The Pulse of Balance – Spring 2022

Written by: Sonia Tan

March 13, 2022

Spring has Sprung! Or at least it’s starting to wake up here in Vancouver.
  • Tips, Tricks and Musings
  • From Dr. Sonia F. Tan’s desk
  • Community spotlight
  • New and current courses
  • What’s coming!
The Lunar New Year in February signaled the start of a New Year, but also the new Spring season. As Yang builds throughout the season, we see growth, expansion and movement – like our Facebook group migrating to and expanding in our new private platform aka: The Tan Academy of Balance HUB
In clinic, and the world, we are seeing those typical Wood ailments… Tightness, Impatience and Anger. Fear not, when you honor the Wood Element / Spring Season and apply Chinese Medicine principles – you can help your patients & yourself. 
If you are a Balance Acupuncturist, expect to be using the Jueyin combinations more frequently. This is a great time to refresh and prepare your seasonal & 5 phase charts for the year ahead, so your top picks are easily at your fingertips.
Some of my favourite ways to combat these Springtime Growing Pains:
  • Get moving – after a long winter of hibernation, it is finally time to start moving again.
  • Celebrate the Sun – Increased sunlight hours help regulate your circadian rhythms for better sleep and more energy.
  • Eat Seasonally – I start getting cravings for foods that support the smooth flow of Qi in my body. Green onions, fresh sprouts, lighter soups & salads.
  • Learn Something New – Spring is the time of new growth so challenge yourself to try something new this year. The sense of accomplishment will boost your mood, outlook & self-esteem. 
Want to Combine 2 of my tips in 1 easy way? Try Qigong … rooted in Chinese Medicine, martial arts, and philosophy this is the ancient practice of aligning breath, movement, and focused attention for healing and meditation.
This spring, if you more forward with curiosity & benevolence, (especially this year IYKYK), you can be a positive change for the world, your neighbourhood and yourself.
Zai Jian 再见 (再見)!
See you at the HUB,
The Tan Academy of Balance team
On Behalf of The Team,
Meghan Hawkshaw, RAc,BHKin
Tan Academy of Balance Team Leader
*Links included: 

Tips, Tricks and Musing from the TAs

Chinese Language Musings – What is a Shifu師父?
*This write up is the continuum of the Laoshi discussion in the Winter newsletter.
Shifu 師傅 or 師父, in Mandarin, or sifu in Cantonese, is a title for, and the role of, a skillful person or a master. The latter term, 師父, bears the dual meaning of “master” and “father,” and thus connotes lineage in a teacher–student relationship. Shifu is also the headmaster of a school and the teachers’ teacher.
Adam Slamang, RAc
Traditionally, in Chinese martial arts and schools of training, Shifu was used as a familial term and sign of respect as in the general usage.A Shifu was deemed a “father”, therefore a Shifu also assumes the role and responsibilities of a father figure. Despite the “father” meaning of the word 父, the term 師父 is also used to address a female teacher.
A Shifu is concerned about your personal development and is there to share their wisdom that they spent years accumulating and mastering their craft.
A Shifu is not a friend or buddy. Not an equal, Shifu is a respected channel of knowledge and experienced guide.
A Shifu helps the students to learn and to develop on their own and provide the right amount of guidance.
A student can only repay with boundless enthusiasm and gratitude.
As the Tan Academy of Balance school is ever evolving, Laoshi Tan is training more Laoshi’s to take on teaching roles, and to continue the lineage of Richard Tehfu Tan’s teaching. Perhaps it is now time to consider regarding Laoshi (Sonia) Tan as Shifu (Sonia) Tan?
  • Fion Chou, RAc, RTCMP.
Fion Chou, RAc, RTCMP
Certified Balance System Practitioner
Certified Gemologist
With 18+ years of practice under her belt, she was an incredible Lead Teaching Assistant for the Tan Academy in 2020 – 2021 (Cohorts 2 & 3). We wish her a fond farewell as she passes the torch to the next generation of Teaching Assistants.
Fion’s clinic Healing Path Acupuncture is located in Vancouver, BC.

