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

Can Acupuncture Treat _____?

Q:  Can acupuncture treat my ___? A:  Let me differentiate between 2 separate ideas: Acupuncture is a way of relaxing your sympathetic nervous system to allow for improved blood circulation.  It can treat conditions relating to nervous system disruption or stagnant blood circulation such as muscular tension, discomfort, or pain. Chinese (or Oriental or Eastern, if you like) medicine, however, is broader in scope, referring to any number of exercises, acupressure and massage techniques, herbal medicines and poultices, nutrition, and in some circles even bone-setting or minor surgery.  Chinese medicine is a complete system of medicine and can therefore be used to treat just about anything! I’ll give you some examples: Can acupuncture treat allergies?  Acupuncture can send more blood circulation to your sinus cavities to promote healing and less congestion.  Will it stop the allergic response happening in your Liver / Stomach / Intestines?  Probably not.  For that we need to use herbs or NAET. Can acupuncture treat headaches?  Acupuncture can redirect blood circulation to your head so, yes, it can very likely “cure” headache pain. Can acupuncture help me lose weight?  I doubt it.  Weight gain is more likely a result of improper eating, nutritional or bacterial imbalance, or hormone imbalance, so the best solutions are going to be 1. dietary (education), 2. nutritional (food as medicine) or 3. hormone balancing.  Which leads me to the next one: Can acupuncture balance my hormones?  A little bit.  It can promote better circulation to your hormone producing organs, but it would take a LOT of acupuncture to make a big change.  It depends on how serious the imbalance is.  The herbal medicines are... read more

Surviving Flu Season

I only get sick when one of the following things happen: Not enough sleep Unmitigated stress Too much sugar No exercise with regularity Every.  Single.  Time. My sob story is that I have a 2-year-old who has been waking me up at night for, well, 2 years.  Not enough sleep?  Check!  But it’s my own darn fault for eating cake 9 days in a row.  I’m embarrassed to write this, but it’s just true.  Some of those days it was just a bite or two of cake, but cake nonetheless.  9 days.  In a row. STEP 1 Get rid of the sugar bug. The problem with eating sugar one day is that it makes you want to eat it the next day.  It’s as addictive as crack / cocaine.  Or so they say.  I’ve never been addicted to crack / cocaine.  Too expensive.  And I like to sleep. When I decide to cut out sugar, I have to be ruthless.  Other people have their own way of dealing with “getting back on the wagon,” but for me the only thing that works is cold turkey.  Just say no.  To cake. No cake. No brownies. No cookies.  Just don’t even buy them! No muffins.  Keep walking past the pastry case at the coffee shop. Ok, just a little bit of dark chocolate.  You have to live, right? It’s Thanksgiving, or Christmas (or Festivus or whatever), and you get offered pie.  Say you love pie.  Just have a piece of pie! STEP 2 What you need to avoid over the holidays:  guilt.  Just enjoy what you want, then get over it.  Get “back... read more

Posture Part III: Lying Down

Ok, so now you’re sitting well and walking with ease.  Time for a rest!  Lots of people complain that sleeping on their shoulder or their hip, etc. hurts.  Sometimes you may notice that your pain areas are worse in the morning.  Stretch-lying is designed to help that.  The good news is that you can stretch-lie on your back, side, or front. BACK When you stretch-lie on your back, use a bolster or pillow under your knees.  Relax your feet out to the sides.  As your feet externally rotate, your hips and legs will relax out. Momentarily, prop your body up onto your elbows.  Now, tuck your ribs in.  With your ribs tucked in, lie back down.  This helps to create a nice, long line through your spine. Position your pillow comfortably around your neck.  Make sure your neck is in a nice, long line and your chin is tucked in.  This position also helps to prevent snoring! Make sure your shoulders are still down and back. Good night! SIDE Use a pillow or bolster between your knees if that’s more comfortable.  Scooch your behind back.  This may cause you to sway-back, which will be removed in the next step: Lift your upper body up to stretch your spine.  You should feel as though your belly button is tucked in toward your spine and you are lifting yourself over a ledge. Avoid rolling your shoulder forward.  You can use a pillow in front of your body to prevent too much shoulder hunching. Your lower arm can be positioned where it’s most comfortable:  under your head, in front of you, or... read more

Posture Part 2: How to Stand and Walk

If you missed part 1, it’s right here where we talked about the correct way to sit to avoid back, neck, and shoulder problems.  Now we need to re-learn the right way to stand!  Once you know how to stand, then you can walk. As you’re re-learning posture, it’s so tempting to say, “Oh, that sounds good.  I will try that.”  …then you go right back to your usual habits.  I know I’ve fallen into that trap before.  Don’t waste any time doing this.  Resolve to change now.  The stages of change are as follows: Denial:  “My posture is fine.  My lower back hurts because ___(some excuse).” Mild Interest:  “That sounds interesting.  Maybe I’ll try it someday (when the pain gets bad enough.)” Attempting it:  “This feels awkward.” Having to remind yourself continually the correct steps and movements. Your muscles and bones literally change shape.  This is called “muscle memory.” You did it! As you can imagine, this takes time.  The only way to get there is by practice.  Put sticky notes on your work station, in your car, and at your kitchen table.   Put one on your TV!  Whatever it takes, just resolve to get there, and you will. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s begin. PROPER STANDING / “TALLSTANDING” Feet  Heels in slightly (just 15% or so is enough).  You should feel a nice grip on the ground if you’re barefoot. Weight on your heels.  Rock your pelvis (yeah, you heard me, rock it) front to back.  Feel how the weight centers change from your ball of the feet to the heels?  Keep it... read more

