Our Staff


Dr. Patricia Lew, L.Ac., DAOM, Dipl.OM.

Acupuncturist, CEO of Alamo Heights Wellness

Patricia Lew received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. Afterward, she received her Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Texas Health and Science University, as valedictorian of her graduating class in 2007. Texas Health and Science University has been twice ranked as one of the top acupuncture colleges in America by TCM World Foundation.

After being in private practice, Patricia earned her Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine in 2018. During her doctoral studies, she gained valuable experience in research.

Allergy elimination acupuncture, emotional disorder treatments, auto-immune diseases, and cosmetic acupuncture are fields of interest to her.

Dr. Lew now enjoys helping San Antonio achieve optimal health through acupuncture and holistic treatments. In her spare time, Patricia enjoys playing the violin, playing chess, and reading.


Dr. Candace Burnikel, L.Ac., D.Ac., Dipl.OM, ACN

Associate Acupuncturist

Candace Burnikel is a Doctor of Acupuncture with a specialization in Herbal Medicine. She is Board Certified in Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine through the NCCAOM. Dr. Burnikel has a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Idaho.  She earned her Masters degree in Acupuncture from the Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Seattle, Washington in 2002 and her Doctorate at AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine in Austin, Texas in 2020.

Dr. Burnikel completed additional certification in Applied Clinical Nutrition through Texas Chiropractic College. As a previous educator, Dr. Burnikel loves helping patients understand the inherent wisdom in Chinese Medicine and how it can help modern patients. She brings a gentle technique, a sensitive approach and a down to earth genuineness to patient care.

Born in Idaho, Candace loves the outdoors, gardening, camping, floating the river and spending time with her husband, her Chinese pug and her cat ToTo.

Dr. Burnikel specializes in digestion, weight loss, and pain management.

Yi An

Vernon Smith, L.Ac., MAOM, Dipl.OM

Associate Acupuncturist

Vernon Smith, L. Ac, Dipl. OM, MAOM is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist in the state of Texas and is Nationally Board Certified in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Vernon has also received his Clean Needle Technique certification from the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM).

Vernon earned his master’s degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the Texas Health and Science University. The curriculum included over three thousand hours of training in acupuncture, herbal medicine, practical clinical experience, energetic exercises including Tai Chi and Qi Gong, and adjunct therapies which include: Tui na, (Chinese massage), Eastern nutrition, moxibustion, cupping, electric stimulation, gua sha, and auriculotherapy.

His treatment philosophy is to treat the whole person, addressing all aspects of the patients’ life. Treating the patient holistically can restore balance and harmony to the physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects of one’s life. Vernon not only treats but also educates patients on how they can enable restoration and healing within their own bodies. Vernon believes that all humans can attain optimal wellness, and he is dedicated to helping his patients achieve this goal.
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