The Pulse of Balance – Fall 2023

Written by: Alex Lake

September 18, 2023

The Pulse of Balance

Seasonal Newsletter

from the Tan Academy of Balance team!


  • Practitioner Case Study
  • Balance System Acupuncture (BSA) Learning Lab – Oct 16/23
  • Upcoming LIVE IN-PERSON Balance System Acupuncture (BSA) Seminars:
    • BSA Levels 2.5-4 live & in-person in Sydney, Australia – Sept 22-24/23
    • BSA Foundations Levels 1+2 live & in-person only, Vancouver, BC – Dec 1-3/23
  • BSA Cohort 5 2024-2025 Dates Confirmed!



Welcome to our Fall extended edition of the Pulse of Balance – the Tan Academy of Balance Newsletter. Our extended edition each season on the equinoxes aims to add in some more tips to keep you motivated! The season of Metal is about refining and letting go. Look inward, to step outward. Remember that you can only walk forward by lifting and letting go of the back foot. What support do you need to enhance, and support your next trajectory of growth? Autumn has this beautiful power of both logic and precision with perfection and enlightenment. While we are a small school that focuses on Mentorships, always keep an eye out for 1 hour lab sessions here and there for quick pearls along the way in a variety of the San Cai – Three Essences topics. Join us when you’re ready, whether a full program or the labs. As always, myself and the team are grateful for your interest in further education in Classical Chinese medicine and metaphysics,and we are pleased to provide what we can with our small family.

As I enter the fall myself, I have also been met with many forks in the road or one may also say, course corrections of my life. They are all within the blueprint of the Ba Zi, yet it is still our task to understand the learning opportunity. 😉 A big change began last year for me, and if any of you are following my Astrology insights both annually and monthly, last year was the start of bold change globally. This year it is still going but subtle yet still a rather pushy change! Change is movement, a Wood energy, which is shaped even more beautiful with pruning shears, a Metal energy. It’s helpful to embrace the energy of what is happening and ask yourself, what is this telling me or what is the opportunity presenting itself? Gain insight by being able to let go like Metal does well. Maybe this is letting go of old habits and routines, or maybe it is letting go of a part of you and taking a step into a new self. Metal is an inward and compressing energy, so that means looking deeply inward in order to see outward. This insight and enlightenment is the clarity from the pruning so you can see beyond the weeds. May you have an enriching and enlightening Fall experience wherever your path takes you.

See you online, in-person, or in the Tan Balance Hub,

We hope to see you soon!

Alex & Tan Shifu and the Tan Academy of Balance Team

Practitioner Case Study

Presented by Adam Slamang

Adam Slamang, RAc

Adam Slamang is one of the first graduates from Dr. Sonia Tan’s Balance System Acupuncture program at Langara College in Vancouver BC. He has been practising since 2020 in Charlottetown PEI. Outside of acupuncture, he has an entrepreneurial spirit and is always thinking of business ideas to keep busy and optimise ways to incorporate acupuncture and Balance System into other aspects of his life.

Trouble at Work

1) Client: 43 year old, Female. 

2) Chief Complaint: Client is complaining of anxiety around going to work at elementary school.

3) History of Present Illness: Client has a Hx of negative interactions with coworkers bordering on bullying, the anxiety related to going to work is causing her digestive discomfort and difficulty sleeping.

5) Channel Theory Diagnosis: Liver/Stomach/Ren.

6) Treatment Strategy: Client was referred to me by a friend who had positive results, this was her first intervention. I used Jue yin/Yang ming II-V over three session for 3 weeks.

7) Adjunctive Therapies: Client reported that she did not want to use any pharmaceuticals and just wanted to use acupuncture if it would work. During the course of treatments, I recommended a slight dient change of warmer cooked foods and to avoid cold and raw. 

8) Outcome: After the removal of needles on the first session, client stated that she felt very calm and relaxed, during the follow-up the subsequent week she reported a reduction of digestive pain/bloating. In the final session the following week she stated she no longer felt anxiety when she headed to work. These sessions took place shortly before summer vacation, and I haven’t seen the client since.

October Learning Lab – Oct 16/23!

SP/ST Zangfu vs Channel comparison

The next Earth month is almost here, and you know what that means…

It’s Balance System Acupuncture (BSA) Learning Lab time! 

