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When East Meets West

Updated: May 17, 2023

Allison Smith - Physician Assistant, Yoga Instructor, & North Country Native

There is no question that both Western and Eastern medicine offer unique perspectives fundamental to healthcare today. Dave and I recently had the pleasure of sitting down to chat with Allison Smith, a Physician Assistant, Yoga Instructor, Entrepreneur, and North Country Native. Allison first began practicing medicine from a traditional Western perspective, but the longer she practiced, the more she realized that although there were things she liked about it... there were also things that she didn't. Allison decided to take a step back, explore some new ideas, and today practices her own unique blend of West and East in her healthcare model.

I was very happy to finally get a chance to see Allison's Yoga studio in person, because for many years I have been following the progress as she ripped out ceilings, laid flooring, painted, and created a beautiful and inspiring space. I was more than a little impressed that she did anything she could herself, and it was clear how much passion she put into the design of her new studio... her energy and excitement were contagious!

I first met Allison about ten years ago, and when I met her she worked endless hours each week as a primary care provider - in fact in our podcast she even refers to herself as a recovering workaholic! Over the last ten years Allison has been making lots of changes in her life. In our podcast she discusses topics such as Behavioral Medicine, Yoga, Functional Medicine, daily habits, nutrition, and more. You can listen to our interview with Allison to hear more about how and why she decided into making these changes in her life. She tells us her story of not only her own personal journey, but also how she took everything that she learned and started offering services to improve the health and well-being of the community around her.

When Dave and I created the Beyond the Box podcast our goal was to open a dialogue - hopefully bring some discussions out of the shadows and into the open. We wanted to create a space to discuss issues, community events, provide helpful information to our listeners, raise our voices against stigma, and help us all to broaden our perspective. We didn't know who we would be interviewing, or exactly what path Beyond the Box would lead us down. However, we did know that it was important that we didn't define that, or be too rigid with our expectations. Instead we wanted to stay open to the topics and issues that presented themselves to us.

Allison's interview reinforced all of the different themes that we have noticed and maybe even tied some of them together for us. Beyond the Box represents all of us that color outside the lines, that strive to escape the restraints that society places on us, and desire to see the world from a a new perspective. Each of us have our own unique blend of physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual components - and none of us fit neatly into any box.

Allison expanded her thinking and developed her own unique approach to wellness in which she blends traditional Western Medicine with Eastern philosophy. She is implementing a more person-centered and individualized approach to the healthcare that she provides. When she saw something wasn't working the way that it was, she took a step back and found a new approach... which can be a daunting challenge to take on!

Take some time to listen to our interview. I promise you will feel inspired by the time you are through!

Carrie Woodcock

Director of Wellness and Recover Services

S.T.E.P. by S.T.E.P., Inc.

Visit Allison's website:

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