contact us       sign-up for our eNewsletter       hire a graduate practitioner     update your alumni Information              Home Page

Faculty: Acupuncture Diploma Program

   | About Acupuncture & Career Prospects | Program Overview | Curriculum  |
| Instructors | Schedules & Student Life | Tuition & Financial Aid
 | Apply Now |  International Students  | Contact Us |


Director of the Acupuncture and TCM Programs. Instructor of Acupuncture Technique, Fundamentals of TCM & Clinic Supervisor

"It is rare to find an acupuncture mentor who not only achieves remarkable clinical results before your eyes, but who shares his immense knowledge with clarity, passion and kindness. I have had the privilege of studying under Richard Kwan both in the classroom, and in his actual clinical practice. He absorbs, integrates, and applies the wisdom of various acupuncture masters, blending the best of their approaches into his own unique style. The astounding effectiveness of his diagnosis, palpation, and needling must be seen to be believed. Richard is an incredible healer and teacher."  Pauline Hwang, GEN-R.Ac                                     

TCM Practitioner (Blend of TCM, Japanese, Tung and Tan style Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Chinese Nutritional therapy, Tuina massage, Taiji and Qigong)

Richard completed the 4-year Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) program at the Toronto School of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TSTCM). He lectured extensively at TSTCM and Eight Branches Academy of Eastern Medicine in the theory of TCM, Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine. He is also very passionate about his volunteer work with street youth and people with AIDS.  Richard has a strong commitment to Tai Chi and Qi Gong, which he has practiced for over 15 years. For the promotion of health and the prevention of disease, he teaches Tai Chi at the downtown YMCA and in the Beaches. Currently, he is the Director of TCM & Acupuncture at the Shiatsu School of Canada and SSC Acupuncture Institute. He also teaches Fundamentals of TCM, Acupuncture Techniques and is a clinic supervisor.

In 2008, he started Simple Cures - a Chinese Medicine centre and has been in private practice in The Beaches and Vaughan.  Richard believes that a simple lifestyle promotes better health; he strives to empower his patients to become more proactive with their own healthcare. 

Assistant Director of the Acupuncture and TCM Programs, Instructor of Jing Luo and Clinic Supervisor


Kenneth Choi is a Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac), as well as a Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner (R.TCMP).


Languages spoken: English, Cantonese


Kenneth graduated from University of Toronto with his Honours Bachelor of Science in Human Biology, specializing in Genes, Genetics and Biotechnology. He then graduated from Mc Gill University with his Masters of Science in Biotechnology. He received his Chinese Medicine training from the Toronto School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, where he graduated with the 4 year Advanced diploma.

Kenneth is most interested in treating internal medicine problems, as that is an area in which conventional medicine is failing many patients. He treats many internal medicine problems including digestive problems, allergies, cardiovascular disorders, neurological disorders, urogenital problems, emotional disorders (ex. stress, anxiety, depression), gynocological disorders (ex. peri-menopause symptoms, menstrual problems, infertility), all sorts of pain disorders.


Currently, he is the Assistant Director of our TCM & Acupuncture Program at the Shiatsu School of Canada and SSC Acupuncture Institute as well as clinic supervisor. He's also a practitioner in our Wellness clinic and is available for treatments Tuesdays & Thursdays.

Instructor of OMD

Daniel Adler is a practitioner of zen shiatsu and acupuncture and holds diplomas in both disciplines. Starting in 1998, he began his studies in acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. In 1999 he started what would become a 10 year training in zen shiatsu. During this time he learned how to both practice and teach zen shiatsu and TCM. Daniel is an instructor at the SSC teaching Zen Shiatsu I, II and III, Oriental Medicine Diagnosis & Shiatsu 101: Beginner's Guide to Shiatsu Therapy. He is a member in good standing with OAATCM and Zen Shiatsu Society of Canada. Daniel believes in the study and practice of shiatsu and TCM as life practices which benefit both the patient and practitioner.

Instructor of Formulas
Poney is a native of Taiwan. He received a Bachelor degree in microbiology and a Doctoral degree in biomedical research from the Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto. During his PhD training, his interest in Oriental medicine led him to complete both Zen Shiatsu and Medical Qigong Therapy diploma programs. This was followed by a Master’s degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York, where he graduated with collegiate and national level distinctions. He apprenticed for 5 years with his mentor Dr. Roger Tsao, whose medical lineage once consulted for the Qing imperial palace and 2 Taiwanese presidents. Poney is a Licensed Acupuncturist (NY), Diplomate of Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and a Registered TCM Practitioner in Ontario.

He was fortunate to have a teacher (Paula Haberman) who had dual licenses in TCM and physiotherapy. Even as a student, he could appreciate that her integrative approach gave amazing results. Poney's passion in integrating Classical and Medical acupuncture has led him to cross-reference medical classics with modern research on the peripheral nervous system. He believes this Neuro-Meridian integrative approach will become the standard for acupuncture training and therapy in the future.

Poney has been an author to Oriental Medicine Journal, European Journal of Oriental Medicine and Oriental Medicine Newsletter on a wide range of topics. He has appeared numerous times on local television (OMNI News) as an expert in Chinese medicine. He has been invited as a speaker for the Canadian Dermatology Nurse Association, York Region Police Association and Asian Integrative Medicine Symposium. Poney has had the privilege of teaching TCM since 2008. He is a 22nd generation practitioner of Daoist cultivation from the Dragon Gate sect of the Complete Perfection lineage of Daoism. His interest besides Chinese medicine is internal martial arts and particularly classical swordsmanship. He resides in Toronto with his wife and 3 children.

