When the feeling of modern life has taken its toll on you,

It may be a good time to turn toward the 5000 year-old wisdom of traditional Oriental medicine. This time-tested system of medicine is available to you to help turn back the clock on aging and return to the vibrancy of youth.

Why Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine?

80 – 90% of all health problems can be treated with our care of balanced nutrition, acupuncture, acupressure, and herbal medicines.

As your body systems return to health, you will find yourself more centered, relaxed, and energetic.

Modern stresses may never totally go away, but we certainly have the power to change how we handle them.

Discover the Natural Way Back to Health & Happiness

“I had been dealing with hot flashes and sleepless nights for a couple of years.  After a few visits with Nicole, I started taking herbs and started sleeping better and the hot flashes diminished.  I also had treatment for allergies and knee pain.  The herbs work!  Through the appointments I learned a lot about my eating habits and was able to lose weight too.  I am currently doing great and feeling healthy!  Thank you NHC!” -Sharon


With treatment in our clinic, you should be able to feel some improvement within the first few visits.

Want to Learn More? Browse Recent Articles From Our Blog

Throw These Vitamins in the Trash

Do we really even need vitamins?  I used to think “not.”  But the fact that many of us don’t eat the kinds of food our ancestors ate (organ meats, fermented foods, saturated fats), the soil is depleted of nutrients, and the level of processing our food goes through, I think now that vitamins are indispensable. Not all vitamins are created equal.  Most vitamins you find as places like Walgreens, Costco, and even Whole Foods are … crap.  Here is a quick and easy guide to knowing what to look for – keywords – to assess your vitamin stock. Ideally vitamins are from “whole food” sources.  That is, if you read the label, you see what it is made out of.  You want to see things like vegetables, fruits, animal organs, and other naturally occurring compounds.   Most vitamin A on the market is just “beta carotene.”  But – real vitamin A also includes retinals, retinoids, retinal, carotenoids, carotenes, fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B, vitamin D, enzymes and minerals. This A-complex is fully used and absorbable and will not cause vitamin A toxicity.  Synthetic vitamin A can cause cancer whereas real vitamin A is one of the best antioxidants around.  Big difference. What is happening in the vitamin world is that companies, including pharmaceutical companies, are chemically extracting a partial “vitamin” from the whole compound.   This extraction can not be rightly called a vitamin.  Your body will fail to recognize it, or will draw from other reserves in your body to make up the difference.  It’s like pumping the gas pedal in your car, but the engine... read more

The Big Fat Lie

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you’ve been lied to.  By the doctors, the pharmaceutical companies, and the food industry.  All of us have been fed this lie that we have to “watch our fat intake” and “watch our cholesterol” since the 1980s.  And then what happened?  Did we systematically wipe heart disease off the map?  Nope.  Since the 1980s, the US obesity rates have doubled.  Rates of diabetes have QUADRUPLED.  Other problems that have worsened since the 1900s:  cancer, asthma and allergies, and hormone imbalance.  We have twice the risk of cardiovascular disease than the French, yet they eat twice the amount of butter, cheese, and pork products!   Ok, but surely cardio vascular disease (CVD) rates have improved.  That’s the whole point of the “low fat” craze anyway, right?  The answer is a little tricky because of the difference between HEART DISEASE and HEART FAILURE.  Yes, the numbers of deaths from heart disease have gone from over 1.6 million / year in 1963 to just over 300,000 in 2010, BUT the number of deaths from heart failure have gone from just over 140,000 in 1970 to 250,000 in 2010.  Just doubled. It started in the early 1900s While the lowered rates of cardiovascular disease (from 1960 – 2010) look good, in the 1900s, the rates were way lower!  It could be that less people reported problems to their doctors at that time, but interesting nonetheless.  But this is when the American diet changed.   It was in the 1930s that Dr. Weston A. Price noticed increased dental carries in his patients and decided to study... read more

