Fall 2020 News

Written by: Sonia Tan

October 8, 2020

Keep on the Pulse…

What does one say when they are left almost speechless in a year of sideways trajectories? 

When I spoke about what was in the stars for this year in Chinese Astrology, one of the main things I emphasized is being flexible and adaptable. Water dominates this year in the year of the Rat. It causes easy diversions, forced flow in many directions, but if we can flow like water, we can work around things and make it to the other side, just like water. If you learn how to ride the wave, you’ll stay afloat and reach the shore. And you’ll also love surfing like me – the ultimate way to feel the Qi of nature and the Universe, and be in perfect balance and harmony with it.

Stay strong my friends, stay resilient, find what you need to care for, recover, and rebound.

In challenging times, there is a standard set of “advice” we give to clients as a professional Chinese Astrologer,

Meditate more, Exercise vigorously, Study something difficult” Why?

This is to move the obstructive/unfavourable Qi, and get it out of blocking our brain and thinking. When we can help move this blockage, we can gain enlightenment. This enlightenment helps us make better decisions when in unfavourable Qi flow times. You can help enhance this also with Acupuncture. Remember in class how I mentioned that the Jing-Well points are so powerful not only because they are like unplugging a blocked drain, but also, in puppet show mirror/image, they are patting the head to help calm the Shen down. In these uncommon times, perhaps you have had some more cases of anxiety with your patients? Now is a time to take your Acupuncture to the next level of results, with the Jing-Wells. Help them move that unfavourable obstructive Qi – Of course, with a Balance System Acupuncture Channel-Conversion!

You too should embody this practice – Use/bend your mind – study a difficult topic; Clear your mind – meditate; Move that Qi in your body, vigorously! 

Speaking of difficult, multi-layered topics, the time has come where I will begin to slowly introduce Chinese Astrology. The prerequisite course of learning the “alphabet” of Chinese Astrology is first in line. Once you learn the alphabet, we’ll get into how to properly chart a Birth Chart and Fate cycles, and more importantly, learn the art of reading and analyzing this. I have determined 6 levels of learning, which will be taught over the course of 6-8 years. Prior to entering the first level, one must complete and pass the pre-requisite, and also, submit an application of intent.

More to come…are you excited? See below for more details.

Astrology and Feng Shui will likely change your entire perspective on life, interactions and choices. The more deep you get into it, the more it gets infused in your thinking and way of life.
Sidebar: The US election will be a close race, with Biden squeezing out the win technically speaking…One cannot account for the other influences or legalities.

You are on your way to becoming a full Chinese metaphysician and living in harmony with the San Cai – The Three Essences. Yeah! 

Lastly, I wish you much health and abundance in these uncommon times. I am thinking of you all and my heart goes out to you. I am here to support you. Feel free to reach out.

Be Well,

 Dr. Sonia F. Tan, DAOM, RAc, RTCMP

Teacher Assistant Tips

Sara has been a student of Dr. Sonia F Tan since 2017 and was privileged enough to take courses from the late Dr Richard Tan as well. Sara is a self described “Balance Acupuncture nerd”. She is the co-owner and Director of The Village Community Acupuncture in Vancouver, BC.

Be the Kind of Person you Want to Meet…

In my practice I see a whole lot of people!  There are a few types of patients that always stand out, I’m sure you’ve seen them all before.

 The Jing-Well junkies

These patients are fun! Guaranteed they are asking for the Jueyin-Yangming pattern.

They are experienced patients, they truly believe in acupuncture and its many benefits. Jing-Well Junkies are great for building your confidence because they will let you do ANYTHING!

They love the Jing-Wells and don’t even flinch when you put them in. 

Let’s take PX N: When she experienced her 3rd and 4th concussion within a few weeks of each other, we were determined to get her back to her ‘normal’ self. We knew we’d be using a Mag 12 + the brain point on the bottom/arch of the foot.

I experimented on myself, first and it hurt like hell! 

But I knew without a doubt that it would help PX N. The next treatment I discussed that I had a really sensitive point to do and explained where it was, and she was open to it and didn’t even flinch.

Jing-Well junkies, are so fun and will often come back asking more those pinchy points on the tips of their fingers and toes.

The please, “don’t put a needle there aka the No Go Zones”

These patients are like the needle phobic patients but they have NO GO ZONES.  Most often typed as a Jueyin-Shaoyang type.

To keep track of these “No Go Zones” in our clinic we write them in our medical alert section of their chart.

Let’s take PX J: her no go zone is her head, no YT, ears, or sock monkey. And that is all good!

We respect their bodies first and foremost and now that she has been a patient of mine for years, she is softening up to the idea of head points, but we aren’t there yet.

 The “I have seen an acupuncturist many years ago and it didn’t work, patients”:

These patients are very common, often they have never truly been exposed to acupuncture or even worse had a bad experience with an acupuncturist many years ago. These folks are a classic case of starting gentle with a Mag 8+1.  These patients are looking for a miracle and are expecting a one off.  If I assess the patients’ expectations to be such, I ALWAYS say to them,

“If I could fix this problem in one treatment I would be a millionaire….and I’m not, so you’re going to have to trust me on this one”

They will reluctantly heed your advice and hold you to your word. If you produce results as you should with the balance method, then you have a patient for life and a new “practice builder”.

