Mary L. Nickel, L.Ac., M.S., M.A.

Appointment (650) 593-4447    
Email: [email protected]

Mary is California board certified and received her Master in Science from American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has extensive experience in treating chronic health problems of modern day life including, stress, migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome, insomnia, fatigue, and much more. Mary also has specialized training in sports acupuncture which includes neck, shoulder, upper extremity, lower extremity, and back pain.

Her style of acupuncture is gentle, soothing, and effective. She has mastered the art of needle technique to ensure fast and painless results to get your body back to a normal state. Additionally, Mary offers traditional Chinese medicine modalities such as moxa, cupping, electrical stimulation, and herbs to fully integrate your personal wellness.

Outside of her private practice, Mary volunteers her acupuncture skills to non-profit organizations such as Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic, Herban Health, and Acupuncturists Without Borders.

She lives locally with her husband, two children, chocolate lab, and soon to be hatched chicks.


Common Questions and Answers

Q: How does acupuncture work?

A: Acupuncture Acupuncture treatment is rendered based on an Asian medical diagnosis that includes an assessment of pulse quality, tongue shape and color, medical history, and whole body and mental evaluation. Following the diagnosis, acupuncture points are chosen on the body along acupuncture pathways and/or localized area of pain. Needle stimulation of these points increases the body's healing energy called qi. The body has approximately one thousand acupuncture points. Qi or one's energy circulates throughout the body within the pathways, which also are related to the internal organs. Good health depends on the smooth flow of your energy. When the flow of your energy is blocked due to trauma, poor diet, medications, stress, environment, emotional issues, the system is disrupted and out of balance. Pain or illness is then generated. In accordance to traditional Chinese medical theory, acupuncture allows energy to flow to areas where it is deficient and away from areas where it is in excess. In this way, acupuncture regulates and restores a harmonious energetic balance to the body. An ancient Chinese saying says, "there is no pain if there is free flow: if there is pain, there is no free flow."

Q: Is acupuncture painful and what will I feel during the treatment?

A: At the time of needle insertion, some feel nothing. Some may experience pressure or a slight soreness. Common sensations around the needle include: tingling, twitching, or a feeling of heaviness. Some people feel energized by a treatment and others feel relaxed and calm. If you experience discomfort during or after the treatment, it is usually mild and short term. The purpose of acupuncture is to balance your body thus, there are no long term negative side effects. On the contrary, relaxation and well-being often occur during and after the treatment. Often, patients become so relaxed, they fall asleep during the treatment.

Q: How safe is acupuncture?

A: Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is all-natural, drug-free therapy, yielding no side effects except feelings of relaxation and well-being. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once, and then discarded.











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Our Regular Schedule

San Carlos Office


8:00 am-1:00 pm

3:00 pm-6:00 pm


7:00 am-1:00 pm

3:00 pm-6:00 pm


8:00 am-1:00 pm

3:00 pm-6:00 pm


9:00 am-1:00 pm

3:00 pm-6:00 pm


8:00 am-1:00 pm

3:00 pm-6:00 pm


9:00 am-12:00 pm





Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I thought maybe I would have to go see a medical doctor until someone at my gym suggested I call Dr. Mario."
    Tiffany S. / San Francisco, CA
  • "Now I see Dr. Patrignani pretty regularly about every 3 weeks (which is what my insurance covers) and he keeps my back in tip-top shape."
    Jen L. / San Francisco, CA