Fire Rooster Year 2017

If you’ve ever eaten at a Chinese restaurant, you’re probably at least a little familiar with the Chinese zodiac.  

On your placemat you see the 12 animals with years written underneath.  What a great conversation starter that is.  “What is your year / animal?”  

But what trips people up is the actual start date of the Chinese new year.  It’s not the same day every year because it is a LUNAR (moon-based) calendar.  The new year starts on the new moon in Aquarius (some time between January 20 – February 18) every year.  So if you were born in the beginning of January like me, your Chinese astrology sign is actually for the year before.  For example, if a baby was born this year on January 1st, they are not the Rooster, they are the Monkey year.  My mom thought for years I was a Snake, but I had to inform her that I am a Dragon!  How dare you insult the mighty Dragon!  I’m only kidding.  



Here’s another fun part:  if you want to find out how old someone is, just ask their Chinese sign, then, according to one of my teachers, Richard Teh-Fu Tan, “count their wrinkles.”  The Chinese zodiac repeats itself every 12 years.  Am I 28, 40 or 52?  Easy to tell, most of the time.  

2017 (starting on January 27th) is the Fire Rooster year.  

The “Fire” part is called the “stem” and the Rooster – associated with yin metal – is one of the “branches.”  There are 10 stems (yin and yang of each of the 5 elements) and 12 branches (the 12 animals), so 120 possible combinations.  Every 120 years, the cycle repeats.  


Yin metal – the element of the Rooster – is symbolic of the Lungs (the yin metal organ system), the emotion of sadness, the direction of the west, and the season of autumn.  

What does all that mean?

This year, if you tend to have lung problems which may include, but is not limited to:  allergies, asthma, skin rashes, coughs, colds, flu, bronchitis, COPD, or dry skin, you need to be extra careful of your health because in a fire year, your “metal” organ systems are more vulnerable.  

Fire – the stem of the year – has an antagonistic relationship to metal – the branch of the year.  

So pay extra caution to your lung and respiratory system.  Also use caution when traveling  as metal also rules airplanes, ships, and automobiles.  

The combination of metal and fire is the same as last year, so this year has a prediction of similar “fortune” for each person as the year before, 2016.  

This year is the yin fire, or “ding,” year.  Last year was the yang fire, “bing,” year.  Whereas yang fire is more confident, yin fire is more calculated and reserved.  Both fire types are, well, fun.  Fire years are fun years, generally, although with the conflict of metal, it tends to be more of an “interesting” time than a fun time.  But you may notice more parties, more fashion, and more joking around.  People may like to make bold moves and travel more.  People in fire years tend to spend more money.  The entertainment industry is strong in fire years.  

The rooster, whose natural element is yin metal, is known for its accuracy which may show in how they dress (very clean and neat), how they present themselves at work (very organized and productive), as well as in their pride of achievement.  After all, this is the rooster, and they need to strut around!  

happy new yearOh, and please let me know in the comments below:  what is YOUR Chinese sign and do you feel that it describes your personality?  Do you feel changes in energy when the Chinese new year starts?  

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Can I Stop Taking My (Prescription Medication)?




My absolute favorite moments in my practice are when patients tell me they’re off their prescription medications.  

Pain relievers?  Nah…don’t need them anymore; I feel great!  Thyroid medication?  Nope…all my blood work has been great!  Diuretics for hypertension?  I threw them out because they were making my blood pressure too low!

But, please – there is a procedure for this.  

Don’t just stop taking prescription medication; you have to go through these steps first.


It doesn’t matter who you chose to work with – a chiropractor, naturopath, nutritionist, or acupuncturist – you should work with someone who can help you get the results you are looking for.  You need someone who can help you get to the root of the health problem you’ve been having.  You can try doing this on your own, but you will get there much faster with some objective, expert help.  

Allopathic MDs can prevent you from dying, but they (in general) don’t do much to actually get your body healthy.  It’s just not what they have in their tool box of treatments.  Natural practitioners (like acupuncturists, chiropractors, naturopaths, nutritionist, etc.) specialize in health and wellness and can help you get to a point where you are healthy enough that you don’t need the prescription.

Once you start feeling better (and you’re still on your prescription, of course, because you’re following the rules), then you can 


Tell the doctor who prescribed the medication in the first place that your plans are to get off the medication(s).  Tell them exactly what you have done so far to make healthy changes and that you’re feeling better or noticing positive improvements.  Then ask them “Exactly how do I get off (this or that prescription)?”

This way they can tell you if there are any possible complications for doing so (as there can be with anti-depressants) and maybe give you other recommendations, such as what to track on your own, red light warning signs of when to call them, and how is the best way to wean off if it’s a medication that you should not quit “cold turkey.”