“The more difficult they are at first, the more likely they will be a forever patient.” ~ Sara 🙂

The “there is nothing wrong with me ever, I never get sick I’m here to see you because my wife” patients

These patients are a blast and it takes less than 2 seconds to find out that yes, they do need your help. Whichever pattern I choose to tackle with these folks you can guarantee I’ll be adding in the 5 NADA points to help shift them even faster.

They are smokers and want to quit OR they get HA all the time but think that it’s normal, so just take Advil 4x/day OR they have heartburn but that is normal they think.  “Everyone has it” they say.

Since these patients truly have no expectation and don’t even know why they are there, you will see a shift quickly with them and you may just get a patient for life or never see them again until they are dragged back in.

Setting up the perfect treatment plan for each and everyone of your patients is an invaluable skill that you must master.

Tell me some of your favorite types of patients you see in your clinic, I want to know.

You’ve got this partner,

xo Sara Ward R.Ac

Tan Academy Spotlight

Please introduce yourself

Hi, I am Lisa Curtiss and I am an outdoor enthusiast and an Acupuncturist. In my spare time I love to travel, boating & sailing, all things water, snow skiing, hiking and most recently, my electric bike!

My background is Finance, Corporate Sales and Real Estate Sales, I am a very driven, successful, career oriented individual and I pursue all things with passion and vigour. Unfortunately, this success & passion for life, manifested into a decline of my overall health.

In the last 3 decades of my life, I have suffered major health events that made me reevaluate my life. I was diagnosed with a multitude of concerns: Thrombophiliac – hereditary clotting disorder & DNA errors, hypothyroid, IBS, digestive issues, migraines, food & environmental allergies, MSK, osteoarthritis, edema, the list goes on…

By age 40, talk about a “mid life crisis” I had exhausted all solutions allopathic & integrative western medicine had to offer. In 2013, I started school in the Sport Science Kinesiology Program. 3 years in, I decided to shift gears and pursue Eastern Medicine and started at ICTCMV in 2015. I ended up getting very sick while in school, dropped out of the Practitioner program and graduated from Acupuncture at PCU College in 2018. Met Sonia Tan and entered Cohort 1 – Balance System Certificate Program 2019.

What’s your experience so far with Acupuncture?

Determined to get better, I received a lot of acupuncture treatments and herbs at the school clinic for the first year. I had varied results but no real change. Deep down, I felt Chinese Medicine had multiple solutions for me but I had not met the right acupuncturist yet, so I kept looking.

I found Sara Irving at The Acupuncture Hub and major shifts started happening for me, even just after one treatment with Balance System Acupuncture. Sara tried a few different patterns but we figured out the Tai Yin/Yang Ming III-VI was the best base treatment for me, based on my results.

For the next year, I received 2-3 treatments weekly, coupled with lots of exercise, I moved 70lbs of edema off my body.

Sara is a “Rock Star!”

The work Sara was doing with Balance System Acupuncture was getting great results but I was evolving with my symptoms and I felt I needed to work with a herbalist as well. I found an experienced practitioner who practiced Worsley’s 5 element style and I worked with her for a year, with some varied success and eventually I was introduced to Dr. Sonia Tan.

All these events happened while I was in school learning
Zang Fu theory – WHAT?

While working at the student clinic, I had started implementing Balance System Acupuncture with my patients and proved to myself and the student clinical instructors, that Balance System Acupuncture is more effective in so many ways. When I learned that there was going to be a Balance System Acupuncture program at Langara, I jumped at the opportunity to enroll.

What’s your biggest WOW moment with Balance System Acupuncture?

A patient of mine with Hailey Hailey skin condition was on several pharmaceutical medications including a nasty cancer drug and topical steroid creams for over 30 years.

With Balance System Acupuncture she managed to come off of her meds completely!!

Today, when her skin gets out of control our first line of attack is the Acupuncture Prednisone Protocol, this immediately calms down her inflammation/irritation/itch/heat from a 10 to a 5.

Maintenance involves alternating 2-3 patterns depending on skin rash locations and severity of issues. I believe we have some more work with this case, perhaps a seasonal component, unknown allergies, Astrological DNA could reveal an elemental imbalance and some Extra Ordinary & Luo Vessels work. I am confident that the Balance System Acupuncture will evolve my patient’s health beautifully, whatever technique is required.

The Balance System Acupuncture Community

With the Tan Academy Website, FB page and Langara Certificate Program I hope to help Dr. Sonia Tan further develop the Balance System Acupuncture Community so we can share ideas and make more practitioners and patients aware of “the amazing, instant results that Balance System Acupuncture can bring.”

I am moving to Baja, Mexico soon and I am hoping to create a Balance System Acupuncture Symposium to the region and have an outreach program that we can have practitioners come treat the less fortunate and help build a strong community for the future!

