Skip links

Meet The Team at The Acupuncture Center of Santa Maria
Meet Dr. Kandel

Our Team

Dr. Herb Kandel, L. A.C., O.M.D.

Owner / Acupuncturist

After graduating with degree in Cultural Anthropology in 1979 from the University of California at Santa Barbara, he earned his LAC from the California Acupuncture College in Santa Barbara In 1985. He completed an intensive post-graduate program at the Nanjing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Subsequently, Dr Kandel was the first American to study at prestigious the Xiyuan Hospital in Beijing China, where he earned his doctorate in Oriental Medicine in 1987. Bringing his skills back to the US, he pioneered acupuncture on the Central Coast with the opening of the Acupuncture Center of Santa Maria in 1986. Read More About Dr. Kandel

Dr. XiXi Zhai, DO

Osteopathic Physician

Dr. Zhai, was born in China and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her love for nature and science led her to study Integrative Biology at the University of California at Berkeley.  After graduation, she headed towards a career in biotechnology when she found a passion for integrative medicine. Dr. Zhai was accepted to the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and earned her medical degree before returning to sunny California.  Her first choice residency training program was a match and she joined the Central Coast community! She officially joined the Acupuncture Center of Santa Maria in Fall 2019 and brings wonderful skills to our practice in a combination of mindfulness, manual medicine, and lifestyle changes to help people heal.  For more information, please visit Dr. Zhai’s website

Nancy Noel

Massage Therapist

Nancy Noel, MT is a licensed massage therapist and has been a cherished member of the Acupuncture Center family for years. Nancy combines Swedish style and acupressure, and upon request cupping. She works very specifically to each client’s needs. She was trained at the Hiriudaya Holistic Life Center in SLO, and received her BS in Kinesiology at Cal Poly. Ms. Noel enjoyed a full career as a high school physical education teacher at Santa Maria High School, and now retired, shares her positive perspective on life, stays fit and travels the world.


Office Manager and Financial Manager

Suhaydee’s kind and warm personality is appreciated by all of our patients. She keeps us in order, managing insurance with precision and care. Suhaydee has been a vibrant and critical part of the Acupuncture Center family for 14 years.



With us for nine years, Gail is known for her energetic and spunky nature, going above and beyond to ensure patient’s needs are met and that the office is running smoothly. Gail is a mother, grandmother and valued member of the Acupuncture Center family.