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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Nick Shirghio: Multiple Career Paths Converge in Acupuncture

Jan 31, 2012 07:27AM ● By Linda Sechrist

Nick Shirghio

Nick Shirghio, owner of the Nicholas A. Shirghio Acupuncture Clinic, can attest to the fact that today, the unfolding career path of an individual is more likely to resemble a maze with multiple choices of pathways than a straight road that leads inevitably to one goal pursued throughout life. A board-certified acupuncturist, licensed in Florida as a primary care physician, Shirghio still laughs every time he’s asked to talk about his winding road from sporting goods sales representative to health practitioner.

Also a licensed commercial pilot, Shirghio enjoys keeping up his mandatory flying hours, often acquiring them by taking short flights to explore new places. In 1981, the New Jersey native flew to Naples and found the area enticing enough to relocate his family and purchase the Glades Restaurant, which he operated for three years and then sold. “Neapolitans weren’t used to the same style of wining and dining that I often did to entertain my clients in New Jersey,” says Shirghio, who fashioned his restaurant after the Jockey Club, in Miami, and the Channel Club, in New Jersey, with dinner and dancing that appealed to the 40-to-50 crowd.

Although it was a good experience, for which he’s grateful, Shirghio found that the early mornings and late nights required to manage a restaurant were an obstacle to living a balanced life and spending time with his wife and children. “Some days we would feed 500 people at the restaurant, which was located in East Naples, at the Glades Country Club, and the next day we’d have only two customers,” he says.

Shirghio’s next career adventure, in the real estate industry, turned out to be as all consuming and unrewarding as the restaurant business. “I got my real estate license at a time when interest rates were 18 percent, so I guess you could say that my timing was really off,” he quips. His next enterprise was Fashion Fresh Dry Cleaning, which he still owns. “My son-in-law runs the business, which is great for me, because I can devote my time to helping people with acupuncture, which was a career that I didn’t seek out, but rather evolved into,” he explains.

While involved in the real estate business, the ambitious entrepreneur experienced significant neck pain, caused by a pinched nerve. When first and second medical opinions pointed Shirghio in the direction of surgery for herniated cervical discs, he refused, instead listening to a friend that suggested acupuncture treatments. “I thought it was quackery, but I was in so much pain that I was willing to try anything,” he recalls. After several treatments relieved the pain and allowed him to sleep and return to work, Shirghio became curious enough about the “why and how” of acupuncture to accept an invitation from the acupuncturist he was seeing.

“Stanley Hubbard was my acupuncturist, and he suggested that I enroll in the course he was teaching at his acupuncture school, which he later sold to the Florida Health Academy,” says Shirghio. “Because acupuncture gave me such relief from pain, I chose to continue beyond that initial class and complete a four-year curriculum so that I could become an acupuncture physician. Since graduating in 1997, I’ve been specializing in treating individuals with painful conditions, in addition to practicing sports medicine.”

Still fascinated by his own career after 15 years, Shirghio has continued his education in order to add to his certifications and to his menu of therapies that benefit clients. Certified as a diplomate of acupuncture by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Shirghio offers injection therapy, as well as prolo-puncture, and regularly receives referrals from local physicians that also use his acupuncture services.

Prolo-puncture, sometimes called prolotherapy, uses a dextrose solution injected into acupuncture points to access the ligaments or tendons where they attach to a bone. The body responds via localized inflammation in the weak area, which increases the blood supply and flow of nutrients, thus encouraging the tissue to repair itself. Shirghio also practices biopuncture, the subcutaneous injection of FDA-approved homeopathic remedies, such as Traumeel and Zeel, that are used to ease conditions including sports injuries, joint and neck pain, and arthritis and lower back pain.

Location: Airport Professional Center, 3811 Airport Rd. N., Ste. 206, Naples. Call 239-777-7063 or visit

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