Spring News! March 2021

Written by: Sonia Tan

March 21, 2021

Hello again Students and Colleagues!

I am super pleased to tell you about some changes that you may have already heard about. The Facebook learning and support platform is changing to help anchor and elevate your learning! 

After all, that is why we are here and how we help improve our outcomes with our patients and practice, right? 🙂 

What we have planned: Fun stuff, like practicing your diagnosis with humor like memes and photos; Short fun quizzes to anchor and affirm your knowledge; Brief and succinct case studies to learn more and add to your understanding; Practitioner profiles to connect more with our community.

Yeah! I am so excited!

Of course, those of you that know me well are probably saying, where do you have the time Sonia? 😀

The answer is, with the help of trusted and valued new members of the Tan Academy of Balance Team:

Two Group Leaders, forging this path are Dr. Kathleen Dang, ND, RAc, and Certified Balance System Practitioner, as well as Adam Slamang, RAc and Certified Balance System Practitioner. They will both bring a variety of knowledge, experience, fun and connection.

– Lisa Curtiss, RAc, and Certified Balance System Practitioner. She is leading the Admin and Marketing for the Tan Academy, and knows the schedule of courses, seminars, programs and trajectory of learning to help guide your pathway.

– Fion Chou, RTCMP, and Certified Balance System Practitioner. She is the Lead Teaching Assistant for the Tan Academy, with 17+ years of practice under her belt. You’ll see her in the Langara College program helping to guide and refine your understanding and skills.

Much like in the early years with Shifu, he had a student forum for support and community. My intention with this group has been much the same, and also taking it to a new fun and supportive way of learning. Look to learn more about them in upcoming profiles and connect with them. Updates to the website soon to follow! 

We still encourage you to post any quick questions or shares! Look for these three to be the lead in helping you out. I will be there of course, in time as well. 😉

The help and support they will provide you, also helps me have more time to continue to develop more courses of learning for you in all areas of the San Cai – Three Essences! Or maybe another book eventually… 😉

Please put your hands together for these 3 leaders, and get your hands up in the air for new fun learning content!

If you are new to Balance, or Balance Acupuncture is your home, I look forward to seeing you in person one day soon. By the summer, we should be turning the corner, and on our way to active life again. Enjoy this transition, for next year, is likely to be action packed!

Do let us know what you would like to learn more about, learning options, or any other questions. Feel free to connect. I am a firm believer that our positive common thread, with openness and curiosity, will serve to help take you to new awareness and levels of learning. This learning is not just about Chinese Medicine and Metaphysics, it is about yourself and your own evolution.

 See you on the surf, on the waves of your journey.  

 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.

Wake up!  It’s Food O’clock

Want to know how to shift anyone’s diet

Balance hormones? Reduce food cravings? Decrease the bloat? Lose weight? Constipation? Diarrhea?

The list goes on…Over at Yin Yang diet we have done just that!

There are a few things to consider but the #1 food you need to add into 99% of your patients diet is PROTEIN.

What protein?    Yes protein!    Why Protein? 

It’s safe to say that most of us, your patients included are hitting the other macro-nutrients they need #2 Carbohydrates (starchy and non starchy) and #3 fats.  Protein on the other hand is almost always lacking at 2 out of 3 meals.

Here is a good source list of protein that you can add to every meal.

  • Organic or pasture fed free range eggs
  • Lean organic, free range or the best “pastured” chicken
  • Lean organic, free range or the best “grass-fed” beef or game
  • Fermented or fresh organic soy products (temp eh/edamame)
  • Small fish/wild caught/organically farmed 
  • Canned salmon or light tuna (skip-jack- flaked, has lower mercury) 
  • Fermented Vegan supplement (Genuine Health)
  • Lean organic or free range turkey breast

Portion measuring:  It’s safe to say that the palm of your hand is approximately the size of 25-30g of protein. So happy eating friends.

The Yin Yang Diet grew out of our unshakable belief in food as medicine and our determination to be in charge of our own damn healing. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

Have any further questions? Feel free to contact us at yinyangdiets.com

You’ve got this partner,

xo Sara Ward R.Ac

Balance System Community Spotlight

Tell me About yourself?

My name is Jean Marc St. Germain from Montreal, Quebec.  I have been an acupuncturist for 18 years.  I have a Bachelor Degree in Anthropology and Demography. I still consider Anthropology as my first method to look and interact with the World.  I have worked in different fields, mostly as a technician, laboratory tech, safety and occupational health.

