Practice type: Community
Specialties: Addiction, anxiety, general wellness, pain, women’s health
Styles: Dr. Tan’s Balance Method, herbal therapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Why did you become an acupuncturist?
I was living in Hong Kong in 1996, and a couple of acupuncture visits got me out of some serious pain. That caught my interest and led to a career change. I practiced privately until 2009, when I learned about the community acupuncture model. I restructured my practice and never looked back! Brenna Lewis and I opened Toronto Community Acupuncture (ToCA) in 2011 to serve Toronto’s east end.
What distinguishes you from other acupuncturists?
At Toronto Community Acupuncture (ToCA) we treat in a group setting. We try to make it easy for people to take care of themselves with acupuncture. We charge affordable rates, and we take online bookings and accept walk-ins whenever possible. People can stay as long as they like for their treatments because we have plenty of comfortable recliners.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I love the community acupuncture model because I get to see and treat a lot of people from many backgrounds, with a wide variety of complaints. I love working in a space where people arrive to take care of themselves and take a break from their busy lives. It is so rare in our society that we stop and take time to be still, and there’s nothing quite like being around that kind of peacefulness whenever you go to work!
What is the biggest misconception you hear about acupuncture?
Sadly, most people considering acupuncture assume that they won’t be able to afford it. We are glad to provide accessible treatments, because in most cases, acupuncture needs to be received regularly to make an impact on your health. For an acute problem, a few sessions might be enough, but for chronic health issues, regular treatment can make all the difference to one’s quality of life. People are not going to do that unless they can afford it.
How do you stay healthy in your own life?
Daily walks in Toronto’s ravines with my dog, stretching, and regular meditation. Quality time with my family. I try to have fun and see the world through my kids’ eyes. And regular acupuncture, one of the perks of my job!
What do you love about acupuncture?
I love that acupuncture can do so much with so little, and it really just reminds your body how to heal itself. It’s inexpensive to administer and, no matter what you are getting treated for, it’s calming and helps you to digest and sleep better. It helps us to manage stress, and who doesn’t need that?
Toronto Community Acupuncture (ToCA): 27 Davies Avenue, main floor, Toronto, Ontario, M4M 2A9, Canada