Learn – Philanthropy – Eat – Surf – Pickle Ball – Sun

Lisa Curtiss, R.Ac
Beauty in Balance Acupuncture


Foundations of Balance Acupuncture: A Clinical Reference Manual

“This book, although seemingly simple, is the distillation of all these skills applied to the beloved tradition.  It is an accurate description of several layers of logic that form the basis of our medical practice.  If you are a beginning student or an advanced practitioner these pages will spread a Wildfire of Healing through your Practice, your Community and the World.”

John Mini, OMD, L.ac

Senior student of Dr. Richard Tehfu Tan

Meet your new Reference Bestie
This well-crafted and curated guide definitely won’t collect dust  But, wonderful though this book is, don’t stop here.  To fully unlock your potential growth in your practice and career, I encourage you to take these levels with Sonia and experience the power of energetic educational exchange.  Her classes are not to be missed, if only for her drawing of a “sock monkey”, which will have you laughing for days!”

Sara Ward, R.ac

Co-owner of The Vancouver Community Acupuncture Clinic & Co-Author and creator of Yin Yang Diet

“This Reference Manual has everything you need and more from history and origins to practical theory.  This book is easy to understand yet filled with informational gems, a must have.”

Edmund Chin, R.ac

Dr. Sonia Tan’s Clinical Reference Manual brings the classroom to Life” and is a must have for the busy practitioner.  Sonia’s skilled methods of teaching and personal anecdotes and memories of Dr. Richard Tan, light up the pages.  Great addition to your library and valuable tool for the new students of Balance System Acupuncture.”

Lisa Curtiss, R.ac

“The reader can feel the author’s enthusiasm for acupuncture and teaching in the writing.  I would highly recommend this book to acupuncturists with the basic knowledge of these systems to confirm point selections, Enhance your Practice or as a Refresher on Balance Acupuncture.”

Zaria Valentine, DAOM, L.ac

“Dr. Sonia Tan creates an easy-to-follow path for those who seek to improve their skills and practice to the benefit of patients.
This book is an opportunity to learn and grow, written by one of the field’s thought leaders.”

Nadia Melnyk, DAOM, L.ac, MACP

Founder of Wisdom of Health and author of the book Women's Health: Western and Eastern Perspective

“With this new clinical reference Manual, I feel equipped with all the knowledge that I need, to treat patients that come through my clinic within the Balance System Acupuncture realm.”

Fion Chou, R.ac

Updates will also be on the Books page on the website.

Adam Slamang, RAc


January 17, 2021 – Intro to Chinese Astrology
live recorded webinar via Net of Knowledge.
Watch for the link to register on both:

Travelling and want more BSA fun?
Dr. Sonia Tan will is planning on travelling in 2021 if safe to do so. Follow her schedule on www.TanBalance.com 

Adam Slamang, RAc

Balance System Acupuncture (BSA) Certificate program at Langara College

Balance System Acupuncture Certificate program at Langara College has been transformed to have the option of majority distance/online learning.

As you can imagine, COVID-19 has changed much of the world. Dr. Sonia Tan had to change and adjust the curriculum to accommodate distance/online learning. As a result, beginning in 2021, the entire Certification process has been re-designed whereby 6 of the 8 Levels are distance/online learning. Minimum 2 of the 8 levels still required in-person attendance for hands-on learning, demonstrations and practice. While online teaching and learning is not the ideal and preferred way to teach for Dr. Sonia Tan, it is an adaptable way to learn in the current times. Much of the learning comes from hands on practice and you will still receive that. This will be required with Level 1 – Single Balance and Level 8 – Review and Practicum, and further enhanced with the optional Review and Refresher Practical course. Look for more details on our website and www.Langara.ca/Acupuncture. Pass the word on!

Balance System Certificate Program 2021

Hybrid Program: Both online & in-person with minimized required practical portions (February/April & November).
Pre-requisites being February 2021. Certificate program starts in May 2021 with July & August off. September to December returns to lectures, with the Final Exam in January 2022.

* NEW * BSA Foundations Refresher & Practical

Review and hands on practice with evaluations. Great for students wanting more hands-on practice or who have learned their pre-requisite Level 1+2 via the webinar or other teachers. This course is required for certificate program in some cases. Information and Registration contact Program Coordinator Karen Ramsden kramsden@langara.ca

Quote of the Season

Sonia has always been a fan of inspirational quotes since childhood. Did you know she kept a “Quotes” book?

The pick for this newsletter:

FAIL = First Attempt/Action In Learning or Flawlessly Ascending In Life

Who do you know?

Looking for a Balance System Acupuncture Practitioner?
You can check for one our website under Find a Practitioner!

We wanted to make it easier for you and patients to find amazing Balance System Acupuncture! The list is constantly being updated – please let us know if you change office locations and contact info. An address is required for this list due the connection to Google Maps.
Check it out here on our website:

Love the I Ching?

We have commissioned a local silver smith who also specializes in Chinese Metaphysics, to make these special I Ching coins for us.

Set of Three Silver I Ching coins & Brass Turtle Shell
CAD$199 plus taxes

Online purchasing coming soon……

Sonia Tan
Author: Sonia Tan

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