If you’re working with a natural doctor and the results are just not happening it may be time to try something (or someone) new.  If you’ve been changing only your exercise routine to lose weight, and that’s not giving you the results you want, try a new nutrition program.  If you’ve been trying nutrition alone, and still the results are not there, maybe add in some acupuncture.  There are hundreds of different options and you may need to try a few of them to see what works for you and for your unique situation.  

Plus, everyone has a slightly different take on things:  different training, different perspectives and different areas of expertise.  Don’t be discouraged and head straight back to the prescriptions; just try plan B.


Let’s say you’re working with me on your thyroid.  I still would encourage you to go to your regular MD for blood work so we can track our progress.  If the blood work shows improvement, hey, let’s celebrate!  Even if you’re not 100% “cured,” even slow progress is a step in the right direction, so we know to keep at it.  If there’s no changes, or if things are worse, we have to change our treatment protocols.

If you’re tracking your blood pressure, invest in a good quality blood pressure cuff to keep at home and check daily at first, and then weekly as you’re improving over time.  If you’re diabetic and weaning off insulin, you need to check your blood sugar levels every morning and your A1C through blood work every few months, according to your MD’s recommendations.  

Oh, and just so you know, if you ever ask me, “Nicole, should I stop taking my (prescription name)?”  My go-to response will be:  “By law I can’t recommend anything regarding a prescription drug.  I can’t tell you to take it and I can’t tell you not to take it.”  But I can help you devise a plan for getting off of it.  And I will always offer my personal opinion about it!  


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I am One With the Tao, The Tao is With Me

BennyAnderson_rightsofeternalharmony_taoist_artTaoism is not a religion, it’s a philosophy.

You go with the flow.  That’s the point.  If something is too difficult, you don’t go that way.  You choose the path of least resistance.

Does that mean you don’t try anything new?

Does that mean you give up on challenges?

Does that mean if you’re scared to do something you don’t do it?


It means if you are constantly at arms, you are constantly battling a situation or a person, you just drop it.  

EXAMPLES:  you’re walking into the wind, and then dust starts to blow into your face, and you have to walk somewhere because you told so-and-so that you would, and the whole thing is just really sucking.  You’re uncomfortable; you can’t even see what’s in front of your face.  You’d rather just not.  But you told so-and-so that you would!  Well, tell them that you can’t anymore.  

Or you’re talking to someone and they want to argue with you.  Everything you say, they have a counter-point.  So you argue back.  They argue harder.  So you try to agree with them, just to keep the peace.  They still argue!  Just drop it:  tell them, “I guess I can see your point.”  Even if you don’t!  Just let go.  

Let go when it’s time to let go.  If every sign in the Universe is saying, “This is not the way to go,” don’t fight the feeling.  

There are different paths of behavior, paths of industry, paths of mood, paths of people, and you can decide for yourself which one is best suited for you at any particular time.

Nothing is ever constant, and what path is good for you one day may change the next day.  Learn to go with the flow.  Don’t fight the flow.  Unless you really like being miserable.  If you’re addicted to complaining, this will be difficult.  

It is good to work hard, and to challenge yourself.  The difference between a good challenge and something that is wrong is subtle.  Sometimes we don’t recognize it at first.

Like you’re trying to open a door and it doesn’t open.  So you try harder.  It still doesn’t open.  You kick it as you try to open it, and it still doesn’t open.

So you can cry, berate yourself, look for pity, etc. Or you can find another door.

It goes the other way, too.  Let’s say someone says to you, “You should try acupuncture.”  And you think, “yeah, that sounds cool,” but never act on it.  Then, you meet an acupuncturist who says, “Wow -you would really benefit from some acupuncture.”  And you say, “hmmm…someone else told me that, too.”  Many people would then make an effort to try this new thing.  Is it just coincidence or is the Universe sending a signal to you?  Only the individual can decide.    

Do you believe in coincidences?  

  • Have you ever experienced a strong desire to continue on a path that was leading nowhere, only to eventually decide to quit and try something else?
  • Have you ever heard of something from several different sources until you finally decided to try it for yourself?  
  • Please let me know in the comments below.  
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One Modification for Your New Year’s Resolution

If you’re like most people and your New Year’s resolution is to “lose weight,” I implore you with one slight change.  Because, really, how exactly does one just “lose weight?”

There’s no weight loss knob to turn on at night (“Excuse me, sweetie, I’m just going to lose a little weight and I’ll be right to bed.”) and there is no magic weight loss pill to take (and lord knows they’ve tried).

Your subconscious mind can only take action on positives.  

In other words, if I told you to NOT think of a blue goat, what do you instantly think of?

Remember do NOT think of a blue goat.  Got it?  


Your subconscious – where all your actions take root and gain momentum – has no idea what “NO” and “DON’T” mean.

