We spoke with David Liang, Registered Acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner. David uses a variety of TCM modalities like acupuncture, reflexology, mindfulness and massage to promote prevention, treatment, health and wellness. We found out about his healing “magic”, a trick to stay warm and healthy this winter, and a health retreat even we couldn’t handle.
How do you use Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat patients?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a holistic medical system which views the physical and psychological aspects of a person as interconnected. More and more people are seeking it out as an alternative, or to use in conjunction with Western medicine. I use many modalities of treatment including acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietary counselling, therapeutic massage, and remedial exercises.
Are you a doctor?
No. At present in the province of Ontario, we are not allowed to use the title “Doctor”. Once a class of registration is created for “Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine”, we will be permitted to use the title.
Did you go to school to get certified, or is it a quick program?
It definitely was not a quick program! Just under 4 years training for a Master’s of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine. It was pretty intense learning all the acupuncture points, function of herbs and how to combine it all together. During that time, I also decided to enrol in their Massage Therapy Program. That’s where I received most of my training in different styles of Massage such as Swedish, Shiatsu, Thai Massage, Reflexology as well as deeper training in TuiNa Massage.
Do people expect voodoo the first time they book an appointment?
Some of those new to TCM may not know what to expect but I hope they don’t expect voodoo!
When people book with me, it’s usually because someone else has had great results and has referred them or they’ve learned about the effectiveness on their own. I do have to admit that when a treatment quickly reduces the severity of a person’s symptoms, some of them do think it’s like ‘magic’.
Why would a client pay you when they can see an MD for free?
The way we diagnose and treat the body is very different than the way an MD diagnoses and treats it, which can make all the difference in helping the client. When you only spend on average about 20 minutes a year with an MD, it’s difficult for even the best of them to give your health the proper attention it needs and deserves. In general, you get to spend more time with me to discuss whatever is going on. My treatments last about 1 hour and usually include an acupuncture session which is a very relaxing and comfortable experience.
Is acupuncture dangerous?
If not done by a properly trained person, yes.
Why do you believe so strongly in meditation?
It is the only way we can empower ourselves to calm and settle our minds, see clearly into our personal issues, and also discover how our mistaken perceptions are the cause so many of our problems.
What do you do to prevent catching a cold or the flu?
It’s all about rest for me. I try to always watch my energy levels, which are very much related with watching my stress levels, and how much I am doing. (And good sleep and a calm mind always help us all)
What is your favourite essential oil?
I like the minty ones because they cool me down and I tend to get overheated easily. However, if you need heating up, especially this time of year, I usually tell people to use ginger and cinnamon.
What is your favourite superfood?
I love the greens, but especially Wheatgrass – fresh or supplements.
What health tip do you wish was common sense?
Contacting a sense of physical and mental state of relaxation – it makes all the difference for good health.
You told us you went on a retreat and didn’t speak the whole time. How did you cope being unplugged and without words?
It was a 10 day retreat, and I was in an assisting role so it wasn’t totally silent for me. I can cope just fine with silence. I actually find it quite refreshing and rejuvenating. I find it more of a challenge to speak. Maybe I need a 10 day speaking retreat! (We can’t imagine not speaking for even a day)