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

What are “Chinese Herbs”

When I suggest Chinese herbal medicines for my clients, many people are concerned that The ingredients are weird animal parts or worse:  endangered, weird animal parts Toxic perhaps? Will interfere with medications Have side-effects You have to take them forever Will taste bad (well, let’s just say they’re an “acquired taste”) There are around 6,000 herbal species in use in Chinese herbology.  Around 1,000 of those are derived from animals.  Around 100 of those are from minerals.  But we call all of them “herbs.” We learn about 300 of the 6,000 herbs in Chinese medicine school.  Out of those, we learn about 500 different combinations of those herbs.  Chinese herbology is confusing!  There is tons of memorization involved, and even now, after studying this system of medicine for over 16 years, I still have to look things up from time to time.   A traditional Chinese herbal formula has on average between 2 and 20 different herbs.  Each herb has one of four main functions:   Chief or Emperor herb(s) – the primary function of the formula (for example to stop a cough) Prime Minister herb(s) – enhances the function of the chief herb (for example to nourish the Lung Qi to stop a cough) Minister herb(s) – enhances functions of Emperor and Prime Minister herbs, and also mitigates side effects of those herbs (for example, nourishes Spleen Qi to support digestion and clear phlegm to stop a cough) Envoy herb(s) – mitigate side effects of all the other herbs in the formula (for example, nourishes yin in a formula that otherwise would be very drying to stop a wet... read more

Balancing Yin

Where unchecked violence grows, the feminine energy has been suppressed.  For 3,000 years masculine energy has dominated our society. Masculine and feminine energies are complimentary and we need both (the “yin-yang”).  But it’s out of balance.  Then what happens to the world?  What happens to the women? We get stressed, we have no libido, and we gain weight.   And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. What is masculine energy? Work really, really hard It’s the bottom line that matters It’s all about me, not about society as a whole What is feminine energy? Noticing the sacred in the small detailed things Fostering connections and societies Intuition  The ability to give life itself! I love that the Dalai Lama himself said at the Vancouver Peace Summit in 2009, “the world will be saved by the western woman.” I was like, “Yes! I think so too!” Too long has our world been led by men. Guys, nothing against you or your ability to lead, but it’s been a little (no, a LOT) lopsided here. More than 3000 years ago, women were revered as holy. We could be priestesses, mothers, and community leaders.  The female figure was not harshly judged, but in fact revered for its curves. The curves are life-giving.  Have you ever looked at a fertility goddess from thousands of years ago? No body shame here.  Hips for child-bearing (or child hoisting), breasts for nursing or snuggling up against. Do you think she wants to lose weight?  No.  Wanting to lose weight is something that your brain comes up with. It’s when we lose touch of our bodies... read more

8 Foods to Eat When You Crave Sugar

When you crave sweets (chocolates, ice cream, candy, sugary drinks, etc.), there are 3 underlying reasons why: Reason #1 you crave sugar:  you have a bacteria imbalance in your gut.  The little bacteria / yeasts that can overgrow in your intestines feed on sugar.  They’re literally telling your brain, “Feed me!” Reason #2 you crave sugar:  you are stressed out or otherwise just not happy in your current situation.  You want something “sweet” but not necessarily on a plate.   Reason #3 you crave sugar:  you need some quick energy / you have a deficiency of some vitamin(s).  Iron, magnesium, protein, or vitamin B deficiencies could all cause cravings.   So, yes, there are sweet food alternatives for less healthy sugary snacks, but really we also need to address the real root (or roots) of the problem in the first place.   1 Sweet Potato – sweet potatoes are creamy, satisfying, and naturally sweet.  Don’t add more sugar after you bake or boil them:  just a little bit of butter, coconut oil, or cinnamon for flavor if you like.  I like to mash mine with grass-fed butter and raw whole milk.  Root vegetables like sweet potatoes are grounding and earthy so will help you feel calm.  Plus they are a great source of vitamins like vitamin A and trace minerals. 2 Plain, full-fat Yogurt – this is what I eat when I crave ice cream.  If you like, add some liquid stevia drops, cherry extract, berries, nut butter, etc. 3 Green Tea – this is called “dancer’s tea” in China.  My friend, who is quite thin, went to China a few... read more

Meditation for Dummies

If you “can’t meditate,” it’s not ’cause meditation is not for you or certainly not that you’re dumb.  It’s because it’s hard.   If you’ve never done a real push up before, I can guarantee you it will be hard.  Unless you’re one of those strangely strong people who just naturally have great muscle tone and have never worked out a day in your life, your belly will want to cave toward the floor and your arms and legs will shake like jello.  If you’re doing it right. Back to meditation, if you’re doing something that’s worthwhile for the first time, it will be difficult.  We tell this to kids, but we forget it for ourselves.   After you practice it every day, for at least 30 days in a row, it will become easy.   You can do meditation sitting in a quiet room, focusing on your breathing, with your legs crossed on a regulation, official meditation pillow. You can meditate when you do yoga. You can meditate when you go for a walk. You can meditate when you focus on your breathing before you go to sleep. You can meditate when you unwind, cooking dinner, after work. You can meditate when you take a bath and consciously relax your body. You can meditate when you work, watch your kids, or have sex.  Whoa, whoa, whoa, there, Nicole. Yes, this is the “advanced level.” Once you “get” meditation (letting go of your daily thought cycle; acknowledge the thoughts, let them go, blah, blah, blah…), you can and SHOULD try to bring that mindset to your dailies. Most of... read more

