Skip to content

Dr. Karla Mitchell pioneers natural medicine for Detroit community

Photo Credit: Timothy Paule

Naturopathic doctor, Dr. Karla Mitchell, ND, is a Detroit native who is pioneering a new healing culture for the communities of Detroit. Naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine, involves using natural and non-invasive products to support and enable one’s innate healing process.

Dr. Mitchell aims to improve health outcomes, reduce and prevent addiction, and empower people to make cognizant health care decisions. She had acquired many certifications in complementary and alternative therapies, including a doctorate in traditional naturopathy from Trinity School of Natural Health, a master’s degree and bachelor’s of science degree in business management from the University of Phoenix. 

Dr. Mitchell is the founder and director at Exhalation Integrative Wellness, a holistic natural health and healing center located on Detroit’s west side and averages 300 clients annually. Dr. Mitchell founded Exhalation Integrative Wellness in 2009, which offers body chemistry balancing, functional/nutritional health assessments, clinical herbalism, wellness services and community education.  

Dr. Mitchell is also the executive director of Changing Lives and Staying Sober, a substance use prevention, and integrated treatment agency also located in the city of Detroit. Changing Lives and Staying Sober also known as C.L.A.S.S., engages the community in wholly achieving four strategic objectives: eliminating health disparities, building healthy and safe community environments, empowering people to make healthy decisions and expanding quality preventive services in both clinical and community settings. 

Being a certified community health worker, Dr. Mitchell actively advises members of the community to partake in natural healing techniques. Her civic-minded approach assists in healing and advancing a mass array of Detroit’s rising west side community. Rolling out discussed with Dr. Mitchell the benefits of therapy, her health regime, and her progressive self-care steps.

Health is always changing. What are some things you have done to increase a healthy approach to life?

I’ve adopted a radical self-care approach that includes gratitude, traditional herbalism, fitness and regularly employing activities the restore, rejuvenate and bring peace of mind

How do you mentally shift a negative situation into a positive solution?

I shift by keeping an attitude of gratitude and as a problem solver, look to find value in every valley.

How do you set mental health and physical health goals?

The book 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman helped me to be intentional and diligent about my passions, using this method to zero in on what matters help me to create space for my radical self-care. Like any other important task, mindfulness and fitness are also priorities, that I also schedule appointments for.

Why do you set these goals?

It is restorative for me to check-in with myself, to be present with myself and to maintain clarity of mind. I believe thoughts are creative, and busyness is the work of chaos. Clearing the mind brings clarity of intention, and therefore, needle point manifestation of that which you set out to achieve. Fitness helps to rejuvenate the body in so many ways and can also be calming. As a high functioning/high performing adult, fitness helps to bring balance to all that I push myself to accomplish.

What holistic approach to health (juicing, essential oils, herbs, etc.) do you practice?

I use intermittent fasting and herbs as part of a holistic approach to well-being. I also [like] to switch it up because I recognize the body thrives on variety. At any one time or another, I’ll combine various natural methods to apply the variety that helps my body thrive. Variety is key, [so] switching it up is a must.

What are two valuable insights you’ve learned from therapy and counseling experiences?

I’ve not had true therapy or counseling experiences, but time spent with sister-friends (one of whom is a therapist) who know you, love you, and who may or may not share your lived experiences can be just as therapeutic. Social connectedness and expressive outlets provide us with an important part of our identity. It also helps us to develop skills that we need to empathize, sympathize, cope, connect, manage and live our lives. More than that, there are studies that show that low social connectedness (with a therapist, counselor or otherwise) has been generally associated with declines in physical and psychological health.

Connect with Dr. Karla Mitchell, ND, on social media:

Facebook: @adoseofdrkarla

Instagram: @adoseofdrkarla

Twitter: @adoseofdrkarla

Contact Dr. Karla Mitchell, ND, at

Visit the Exhalation Integrative Wellness and Changing Lives and Staying Sober website.