Film ticket giveaway!

In partnership with the Breast Fest Film Fest, I’m giving away 6 FREE TICKETS to two important cancer activism documentaries + panel discussions, happening this weekend at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. The first 6 people who email (and CC with the subject line: “ACUPUNCTURE” will get the tickets. Please specify which film+panel you prefer to attend (3 free tickets for each film available).

A summary of each documentary is below, but for further details on the films and panelists, plus film trailers, click here.

1) Pink Ribbons Inc.

Saturday, November 3 @ 1:30 pm

Breast cancer has become the poster child of cause-related marketing campaigns. Countless people walk, run and shop for the cure. Each year, millions of dollars are raised in the name of breast cancer, but where does this money go and what does it actually achieve? Directed by Léa Pool, produced by Ravida Din, and based on the book by Samantha King, Pink Ribbons, Inc. is a powerful and thoughtful feature documentary that shows how the devastating reality of breast cancer, which marketing experts have labeled a “dream cause,” has become obscured by a shiny, pink story of success.

Producer in Attendance. To be followed by panel discussion entitled “50 Shades of Pink: A Conversation About the Controversies of Breast Cancer Fundraising.”

2) Semper Fi: Always Faithful

Sunday November 4 @ 10:30 am

When Marine Corps Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger’s young daughter dies from a rare type of leukemia, he wants to know why. Hints about polluted wells at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune leads him to others diagnosed with rare cancers, including a high number of men diagnosed with breast cancer. Further investigation uncovers a shocking discovery: a Marine Corps cover-up of one of the largest water contamination incidents in US history. This intelligent and dramatic documentary is both a searing look at the military’s betrayal of its own and an emotional story of one man’s transformation into the activist he never imagined he’d become.

To be followed by a panel discussion entitled What’s in My Backyard?: Potential links to breast cancer in our local environments.

Nicer November Massage Sale!

Head massage photoGet a 60-minute Traditional Meridian Massage for only $49! (Value: $70)

Excellent for clarity, emotional balance, relaxation, sleep promotion, and energy renewal, try this form of Traditional Meridian Massage – a circuit of the head, neck, shoulders, hands, and feet to balance the major energy channels of the body. Meridians are the main pathways that Qi (life force/energy) flows along, and that we usually work with in acupuncture, acupressure, shiatsu, and exercises (like qi gong, tai chi and dao yin yoga).

This type of massage is practiced comfortably through clothing, and can be customized to the priorities and goals of each individual.

– Sale ends November 30th! However, after purchase, you can book sessions ANYTIME (no expiry).
Gift certificates available (holiday present, anyone?).
– Maximums: Buy up to 3 for yourself, up to 10 as gifts for others.

Booking/info: Email or phone 416-890-7770.

fall food & health tips

Maple LeafAh, fall. The dry, crisp air fills with the sounds of kids going back to school, crunching through red and yellow leaves. The flavours of spiced harvest soups and pies, the soft comfort of sweaters pulled out from hidden shelves.

Ah, the beauty of autumn – overshadowed for some by colds and flus, allergies, mood changes with less sun time, more pain (whether joint, muscle or menstrual pain), drier and itchier skin and throats. How can our bodies, minds and spirits cope with the drastic changes in climate and season? Here are a few simple tips.

NOTE: In reading below, please keep in mind that when using food in a medicinal way, it’s actually best to tailor your diet according to your personal Traditional Chinese Medicine constitution and balance (e.g. your hot/cold, yin/yang, organ and element balances, etc.). This should take priority over general guidelines or seasonal changes, so if your practitioner has recommended something specific to you that contradicts what you read below, please follow their recommendations!

Chinese medicine believes that wellness increases as we live according to the rhythms and flows of Nature. Plants and animals use the fall to harvest, store, and prepare for the winter. We can do that physically by:

  • Focusing more in preparing our food
  • To draw one’s focus more internally, use lower temperatures, less water, and longer cooking times than in the summer – bake or sautee food, including concentrated foods like root vegetables
  • Moving toward heartier foods, with some sour taste (which contracts energy). Some sour flavoured foods include sourdough bread, (raw) sauerkraut, leeks, aduki beans, (raw) vinegar, yogurt, lemons, limes, sour apples, etc.
  • Gradually introduce more salty and bitter foods as we progress toward winter, as these draw energy in and down
  • Rise and wind down with the sun. Sleep earlier as the sun sets earlier. Ensuring we get adequate rest will also help preserve our immunity against colds and flus.
  • Do regular, moderate exercise that you ENJOY!
  • Spend more time quietly and alone.

