The Best of Both Worlds

Welcome! Let me tell you a bit about my journey and the conventional and unconventional pathways I have taken.

“Healing comes from the optimization of function in the physical body while attending to the emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of life. Although early detection of disease may be helpful to initiate the healing process, proactive health care is about learning effective strategies that both prevents disease and potentially even reverses disease when it is present.” -Dave Johnson, MD

Much of my conventional medical career has focused on diagnosing and treating medical disease. After medical specialization, I turned my focus on the diagnosis and management of cardiovascular disease.

My Conventional Training:
  • Medical School: The Ohio State University College of Medicine
  • Internal Medicine Residency: University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
  • Cardiovascular Fellowship: University of Alabama, Birmingham

However, despite developing a highly successful conventional cardiology practice I became restless. I began to feel that my training in conventional medicine only skimmed the surface when it actually came to healing.

My Unconventional Path

So, in 2008 my unconventional path began. I was introduced to Andrew Weil, MD and Tieraona LowDog, MD at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine where I completed a two-year integrative medicine fellowship. As in Mary Oliver’s poem, The Journey, I was now prepared to leave the comforts of home (conventional medicine) and have the courage to blaze a new trail (integrative health and healing).

From there my journey has led me down a much less traveled path including the study of mindfulness, wilderness immersion and shamanic healing practices. These experiences helped me to hear with clarity that internal voice calling me to reach deeper into health and healing by embracing the entirety of human experience from body, mind, soul and spirit.

As an integrative health consultant, I recognize the power of individual healing and will provide you with the guidance and resources to optimize your healing journey. After all, healing is an individual experience and as such treatment cannot be standardized.

My Unconventional Training:
  • Integrative Medicine Fellowship: University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine
  • Plant-based nutrition education
  • Mindfulness training: Mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness meditation, somatic meditation
  • Animas Valley Institute: Discovering the soul through wilderness immersion
  • The Four Winds Society: Light Body School and shamanic training

As a result of these experiences, I have created integrative cardiology and integrative health and healing programs. The emphasis in these programs is on treating the entire individual from body to mind, soul and spirit, often with the support of other gifted healers that come from a variety of different disciplines, including conventional, complementary and self-care approaches.

Integrative Health and healing

As a physician formally trained in integrative medicine, I value your uniqueness and will work in partnership with you to get the services you need. This patient-centered, holistic approach centers around the natural healing capacity of the body. I believe care should begin with self-care strategies and progress toward a more multidisciplinary team approach as needed. For many, there is a balance between lifestyle choices and complementary or alternative medicine and the need for more conventional medical approaches, such as pharmaceuticals and surgeries. In our partnership, I will work with you and our team to provide you the safest, most natural, and most effective strategies to help you restore and maintain your health.


Nutritional counseling

Physical activity

Sleep hygiene

Stress management

Integrative health coaching

Integrative medicine team:

Integrative and functional medicine

Naturopathic medicine

Nutrition and dietetic services

Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture

Manual medicine including massage and somatic body work

Energy medicine


To learn more about my services click here.

To learn more about these partnerships and the integrative health and healing programs please visit Grand Rapids Natural Health located in Grand Rapids Michigan and Sleeping Bear Natural Health located in Traverse City, Michigan.

Make an Appointment Today

* David Johnson, MD is an independent practitioner at Grand Rapids Natural Health  and Sleeping Bear Natural Health.