AMHERST –Atkinson Family Practice has announced that Thomas Schieffer has joined the team as head herbalist, working alongside Katherine Atkinson, M.D.
Schieffer, 38, is a clinical herbalist, holistic health consultant and Shiatsu practitioner who specializes in complete holistic lifestyle consulting. His wide range of expertise covers digestive health, food allergies, sleep troubles, muscle tension and pain, restoring vitality and acute and chronic sports injuries. He also operates his own practice, called the Vital Herbalist, out of CLINIC Alternative Medicines in Northampton.
“It’s a great opportunity to work within an integrative medical practice,” Schieffer said, noting that at Atkinson Family Practice, traditional doctors, behavioral providers and complementary practitioners all contribute their perspectives to patients’ care. “I was impressed by how open the physicians are to working collaboratively and with the team meetings in which staff look at patient conditions from all angles,” Schieffer added.
Given his background in naturopathic medicine, Schieffer said he hopes to be a resource so that the “science of life,” as he calls alternative medicine, is accessible to patients, and his holistic work will supplement the more traditional approach of the practice.
For three years, Schieffer took courses with the East West School of Planetary Herbology. He was also the head medicine maker at an herb farm in Conway, and he apprenticed at the Goldthread Herbal Apothecary in Florence. He has owned the Vital Herbalist for the past two years.
Atkinson Family Practice is located at 17 Research Drive in Amherst. The practice team includes three physicians, three physician assistants, one psychologist, four social workers, a nutritionist, massage therapist, physical therapist and clinical staff.