Join Suzanne, Adam and Tan Shifu on October 16 at 1:00 PM Pacific time for the next installment of the Channel vs. Zangfu learning series. 

New to BSA and struggling to shift your brain from Zangfu to Channel-based acupuncture mode? Experienced BSA practitioner but need to refine your channel knowledge? Do you want further clarification on BSA channel theory vs zangfu function? This is the Lab for you!

We covered Lung and Large Intestine in our July learning lab, and in October we’re continuing on with the Spleen and Stomach channels. We will analyse each channel’s pathway, characteristics and function, and discuss:

  • the similarities and differences in SP and ST Channel vs. Zangfu functions
  • where and why we find SP and ST in BSA treatment strategies
  • how SP and ST pathologies are treated through BSA even when they’re not in a treatment truss

Who should join? Students interested in diving deeper into channel theory, holography and Classical Chinese medicine.

Strongly Recommended PREREQUISITE: Those who have taken a minimum of BSA Levels 1 and 2 (Balance System Acupuncture (BSA) Foundations – Level 1: Single Systems + Level 2: Multiple System balancing) through Tan Academy of Balance (in person or webinars) or an equivalent course through another provider. 

$7 for the hour, free for (premium) members of the Tan Balance Hub (the private Tan Academy learning community). Coupon code can be found in Tan Balance Hub on the Activity Feed. Non-members can find the registration link in the Events tile. 

Join online for 1 hour from wherever you are!
We’ll begin at 1:00pm Pacific time on Oct 16/2023!

* Learning Labs are now recorded, and available afterwards on the new Tan Balance Hub Members Area. Sign up as a premium member for access to the members area! 

Please note that CEUs are available only for those in
live attendance of Learning Labs. 

Live + In-Person BSA Refinement+Advanced Seminar in Sydney, Australia

September 22-24, 2023
Hosted and provided by Chinese Medicine Education
SOLD OUT! Contact the organiser to be added to the waitlist

  • Level 2.5RP – Refinement and Practical.
  • Level 3 – Channel Conversion.
  • Level 4 – The Twelve Meridian/Magical System.

This is an intensive and accelerated 3-day course that will elevate your overall understanding and practice of Balance Method Acupuncture, an evolutionary and systemic technique focused on getting further results to the next level.

This course consists of:

  • 1 day of Level 2.5 Refinement and Practical (Refine, Refresh and Practice).
  • 2 days of deeper advanced theory of the Balance Acupuncture in Level 3 (Channel Conversion) and Level 4 (12 Magic).

Participants will be able to apply the concepts immediately in practice and develop effective treatments. Balance System Acupuncture, as taught by Dr. Sonia F. Tan, is based on the culmination of her education, research and experience with various teachers including the late Dr. Richard Tehfu Tan, Dr. Yvonne Farrell and Dr. Jeffrey Yuen.

Students who have previously taken Level 1 and Level 2 or equivalent courses are welcome to attend this course after completing the outlined prerequisites.

Click here for more info at Chinese Medicine Education!

Live & In-Person
BSA Foundations (Levels 1+2) Seminars

Announcing NEW DATES & LOCATIONS for 2023 & 2024!

  • December 1-3, 2023, in-person only in Vancouver, Canada
  • April 13-15, 2024 (Location TBD – more information coming soon)


This is a LIVE IN-PERSON ONLY COURSE with a practical component! Hands-on practice with Dr. Tan and her teaching assistant(s). This course provides knowledge and skills of the basic Foundations of Balance System Acupuncture (BSA), Level 1: Single System Balance and Level 2: Multiple/Global System Balance.

In Part One, learn Balance System Level 1: Single Systems and the basic structures of the five main systems of Balance System Acupuncture, an evolution of the Balance Method. The systems are rooted in the concept of healing the body by balancing channels. Students will learn the history of the Balance Method/System, the basis of each of the Five Systems, and the logical processes for determining the channels to acupuncture, including an easy-to-use format to outline the treatment plan. A detailed explanation of the Holography (Mirroring and Imaging) Formats will also be explained to assist participants in effective point selection. Dr. Tan will show how to use distal points in order to avoid aggravating the area of discomfort and will include demonstrations and hands-on practice. Particular attention will be paid to musculo-skeletal conditions in this introductory level.