So you go to work and there’s doughnuts in the break room.  “DON’T eat them!” you tell your subconscious mind.  “Ha!” says your conscious mind.  “Doughnuts are there and I will eat them.”  

The same situations happen when you make carb-leaden foods for your kids that they only eat a few bites of.  “Well, normally those foods are not on my diet, but since they’re just sitting here getting ‘wasted,’ … don’t mind if I do!”

OR how about when you’re at a party.  “Would you like to have another drink?”  “Heck, yeah, I want to have another drink!”  Why the heck not?!

You haven’t given yourself a reason to make healthy choices.  All you know is what you don’t want.  

So…this ever-elusive “weight loss” never really takes shape, so to say.

When you tell your body or your subconscious to “lose weight,” all this does is stress YOU out.  

If you “need to lose weight,” the go-to response is to deprive yourself.  

Deprivation never works.  No-body wants to feel deprived.  

After doing that for a while, you splurge.  Then you feel bad, and the cycle goes on and on. 

Here’s what I’m proposing to do instead:

Tell yourself that you’re only going to put things into your body that are good for her / him.  

This will work because it will withstand each possible paradigm of diet sabotage.  

For example, the doughnuts in the office:  “No, thanks.  I already had a healthy breakfast, and I’m just not hungry right now.  (and even if I was hungry, I’d find something other than doughtnuts!)”

Another example is when you’re out drinking.  “Do I want another drink? hmmm…well, I’m having a lot of fun, but I don’t think having another drink will necessarily enhance the amount of fun I’m having, so I’m going to pass.  But I’ll take a water!”  

Your kids left-overs?  “This is not the quality of food I’m wanting for my body, so I’m just going to trash these (or save in the fridge for them for later), and make myself a nice cup of soup.”  

Now what about the small, occasional indulgence?  

A glass of wine or some dark chocolate?  YES!  By all means, if that’s what your body wants to feel good, then I think some quality indulgences in reasonable amounts is perfectly healthy.  I also think we all have an inner voice that tells us when it’s too much.  We just need to listen.  

What is good for you?

  • Quality foods / drinks
  • The right quantity of food / drink
  • The right quantity and quality at the right time; as in – when you’re actually hungry.

Just ask yourself:  “Is this good for me right now, or is it harmful?”  No-body really knows better than your own.  

So, enjoy, and don’t judge.  What’s good for you one day is not good for someone else, and vice versa.  

Happy New Year!  

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What I Want For You For Christmas

It’s really been a crazy year, yes?

David Bowie and Prince are gone… 🙁

The Olympics came and went…

The election…

Deep breath.

What are you all looking at?

I like the holidays because it’s (well, it should be) a quiet time of year.  You take some extra days off work.  It’s too cold to be outside (unless you’re in Austin on one of our 70 degree winter days!) and all the stores are closed.

I think it’s always a good idea to give yourself a Christmas gift (or five;) as well. 

Here’s my list of what I want you to give yourself this year.



  1. Remembering to breathe deeply often.
  2. Love yourself just the way you are.
  3. Allow yourself to invest in you:  your health, your education, and your interests.
  4. Have more experiences and adventures.
  5. Take time to read a book.
  6. Sleep.  Lots of it.
  7. A warm cup of tea.
  8. Do what you want to do.
  9. Say what you want to say.
  10. Move your body every day.
  11. Take time to cook healthy food.
  12. Thank yourself for doing such a good job!  Seriously, you should list out at least 3 things in the comments below that you accomplished this year.  Pat yourself on the back.  
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Pain in the Neck – GONE

I’ve had chronic neck pain for over 20 years.  Conventional doctors masked the pain with muscle relaxers and pain killers.  Chiropractors aggravated it with their treatments.  Just a few visits to Natural Health Center has it feeling better than it has in years.  Thanks so much!

Kevin M.

Stomach Soothed

I started coming to the Health Center for issues I was having with my stomach.  Even while making the initial appointment I felt like the person I was speaking with was empathetic about my situation.  I had gone to two medical doctors before trying NAET and acupuncture, but had not seen results.  After my treatments at the Health Center, my stomach feels better than it has in years and continues to get better every day with the help and support of the staff.  I am thankful for all they do for me and our community.

Kristina U.

Baby is Better

My son came here for treatment for eczema when he was 3 years old.  He is 4 now and completely cured of it.  My youngest son has the same issue at age 1, so we’re back!

Jane D.

Stress Less!

Stress!  Stress!  & More Stress!  Coming to this office gives me one hour to decompress and slow down.  I look forward to my visits.  They are the highlight of the day and week for me.  Positive energy. 🙂  This has given me another (or better) avenue to release tension and bad mojo.  Thank you.  The doctors really connect with you and truly care about your well-being.

Kerri T.

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