Milk 101

Milk is so controversial, right?  From public breastfeeding shaming, lactose intolerance, and farmers going to jail for selling raw milk, it has the power to stir up a lot of emotion. Raw milk is where it’s at.  Unfortunately it’s so hard to get.  I get my raw milk from a very clandestine web site, then I get an email when the delivery is made and I drive to a little house in south Austin to pick it up every other Wednesday.  Also, you have to sign a waiver to get it.  If you’re a conspiracy theorist, it’s so the feds can keep an eye on you.  😉  Why is raw milk so good for you?  Enzymes and Probiotics Raw milk contains an enzyme called phosphatase that helps it digest and allows the calcium to absorb into the bones.  Raw milk also contains natural probiotics.  So, if you currently take a probiotic, you don’t really have to.  You just have to eat foods (like saurkraut) or drink something (like raw milk or kombucha tea) that contains natural probiotics in it.  Pasteurization kills all of these good things.   I know the question you’re (excuse the pun) dying to ask is, “But isn’t raw milk dangerous?”  According to the CDC, from 1993 – 2006 (13 years), there have been 2 reported deaths from nonpasteurized dairy products.  To put this into perspective, other food-borne illnesses (E Coli, Norovirus, Salmonella, etc.) cause about 23 deaths per year.  Most food-borne illnesses arise from conventional farming.  The unhealthy cows and pigs live in their own infected feces (I hope you’re not eating right now), which... read more

Why Organic Matters

Peer pressure influenced me to buy organic food.  Good peer pressure.  Of course I don’t want pesticides on my food.  The more I studied natural medicine, the firmer my affirmation to “go organic” was.  Avoiding cancer-causing agents?  Check.  Doing what’s best for the earth?  Check.  Not polluting our water supply?  Check.  Getting the most nutrition from the food I eat?  Check.   If you want to see change in the world, vote with your dollars.  We support what we buy.  I do not support pesticides / Monsanto / farming subsidies, so I try to not buy conventional produce and animal products.   Plus, organic tastes better! Fact:  out of all the farm land in the US, only 1% is certified organic.  If we know it’s better for us, why so little?  The answer to every question of course:  money.  Farmers produce what brings them the most $.  Except for those special farmers who actually give a damn.  And bless them. I got to meet one of those extra-special farmers last weekend in Wisconsin.  Me and a group of about 50 other acupuncturists from around the US got a tour of an organic farm where some of our nutritional products are grown.  It’s 400 acres and ran by a team of 7 people.  And they really care about the land in a way that you would want your food manufacturer to care.   GROWING ORGANIC IS TO NATURAL HEALTHCARE AS MONSANTO IS TO CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE When Christine, our farmer and tour-guide, said this I immediately wrote it down.  Because modern farming with pesticides and fertilizers is EASY; almost lazy.  Modern medicine... read more

The Definitive Guide to Low-Carb Snacks (and WHO should eat low-carb)

Today’s blog article is from a guest contributor, Liz Schau.  Liz has a holistic practice in San Antonio, TX where she specializes in helping people with autoimmune and thyroid disease recover their health with integrative nutrition. I never ever recommend the same diet to every client I work with. We are all way too genetically and “environmentally” different. That is, no two people have the same nutritionally-significant gene mutations and no two people were raised with the same chemical exposures and stresses. Each person deserves a diet crafted specifically for them. That said, there is a certain metabolic type that I look for when a woman with thyroid disease or autoimmunity comes to me, hopeless about weight loss. A few things I always consider: Could she be Leptin resistant? Leptin is a hormone that controls satiety. It is super common (due to stress, other hormonal imbalances, low neurotransmitters, a history of obesity, a history of stress eating/over-eating/night eating, consistently eating a high carbohydrate diet) to be Leptin resistant. Could she have low GABA? GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps keep us relaxed and calm, and not have nightly sweet/starch/alcohol cravings. Low GABA can cause high stress hormones, but also the insatiable desire to eat sweets in the late afternoon or evenings. Is low Serotonin causing her cravings? Does she have signs of Candida Albicans overgrowth? This can be a cause and result of a high carbohydrate diet. Does she feel better eating a high protein diet but struggles to maintain it? Does she feel better when she eats animal fats? Does she feel horrible when she skips meals or goes... read more