Balance System Community Spotlight – Langara BSA Cohort 3

Normally, we focus on a single practitioner to focus on each season, but since this season of renewal and growth, it’s the perfect time to try something a little different. As part of the 2020 cohort, I can tell you that learning online is hard – you lack that “je ne sais quoi” that learning in-person can build with your teacher, TA’s & classmates.
This spring I want to highlight the incredible job that the Langara Class of 2021 – Cohort 3 did at making sure that they got the most out of Balance System Program. They embraced these unprecedented times and were able to balance a truly hybrid learning experience. We had students from BC’s Lower Mainland, but also the Okanagan, Ontario, Quebec, and Poland!
They collaborated, respected & supported each other from near & far, through ever-changing mandates, time zones, travel restrictions and more. Somehow, all but 2 of the students managed to come to the classroom at least once!
Their enthusiasm for learning & incorporating Balance System Acupuncture into their practices made it a pleasure to be their Alumni TA.
AMY LEE – Kitchener, ON
FATIMA HOUZOURI – Port Coquitlam, BC
KAROLINA KLUSKA – Vancouver (Comm Dr), BC
KURT JUREK – Vancouver (Kitsilano), BC
LAUREL IRONS – Osoyoos & Keremeos, BC
SHARYN TURNER – Vancouver (E Hastings), BC
They are all caring, curious, compassionate
… and FUN!
You will not go wrong visiting them for a treatment or referring someone to them.
Many of them are already part of the TAB HUB community. Introduce yourself & congratulate them on their achievement!
— Meghan

A Note from Dr Sonia F. Tan’s Desk:

Hello my beloved students!
I’m sure you will agree – it is noisy out there, isn’t it? 
Many of you may be like me, turned off by all the “noise” in the world, and on social media. When I first created the student forum group on Facebook (FB) over 4 years ago, the intention was to create a village, neighbourhood, collective group of like-minded practitioners that both speak the same language and want further support for their knowledge and practice, connect, share and continue growing.
The vision was always to go beyond Balance Acupuncture one day, as I expand to teaching Astrology and Feng Shui. With the latter two topics, from my own family lineage, it is imperative that I keep this as integral as possible, which involves privacy
As you may imagine, any people are averse to FB. It’s a fight to be heard with all the noise, notifications, and algorithms of FB. Some of you are not seeing posts in your notifications while others are not on FB. Some wish to keep things private, positive, less noisy and less algorithms, and simply have a happy village of kinship to go to, like myself. So, I searched. I wanted to find a place to make it our own, in a private, carefully custom curated, positive, and quieter way. A place that where it was possible to have subgroups that share the same interests or languages.
I’ve found it and would like to welcome you to the
This is a dedicated place where we can grow our neighbourhood, the way we want to – positive support, learning, gap filling, new inspirations, and topics, help to our fellow comrades and colleagues, professionalism, laughter, ancient wisdom, lineage learning of the San Cai 三才.  It’s a place where you can share your wins, or reach out for help with a win. We’ll list your practice to continue your referral reach of trusted Balance professionals, and as well receive discounts to our hosted events for all members.
If this sounds like a good fit for you and your values, please join us on the journey! You’ll need to have completed the Foundations of Balance Acupuncture, Levels 1+2 so that everyone has the basics of the same language. Submit your completion certificates to hello(at) so we can log your name for quick approval entry into the HUB.
If it is not (and maybe not for right now), that’s ok. I appreciate that timing is everything – I hope to see you again at a course, events, or whenever the stars are meant to align. Much respect. 
For those seeking more from the Tan Balance community, Surf’s Up! see you on the waves.
— Shifu Tan
p.s. I know many been waiting for this – a private cohort (1.5 to 2-year program) for Certified Chinese Astrology Practitioners is coming January 2023! Applications will open November 7, deadline December 7. More info to come!
*** FYI ****
Using the Web-based browser is the best way to use the TAN HUB currently. We are actively working with our provider to streamline the mobile app.

Upcoming Courses – In-Person & Hybrid

Dr Sonia Tan’s current worldwide teaching schedule is available at a glance on the Tan Balance website or her consulting website.
Or scroll down to review all Courses and Seminars by the Tan Academy of Balance Inc or Dr. Sonia F Tan.

BSA Refinement (Annual Review Course)

MAY 28 and 29, 2022
Live In-Person and On-line
Hosted independently by the Tan Academy of Balance Inc.
Instructor: Dr. Sonia F. Tan, DAOM, RAc, RTCMP
Looking to fill those gaps or refine your learning?
Ready for some collaboration? Miss Seeing Your Cohort? 
This two-day refinement course is a chance to refine your knowledge, ask questions and review cases. Levels 1 thru 3/4, aka: Single Balance; Multiple & Global Balances; Channel conversion; and Twelve (12) Magical; will be discussed with a focus on Head, Face and OBGYN cases with Dr. Sonia Tan.
This course is never the same twice!
  • Students can submit tough-to-treat cases & questions.
  • Dr. Sonia Tan will:
  • Address specific inquiries
  • Present submitted cases
  • Review theory
  • Help refine your approach
  • Plus, she’ll share her own cases and tips!
*Min. Prerequisites: Levels 1 through 3
*Limited in person seats available

Langara’s BSA Foundations Refresher & Practical Course

*New Date*
September 11, 2022
Where: Vancouver
Format: Live In-Person
Date: Sun, September 11, 2022
This is a great course to:
  • Refresh & Review your Balance Acupuncture theory:
  • Level 1 – Single Balance
  • Level 2 – Multiple & Global Balance Systems
  • Earn those CEU’s
  • A great hands-on skills refresher
  • If you are curious about the Langara Balance Acupuncture Certificate Program
  • Prepare & Review before you challenge the Level 1 & 2 exams to earn your Certification
Level 1 – Single Balance *
Level 2 – Multiple & Global Balance Systems *
* via Langara, webinar or other approved Balance System class/instructor
Prior approval required, email:
With Langara BSAP1101 & BSAP1102 course credit, this is not required for Balance Acupuncture Certificate Program

Balance System Acupuncture (BSA) Certificate Program

Schedule of Classes:

Lecture Weekends:
Hybrid Classes – In-person & Online
  • Sept 16 thru 18, Exam: Oct 2
  • Oct 15 & 16, Exam: Oct 30
  • Nov 5 & 6, Exam: Nov 27
  • Jan 14 & 5, Exam: Jan 29
  • Feb 11 &12, *no exam
  • Mar 11 & 12, Exam: April 16 *final
For prior approval &/or questions.

The Balance System Acupuncture (BSA) Certificate program taught me how to trust my instincts when treating my patients and it surrounded me with a supportive community.

Cohort 2 Alumni Testimonial

The BSA program is filled with incredible teachers and alumni that want to help you achieve your best, both personally and professionally.
When you are stumped by a patient, reach out and ask for help – the unique combination of a strong, shared language with the wide range of interests and experiences means that it’s easy to find someone that has experience treating whatever you are facing.
This group are cheerleaders – full of passion, curiosity and encouragement.
Cohort 2 Alumni Testimonial


1) Webinar Classes:
Level 1 – Single Balance & Level 2 – Multiple & Global Balance
2) Langara’s BSA Foundations Refresher & Practical Course* – September 11, 2022
3) Completion of Level 1 & 2 Equivalency Exams – April 24, 2022
* Or other approved Balance System classes
The schedule for Cohort 4 has been modified to fit a more traditional Scholastic Calendar.
This change is so recent that the Langara website has not been updated. 
*Update is expected sometime in May prior to registration opening.
The Balance System Acupuncture Certificate Program expands on The Channel Theory, exploring strategies to effectively deliver more immediate, lasting results.
Based on a long lineage of ancient, authentic teachings, the Balance Acupuncture Certificate Program teachers bring Balance Acupuncture to life. 

Continuing Education Credits:

Eligible for 75 CEU Hours

  • 43 Lecture, 24 clinical & 7 Exam
Approved by: CTCMA & CNPBC

Hybrid Program: 

The Balance System Acupuncture Certificate program at Langara College has been transformed to a hybrid style. This combination of online and in person learning provides more flexible learning options, especially for individuals living outside of Vancouver’s Lower Mainland.
Study Balance Acupuncture with us from Near or Far!

In-Person Practicum:

These two weekends of hands-on learning, demonstrations and practice allow you to organically learn, as well as cultivate relationships with your classmates, Tan Academy of Balance Teachers, Teaching Assistants and Shifu Tan.
Learning is best when it’s done in-person. 

