections. I was frustrated by the lack of benefit I received from conventional treatment, found treatment options to be limited to temporary symptom suppression and typically made things worse for me. My overall condition steadily worsened.
At university I found psychology very intriguing and I devoured required reading such as “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers” by Robert M. Sapolsky. I discovered a whole new world of understanding how the brain and the mind are biologically connected with the body. Our conscious and subconscious perceptions trigger our stress response which can result in mental, emotional, and physical illness. I learned that in addition to stress, social determinants of health such as poverty and adverse childhood events, etc. also have a direct negative impact on our health.
By graduation I had a better understanding of the interconnectedness of a person’s mind and perception, biology, and the impact of our environment on our health. However, I remained stuck as I did not yet have the tools to do anything about it.
My expertise evolved equally from my experience as a patient and my training as a doctor. As soon as I started medical school I began weekly appointments in the clinic and continued with treatments until I graduated. Working with naturopathic doctors, we connected my symptoms and discovered my polycystic ovarian syndrome, blood sugar dysregulation, celiac disease, and eventually other underlying genetic issues. We balanced my physical body with diet, lifestyle, herbs, hydrotherapy, homeopathy and acupuncture. We unraveled faulty belief structures that were obstacles to my healing.
In my own healing I experienced this powerful medicine first hand; the blissful treatments and the difficult ones. This experience taught me to respect the healing process and to always meet my patients where they are at in their journey.
Through medical training I learned to integrate modern medicine with ancient wisdom and practice. Primary care, clinical assessment and diagnosis, functional medicine, chinese medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy and traditional naturopathy combine to create a powerful toolbox of therapies. Working with patients I have learned that when we focus on individualized, patient-centered care, these modalities work wonderfully together providing a borage of treatment options to treat disease and promote health and wellbeing.
My approach to health care is through individualized patient-centered care that focuses on the dynamic interface of mind body and environmental medicine. I am humbled and grateful to be able to help others find their path to wellness. I love working with patients as they awaken to their full health potential and I am excited to be a part of the paradigm shift that is leading us away from sick care and toward disease prevention and healthy living.
I have continued my medical education with studies in epigenetics and nutrigenomics, the human microbiome, transgender health care, trauma-informed care (TIC), and mind-body medicine, among others.