Northwest Arkansas's Naturopathic Physicians

Dr. Tara Hickman uses naturopathic medicine to find and correct underlying causes of illness. She believes in supporting the body’s natural healing mechanisms as much as possible to achieve optimal health. In addition, by finding subtle imbalances, like food sensitivities, hormone issues, or nutrient deficiencies, she can help tailor a health care plan that will help you body work better and help you feel your best.

Dr. Hickman obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas, and her doctorate from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona. The naturopathic medical program at SCNM is one of five accredited,4-year programs that train students in both conventional and complementary medicine. To obtain licensure, students must complete 2 years of clinical training and pass a national board examination. Dr. Hickman completed additional clinical training in naturopathic pediatrics, and is passionate about giving kids the best start in life. Dr. Hickman maintains her naturopathic medical license in the state of Arizona.

Besides children’s health, Dr. Hickman loves to work with patients with energy issues and digestive complaints by identifying food sensitivities and nutrient deficiencies. When Dr. Hickman isn’t seeing patients, she lectures at area events, teaches Anatomy and Physiology to pre-nursing students at NWACC, and takes care of her two children, Levi and Lily, her dog Rex, and her husband Matt. She also loves to practice yoga and spend time outdoors as much as possible.

Dr. Laurell Matthews is one of only two medically trained naturopathic doctors in Northwest Arkansas. She was raised in Fayetteville and earned her bachelor’s in biochemistry from University of Kansas. She received her doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle.

Bastyr University is one of five accredited naturopathic medical schools in the United States offering a four-year, graduate level naturopathic medical program with educational standards recognized and approved by the US Department of Education. The program includes education in biomedical sciences and laboratory diagnosis as well as natural therapies such as botanical medicine, nutrition, homeopathy, bodywork, hydrotherapy, and counseling.

Dr. Laurell also completed over 950 hours of clinical internship at the Bastyr Center For Natural Health, where she saw over 400 patients. Upon completion of her training, Dr. Laurell passed national board examinations administered by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners.

Dr. Laurell focuses on treating the cause of illness while supporting the body’s innate healing abilities in order to prevent and treat many chronic conditions. She blends centuries-old knowledge and a philosophy that nature is the most effective healer with current research on health and human systems.

Dr. Laurell has experience treating a wide variety of acute and chronic complaints, but her specialties include digestion, detoxification, mood, and women’s health. She uses nutrients and herbs to balance neurotransmitter levels, making life-changing differences in health conditions such as depression and anxiety. She advises on lifestyle and diet modifications where she loves to share her passion for nutrition and cooking. She also utilizes botanical medicine, nutritional supplements, homeopathy, hydrotherapy and craniosacral therapy when appropriate. Her integrative approach to health care will not only provide you with an insightful path toward health, it will also help restore lasting balance to your life.


*Special Note
Arkansas does not currently provide licensing for naturopathic physicians. 
Dr. Hickman will not be able to diagnose or specifically treat disease conditions as a primary care physician. Collaboration with your other health care providers will be required to provide you with the best care. Licensing efforts are underway. Please visit for specific information on licensing efforts and how you can get involved.