Dr. Kayla Luhrs, MD
Hi, I’m Dr. Kayla Luhrs, board certified family physician and registered yoga teacher. I’m excited to be seeing patients at Merritt Health and Wellness.
I grew up in Ketchikan, Alaska salmon fishing, berry picking and watching black bears from my swing set. I went to University of Wyoming for undergrad, followed by medical school in Seattle at UW where I did a “rural/underserved longitudinal training track” spending time in Port Angeles, WA and different cities all over Alaska. Another highlight of medical school for me was spending 10 weeks in Gulu, Uganda training with local medical students in the hospital while taking a course together on social determinants of health.
For residency I went to Tacoma Family Medicine where I focused on women’s health,wilderness and travel medicine, urgent care and community health. I enjoyed seeing my own patients in my primary care clinic during residency, but was bothered by a few things:
1. Even though pharmaceutical companies are producing more and more drugs, “dis-eases” such as obesity,diabetes, heart problems, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, attention deficits and fibromyalgia are on the rise.
2. We have research showing things as simple as the food we eat and the way we move our bodies can greatly improve, or even cure, obesity, diabetes, heart problems, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, attention deficits and fibromyalgia.
After residency I traveled to Mysore, India where I did my 200 hr yoga teacher training and visited medical schools and research centers, partnered with US institutions such as Harvard and Stanford, studying the effects of yoga on health.
Yoga, which often gets overly represented as a physical exercise in the West, is actually a piece of “Ayurveda”, the oldest recorded healing system in the world. Meant to maintain the quality and longevity of life, Ayurveda focuses on strengthening the incredible self-healing capacity of the body using mindfulness,breathing techniques, and proper food choices.
I completed my Ayurvedic yoga therapy certification and 500 hour yoga teacher training here in Portland while working part time as an urgent care physician at the Portland Clinic.