Emotionally, fall is a time of Yang changing into Yin – it is the dusk time of the year. To help yang move into yin, put an increased focus on meditation and awareness practices. The Chinese medicine organs associated with autumn are the Lung and Large Intestine, both associated with “letting go” of waste. Time to let go of unnecessary attachments and clutter in one’s life, and to allow grief and sadness, the emotions associated with fall, to resolve. Letting go of the old creates room for the new. Deep breathing, self-massage and acupressure, talking, and mindfulness can all help with moving forward through grieving processes.

To offset dryness in the climate that may make itchiness, dry skin/nose/throat, etc. worse, you can use more moistening foods: soy foods, spinach, barley, millet, pear, apple, seaweeds, black and white fungus, along, sesame seed, barley malt, cooking with salt, etc. If you are very dry and thin, use caution when cooking bitter, aromatic or warming foods.

Many useful articles exist about minimizing cold and flu. It is important to reduce exposure to external ‘pathogens’ by protecting yourself, especially your neck, from the wind, and to wash your hands frequently. However, Chinese medicine also emphasizes prevention by keeping your own energy and immunity strong. Acupuncture and herbs are some of the best ways to do this. Foods that help include mushrooms, ginger, garlic and the onion family in general, turnip, cabbage, radish, fiber foods (grains, fruits, vegetables), golden-orange and dark green vegetables.

General eating tips (not just for autumn): In all seasons, the most important factors for digestion are: eating in a mindful, relaxed and unhurried manner, chewing very thoroughly, and not thinking about or doing other things while eating. It is also centrally important to eat tasty whole unprocessed foods, lots of fresh vegetables including leafy greens, and minimizing sugars, alcohol, most fats and oils (except “good fats” such as flax, hemp, fish and small amounts of olive oil), dairy (with some exceptions depending on your constitution). Finally, most people do better with a fair amount of cooked food in the diet, and not primarily uncooked or cold-temperature foods (e.g. salads, sandwiches).

For more information on Traditional Chinese Medicine and it’s approach to dietary therapy, an excellent resource (from which much of the above is sourced) is Paul Pitchford’s book Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition.

de-stress to decolonize! (oct 21)

destress to decolonize logo

Want to get a wellness treatment or yoga class for a low, sliding scale price? Maybe check out a new healing approach you’ve never tried (cranio-sacral, Ayurveda, Reiki, or pranic healing)? AND, want to support a great cause at the same time?

Don’t miss DE-STRESS TO DECOLONIZE, a fundraiser in support of a grassroots gathering of indigenous and other racialized peoples. Click here for details!



  • Stressed out and exhausted?
  • Taking care of everyone except yourself?
  • Making the world a better place, but worried you might burn out?

You support so many others; I enjoy supporting you. Often caregivers and changemakers are so busy meeting the needs of family and community, our own health suffers. Let’s work together to help you manage stress, anxiety, depression, cancer, insomnia, chronic pain, burnout, menstrual health, digestion, and trauma recovery. You’ll receive thorough, well-researched care, with safe space, non-judgmental listening, and attention to your whole person.

I work with you to balance your whole person – body, mind, emotions and spirit. I aim to help you relax and rest deeply, to feel calm and focused. When you nurture your own health, your work, relationships and creative projects will benefit. You’ll feel rejuvenated and have more than enough energy for the long haul.

For my cancer-focused clinical practice, please click here:

Acupuncture in the park! PWYC!

imageInterested in an unusual healing adventure?  Want to relax your body and mind?

See you at our…Pop-Up Stress Clinic #1: The park
Monday June 25, 2012. 5:00-6:30 pm. Alexandra Park.

Come get some acupuncture or acupressure at this momentary, outdoor PWYC de-tox and de-stress clinic.

A unique and creative group experience. Treatments under the trees. Calming live music. Flow your Qi amidst the Qi of green grass, shaded breeze — and other suddenly-quiet, relaxed urbanites.

