Root Cause Medicine +  Health Co-Creation


Our clinic is focused on root cause medicine and partnering with patients to co-create health.

We start by listening to understand your story. Your experience combined with your health history and discussion of major life events helps us identify the causes of your health concerns.

In addition, we use functional lab testing to eliminate blind spots and personalize your treatment.

This approach, paired with health skill building, education, and support puts you in charge of your health to bust through limitations of annoying or painful health problems.

Conventional wisdom isn’t always wise—
it’s merely conventional.

But, your body is.

The Thriving Force Method

Dr. Sara DeFrancesco is a Naturopathic Doctor and Licensed Acupuncturist practicing Functional Medicine in Portland, Oregon.
  • Proactive: Focused on resolving the root cause of illness to reverse and prevent disease.
  • Restorative: Restores proper function of the body to reverse disease, prevent illness, and promote optimal function.

  • Patient Centered: Treats the patient and modifies treatment for each individual’s needs.

  • Unlimited Options: Combines the best of conventional and root-cause medicine into an intelligent hybrid to provide unlimited treatment options.

  • Evidence Based: Based on the latest research and clinical observation.

A Smarter Approach To Health


Struggling with fatigue even though your thyroid levels are "normal"? You might be surprised to learn that conventional screening methods for thyroid disorders miss 80% of hypothyroid diagnoses.

Looking for medication free ways to support your mood and mental healthplus eliminate brain fog? The newest research on anxiety, depression, and brain health is showing better results by treating digestive function and inflammation than using antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds.

Looking for a comprehensive approach to healing autoimmune diseases? Through nutrition, immune balancing natural medicines, and identifying and treating the trigger that caused immune dysfunction in the first place (It's different for each person, but toxic burden, gut infections, and chronic viruses are a few examples) you can heal and reverse inflammatory symptoms and diseases.

Suffering from zombie-level insomnia? The approach to treating your insomnia will often depend on one majorly overlooked factor: Whether you have issues falling asleep—or staying asleep.

And those are just a few basic examples where functional medicine meets and exceeds what conventional medicine offers us—not just providing a temporary band aid to cover a symptom, but providing a way to heal the from the inside out.

Dr. Sara DeFrancesco is a Naturopathic Doctor, Functional Medicine Practitioner, and Licensed Acupuncturist in Portland, Oregon
Dr. Sara DeFrancesco is a Naturopathic Doctor, Acupuncturist, and Functional Medicine Practitioner in Portland, Oregon.

Dr. Sara DeFrancesco ND, LAc

Dr. Sara DeFrancesco is a Naturopathic Doctor, Licensed Acupuncturist, and the founder of Thriving Force.

Dr. DeFrancesco serves patients as a Root Cause & Lifestyle Medicine Provider. Her role is to provide you with the right education, tools, and support. Dr. DeFrancesco will listen to your story, recommend the right tests, and develop an action plan including health education, proactive medicine, and acupuncture to maximize your health with root-cause care.

Passionate about public education and patients learning to become their own best doctor, Dr. DeFrancesco is the host of Thriving Force Radio and a public speaker who has shared the stage with some of the most innovative physicians in the world including Dr. Sachin Patel, Dr. Rangan Chatterjee, and Dr. Kelly Brogan.


Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
Master of Science in Oriental Medicine

Professional Associations & Memberships

The Functional Forum
The Living Proof Institute
Paleo Physicians Network
Re-Find Health
Thyroid Change

What people are saying about Thriving Force

Best doctor ever!!! I’ve had Hashimotos for 12 years now, and am finally starting to make some traction with Dr. Sara on making progress. I would recommend her to anyone. She’s thorough, communicative, and cares about her patients. She just gets it... She gets healing the body not just treating it.
Skilled and compassionate guidance to help you meet all your health goals. Dr. Sara DeFrancesco stays current on science and trends within the naturopathic field, so she’s up-to-the-minute on important things you may not have heard of.
Wow, a smart and compassionate doctor AND an acupuncturist? Dr. DeFrancesco has so much to offer just about any patient. Her fun and sassy spirit is a rare gem in the medical industry. I highly recommend her.
Dr. Sara is an incredibly detail-oriented practitioner who wants to make her current patients her former patients as efficiently and timely as possible, by helping them get and STAY well!

We’re currently accepting new patients in our Portland, Oregon office.

Is root cause medicine the right approach for you? Apply to work with Dr. DeFrancesco by scheduling a free phone consultation today.