Provider Spotlight: Christa Hinchcliffe, ND
by Wynter Kaiser
Dr. Christa Hinchcliffe runs a solo practice, Bainbridge Naturopathic, on Bainbridge Island in Washington state and works part-time at the Tahoma Clinic in Renton, WA where she has practiced since 2002. She has spoken on Bio-Identical Hormones at conferences for the Bio-Identical Hormone Society, International Hormone Society, American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, and has even traveled to Singapore to educate doctors in Asia about Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy. Dr. Hinchcliffe has two joint papers published in peer-reviewed journals: Hormone Replacement with Estradiol: Conventional Oral Doses Result in Excessive Exposure to Estrone (Alternative Medical Review, Volume 10 Number 1, 2005) and Urinary Hormones (Townsend Letter, January 2008). She is also a regular replacement host for the call-in radio show, Green Medicine on 770 AM KTTH.
Dr. Hinchcliffe graduated pre-med from Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA in 1995, and in 2001 she earned her doctorate of naturopathic medicine from the prestigious Bastyr University in Kirkland, WA. She is a native of Washington state, born in Everett and raised in Snohomish, and now resides with her two children and husband in the pacific northwest on beautiful Bainbridge Island.
DUTCH: What inspired you to become a healthcare practitioner?
Dr. Christa Hinchcliffe: I was inspired to become a naturopathic doctor in undergraduate school on the pre-med track. While taking all the appropriate science and math courses, I took a course called ‘Chaos, Calculus, and Confucius’ where we studied the ‘Holistic Principle’. This gave me a new understanding of health, where practice did not have to be linear and treatments could be individualized, and this eventually led me to naturopathic medical school.
DUTCH: What is your training?
Dr. Christa Hinchcliffe: After attending Evergreen State College for my pre-med courses, I attended Bastyr University where I earned my degree as a naturopathic doctor and received a certificate as a massage therapist.
DUTCH: Describe your medical background/practice.
Dr. Christa Hinchcliffe: The foundation for my practice began at the Tahoma Clinic where I worked full-time from 2002-2012. In 2012 I moved to Bainbridge Island and opened a solo practice. I now work primarily at my clinic on Bainbridge Island, but also see patients at the Tahoma Clinic about once monthly. My practice has evolved with my move. While I still focus on women’s health and hormone balancing, I also see most ages and a variety of health concerns.
DUTCH: What other functional testing do you use in your practice?
Dr. Christa Hinchcliffe: I do gastrointestinal analysis through stool and breath, food sensitivities through blood, and occasional micronutrient and environmental toxin assessments.
DUTCH: How have you incorporated DUTCH Testing into your practice?
Dr. Christa Hinchcliffe: I use DUTCH frequently for evaluating sex hormone levels, as well as evaluating adrenal function.
DUTCH: What are the changes you have seen in your patients and practice since incorporating the DUTCH Test?
Dr. Christa Hinchcliffe: DUTCH allows my patients to see the bigger picture of hormone balancing. Through DUTCH testing, I feel patients are better able to understand how their endocrine system works, which in turn helps them to better advocate for their own health care. By repeating the tests, they are also able to see how their body changes in direct response to the changes we made. Lastly, DUTCH testing helps me solve more difficult cases.
DUTCH: Where do you see functional/integrative medicine 20 years from now?
Dr. Christa Hinchcliffe: In 20 years, I see naturopathic doctors as leaders in functional/integrative medicine, with licensure and recognition in all 50 states.
DUTCH: What do you like to do outside of work?
Dr. Christa Hinchcliffe: I am married with two children, a boy in 7th grade and a girl in 4th grade. My husband and I both work full-time but being self-employed allows me a lot of flexibility. Our family spends a lot of time on the soccer field, mostly watching our kids, but I just played again after 25 years and loved it. We have four chickens, two dogs, two cats, and some fish, along with a garden which grows bigger every summer, and fruit trees which bear more fruit every year. We have a full life but would not have it any other way!