Good Posture Should Feel Like Slouching

I spent all last weekend taking the foundations course in the Gokhale (“go-clay”) Method.  You may remember when I last spoke about this technique founded by an acupuncturist in the 1990s who, after experiencing crippling back pain and unsuccessful back surgeries, noticed how in some indiginous cultures (Kenya and Burkina in Africa; parts of India and Asia; Portugal; etc.) there are almost no (roughly 5 – 7% reported) incidence of back problems, whereas in the US, approximately 85% of US adults report back pain at some point in their lives.  NPR recently did an expose on Esther Gokhale and her techniques. I wanted to share some of my insights from the class, and also to offer my services.  There is no way to learn how to prevent back, shoulder, neck, hip, knee and foot pain through this technique without the kinesthetic experience of doing it.  It would be like reading about how to exercise and then expecting 6-pack abs to show up when you’re done with the book. SITTING There are 2 ways of sitting, depending on the chair and your personal preference:  stacksitting and stretchsitting (see photos).  The idea is that you should be able to sit a lot – say you have a desk job – without pain IF you’re sitting correctly. Notice first your feet.  they should touch the ground comfortably.  If not, use a bolster (rolled up blanket or towel is enough) or stool.  Your heels should root into the ground at a slight angle, about 10 – 15%.  This is a naturally comfortable position for your feet and will help prevent foot problems like... read more

A Medication No One Needs: Birth Control Pills

Here’s the stuff you may already know:  Yes, the 1960s, the sexual revolution for women! Birth control pills seemed like the answer for decades of repression, yet a few years later, with rising rates of breast cancer, we would be ignorant to say this isn’t a problem. Over the years, various forms of oral contraceptives have been manufactured using synthetic forms of estrogen and progesterone.  The goal of these pills is to prevent pregnancy by preventing ovulation, or by thickening the lining of the cervix or uterus to prevent sperm from entering or to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. If you pick up a prescription for birth control, you’re told the usual warnings:  risk of blood clotting disorders (stroke, embolism, heart disease), liver disease, gall bladder disease, bloating, moodiness, weight gain, headache, hair loss, and nausea. But, you think, it’s worth the risk to prevent an unwanted pregnancy!  The problem is not that you may get one of these side-effects, the problem is why the pill is causing those problems to begin with. Here’s the stuff you may not already know (or have considered): “ESTROGEN DOMINANCE” Your reproductive system does not exist in a vacuum.  Taking man-made estrogen or progesterone causes system-wide problems.  These synthetic hormones bind to estrogen receptor sites in your body to artificially cause something called “estrogen dominance.”  Too much xeno-estrogens (synthetic estrogens) are what can cause cancer.  Other than cancer, they can also cause allergy symptoms autoimmune disorders breast tenderness cervical dysplasia thyroid disfunction decreased sex drive depression dry eyes weight gain fatigue fibrocystic breasts foggy thinking gall bladder disease hair loss headaches hypoglycemia blood clotting infertility... read more

“Evil Qi”

In Chinese medicine, we say there are 6 pathogenic factors, or “evil qi.”  Wind, cold, heat, fire toxin, dryness, or dampness can “invade your body” and cause problems.  So 3,000 years ago there were no microscopes, but just knowledge that exposure to certain elements produced certain types of illnesses.   So, in central Texas, you wouldn’t think we would have much of a problem with cold, right?  Wrong.  Iced drinks (iced water or tea, margaritas, smoothies), air conditioning (which I find the AC in Texas is much more frigid than in the northern states), and ice packs for injuries are not your friends. I understand that you want to cool off or reduce inflammation, but too much (or for those of you with “cold damage” already, ANY) ice in your drinks or on your body is causing problems. Why?  Ice causes contraction.  Contraction causes pain.  Contraction reduces blood circulation which slows the healing process.  Especially after giving birth or after a traumatic injury, your body is literally open and vulnerable to cold damage.  In Chinese medicine, we recommend a woman who just gave birth stay at home for one whole month before going out so that she does not succumb to cold or wind damage. What are the signs of cold damage?   Pain.  Especially arthritic pain; pain that moves around; pain that feels cool to the touch or that gets worse in cold or damp weather.   Hormone imbalance.  A history of infertility (male or female); hypothyroid; frequent miscarriage Allergies, cough, or illness, especially if you feel chills or if the nape of your neck is cool to... read more

