Who We Are

Lisa Nicholson, L.Ac., DNBAO is a master acupuncturist, licensed in California and nationally certified. She is a skilled nutrition and wellness coach, with a passion for helping people experiencing physical and emotional pain to reconnect with their passion for living.

The child of a teacher and a dentist in a family chock full of physicians, psychologists, and lawyers, Lisa chose a different path. Since childhood, Lisa has been drawn to helping people overcome physical and emotional challenges to live fulfilling and rich lives. Although she was pre-med with her psychology major at SUNY Albany, she found she didn’t resonate with “conventional” medicine and instead, went on to complete a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. After 8 years of working with people struggling with mental illness and addiction, she was looking for a new challenge. As a career counselor, Lisa “tried on” nearly every medical tradition, ultimately settling on Chinese Medicine because it was the one system which fully embraced her philosophy about the interconnectedness of mind and body and offered a treatment system which simultaneously addresses both.

Lisa is an endurance athlete who has participated in competitive swimming, cross-country, downhill and water skiing, backpacking, rock climbing, and cycling. At age 29, a water skiing crash left her with a major injury to her back, neck, and shoulders, and threatened to disable her. But Lisa was determined to get back into her athletic pursuits. Because all of her injuries were non-surgical soft-tissue problems, conventional medicine had nothing to offer except drugs. Lisa instead turned to chiropractic and her yoga practice to gradually heal her injuries. It was during a yoga teacher training class where she had an epiphany that much of her ongoing pain was due to her fear and resistance to feeling more pain. Through a meditation with a partner, she gradually and gently unlocked the spasms which had bound her back for months, guiding herself back to the movement she needed to heal. Since then, she has continued her yoga practice and taken up first rock climbing and then cycling, training over a period of years to the ultra-cycling world. Now, 100 miles is a training ride, and Lisa has successfully finished events including Race Across the West and Paris-Brest-Paris.

In 2017 Lisa was diagnosed with breast cancer. Although it was early stage 1, it was an aggressive cancer and Lisa learned she carries the BRCA2 gene. She underwent two surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation, and continues her treatment with hormone blocking medication. As a cancer patient and survivor, Lisa is particularly passionate about helping other cancer patients to get through their treatment and restore their health and well being. She has experienced the pain of surgery, the nausea and fatigue of chemotherapy, the fear and frustration of landing in the emergency room with sepsis following one of her treatments, and the skin irritation associated with radiation therapy. She has successfully returned to her athletic lifestyle following treatment, with a newfound enthusiasm for living fully every single day. As someone who has experienced and recovered from athletic injury and participated in multi-day timed athletic events, Lisa is intimately familiar with the experience of being alone in the dark physically exhausted and afraid, while trying to keep enough forward movement to finish the event. This makes her uniquely suited to working with people undergoing cancer treatment as well as other athletes and people who have experienced the rigors of field training and military service.

Lisa loves to travel, and especially likes to experience other cultures through their food. She is a skilled gourmet cook, and brings her fascination with all things culinary into the clinic with nutrition recommendations, recipes, and more.

When she’s not in the clinic or on her bike, you can find Lisa at home in her kitchen or reading with her husband and Percy, the cat who shares her spirit of adventure and zest for fine food.

Our Professional Team

Karen Walker

Karen Walker

Front Desk Angel

Karen Walker is the newest addition to our team. She’s the person who will greet you with a smile at the front desk, help with scheduling and payment, and so much more. Karen moved to San Diego 12 years ago, and has lived in Alaska, Chile, Massachusetts, and Oregon. Some of her favorite places to visit have been Bolivia and Machu Piccu, Peru. While she loves to travel, she also enjoys hiking, reading, music, and spending quiet time with her family and friends.

We’ll be sharing Karen with a psychotherapy office, where she also helps out with all the day to day operations, keeping the front desk running smoothly. She’s excited to be part of our team, and we’re thrilled to have her on board!

Elizabeth and Caralyne

Elizabeth and Caralyne

Phone Goddesses

Elizabeth and Caralyne are our virtual help. They work out of an office in Washington State, and answer our phones when Karen isn’t in the office or is up to her eyeballs in projects and customer support and can’t get to the phone. Elizabeth and Caralyne also help out with things like verifying insurance benefits.


Percy Kat

Percy Kat

Office Mascot

Percy is our office mascot. While you won’t meet him in person, Percy is the star of our “Lessons from my Cat” memes posted on Facebook.

Percy came flying through Lisa’s front door over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2016. He was emaciated, full of fleas, and done with being homeless. After 4 plates of leftover turkey followed by a mani-pedi and flea combing, Percy knew he had found his place. He spent the afternoon napping on the sofa with his new peeps, was bold enough to share their bed that night, and the rest, so to speak, is history.

Percy or Mr. P as he is sometimes called, is an expert lizard hunter, mouser, and tree climber. He refuses to be contained in a house, and has become well known in his 4 block territory of Clairemont, ensuring rodent-free gardens full of yummy veggies for Lisa’s neighbors. Lisa and her husband hope he’ll continue to outsmart Wiley Coyote and grace their lives with his antics and purrs for many years.

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