Why You’re Not Going to the Gym

There are two types of people out there:  people who say “I really should go work out,” and the people who DO go work out.   I think it’s because of this reason:  Fear.  Going out of our comfort zone is – well – uncomfortable!  I was at the children’s museum with my kids the other weekend.  One of my favorite thing to do there is watch the other parents.    I get realizations about human-nature this way.  Many adults don’t like to move very much.  Many people are content to just sit there, watching other people partake in the action.  Kids, on the other hand, have no such concept.  They will make sudden moves:  jump!  dance!  flap their hands!  yell!  splash!  I think deep down inside adults get inclinations to do things, but our outward composure tells us that’s inappropriate.   You may think:  “What will those other people think of me (if I move / do something physical that’s unexpected)?”  I’ll tell you what they’ll think:  “That person is cool!  Look at them not giving a flying flip what anyone else thinks!” OR “…” nothing because most people are so preoccupied with themselves that they don’t even notice you exist.  Sorry if that’s a shock.   For example, ever go out to the club and hear a song you love and want to dance, but no one else is dancing?  Do you hit the dance floor?  Well, you are one of few.  Most adults past the age of – oh, 23 – won’t do it.  They’re scared.  Although, I’ve seen that past a certain age, for some people maybe 70,... read more

For Weight Loss, Exercise is Not Enough

If you’re trying to lose excess weight with exercise, bravo to you!  Exercise and movement are essential for total body health.  But, if you’re disappointed with the weight changes, it’s because your diet sucks.  Sorry.  But diet alone is 80% of weight loss.  (Taking into account your hormone and stress levels are OK.)  Exercise helps with muscle tone, metabolism, and stress-reduction, but exercise alone will not give you 6-pack abs. 6-pack abs are, for me anyway, not ever going to happen.  #1) My genes do not support that body type.  #2) The amount of diet discipline necessary for 6-pack abs for me is not worth it.  I want to occasionally have queso and chips; wine with dinner; and a brownie a la mode.  I’ve decided that I am not willing to sacrifice those things just to have a certain body appearance. That being said, I have discovered a way to have your cake and eat it to, so to say.  The answer is having a “cheat day.”  Once per week you eat whatever you want.  Seriously, anything goes.  Doughnuts, Doritos, waffles and fried chicken, gummy bears, … whatever floats your boat.   At first, I balked at the idea, but in practice, I’m finding that it works.  It usually works.  There was that one time eating with friends when someone ordered a brownie a la mode (not on cheat day) and I just could not resist.  I tried, but eventually I gave in to one bite.  Then another.  And I enjoyed each bite until I was done enjoying it.  Then went back to my disciplined diet. Sometimes cheat day is... read more

A Strange Tip for Treating Plantar Fasciitis

Modern feet are lazy.  We make our shoes do all the work!  Our feet just flop around in the shoes without a care in the world.  We don’t pay much attention to them.  Basically, the foot muscles get lazy and weak.  Without proper foot musculature, the plantar fascia becomes over-stretched and will hurt.   How do you strengthen your foot?  It’s not with weight lifting.  Jogging or aerobic exercise won’t work by themselves and could make it worse!    The secret is to grip the ground.  Thousands of years ago, when people wore very thin shoes or no shoes at all, they could feel the ground with their feet.  Their feet would actually grip the ground when they walk.  This is helps with stability, balance, and foot strength.   Your foot is the root of your body:  if the foot posture is off, it will throw off the posture of your knees, hips, back, and shoulders.   What you want to feel when you walk is your heels are slightly pointed inward, just enough so that you can use your toes to grip the ground.  Try this without shoes on.  After some practice, you can try it with shoes on.  With each step, grip the ground until your back leg is able to push you forward as you walk.  It will take some time and some thinking about it (at first), but after a while your feet will become stronger and less painful.   Another thing to think about are your shoes.  Personally, I gave up heels several years ago.  Just not worth the discomfort.  When I see girls walking in... read more