Feng Shui Your Health

If you’re not familiar with “Feng Shui,” it translates to “Wind Water.”  It is a system of design and placement based on Asian philosophies like the balancing of the 5 elements (water, wood, fire, earth, and metal).  There are Feng Shui books and consultants that, supposedly, can arrange your office, garden, or living space to be the most auspicious for your luck.  The areas of luck in Feng Shui include:  money, career, children / creativity, health, knowledge, fame, family, helpful people / travel, and love / relationships.  Just about any area of your life that you could imagine caring about!   Of course, I am not a Feng Shui consultant, but this article is my experience with it. There are weird Feng Shui “fixes” like hanging lucky mirrors or flutes or other charms on ceiling posts or doors, or facing certain lucky directions at your desk or when you’re sleeping.  Some of these can just be clunky and annoying.  For example, you face your bed in the “lucky direction” and to avoid the foot of the bed facing the door (another FS no-no), it has to take up the entire bedroom.  You may be faced into thinking you need to buy all new furniture or a bunch of lucky “knick-knacks” for your house for it to be “auspicious” enough.    I don’t think so.   I think the true purpose and benefit of Feng Shui is making your environment harmonious.   Safe, efficient, and beautiful.  Things should make sense and have a purpose.  Your surroundings should make you feel relaxed.  Cleanliness and lack of clutter is nice, but it just makes sense:  it’s less... read more

Quality vs. Quantity

The single-most important thing for weight loss (and overall health) in regards to nutrition and eating?  Eat quality foods. I’m kind of a food snob and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.  Sometimes when I have a booth at a health fair and I didn’t bring enough snacks with me, I’ll browse around the other booths looking for some free food.  Maybe I pick up a granola bar from the Sam’s Club booth:  I read the ingredients “…high fructose corn syrup, rice syrup (read:  more sugar), honey (…more sugar!)…”  I smile to the nice lady at the booth, “Thanks,” and set the bar back down.  I honestly would rather suffer from hunger than eat that crap. There are levels of food goodness.  Maybe you thought all salt was the same.  Maybe you thought all flours or breads were the same.  All steak is the same?  Eggs?  Nu-uh.  Not even close. Plus, the more money you spend on food, the less you can eat!  I’m kidding, of course.  But for real, the more – let’s call it – concern you put into the food you energize your body with, the more satisfied you will feel.  Your body is a temple.  If the temple gets goes into disrepair from crappy care, where you gonna live? I’m going to break it down like this:   “Food  Type” –>  “Yuck.”   –>   “Ok.”  –>   “Yes!”  in these examples:   Salt   –> Iodized / Table Salt –>  Sea Salt –>  Pink Himilayan Salt / Grey Sea Salt Beef –> Corn-fed / “Grade A” Beef –> Grass-fed Beef –> Kobe Beef (but... read more

Taming the Beast

Can we really learn to “control” our anger?  Having a “short-fuse” or “lashing out” indicates something beyond our ability to control ourselves.  My friend Mary from acupuncture college said to me a few years ago, “It seems like you’ve really calmed down a lot.  You used to have such a short fuse.”  She was right.  The slightest offense to my person, and I was all up in arms, defense mode. Having kids on one hand mellowed me out quite a bit, but as my oldest one gets older (and more mouthy and boundary-testing), I find some old angry ways coming out that I don’t like. Like the other night – really this type of scenario is just about daily: *Me:  Ramsey, please stop waving that toy in my face. *Ramsey:  (still waving the toy in my face) *Me:  Dammit!  (swatting at the toy so it flies across the room) There have been some times that I have almost swatted him.  It’s like he knows just how to push my buttons.  And let me get something straight here:  I am not a fan of spanking nor do I believe that children need to be spanked to learn discipline.  In fact, an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence says quite the opposite.  The more that kids are spanked, the more likely they are to do worse in school, not develop close relationships, and end up in prison! So, obviously, I don’t want to do that.  But how to handle the anger / rage that boils up to the surface on a regular? These anti-anger tips are for those of us with children, and without.... read more

How to Find the Best Doctor

One of my mentors said that the most difficult patients were those who already see “the best doctors” so are therefore unlikely to consider alternative medicine. What influences people to enter the field of healing in the first place?  To say “I want to help people” is true…but there’s always more to it than that.  I had an interest in knowing how things and people work; how to “correct” illness; and learning something that had thousands of years of history behind it.   Some people hate doctors; and some people can’t seem to get enough of them.   Doctors have information that we need.  They have ACCESS.  Access to –> 1. Drugs (prescriptions / herbs / etc.) 2. Information / knowledge 3. Treatment (surgery / acupuncture / physical therapy / etc.) Some things you just can’t figure out or do on your own.  Sometimes I try to diagnose myself.  I try to check my own pulse.  It doesn’t really work.  I kind of get an idea of what I need, but sometimes you need to pull in some professional help. One thing I really don’t care for in Allopathic medicine is how they tend to shine a light on the worst-case scenario.  Not all docs or nurses do this, but for sure, there’s a tendency in Western medicine to not get your hopes up too high for fear that if everything doesn’t turn out as planned, then you may sue them or worse:  write a negative review on Yelp. One thing to remember is never allow anyone give you a permanent label.  “Oh, you have rheumatoid arthritis.  I’m sorry; it’s incurable.”... read more