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

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

Genetic Nutrient Imbalances

You may remember I wrote about MTHFR a few months ago?  If not, you can get caught up here. My theory was that this “genetic mutation” in roughly 40% of the population is more of an evolution than an actual mutation.  And that it’s probably due to how our diet evolved over thousands of years.   Well, it turns out I was right! In approximately 40% of people, the MTHFR marker is a genetic allele correlated to higher levels of homocysteine, a non-protein amino acid.  Elevated homocysteine levels are associated with low B-vitamin diets and these dis-eases:  blood clots, miscarriages, atherosclerosis, stroke, kidney disease, and psycho-emotional disorders.   The standard medical practice for those diagnosed with MTHFR has been a prescription-grade methylated B9, “Deplin” or “L-Methylfolate”.  In other words, if your body is not properly absorbing folate, we have a pill for that.  I try to have an open mind about these things, but I am instantly suspicious when someone says you have to take a pill for the rest of your life.   Contrary to popular belief (and my former belief), the medication to treat MTHFR is actually dangerous.   Too much methylation causes epigenetic changes to your DNA.  In other words, it causes things to grow, and because of that, it can promote the growth of cancers.  Methylation can shut down tumor suppressor genes like P53.  It does this through a complex metabolic process. There are 2 folate pathways in your body that compete.  Biochemists do not even fully understand how all of this works.  It is still under laboratory study with mice.  One pathway stabilizes your DNA and the other pathway prevents methyl-group... read more

Female Hair Loss – Mystery Solved

If you’ve experienced huge clumpfuls of hair falling from your head, you know what I’m talking about.  If this goes on for more than a few days, it’s very concerning.  “Am I going bald?”  Even if other people don’t notice, your hair is thinner than it once was, and it’s a major blow to your confidence. In Chinese medicine, hair loss is classified as a symptom of “blood deficiency.”  The idea is that your body has 4 major “essences”:  Qi, Blood, Yin, and Yang.  If your blood becomes relatively deficient (think of it like a gas tank), one thing that could happen is hair loss or premature greying. Why does this happen?   Childbirth – after birth your system is depleted of extra blood and qi.  Also the cause of post-partum depression, pain, or constipation. Hormone Changes – at menopause, it’s very easy to have symptoms of yin and blood deficiency. Mineral or Vitamin Deficiencies – someone on a drastic cleanse or vegan diet lacking in iron, trace minerals, and B-vitamins can become deficient in blood and qi.  Anorexics and bulemics can also easily become depleted in nutrients. Environmental Toxins – certain shampoos and hair treatments are extremely toxic and disrupt normal blood circulation to the scalp. Stress – in Chinese medicine, stress causes Qi stagnation, so then nutrients and blood are not circulating properly or absorbing properly Practicing medicine is simple.  You find out the cause, then you know the solutions!  For hair loss, just remember, there is no such thing as a “Propecia Deficiency.”  That is NOT the cause.  That’s a bandaid.   To nourish your hair: Eat meat.... read more

Natural Dental Hygeine

I had to give up my membership.  Up until a few years ago I was a member of the “Perfect Teeth Club,” but now I have one porcelain filling.  Growing up, my parents made sure I brushed twice a day, flossed every night, and went to the dentist every 6 months like you’re supposed to.  And I had over 2 years of braces and another 2 of a retainer.   After college, I relaxed on the dental hygiene bit and skipped dental appointments for about 7 years.  When I finally returned, I had some slight gum deterioration and the one cavity.  Since then, I made some lifestyle changes that radically changed my oral health. Here’s what I did: 1.  I went off of processed grains.  Especially wheat.  Wheat flour (white flour or whole wheat flour) is highly acidic and glutinous.  It deposits gluten – kind of like glue – on your teeth, and it can turn into tartar.  This tartar plaque attracts the kind of bacteria which lead to dental caries (cavities).   Foods that cause inflammation in general – sugars, sugary drinks, acidic drinks with food dyes and artificial ingredients, processed grains and cereals – are best avoided at least 90% of the time.  You truly are what you eat.  I can look at someone and tell right away if they do their grocery shopping at the corner Mini-Mart or at the health food store.   No one’s perfect in the food and diet department and there is no such thing  as the “one perfect diet.”  Our dietary needs evolve over time, and there are always temptations or times when our food... read more