When You’re Sick of Being Sick

Do you ever feel stuck in a rut?  Suffering with the same problems day in and day out?  I’m going to give you a little bit of tough love about that.  The real problem is:  you’re not paying attention to what’s real. We humans have this tendency to identify ourselves with our problems.  Such as “I am overweight.”  Or “I have an autoimmune (meaning ‘untreatable’) problem.”  Although it is true that those may be areas that need work, it is folly to believe that you ARE what you suffer with. When people say “I can’t avoid gluten,” or “Every woman in my family has that (problem),” they disallow for changes to happen.  “I have always moved this way; I can’t change it.”  “I have a chemical imbalance in my brain; I need these medication.”  “I have to have a job I hate because I need the retirement fund.”  What you have here are limitations.  Those ideas are not absolute truths; they are what non-optimistic people refer to as “reality.” Ok, yes, those things may be true.  Accidents happen; our bodies and minds suffer injuries; life is stressful. But our true identity is pure potential.  Life is potential.  If you have life, you have limitless options for how your future may unfold. No one can predict from a DNA test on an embryo the overall potential that could unfold.  There are just too many variables.  Consider Helen Keller.  What if she had concluded as “reality” what people told her about her life potential.  “You can’t see or hear.  You won’t be creative.  You can’t communicate or think…”  She is a... read more

If You Need to Lose Weight, Read This

Are you one of those people who have “tried everything” to lose weight?  You may have a blood sugar problem.  Even if you’re not diabetic, you may be experiencing a sluggish metabolism because your body is running on “sugar-fuel” instead of “fat-fuel.”   A blood sugar handling problem means you have “sugar highs” and then you get the “sugar lows.”   Common signs of sugar-handling problems include: feeling shaky, light-headed or irritable if you miss a meal not able to concentrate if you haven’t eaten craving carbohydrates craving sugars craving salt (for adrenal energy) craving dessert after a meal feeling tired after eating headaches waking up in the middle of the night (when your sugar drops in the middle of the night, waking up is your adrenal glands preventing you from going into a coma!) Other connected dis-eases to sugar handling problems may include: PCOS (if you don’t know what it is, you probably don’t have it) gout pituitary problems toxicity problems thyroid imbalance cancer blood clotting eye degeneration slow wound healing persistent systemic fungus, bacteria kidney damage fatty liver ketoacidosis diabetes The fundamental process here is quite simple:  CARBOHYDRATES convert to GLUCOSE. Glucose, then signals your pancreas to release insulin.  AND INSULIN PREVENTS YOUR BODY FROM USING FAT FOR ENERGY.  You got insulin?  Then you got fat. Ok, yes, we need some fat.  But most of us have a little to spare, no? I have – again – a super-easy solution.  WATCH YOUR CARB (carbohydrate) intake.  Ideally, keep your carb intake to less than 60 grams per day. What is a carb? The obvious ones:  crackers, cookies, pasta, baked goods,... read more

how to LITERALLY let go of stress

Think about all the things you have responsibility for in your life. Now think about all the things you really, really, really want to do and learn. How many things are on your list?         EXAMPLE LIST: job kids husband reading a new book exercising facebooking scrapbooking meet friends for a wild weekend in Vegas eating healthy shopping cleaning house learn Spanish travel to Europe dance classes Now… Pick 3 things. That is how many things you can do without stressing yourself out. Excuse me, things you can do well without stressing yourself out. Consider letting the other things go. After I had my kids, I had to let some things go in the exercise and education departments.  Would I still like to do more seminars and exercise classes in the future?  Heck, yea.  But for now, it’s not as high on my priority list. DON’T “SHOULD” YOURSELF As someone who counsels people on nutrition, I catch myself saying “I should know how to ferment my own vegetables; I should know how to do a juice cleanse…”  But you know what?  I don’t want to.  I can buy organic fermented vegetables and vegetable juice and I’m OK with that.   The list will change.  Often.   But for now, just consider the freedom of not having the internal pressure to do one more thing.  Outsource if you can.  Even though I really don’t mind cleaning my own house, I had come to the realization that just thinking about how I needed to sweep, mop, vacuum, and dust my house was stressing me out.  I hired a... read more

Summer Menu Ideas

For the sake of Freshness, Living with Nature, and Frugality! I think it’s always better to eat “seasonally.”  That is, choosing the foods in your diet around what is seasonally ripe and available (local and organic).  For example, if you eat a lot of bananas in the middle of winter (NOT seasonal, at least in Texas), you may end up with some type of Qi imbalance.  Plus, they have to be imported from who-knows-where in the tropics and that drives the cost up. In the cooler months, the foods available seasonally and locally for you are naturally what your body needs to warm up and nourish your Qi.  In the warmer months, the foods available are more cooling and cleansing.  Your diet should fluctuate with the seasons.   Eating the same foods day in and day out makes your body prone to infections and weakness of the digestive Qi. June, July, and August are the best months for all sorts of fresh fruit.  I advise against eating too much fruit because, you know, fructose, or fruit sugar.  Especially if you are prone to allergies, weight gain, fatigue or candida imbalance, you should limit your fruit intake to no more than 1 piece per day.  Local, seasonal fruits include: Peaches! Watermelon! Blueberries Melons Tomatoes A little bit of watermelon every day in the summer, according to Chinese medicine, keeps “summer-heat” (heat stroke or dehydration) at bay.  But – stop in the fall.  Watermelon in the fall they say damages the lungs. Vegetables in season now include: Cucumbers Corn Herbs Potatoes Green Beans Arugula Squash Onion Carrot Eggplant Beets Peppers In my... read more

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