About Our Practitioners

Experience Matters!

In China, old doctors are revered because it is only through a lifetime of practice that one gains wisdom and experience. Today in the west, many practitioners of Chinese medicine begin to treat patients right out of school, without the benefit of residency under skilled and experienced clinicians. Our clinic aims to change that trend.

Andrew and JulieAnn Nugent-Head have spent a combined 36 years in China studying directly under the last old doctors of Beijing.  Through this teacher – 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 practitioners in the west will see in their lifetime. This unparalleled experience combined with fluency in written and spoken Chinese gives Andrew and JulieAnn the confidence to treat difficult disease and the tools to seek advice from the classic Chinese books directly.

Andrew Nugent-Head

Andrew Nugent-Head arrived in Taiwan in 1986 to study Chinese Medicine, martial arts and internal cultivation. He formally began studying Chinese medicine in 1989, founding the Association for Traditional Studies (ATS) to preserve China’s traditional knowledge. Andrew is a renowned Chinese medical practitioner, educator and martial artist, currently completing his medical doctorate in Zhejiang China.  Andrew teaches at the Beijing University of Chinese medicine, and travels to London, New York, Germany and Switzerland teaching and consulting on difficult cases.  Returning to the United States in 2014 to open The Alternative Clinic, Andrew looks forward to spending more time in Asheville in 2016.

For a longer bio about: Andrew Nugent-Head click the link.

JulieAnn Nugent-Head MD (China)

JA teaching 2

JulieAnn completed her masters degree in Oriental medicine and opened a private practice in Boulder Colorado. Feeling that her USA based training was not sufficient to treat the seriously ill, JulieAnn spent the summers of 2004 and 2005 in internships at Kuan Jie hospital in Beijing. These internships only further emphasized the necessity for dedicated & long term medical residency.  JulieAnn moved to China full time in 2006 to learn Chinese and study under two of Beijing’s most famous practitioners Dr Li Hongxiang (1924- ) and Dr Chen Tongyun (1922 -).  During the next 8 years while working with these great teachers, JulieAnn provided medical care to the migrant workers and expat population of Beijing.

Escaping the pollution of Beijing after the birth of her third child, JulieAnn & Andrew relocated to the rural tea mountains of Hangzhou, living amongst the simple farmers of the Dragon Well tea village. While in Hangzhou, JulieAnn completed her doctorate level medical degree in Chinese Medicine at the Zhejiang University of Chinese Medicine.

JulieAnn’s emphasis on the classical perspective of Chinese herb use has resulted in three published articles in the Journal of Chinese medicine. She teaches a 60 hour online herbal program to reframe the modern application of Chinese herbs. JulieAnn lectures internationally and treats patients locally in Asheville, NC.

For a longer bio about JulieAnn Nugent-Head click the link.

David Trevino LAc


David is a native Spanish speaker, born and raised in Mexico City. With 13+ years of clinical experience and 6 years teaching students, David’s experience 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.

After implementing the tangible treatment strategies learned from Andrew Nugent-Head over the last few years, David experienced a number of his patients showing dramatic improvements. He is delighted to be working at the Alternative Clinic providing authentic and tangible Chinese medicine alongside Andrew and JulieAnn.

For a longer bio about David Trevino click the link.

 Gabby Hardin LMBT NC 15533

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Gabby’s love for bodywork came alive while living in Thailand for two years, where she was introduced to Thai massage and the Asian art of healing. Her time in Asia taught her to love the simple life and fostered a longing to be able to heal others. Gabby completed her massage training right here in the heart of Asheville at The Center for Massage and Natural Health.

Gabby’s style of massage is focused on each client’s needs and concerns. She includes a focused individualized approach that will bring about healing and well being. As an Asheville native, Gabby is excited to give back to the community and work alongside a great group of people at The Alternative Clinic.

For a longer bio about Ben & Gabby click the link.

Ben Bruckman LMBT 14999

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Ben has a wide array of life experiences — he lived for two years in Vedic ashrams and India, served a tour in the military special ops, lived in a graduate student cooperative in Berkeley, and obtained a fancy M.S. in non-profit leadership.

These experiences have brought him to an appreciation for how powerful an instance of skillful touch and presence can be, a deep curiosity to understand the nature of healing, and a passion for radical models of creating and serving community.

As an L.M.B.T. Ben is most excited to work with clients who are dedicated to discovering where they hold onto constriction, and releasing these blocks. When at its best, his style is a fluid integration of intuitive and linear approaches to healing.

Ben happened to first meet JulieAnn and Andrew three hours before boarding a plane to apply to  Acupuncture school in Philadelphia — his home town. Within moments he decided against school, recognizing that The Alternative Clinic holds a level of clarity and capability that is rare to find. He’s grateful they are letting him hang around and deepen his practice.

Hours of Operation:

Monday - Friday 8:30 - 5:00