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

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

Lessons in Summertime Wellness

The last day of school when you were a kid was absolute magic, right?  I remember the days leading up to that day stretched on forever.  You Just. Can’t. Wait. for summer to get here! Enter adulthood:  summer is hot and sunny, but gone is the magic pull of anticipation and excitement. Did you know that in European countries, the norm is taking at least a one month-long vacation?  It’s true because I read about it on the internet. Before this summer, my reaction to the idea of a month long vacation was “yeah, right. (scoffing noise.)” Now…I am actually entertaining the idea.  One major reason why is that I now have a son who is school-age and who has a summer vacation.  Kids summer vacations are great for the kids, but for the kids’ guardians, especially those of us trying to raise socially conscious, smart, and well-balanced children, it’s stressful if you are working.  “what is little Johnny going to do all day while I’m working?”  If you’re not careful, little Johnny is going to play video games all summer. I imagine most people’s barrier to taking a month-long summer vacay is financial.  Plus, there’s only so much time you can leave from work before people start to resent that.  I still say “Let’s start a new work place trend.” We work too hard!  We are stressed out and that is leading to too many health problems.  It’s not worth it. So why are we working so hard?  And where is all this hard-earned money going?  Time to take the red pill.  Time for some truth serum. I had to ask... read more

WWND … w/ Cancer

What Would I (Nicole) Do if I had Cancer??? People ask my opinion about things and – in regards to medical information – I readily give it.  By no means am I suggesting this cancer treatment protocol for “you,” though.  Take my advice with a grain of salt and trust your own instincts.       Legally is another ballgame altogether.  By the laws regulating my medical license, I can not suggest that someone should alter their physician’s recommended course of action.  Certainly the MDs are often quick to judge and condemn Chinese medicine, particularly the herbal part (of which they rarely know anything about), but the laws are more set up to protect the MDs than the acupuncturists and Chiropractors because, well, they have more money. So if I was diagnosed with some type of cancer, gawd forbid, this is what I would do. First, I’m sure I would notice some types of unusual symptoms not clearing up on their own. When this happens, I am lucky in that I can self-prescribe herbs, nutritional changes, or acupuncture, massage, and chiropractic and usually make a full recovery pretty quick.  Let’s just say for argument’s sake that I am not so lucky this time.  Let’s say I have an abdominal pain that is not going away.  Then what?  See an MD to get some testing done and find out what it is. The most common question I hear every week is “does acupuncture fix ____?”  The answer is more often than not, “it depends on what is causing ______.”  Only with a proper diagnosis and understanding of the why can we assign... read more

Ancient Secrets to Living Pain Free

A recent NRP article highlighted how some societies have virtually NO back pain – and no disc deterioration. An acupuncturist, Esther Gokhale, who seeking help from her own severe back pain, started researching indigenous tribes in South America, Asia and Africa.  These are places where people are often seen carrying heavy loads of water on their heads, or sitting on the ground weaving cloth for hours.  Even the village elders are working all day, bending over collecting food, and have no pain. It’s how they move, sit, and sleep that protects their backs from problems.   Esther noticed when these people walk, it’s very similar across the board to each other:  their back leg is slightly straight and the buttocks muscles are engaged.  Their feet are slightly out.  They move very industriously and with elegance.  They travel great distances and carry very heavy weights almost effortlessly and without problems.   She ultimately found that the ideal spine is actually “J” shaped, rather than “S” shaped, as we have been taught in modern medical textbooks.   You know who else have perfect movement and posture?  Babies.  Their butts just naturally stick out into a perfect “J” shape.  They squat and walk with perfect posture.  I remember as a baby, my son who was maybe 2 at the time and about 30 pounds, lifting a 10 pound kettle bell.  Aside from worrying about him dropping it on his little foot, it was remarkable how easy it was for him to squat down and lift it perfectly without changing the shape of his back in that process.  It was fun for him!  Not like those... read more

Why Creams Won’t Fix Your Cellulite

Is this not the most over-used phrase in advertising, “Get Rid of Your Cellulite Now!”  I would look at the ad, and think “Do people really think rubbing a cream on their thighs is going to get rid of something underneath the skin?”  But some people must because the creams and the ads just keep on coming. For those of you new to “cellulite,” it’s a dimpling of the skin, usually in women, and usually around the buttocks and upper thigh area.  What do I know about cellulite?  Not much because I’ve never really had it.  I’m not saying I couldn’t stand to lose a few, but I just have never had cellulite in particular. My theory is that I walk a lot.  And the phases of my life where I’ve walked more I’ve had even more muscle tone and even less potentially cellulitey patches.  Not sure what else to call it. So almost everything in Chinese medicine is based on blood circulation, right?  If something is not right on your skin (rashes, bumps, acne, veins, etc.) it always comes down to the circulation – for some reason – not reaching the surface. A skin surface with proper circulation is a healthy color (not too pale or dusky) and smooth texture.  Anything with uneven texture is from fluid being trapped under the skin. So why would fluid get trapped under the skin on my a**, you may be asking? Because it’s not getting moved enough. People want to blame genetics, and I could certainly point to all the women in my family (sorry, mom) and say that’s not necessarily... read more

Dry Needling – an insider’s view

Keep Acupuncture Real: What You Must Know Before You Try Dry Needling © 2015 Kristen Horner Warren, L.Ac, M.S., M.A., Dipl.OM, all rights reserved [http://www.liveoakacupuncture.com/dry-needling] To this point I have not spoken out about this issue because I didn’t want to get embroiled in an ugly fight, but it has come to the point that I cannot in good conscience remain quiet about a serious threat to public safety and the integrity of a profession that I love. What is that threat? It is so-called dry needling, which is another name for acupuncture performed by physical therapists, occupational therapists, massage therapists, athletic trainers, physician’s assistants, and other allied health professionals, typically after 20-30 hours of training. I feel that I have something unique to contribute to this discussion, given that I invested the time and money required to complete a 30-hour certification in “Dry Needling for Pain Management”. This experience gave me an inside look at the training that practitioners of dry needling receive in contrast with my training as a licensed acupuncturist. The bottom line? I am gravely concerned and see dry needling as a serious threat to public safety. This is not about defending territory When I first learned about dry needling I was open-minded. I am not by nature territorial or competitive. My primary goal is to offer my patients the most effective treatment and I am willing to entertain the possibility that people outside of my profession could have something clinically useful to contribute to my knowledge base. In the aftermath of a major car accident [http://www.liveoakacupuncture.com/my-story] in 2003 I worked closely with a physical therapist for about six months and... read more