Chinese Medicine Resources

Some people love getting acupuncture and could care less how it works.  Other people want to know exactly how it works.  If a point is sore, “what is that?!”  And they may want to read about Chinese medicine in their spare time. For that second group of people, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 books on Chinese medicine, based on the opinions of me and some other acupuncturists.  These books are considered for the “layman,” and are written in easy-to-understand language, not all Chinese-mediciney-talk like your yin repletion being consumed by your yangming brightness channel and so forth. The Complete Illustrated Guide to Chinese Medicine by PhD Tom Williams. Great pictures, easy to read. The Chinese Way to Healing: Many Paths to Wholeness by Mischa Cohen, LAc. Mischa presents the medicine clearly and has easy to follow suggestions for self care. Healing With Whole Foods, Oriental Traditions and Modern Nutrition by Paul Pitchford. Integrates Oriental and Western nutritional knowledge.  It’s a book that many acupuncturists have read and recommend for their clients.  It was one of the first books I read on Chinese medicine!  It’s not meant to be read all at once, but more as a resource for specific conditions.  It lists specific foods that can aggravate and heal certain problems. A Manual of Acupuncture by Peter Deadman and Mazin Al-Khafaji. Excellent, invaluable resource for students and practitioners alike.  I use it all the time to re-read and remember specifics about acupuncture points.  The anatomically detailed pictures of the acupoints are a must for understanding point location, if that’s what you would like to do.   The... read more

Posture Follow-Up

Remember back in October (2015) when I wrote 3 articles on perfecting your posture?   Sitting  Standing and Walking Sleeping Well, I continually work on it (straightening my neck; walking with my back leg more extended) and with great effect.  Now I only get shoulder and neck tension if I do something crazy like 50 pushups in a day.  And my recovery time is much quicker. But it did not happen overnight.  It took probably 2 or 3 months of re-training my muscle memory to get it.  The first few weeks are great.  You’re like “I’ve got this!”  And then the next day you wake up with your chin jutted out again and your neck vertebrae all scrunched up.  Back to it.  Never give up.  Straighten that neck.  Reach your head high.  Tuck the chin.  Even when you’re sleeping, stretch your neck up nice and long.  “Sleep-stretching.” The first few weeks of re-learning how to walk were rough.  My hip was constantly tight and painful.  But stay with it – I did.  Now I barely notice my hip which is a good thing.  Walking feels like a nice stretching workout.  Stretch the hips and work the glutes. Doing yoga with these postural changes in mind was also an eye-opener.  Try downward dog keeping your ribs tucked in.  Yoga instructors would always say, “keep your back straight,” but I never really got what that meant until I understood the concept of keeping the ribs tucked in.  Push the bottom of your ribs in (tuck it in using your abdominal oblique muscles, but tuck literally with your hands at first to get the... read more

Where to NOT Get Nutrition Advice

Sorry, docs, but according to a recent study, “most graduating medical students continue to rate their nutrition preparation as inadequate.”  In all 126 US medical schools that participated in this study, the average number of classroom hours was less than 24 on the topic of nutrition.  This is like a three-day course. What I have experienced in my practice is a lot of people either A) receive NO nutritional information from their doctor or B) receive BAD nutritional information from their doctor. OK, some doctors have studied advanced nutrition in addition to their current specialty, but they are the exception, not the rule. I remember as a child with skin problems I was never told there was a link between food and my skin.  I even had a doctor laugh at the notion.  What do you know, as soon as I changed my diet, my skin cleared up.  Definitely a direct correlation. Some doctors think candida problems or gluten sensitivity are “in your head.”  But when people make those changes, they feel better.  It never ceases to amaze me that docs who specialize in digestive issues (gastroenterology) don’t first look at diet before medicating.  Doesn’t it make sense that the substances constantly flowing through the gasto-tract would impact how it is working? I want to go into more detail for diabetics, kidney problems, and hypertension (high blood pressure): DIABETES AND DIET BAD ADVICE:  “Avoid sweet vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and yams.  Use artificial sweeteners.  Eat whole wheat bread.  Eat a low-fat diet.” GOOD ADVICE: Sweet vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, yams) are full of things that are good for you like... read more