by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Acupuncturist Doug Wingate likes to keep an array of herbal remedies on display for people to view. Theyre colorful and often provoke interest in passersby. Standing in his new office space in Villebois, Wilsonville resident Doug Wingate examines jars of colorful dried roots, gnarled leaves and what appear to be thinly sliced segments of a tree branch.

Other jars hold dozens of types of tea and other assorted herbs used medicinally in traditional Chinese practices. Along with acupuncture, herbal medicine is one of the staples of Wingate’s new business, Sun Holistic Health, which opened a month ago in the Villebois Village Center.

It’s not a new business, strictly speaking - Wingate, a state licensed acupuncturist, has operated out of a smaller space on Town Center Loop for the past two years. But with the new location comes a trio of partners that help round out the whole picture.

In addition to Wingate, naturopathic physician Dr. Kristie Ritchie, mental health therapist Shanna Severn and medical aesthetician Teri De Coster round out the new roster of Sun Holistic Health.

Ritchie is considered a primary care physician and can opt for formal laboratory work if needed; she even performs some surgeries. Meanwhile, De Coster performs a range of treatments for the skin, among other things that are touted for improving appearance as well as overall health.

They do it largely without resort to pharmaceutical remedies - diet and exercise are key, with herbal remedies replacing most if not all commonly used or prescribed drugs. Acupuncture and therapy also have their place, Wingate said, creating a single space where a person’s health care needs largely can be met.

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Sun Holistic Health offers an array of herbal blends that have traditionally been used in Chinese medicine. “I want to let people know that this is an option, that there may be other things out there that can help,” he said.

Wingate chose Villebois for several reasons when deciding to expand. That part of Wilsonville is rapidly growing, and, possibly more importantly, it is full of people in the market for a different approach to medicine.

“I’ve done promotional events at the farmers market there, so I got pretty familiar with the area,” he said. “A lot of my clientele was already coming from this area, and I got a great response once I moved. It just seemed like a ripe area for something like this, where you can take care of your health care needs from different approaches.”

Firsthand experience

There’s no substitute for firsthand experience, and when it comes to acupuncture, Wingate wholeheartedly agrees. As a young boy he spent years suffering from appeared at the time to be a degenerative spinal condition. Yet, in spite of years of anxiety and countless batteries of tests, a definitive diagnosis never was rendered.

“With my own experience, I spent a lot of my teen years going through the medical wringer,” Wingate said. “The doctors weren’t able to tell me what was going on. I went through a slew of diagnostic tests for my spine, up into my brain, but I never got a diagnosis.”

Drugs did little to nothing to alleviate his condition and offered nothing but side effects in return.

“When I was 17, 18 I got fed up and looked into other solutions,” he said.

He tried chiropractic treatment, massage and acupuncture, among other options.

“I’ve gotten by far the best results out of acupuncture,” he said. “I couldn’t explain why it worked, but it does and it does repeatedly.”

Fascinated by the cause and effect of acupuncture, Wingate enrolled at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in Portland, where he graduated in 2011. He opened his first practice in Wilsonville in a small space on Town Center Loop later that same year.

Now, motivated to support his 5-year-old daughter, Wingate has no intention of looking back.

“I knew I needed to hit the ground running, but I knew I had to do it fairly quickly so I could build a better future for her,” he said. “But I know what I do can help a lot of people, and it’s becoming more well known, but not yet as something where you can go for a plethora of ailments.”


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