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

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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

The Definitive Guide to Low-Carb Snacks

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

Best Way to Stay Healthy in 2016

If you follow Chinese astrology, you know that 2016 is the year of the Fire Monkey.  If you don’t follow Chinese astrology, it doesn’t matter, but stay with me because it’s all going to make sense shortly. Chinese astrology is based on the 5 elements and the 12 zodiac signs.  Every person has a unique (12,960,000 possible combinations) combination of 4 elements and 4 signs, called the “stem” (zhi) and “branch” (gan).  These 8 symbols are known as your Ba Zi, or “8 seeds,” which are based on the year, month, day, and hour of your birth. The stem and branch for this year are “bing” (fire) and “shen” (monkey/metal).  An aside:  the animals that we all recognize as the fun part of Chinese astrology were created to help the farmers and fishermen more easily learn the zodiac for fishing and harvesting purposes.  Astrology then was learned only by scholars, not tradesmen.  Traditionally, there are characters, but not animals associated with the years. So we have a fire / metal year.  How does this impact our health?  Some of that does depend on your own unique Ba Zi and how those elements interact with your own balance of elements, but there are some universal aspects to it. First, we need to understand the 5 elements chart.  This chart is a fundamental aspect of Chinese medicine and Chinese astrology. According to the CONSTRUCTIVE / GENERATING CYCLE (arrows on the outside), Fire produces Earth which produces Metal.  According to the DESTRUCTIVE / CONTROLLING CYCLE (inside lines), Fire melts Metal.  The organs and body systems associated with Metal are the most vulnerable this year, because... read more

Minerals and Your Health

I had an epiphany the other day:  so many health problems can be linked to deficiencies of minerals.  Minerals help with building and maintaining body structures (muscles, tendon, bones); regulating digestion and circulation; and activating enzymatic processes that support your immune and endocrine systems.  Even though they are small parts in our overall composition, they are absolutely essential. So why are mineral deficiencies so common now?  This was my big light-bulb moment: Because we no longer eat food that is dirty.  Our food is almost ridiculously devoid of any dirt.  And we really don’t want to be eating our “modern” dirt, anyway.  Whereas thousands of years ago, particles of dirt on your food may benefit your health, now you’re probably eating more chemicals than anything.  Chemicals we are not deficient in! Our water is filtered.  This is good and I highly recommend filtering your water because (as in #1) our modern supply is full of … chemicals!  Now instead of getting a nice dose of calcium, iron, and sulfer, you get flouride, synthetic hormones, and antibiotics.  Yummy.  So yes, we filter, but at the loss of valuable trace minerals. We don’t eat as much seafood.  And again, it is not usually recommended to eat a lot of seafood because of the … chemicals.  Mercury to be precise.  Farm raised fish is questionable; we don’t know what the farmers are feeding the fish, and it may include (are you sensing a theme here?) chemicals that give them a certain color. So very few people are able to ingest the amount of minerals needed to function at 100%.  Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium,... read more

Treating Chronic Problems

Western healthcare focuses on the illness; I guess you could call it “sick-care”.  Medicating symptoms or removing problem areas of your body are the general approach. The holistic approach to healthcare focuses on what is good in your body – your health, your function.  You’re more than just a collection of problems:  the true, inner self has radiant health.  We help you remove what’s getting in the way of that health.  Your body is not ever “broken” or “wrong,” just in need of occasional help. The best way to help a body heal is assisting in the brain-body connection.  Problems arise when there is a disconnect between the two.  In other words, the brain is so focused on anything else but not paying attention to what is happening in the body and how the body is responding to conditions. Of course, there are lots of ways to connect with that aspect of self:  acupuncture, deep breathing, meditation, yoga, time in nature, eating good, unprocessed food and sometimes even hallucinogenic drugs can help.* The Nan Jing is a thousands of years old book that discusses the root of many types of illness being from blocked consciousness.  When we close our minds to new experiences, we can block up our eyes, ears, or nose.  When we hold onto “crap” and fear letting go of something or someone, we get intestinal blockages.  Any of these can have dire consequences on our health. When your mind becomes focused on an irritant, your qi becomes blocked.  For example, you don’t like the way your body feels / looks; or you fear the sensation of hunger because you may gain... read more

Top 10 Natural Medicine Cabinet Remedies

In my “medicine cabinet” at home we don’t actually have medication!  We have:  herbs, homeopathic remedies, and LOTS of vitamins and supplements.  Most things that pop up health-wise can be treated with things you may just have (or probably should have) lying around your house.  If you don’t know what to use and when to use it, I made this handy list.  Best thing:  no prescription required. 1 Apple Cider Vinegar:  ACV can be used for SO many things.  If you don’t have a bottle, go out and buy yourself one right now.  It will set you back all of about $3. Things you can use it for: yeast infection (take 2T orally twice daily or vaginally in a sitz bath or douche); acid reflux (for 80% of reflux sufferers it will work miracles, but if you’re in the 20% who it makes your reflux worse, stop using it!); bone spurs (take 2T daily in water); hangover (this is not “by the books,” but I tried it once when I had some dizzy spells from a long boozy night and it worked quite well!) 2 Nux Vomica:  this is a homeopathic remedy you can find at the healthfood store.  It’s awesome for any type of nausea.  It’s actually one of the only things that helped me through my first trimester of pregnancy!  Also good for hangovers. 3 Lavender essential oil:  This is my “go-to” essential oil.  I like to use it in my kids’ (and my own) bath at night for relaxation.  You can also dab it directly onto your third eye (between and slightly above your real eyes)... read more