Functional medicine focuses on the application of the most natural, least harmful treatment to promote health and reverse disease.

Functional medicine is a health centered approach to medicine, rather than disease centered approach. Conventional medicine tends to diagnose active disease, and prioritizes interventions like medication and surgery. Our goal is to reverse and prevent disease, rather than just manage your symptoms.

Functional medicine focuses on discovering the root cause of your symptoms. Addressing root causes restores your body to a state of health. Once you are back in balance we apply preventive measures to help you maintain health, age better, and live longer.

Our formal education is rooted in Classical Chinese medicine, one of the oldest functional medicine approaches in practice. It understands the body as an intelligent organism with the ability to heal and regenerate when obstacles to health are removed.

functional medicine body

At Ancient Fern Medicine we partner with you on a journey to overcome your obstacles to optimal health.

Some of the most common root causes that we identify and address in our practice are:

  • food allergies/intolerances that contribute to chronic inflammation and immune system dysfunction
  • chronic bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections
  • common nutrient and mineral deficiencies
  • toxic burden in the body due to environmental exposures
  • metabolic dysfunction and hormone imbalance
  • harmful lifestyle and behavioral habits that impact your health

Treatment plans typically involve acupuncture, functional nutrition counseling, holistic health coaching, and customized herbal medicine or supplement protocols.

We utilize acupuncture to jumpstart your healing, nutrition counseling to harness the healing power of food, herbal medicine, and supplement protocols to restore optimal function in the body.

Holistic health provides the tools to educate and empower you to change lifestyle and behavioral habits that are limiting your health.

We offer FREE 15 min consultations for you to learn more about functional medicine and what it can do for you.


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Check out our FAQ page where we answer the most common questions people have about our offerings.

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Curious to learn more about how functional medicine works, and how it can help you? Check out our blog on this topic.

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Check out the Pricing and Packages Portion of our FAQ page to find pricing for individual services.

"Sarah has been the kindest and most caring soul I have ever met. I have been through many doctors with a complicated health situation.

The first visit I had she took me in and cared for me as if I were a family member. She is very gentle and listens very meticulously. I wouldn't go to anyone else after seeing her. Over the past few months, I've started to see improvement. She has been an incredible encouragement. I recommend her to anyone looking for a skilled and caring acupuncturist."


Hubbard, OR

I spent 10 years on birth control pills; hormone production did not come back when I discontinued using them. I took bio-identical hormones for a few years, but ovulation didn’t occur. Had my period in 36 days using only your herbal support. After less than 90 days (3 cycles) taking the herbs you provided, I conceived. I recommend this method to anyone.


Manager of a Business Development Center (Overland Park, KS)

Tim Nelson, L.Ac. has been a godsend to me. As a cancer survivor and joint replacement recipient, I rely on regular visits for ongoing care and maintenance. He takes time to listen carefully to my words and their underlying currents and meanings. And I appreciate his ability and skill in both being able to offer a variety of treatments, and to explain how what he is doing is bringing balance to my body. Some of his treatments include acupuncture, cupping, Chinese herbs and salves, heat, massage, and meditation. I must say that I have never been in better health than these past few years of being under his care.


Teacher, Portland, OR

"As an active trainer in the aerial arts and hand balancing I put my body through a lot on a daily basis. My visits with Sarah at Ancient Fern have become an absolute necessity!  Her needle work and cupping always calm my angry muscles and her herbal concoctions were a miracle worker on my angry digestion issues. She even helped me sort out some confusing insurance hiccups along the way! Appointments with Sarah always leave me feeling calm and grounded and I've already sent several of my friends her way!"

Sarah M.

athlete, circus and movement arts enthusiast

"I have some complex physical issues. The team at Ancient Fern have helped me skillfully navigate my path to health. They are extremely knowledgeable in acupuncture and natual medicine. They have supported me with my chronic knee pain, back issues and general health challenges. I wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone."


Owner of a Web Development Company, Portland, OR

"Tim Nelson is warm, intuitive and an incredibly good listener. That he is then able to parlay that into effective treatment makes his perspective on healing in actuality a blueprint for living. Lucky me!"


Child Advocate, Rancho Mirage, CA

"I have been seeing Tim off and on for the last year or so for various treatments. Every Spring and Summer I am pretty debilitated by my allergies. This season, with Tim’s help I didn’t have any major issues and was able to minimize the amount of medications that I would typically have to take. Additionally, Tim has helped me get back to work from a very painful neck injury. He does a great job of listening and asking pointed questions to get to the root of issues.

Tim takes time to talk to you about your concerns and expectations, and does a great job treating you holistically rather than just chasing symptoms."


Nurse, Portland, OR