Practice type: Private
Specialties: Cancer support, general wellness, infertility, musculoskeletal pain, women’s health
Styles: Dr. Tan’s Balance Method, herbal therapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Why did you become an acupuncturist?
During my first acupuncture treatment, I remember experiencing such a profound state of relaxation and sense of comfort within my body that I was awe struck. Before this, I hadn’t realized how good I could feel. Acupuncture transformed my life by helping me feel better than I had ever felt before. During the course of my treatments, I also experienced the effectiveness of Chinese herbal medicine in treating conditions for which Western medicine had no treatment or cure. For many years, I had been practicing qigong and yoga, as well as studying Western herbalism, holistic philosophies, and how our environment affects human health. The decision to become an acupuncturist and herbalist seemed like a natural progression. I wanted to be able to relieve pain for others and help them reach their highest potential, just as acupuncture and herbal medicine had done—and still does—for me and my family.
What distinguishes you from other acupuncturists?
I listen to patients. I believe that what patients’ bodies are telling them, and what they tell me, is valuable information. At a time when Western medicine fails to see the whole person, I find myself being both a holistic practitioner and a medical advocate—helping patients understand when they must pursue a Western medical diagnosis, a second opinion, surgery, or pharmaceutical, and when they are best treated with acupuncture or herbal medicine. I practice Balance Method style acupuncture, which can treat most issues without needling directly into the problem area. This style of acupuncture often provides amazingly instantaneous results. Additionally, I am an herbalist as much as an acupuncturist. Many practitioners do not practice herbal medicine and this is a disadvantage to patients with chronic health problems. By using herbs in addition to acupuncture, I can achieve the best results for all my patients.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Hands down, the best part of my job is helping relieve pain and suffering for people. I feel that it is truly a gift to be able to ease someone’s suffering. As a general practitioner, I have had the unique opportunity to treat patients of all ages, from infants to elders, and I enjoy the diversity this brings to my practice. I enjoy helping patients with the health challenges that present at each stage of one’s life. This allows me to stay connected to the progression and cycles of human life. Each patient’s health problems are a unique puzzle. I am never bored. I spend my days solving these puzzles and that makes each day different—it always teaches me something. I love this. I feel very grateful to be able to learn and practice this ancient and profound medicine.
What is the biggest misconception you hear about acupuncture?
I find that one of the more unfortunate misconceptions that people have about acupuncture is that it is only covering up the pain or problem—not actually fixing it. I have had many patients who were getting excellent results with acupuncture and then stopped treatment because they felt that they were just masking the problem. On the contrary, acupuncture can correct the problem by helping the body heal itself. This is a powerful concept. One needs to understand that the body has an innate ability to heal itself. Trauma, stress, poor diet, and overwork inhibit this process, so we sometimes need a little help to move us in the right direction. Acupuncture has been shown to improve circulation, speed healing, relieve pain, balance hormones, reduce stress, and improve the immune system. Very few problems cannot be helped or resolved with that sort of track record!
How do you stay healthy in your own life?
My husband, my daughter, and I stay healthy by cooking all our own meals using fresh, unprocessed, organic, or non-GMO ingredients. We follow the dietary principles of Chinese medicine, eating a diversity of fresh and unprocessed foods, and supplementing or eliminating certain foods in order to help balance each of our individual constitutions. I stretch and exercise gently, enjoy moderate sunshine and fresh air, and use acupuncture for stress reduction. When my family or I do get sick, we use acupuncture and herbs to get better quickly and avoid complications.
676 Elm Street, Suite 100, Concord, MA 01742