Experienced Practitioners

In China, old doctors are revered because it is only through a lifetime of practice that one gains wisdom and experience.

In the west, most practitioners of Chinese medicine begin private practice directly after graduation without the benefit of residency under a skilled clinician. This fundamentally affects the reputation and application of Chinese medicine and is a disservice to practitioner and patient.

Our clinic aims to prove there is a difference when an experienced hand applies acupuncture and Chinese medicine theory with common sense and clarity. As a teaching clinic, it is our mission to treat patients, and teach our colleagues to achieve our same tangible results.  We aim to prove to the public how effective and tangible acupuncture and herbal medicines can be.

Andrew and JulieAnn Nugent-Head spent a combined 36 years in China studying directly under the last old doctors of Beijing.  Through this rare mentor – disciple training, doctoral studies in the Chinese University system, and residency in the hospitals of Beijing and Hangzhou, JulieAnn and Andrew have seen more patients, treatments and Chinese herbal prescriptions than most western practitioners will see in their lifetime. This unparalleled experience does make a difference in how they treat, and the results they achieve. The Nugent-Heads chose to live right here in beautiful Western North Carolina for the quality of life it offers, and they offer world class medicine to the local population. With fluency in written and spoken Chinese, and a dedication to teach everyone at the Alternative Clinic a common sense and tangible approach to treatment, there is no better choice for your care than this dedicated team of professionals.

Andrew Nugent-Head Alternative Clinic

Andrew Nugent-Head, Practitioner of Oriental Medicine, MSOM, LAc 

Andrew Nugent-Head comes from a multilingual family of English, Russian and French heritage. After high school in 1986, Andrew took a gap-year in Taiwan , expecting his life to take him toward working with the United Nations. However, a car accident and broken foot led him to discover the incredible healing powers of Chinese medicine; Andrew’s broken foot was healed from herbal treatment in such a short time that he was hiking in the Himalayas weeks later. Andrew’s life path immediately changed, and he decided to stay in China to study Chinese medicine.

In 1989, Andrew moved to Beijing, seeking to find traditional practitioners to learn from. However, he found that communism had nearly extinguished traditional thought and culture, the classic books of medicine had been revised with communist propaganda and western medicine concepts, and few traditional practitioners were still alive and willing to teach.  Andrew thus founded the Association for Traditional Studies (ATS) to seek out and encourage traditional practitioners who were born and in practice prior to the changes of 1949 to document their wisdom for preservation.

Through three decades of working with and documenting the last old doctors, Andrew’s work has resulted in one of the largest online libraries of Chinese medicine material available in English. Being the documentarian and “last disciple” of great doctors, Andrew developed an incredible clarity and medical skill. Today, Andrew and wife JulieAnn aim to practice and teach the clarity and efficacy of the medicine they learned from their teachers with their colleagues around the world. Andrew is a renowned Chinese medical practitioner, teacher and martial artist.

Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture | The Alternative Clinic

JulieAnn Nugent-Head MD (China)

JulieAnn was an elementary school teacher, brought to learning about herbal remedies in 1996, when two family members become gravely ill. Seeking solutions for her family’s ailments, JulieAnn realized she was fascinated by natural medical concepts and changed paths to study Chinese medicine full time.  After completion of a master’s degree in Chinese medicine and hospital internships in Beijing in 2003 and 2004, JulieAnn recognized the incredible difference in the practice of medicine in China versus the introductory training she had received in the west.  JulieAnn thus moved to China full time, and was fortunate to assist the Association for Traditional Studies project to document two of Beijing’s most famous traditional practitioners Dr Li Hongxiang (1924-2018) and Dr Chen Tongyun (1922 -).  Learning to speak, read and write Chinese, JulieAnn became immersed in the culture and fell in love with the naturalist perspectives of asian philosophy.
Encouraged by Dr. Li Hongxiang to receive doctoral level qualifications, JulieAnn received a scholarship from the Zhejiang University of Chinese Medicine, and completed a doctoral level medical degree with focus on the classical application of herbs. After eight and a half years living in China, changing visa laws and difficulties for foreigners to practice medicine in China led JulieAnn and husband Andrew to return to the United States.
Now residing in Asheville, North Carolina, JulieAnn treats patients at the Alternative Clinic, oversees development of Appalasia tea farm, and teaches post graduate herb programs in Zurich, London and Frankfurt.
Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture | The Alternative Clinic

David Trevino Practitioner of Oriental Medicine, LAc

David is a native Spanish speaker, born and raised in Mexico City. With 16 years of clinical practice and 9 years teaching students, David’s extensive experience also includes working with Houston’s Brain Injury Rehab Center, Harvard’s Mind Body Medical Institute’s Cardiac Rehab program, and Anderson’s Cancer Center’s Integrative Medicine program.

Despite being in practice for many years, David found his clinical results dramatically improved after taking a series of courses from Andrew Nugent-Head.  David is delighted to be working at the Alternative Clinic providing authentic and tangible Chinese medicine alongside Andrew and JulieAnn.

Danielle Hill, LMBT #18897

After completion of a BA in geology and music, Dani spent years immersed in studies of the natural world through organic agriculture, native plant conservation and the world of specialty teas. The need to sustain her own physical vitality led to a fascination with bodywork, and completion of a degree in massage with emphasis in Craniosacral Therapy, Holistic Pelvic CareTM, and Myofascial Release Therapy.

Supporting her father through in-home hospice until his passing highlighted how limited and difficult to navigate integrative approaches are in the current medical system. This experience acted as deep motivation to study the human body more intricately. Dani’s natural talent for observing systems, artful creativity, and tactile sensitivity drew her to East Asian Medicine.

While completing a masters in Acupuncture through Jung Tao School of Classical East Asian Medicine,  Dani is honored to be part of the Alternative Clinic and support the community through hands-on work. She is also a member of the old-time music community, a cellist and avid gardener.

Please call us at 828-424-7415 if you have questions