Ear acupuncture / acupressure is effective for relaxation, sleep, pain relief, emotional balance, trauma recovery, managing substance use and/or withdrawal. (Scared of needles? Get acupressure beads instead!)

Bring: A yoga mat/picnic blanket/lawn chair/tarp if you have one. A limited number will be provided. If possible, have a light snack or meal in the few hours beforehand (better before acupuncture).

Cost: PWYC ($5-10 suggested, no one turned away!) to cover costs.

Place: Alexandra Park, southeast corner of Dundas and Bathurst (near Scadding Court CC). Rain location: 51 Kensington (416-890-7770 to confirm if it’s moved)

RSVP: 416-890-7770 or

Who: Pauline Sok Yin Hwang is an acupuncturist, activist, popular educator, and community health worker who works independently and at the Women’s Healthy Environments Networks.

Lauren Stein runs Laurentina’s Improv Club, which will host us in the case of rain (51 Kensington). Laurentina’s Improv Club offers drop-in workshops every Monday and Wednesday nights, as well as running performances and other events.

Chris Luckhardt is an entrepreneur (specializing in Drupal, podcasting and photography), founder of Motionblur Media podcast network, and avid guitar enthusiast. He will provide twenty-ish minutes of soothing live acoustic music.

Electro Therapeutic Devices Inc. (ETD) has helped make this event (and other similar events) affordable and accessible through donating some supplies. Thank you!

(Optional post-treatment fun: Now that you’re all relaxed, those who wish can then head over to Laurentina’s Monday Night Magic drop-in improv session, starting at 7 pm.)

SPRING SALE! Until June 8th

Stressed?  Tired?  In pain?  Allergic?  Anxious or depressed?

Spring is in the air! Time for fresh starts, new discoveries, and renewing your health, vitality and creativity. Let me work with you to: spring cleanse your body and spirit, relieve pain, sleep better, and feel calm and focused.

WHAT: To celebrate this season of rebirth and renewal, I’m offering a big sale! Get 3 treatments for only $165, or 5 treatments for $250 (incl tax). Buy your package by June 8, but treatments can be used anytime (no expiry). Gift certificates and insurance receipts available.

WHEN: “But… I don’t need 5 treatments in the next few weeks!” Ah yes, of course. Just buy your package before June 8th, and redeem the visits ANYTIME – no expiry. Appointments are available in the Queen/Spadina area.

WHO: Traditional Chinese medicine is for everyone, in whatever condition. It balances the whole person – your body, mind, emotions and spirit. When you nurture your own health, your work, relationships and creative projects will benefit. You’ll feel rejuvenated and have more than enough energy for the long haul. My treatments are personally tailored to your health condition and goals, and combine:

  • acupuncture
  • massage (tuina)
  • nutrition
  • moxibustion
  • meditation
  • lifestyle coaching

HOW: Buy your package by calling 416-890-7770 or email

New section: resources!

I’ve started a new Resources section of my website here. The section features the lists I’ve been compiling for my clients, of affordable, accessible health and wellness resources in Toronto. There’s also other PDF downloads, such as a copy of my workshop handouts. Check it out!

Free workshop: Beating the Winter Blahs

Kidney Beans Stewed in Red WineFood n’ Mood: Winter wisdom from Chinese medicine

Bracing for the Winter blahs? Dreading the dumps? There’s hope!

This January, come to my first FREE seasonal “Food n’ Mood” workshop, hosted at Laurentina’s Improv Club. Chinese medicine offers time-tested wisdom for rolling with the punches, going with the flow, and balancing yourself through the different seasons. Winter is the season of the kidney-adrenal system, a critically important foundation for the whole body, how we flourish, and how we cope with stress. Learn to use Winter to nourish and rejuvenate your kidney-adrenals, and yourself.

Bring with you: whatever you feel like eating for dinner that day – home-cooked, store-bought, take-out, whatever. Don’t worry, you won’t have to share it with anyone!

You’ll leave with: helpful recipes, tips, meditations, and a newfound appreciation (or at least tolerance!) of Winter.

When: Thursday, January 19, 6 – 8 pm
Where: 51 Kensington Avenue (North of Dundas)
Cost: Free
RSVP if possible: