The Pulse of Balance – Summer 2023

Written by: Alex Lake

June 15, 2023

(Summer 2023)
The Pulse of Balance

Seasonal Newsletter
from the Tan Academy of Balance team!

There are big changes and learning opportunities coming down the Tan Academy of Balance Pipeline this month and next!


      • Practitioner Case Study
      • July Learning Lab – July 10/23
      • Live In-Person Balance Foundations Seminar! Aug 25-27/23
      • Invitation to our *new* Tan Balance Hub!
      • Visit the TAB Tent at this year’s Dragon Boat Festival – June 22-24/23


A bright and warm welcome to our summer seasonal newsletter! As the days grow longer and nature comes alive with colour, heat, and energy, we are invited to explore the harmonious connection between the ancient wisdom of Chinese medicine and balanced health and wellness through the Fire season.

Summer, a season brimming with warmth and vitality, invites us to align ourselves with the powerful energies of the universe. Just as the sun radiates its brilliance, our bodies and spirits crave rejuvenation and balance. Join us as we continue to reap the rewards of seeds we planted in past seasons of renewal and reconstruction, embracing the radiant essence of summer as a school, as teachers and students, and as individual members in our communities. 

Let the healing warmth of the season envelope you as we embark on this enlightening adventure together!


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 Howard Chen, MD, FAAMA, ABOIM


Dr. Howard Chen, MD, FAAMA, ABOIM, is a semi-retired Physician, Board Certified in Family Medicine, Integrative Medicine, Lifestyle Medicine. Dr. Chen was the founder and director of The Chen Center for Integrative Medicine in Reno, NV. With the Tan Academy of Balance, he serves as Lead Grand Rounds Instructor (Certificate Program) & Certified Balance System Acupuncture Teacher, Dr. Chen is a Certified BaZi Consultant and one of the “First 16” of Da Shi 大师 (大師) Richard Tan’s BaZi program. Dr. Chen’s primary Chinese Medicine techniques include Balance Method Acupuncture and BaZi Birth Chart Analysis.

A Simple Efficient Global Attack 

ID: 71 y.o. female.

CC: R shoulder pain, Sadness.

HPI: R shoulder and arm pain, worse with gardening, especially when pulling a hose.  The original insult was several months ago, when she was pulling heavy blankets off her body in the middle of the night.  Previously had difficulty putting her R arm behind her back due to shoulder pain but can do this now.  No numbness or tingling to the extremity.  Hand strength is maintained, and notes no pain to the fingers, hand, wrist or elbow.  Sees improvement in her shoulder over the last month. She is right-handed.  

Sadness: Feels that her adult daughter is taking advantage of her, as she has done so many times in the past.  Feels trapped because she loves her daughter, but doesn’t want to allow her daughter and her daughter’s SO to continue to live in her house rent free. 

O: BaZi Constitution – Excessive Yin Metal

R shoulder exam – Tender to palpation at insertion of the long head of the Right biceps tendon at approximately LU2.5.   Resisted flexion of biceps brings on a sharp pain at this location.

A: Meridian Diagnosis – R shoulder LU meridian qi and blood stagnation, especially at LU2.5 area.  Western Diagnosis – Long head Biceps tendonitis. 

P: Constitutional Balance Acupuncture and Balance System Acupuncture

Constitutional Treatment (to harmonise patient’s Yin Metal constitution): Tai yin-Yang Ming truss

R Shoulder Treatment: Attack 

  • RUE – LU 9 – 9.5A x 2 needles (System VI balance)
  • LUE – LI 5A, 15A (System III balance)
  • LLE – SP 5A x 3 needles (System I balance)
  • RLE – ST 43, 36, BL62-60A x 3 needles (System II&IV balance)

Mood Treatment: Bilateral Ear Shen Men, GV24, GV20

Results: Immediate decrease in pain and increase in shoulder range of motion. 


July Learning Lab! – July 10/23

It’s Fire Season!

Comparing and Contrasting Channels vs. Zang Fu – Up close and personal with Lung and Large Intestine. 

New to BSA and struggling to shift your brain from Zang Fu to Channel mode? Experienced BSA practitioner but need to refine your Channel knowledge? 

The July Learning Lab kicks off our series comparing and contrasting the characteristics and functions of the Channels and Zang Fu, starting with (surprise, surprise) the Lung and Large Intestine! Join Tan Shifu, Suzanne and Adam as they guide you through:

    • How to distinguish LU and LI Channel vs. Zang Fu functions
    • Where and why we find LU and LI in BSA treatment strategies
    • How LU and LI 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.

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. 

So, dust off your Zang Fu thinking cap and join us to refine your understanding of Channels vs. Zang Fu knowledge and improve your BSA channel diagnosis skills.


Join online for 1 hour from wherever you are!
We’ll begin at 1:00pm Pacific time on July 10/2023!


* Learning Labs are now recorded, and available afterwards on the new Tan Balance Hub Members Area. Please note that CEUs are available only for those in live attendance of Learning Labs


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

2023 & 2024 live + in-person seminars dates are set for the
Balance System Acupuncture Foundations Levels 1 + 2!


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 licence to practise Acupuncture*

*Any health care practitioner who is legally able to practise 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.

Dates and Locations:

  • August 25 – 27, 2023 (Vancouver, Canada)
  • April 2024 (Location TBD)

Early-Bird Pricing over 10% off until July 21, 2023!



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

BSA Live + In-Person Seminar in
Sydney, Australia

September 22-24, 2023

Hosted and provided by Chinese Medicine Education

  • 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!

Join our *New* Tan Balance Hub!

Enjoy a *NEW MEMBERS* discount until August 2023!

Current members have already received their invitation, and now we are excited to openly invite you to join as a member in Phase 1 of our new and improved HUB → now called the Tan Balance Hub!

The Tan Balance Hub is a spot where Balance & Channel Theory Acupuncturists, Classical Chinese medicine practitioners and Chinese metaphysicians alike can connect with like-minded people all using the same language.

Our new platform has enhanced navigation, messaging, member chats, and directory searches, as well as a member only resource access such as our Learning Lab videos, direct messaging, and more!

This new premium platform will also be able to host our Learning Labs and live stream Events in the future. If you miss a Learning Lab recording, it will be available right on the Hub. The new platform is browser and mobile friendly, has an Apple and Android app (coming soon – Phase 2 in late July), and is built to our specifications for our needs!

This is where you come in!

As a new member, we are providing you with a
discounted first year to the members-only premium area, 
if you migrate by August 31, 2023!

Follow the 5 step process below:

5 Steps to Sign Up & Join the new Tan Balance Hub:
(For NEW members):

1) Complete Foundations of Balance Acupuncture Level 1 & Level 2 Systems courses found at Net of Knowledge.

2) Send your proof of completions of Levels 1 & 2 to

3) Sign up here to create an account on the Tan Balance Hub hosted by Disciple.

4) Look to the upper right corner of the free section’s home page for the Member’s Area with a lock. Click here, and then use the coupon below to gain 50% off your first year to access the members-only area.

Coupon Code:
(50% off for first year; $8.99 annually thereafter – Coupon valid until August 31, 2023)

Note: Coupons can only be used on the web-version sign up, not on the Apple or Android app.
Sign up to register on the web first for the coupon code to work.
When our apps are ready, you can sign in with the same email and password that you used to register.

*After you have paid, grant our administrator a few days to approve your Membership and add your personal badges to your profile. Once completed, you will see the Activity Feed and be able to direct message fellow members!*

5) Post to the Members Wall Activity Feed and introduce yourself! Don’t forget to change your username to your First name as you would like it to appear on the account!



Prerequisite Courses Levels 1 & 2:
Net of Knowledge Webinars

Create an account & follow the steps to membership:
Sign up for the Hub!


Enjoy Special Features of the Tan Balance Hub

Our free area gives you access to our Academic Calendar, Webinar links, Program Information, Events and other resources.

Our members only area (requiring completion of Tan Academy of Balance/Sonia F. Tan BSA Levels 1+ 2) gives you access to:

  • Learning Lab videos (*CEUs issued only by live attendance).
  • Tips and teachings from the TAs.
  • Network with Balance Acupuncturists & like-minded practitioners.
  • Ask case or general questions.
  • Receive direct support.
  • Receive special discounts for all TAB events and seminars.
  • List your practice listing on our Find A Practitioner webpage.
  • A private community, with no algorithms or noise.
  • Connect directly with Dr. Sonia F. Tan and her TAB Teaching team.
  • Sub-groups of special interest e.g. Eight Extra Vessels & Channels, OBGYN, Astrology, Feng Shui.
  • And more!

Be a part of like-minded people that speak the same language! The members-only area has a low annual fee of $8.99, granting special access to:

  • Connect with members and teachers.
  • All features listed above such as the Learning Lab videos.
  • Your own Find a Practitioner listing on our Tan Academy of Balance site.


Follow the 5-step instructions above to join! Remember to use the special offer coupon at registration before August 31, 2023!

Visit TAB Acupuncture Tent at this year’s
Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival!

June 24-25, 2023 – Vancouver, BC 

The Certified BSAP Alumni have been invited once again to host the
ONLY Acupuncture Treatment Tent at this year’s Dragon Boat Festival!

Participating in the races? Not a racer?
Visit us in the Racer’s Area Village at our Balance Acupuncture tent! Come out to experience a long time Chinese cultural tradition with entertainment, food, and space to watch the races.

Free to attend!

Find out more information at
Concord Pacific
Dragon Boat Festival 2023

Continued Learning Resources

Recorded Webinars



Access the free section that includes TAB Teaches (quick tips & insights) OR subscribe to our premium member’s side ($9.99 USD annually) to dive deeper for access to Learning Lab recordings, community support from 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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