In my mid 30’s, l decided to change my direction and go back, in a certain way, to anthropology (Chinese Medicine is a way of seeing health through another cultural perspective, it’s an ethnomedicine) and live my life outside big organizations.  At the time, l viewed this work as an opportunity to get directly involved with people, no intermediaries, to put it in a simplistic way: my patients like me or not, my treatments work or not!  Direct, real interactions with people and having the opportunity to study a field that is endless, challenging, multilevel and self-fulfilling… oh my God was I right!

What types of techniques do you employ, Specialties?

 As for techniques, since my graduation I have more than 2,000 hours of continuous studies.  l also use Tuina, Traditional Chinese exercises (from Qigong or Internal Martial Arts), cranial release and a bit of Chinese pharmacopoeia (as an adjunct to the acupuncture treatment) depending on the case and the willingness of the patients to start to do some self-care… 

Since 2010, l have learned Master Tung acupuncture system and Balance System, these two systems are the main way I look at any cases.  Dr. Sonia Tan was able to help me have a deeper understanding of the holographic system.

What led you to Balance System Acupuncture?

Wanting to go deeper into the holographic system. Master Tung system is very efficient but l lacked a better theoretical understanding. Now l can see how to better structure my personal studies of the medicine.

How has it changed your practice and how you think?

Better results, more enjoyable way to practice acupuncture. I can see that someone really well trained can be quite fast and eventually won’t need many texts, books or side notes… all is for one to see in the body of the patient itself! 

What level of Balance Systems have you completed?

I have completed 7 levels. We have had the opportunity here in Quebec, to have Dr Sonia Tan return several times as part of our Continuous Study Program. 

What advice do you have for new Balance Practitioners?

Go step by step. Often the simple is better. Expand your knowledge by going further then seeing the balance system as a technique.  So, when you do the next level, you can see how you can convert and transform (change the energetic quality of a set of acupuncture points) and go into more subtle aspects.

This is when you peak your interest into the classical texts.  Some reading might help you understand, to soak yourself in the juice!  I also always advise acupuncturists to do some form of physical practices like Qigong or internal martial art, so to have other means to understand our medicine and strengthen your health (might be handy one day!). Knowledge does not always have to go exclusively through mental cognition.

Be well,

Jean Marc St Germain Ac.

2021 – FLOW Symposium – Speaker Dr Sonia F Tan (Day 3)
March 26, 27, 28, 2021

AM:  The Introduction to the Implementation of Astrology, Acupuncture and Feng Shui
PM:  Three Essences Integration – Bringing it all Together!
register before March 25, 2021.

NEW Review and Refresher course coming in April 4 2021
at Langara College Campus in Vancouver BC.

You do not need to be enrolled in the certificate program. You only need to have passed the equivalency tests for Levels 1 – Single Balance and Level 2 – Multiple/Global Balance, which can be done online.

This one-day course goes over questions and hands-on demos and practice with Dr. Sonia Tan.

This course is required for the certificate program in some cases.
Information and Registration contact Program Coordinator Karen Ramsden kramsden@langara.ca


Level 1: Single Systems Balance System Acupuncture & Level 2: Multiple Systems: Balance System Acupuncture

Webinars are offered through Net of Knowledge.
Note: Purchase of the accompanying online exam can go towards qualifying for the Certificate Stream at Langara College in Vancouver, BC

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.

Hybrid Program: Both online and in person
In Person Practicum: April & November for hands-on learning, demonstrations and practice.
Certificate program starts May 2021 with July & August off
September to December returns to lectures
Final Exam January 2022.

Know anyone interested? They can still join the Certificate program!

Take the online webinars → April 25 Refresher and Practical course (option to observe distance and fulfill the practicum later) → take the equivalency tests May 2 → jump into the program thereafter!

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.

Visit www.Langara.ca/Acupuncture for more details or email for more info.


Adam Slamang, RAc

Foundations of Balance Acupuncture: A Clinical Reference Manual
Available for Purchase @ Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Eastern Currents

Are you local in the Greater Vancouver area?
Not local and would like a signed copy?

Purchase direct from Dr. Sonia Tan herself and pick up in Vancouver or have it mailed.  Contact us for more info

What is the next book you would like Sonia to write? 
She has some planned, but always likes to hear from her students
Updates will also be on the Books page on the website.

Book Launch Celebration
CLICK HERE to watch video

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:

​“Enlightenment comes from the ordinary things in life” 

– Jeffrey Yuen

Who do you know?

Looking for a Balance System Acupuncture Practitioner?

You can find one on the Tanbalance.com 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:

Fall 2020 News

Fall 2020 News

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Sonia Tan
Author: Sonia Tan

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