Part Two expands on the basic principles taught in the Single Systems: Balance System Acupuncture Level I. Part two will discuss treatment of functional and internal disorders and how to treat them with multiple systems of  Balance System Acupuncture. Students will expand on the knowledge from Level I (part 1), extending their clinical reach from musculoskeletal (MSK), orthopedics and pain, to treating internal medicine disorders, including the discussion of complicated cases that include both MSK pain and functional internal disorders. The Holography (mirror and imaging format) will be further discussed and how it is used in clinical practice to treat internal issues and body pain. Advanced treatments will be discussed for use in clinic such as an Eight-Channel combo for women’s health and a Nine-Channel combo for digestive disorders. A Four-Channel combo will also be discussed as a treatment strategy to treat bronchial disorders, cardiology symptoms, digestive disorders and urogenital diseases. Practitioners will understand how to approach complicated cases involving multiple channels in clinical practice, have hands-on practice with newly introduced acupoints and techniques, and have feedback from the teaching team.


Prerequisite: A license to practice Acupuncture*

*Any health care practitioner who is legally able to practice Acupuncture in their jurisdiction, with a minimum 250 hours of Acupuncture and foundational training. Acupuncture students that have completed Year 2/knowledge of all channel flow and acupoint location and needling.

Early Bird rate of $650+tax ends October 31, 2023!
Regular rate is $850+tax for the 2 day seminar.

Optional certification test February 11, 2024 to qualify for as Certified in BSA Foundations, the Certificate stream, AND entry into the BSA Certificate program beginning fall of 2024.

Steps to Register

Our new registration system now streamlines the process for students to see and register for all available TAB courses, make deposits, early-bird, and pay-as-you-go payments directly, and see course outlines and schedules all from our central!


  • Click Here to Register for a TAB Student Account.
  • You can then access the TAB Student Access page and see all available Courses in the TAB Store.
  • Select and register for “Balance System Acupuncture Foundations (Levels 1+2): Single + Multiple Systems – Live & In Person.

Questions? Email us at

Balance System Acupuncture (BSA) Certification Program
Cohort 5 Dates Confirmed!

Applications open: July 1/2024

Certification Program begins with
Level 3: Channel Conversion → September 13-15/24!

Prerequisites: Completion of BSA Levels 1 and 2 (Balance System Acupuncture (BSA) Foundations – Level 1: Single Systems + Level 2: Multiple System balancing) through Tan Academy of Balance (in person or webinars), the Equivalency Tests, and Practical components (if not previously completed), to equate BSA Foundations Certification (see dates and info. below)

Equivalency Test & Practical Dates
FEES: $175/level exam; If writing 2 levels at the same time = $297.50 total
(15% discount)

BSA Level 1 Equivalency Test:
Sun Feb 18/24 OR
Sun Aug 25/24

Begins 9:00am, online, ~1.5hrs 

BSA Level 2 Equivalency Test
Sun Feb 18/24 OR
Sun Aug 25/2

Begins 11:00 am, online, ~1.5hrs

BSA Refresher & Practical
For those that have only completed BSA Foundations via the webinar or those that wish for more practice with the hands-on components of BSA Foundations

Saturday April 20/24

Begins 9:30 am, ~5hrs

The Balance System Acupuncture Mentorship Certificate Program includes all Advanced levels of Balance Acupuncture (3-9), plus Grand Rounds classes of adjunct topics, cases, more practical feedback time and guest lecturers. The program explores many strategies to effectively deliver more immediate, lasting results. Based on a long lineage of ancient, authentic classical Chinese medicine teachings and applied channel theory, the Balance Acupuncture mentorship Certificate Program brings Acupuncture to life!

Cohort 5 Registration deadline: Aug 15/24

Email for more information.

Continued Learning Resources

Recorded Webinars



Access the free section of info including TAB Teaches (quick tips & insights) or dive deeper to the Members side → Learning Lab recordings, community support of like-minded practitioners, direct communication with Tan Shifu & the TAs, your practice listing on our website, and more!

Find a Practitioner!
 Find trained or certified practitioners in your area.

~ Inspiring Confidence ~ Creating Balance ~ Motivating Evolution ~

Alex Lake
Author: Alex Lake

Administrator & Registrar

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