Optional TA Study Labs:

Sunday mornings between the class & exam
Bring your cases & questions

In-Person Practicum:

Mandatory – Skill Bases Clinical Assessment
March 2023 – Level 8
September 11, 2022 – BSA Foundations Refresher & Practical Course *Prerequisite if Levels 1+2 have only been completed via online/webinar*


Online Exams are held after each level

Final Exam: 

April 16, 2023


Earn a recognized certificate in this highly specialized area of acupuncture.
At the end of the Program, you will have earned a certificate from Tan Academy of Balance, and a Certificate of Balance Acupuncture from Langara College, a well-respected public institution of higher learning in Canada.

How do you know if this is the right program for you?

The Langara Balance Acupuncture Certification is:
  • An intensive 1-year program
  • An opportunity to learn channel theory acupuncture
  • An place to fill your gaps of knowledge
  • A higher quality of teaching focusing on:
  • Academic Teaching
  • Classroom Collaboration & Case Studies
  • Grand Rounds Cases & Adjunct topics
  • Real World Stories & Experiences
  • Optional Online 1 hour Study Labs with a Teaching Assistant
  • Fostering & grows your community
  • Visited by guest speakers
  • A place to grow your proficency and achieve more confidence
If this program is not for you, That’s OK!
We have other courses and webinars to support your learning and are actively working to create more Balance Acupuncture content in the TAB HUB. (let us know what you would like!)


Why We Love a Webinar?
It’s a great way to start learning a new topic
It can be completed on your own schedule
Lifelong Course Access = Review Materials When You Want
  • Please remember that while webinars do discuss the basic principles being taught, they can lack the normal exchange of energy and/or ideas that case studies and classroom Q&A’s can bring.
  • Unless otherwise noted, webinars are offered through Net of Knowledge, and purchases are automatically redirected to your host country’s provider.
Single Systems Balance System Acupuncture 
This course provides the basic foundations of five main systems of the Balance Method/System.
Learn how to apply the quick, efficient results effectively! 
Multiple Systems: Balance System Acupuncture
This course expands on the basic principles taught in the Balance System of Acupuncture Level I. This class will discuss treatment of functional and internal disorders and how to treat them with multiple systems of the Balance System of Acupuncture.
Channel Conversion
An abridged advanced course, students will broaden their knowledge on the applications of Balance System Acupuncture, discuss a variety of internal syndromes including digestive, respiratory, gynecological and emotional states while using “Channel Conversion” and the Yi Jing (I Ching). 

Enjoyed what you learned in Levels 1 & 2? Feel like there is more to learn from Level 3?

Dive deeper in to the world of Balance System Acupuncture with the
Langara Balance System of Acupuncture Certificate Program. 
After completing Levels 1 & 2 by webinars, you are ready to challenge the are the prerequisites for the Langara College Certificate Stream in Vancouver, BC.

Ready for Something Completely Different?

Consider taking a Chinese Metaphysics and Astrology webinar!
Open the door and scratch the surface into the world of Chinese metaphysics, and the harmony of nature and humankind.
An introduction to the integration of Astrology, Feng Shui and Acupuncture.
This course provides a brief introduction to the basic foundations of the metaphysical origins and framework of Sān Cái 三才 → The Three Essences of life in Chinese Metaphysics.
NCCAOM, Standard Certificate, Florida
California [Upon Request] *
Discover the synthesis of the Three Essences (Sān Cái 三才) with some simple starter tips and case examples.
Learn additional basic Feng Shui concepts you can implement right away in your practice and your life.
Doctors in Ancient China would work with all Three Essences to align a patient’s energetic constitution.
Take your first step on the journey of Chine
se metaphysics, Astrology, Feng Shui, and seeing the world with a new language of integration and harmony!
Learn the language of Chinese Astrology and Feng Shui to elevate your Five Phase and Yin / Yang knowledge while begin living in harmony with the Sān Cái 三才 – Three Essences.
*This is a Prerequisite for the Tan Academy of Balance Certified Chinese Astrology Practitioner

Enjoyed what you learned in Levels 1 & 2? Feel like there is more to learn from Level 3?

We maintain an up-to-date list on the website.
  • Included with your membership on the TAN HUB
  • If you are a member and your office locations and/or contact information has changed, please contact us through the TAN HUB.
*Note: An Office address is required for the GoogleMap


Dr. Sonia Tan continues to write!
  • What topic would you like to hear first?
  • Let her know!
  • Updates also available on the Books page on the website.

International French Version – Coming Soon!

Zai Jian 再见 (再見)!

Sonia Tan
Author: Sonia Tan

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