Katherine holds a BA, specialized honours in Psychology from York University and is one of the top graduates in a five year, full time (4220 hours) Advanced traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner program at Toronto School of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  In Addition to being a TCMP she teaches The Jing Luo (Meridians and Collaterals) Systems and The Fundamentals of Traditional Chinese Medicine at the Shiatsu School of Canada Inc. & The SSC Acupuncture Institute in the acupuncture program as well as Materia Medica in the Chinese herbs program.

Katherine specializes in diagnosing and treating a variety of patient disorders with both acupuncture and herbal prescriptions. These include respiratory, digestive, urinary, pain/neurological, gynaecological/obstetric, cardiovascular, blood, psychiatric/mental disturbances, skin, pediatrics and disorders of senses and cancer. In addition, she employ’s traditional and Dr. Tan’s methods for treating pain disorders with acupuncture.


Instructor of Auricular Acupuncture, Treatment of Disease & Clinic Supervisor
Will Hossack is the owner and a practitioner at the Danforth Progressive Health Centre. He has been practicing in the Eastern Medical field since 1999 as a Shiatsu Therapist.  He went on to study Acupuncture and Chinese medicine for 4 years at the Mitchener Institute for Applied Health Sciences graduating with the Gold Medal for academic achievement.  During his time at the Michener, Will’s clinical experience included 6 months at St. John’s Rehabilitation Centre and 1 year at Mount Sinai Hospital’s Wasser Pain Management Centre. Will held an executive position with the Shiatsu Therapy Association of Ontario, serving as Secretary and working with the Examinations Committee for 3 years.   He is currently an instructor at the Shiatsu School of Canada, where he teaches Shiatsu and Acupuncture Theory. Will’s clinical experience is varied and includes treatment for sports injuries, pain, immunological conditions and digestive complaints.


Instructor of Fundamentals of TCM & Externals
Roberto is an honours graduate of the three-year Acupuncture Therapy Diploma program at the Shiatsu School of Canada and also holds certifications in Korean Hand Acupuncture (Level 2) from the Santa Barbara Center for Studies in Oriental Medicine as well as certification in Facial Rejuvenation (aka Cosmetic Acupuncture) from the College of Acupuncture & Therapeutics. He has also completed accredited courses in Medical Qigong and Tuina at the Shiatsu School of Canada and has studied Japanese Nagano/Kiiko style acupuncture therapy as well.

Roberto’s interest in Eastern healing practices began over 20 years ago when he undertook courses in Zen meditation to overcome anxiety and fears related to university examinations. Subsequent meditation practices led him to South Korea where he continued meditation practices, frequently taking courses and workshops at Hwagyesa Zen Temple in Seoul while also teaching ESL.

A knee injury during a Taekwondo training session led him to the discovery of Korean Hand Acupuncture Therapy, which he then learned and utilized over many months of self treatment to recover from his injury.



victor Lagman, PhD (Philippines)
Bio-Medical Science Instructor (Anatomy, Physiology & Bio Medical Pharmacology)
Dr. Lagman is an international medical graduate from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines, where he earned his degree of Doctor of  Medicine (M.D.) in 1992. He later specialized in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and is a graduate of the Intensive Course in Otologic Medicine and Surgery in Savannah Georgia, USA.

He began teaching in 1982 and underwent the Training Course for Instructors, in which he learned the fundamental principles and advanced techniques of adult education. Aside from his medical practice, he served as Associate Professor in Physiology, Biochemistry, and Otolaryngology in two medical schools. He has lectured to a wide range of audience, including nursing and dental students, maxillofacial surgeons, as well as in symposia for educating the general public.

Aside from being a medical doctor, Dr. Lagman is also a Certified Clinical Research Professional and has worked in the Canadian pharmaceutical industry. (Clinical Research is a branch of medical science that determines the safety and effectiveness of drug compounds, medications, and devices intended for human use.)

Chai Lien LeE, PhD (India)
Director of Bio-Medical Sciences & Instructor of Foundational Sciences
Chai Lien graduated from the University of Bombay in India in 1976 with an MBBS (medical) degree. She completed a Master of Surgery degree in human anatomy in 1982. Her 30 years of teaching experience includes teaching to students in medicine, dentistry, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and audio-speech therapy, as well as shiatsu. Chai Lien Lee has been working at the Shiatsu School of Canada for over 15 years, teaching and mentoring many shiatsu and acupuncture students. She currently teaches Physiology, Anatomy and Pathology.


Instructor of Tai Chi
Jesse graduated as a Traditional Chinese Medicine Herbalist & Acupuncturist in 2001. He then spent 3 years interning full-time in hospitals and private clinics in China. While in BeiJing, Jesse specialized in Classical Chinese Philosophy and Medical Literature. He has interned and learned under many well respected and talented Doctors of Acupuncture, TuiNa and Herbal Medicine, many of whom had specialized and unique approaches to their medical practice.


After many years of working independently in a private clinical setting, Jesse joined a team of entrepreneurs looking to develop an integrated state of the art neurological rehabilitation centre. He developed and directed a working model that integrated modern state of the art technology, functional rehabilitation, and traditional medicine. The clinic has now grown and become a well established neurological rehabilitation centre specializing in spinal cord injuries, stroke, brain injury and Multiple Sclerosis.


For over 20 years, Jesse has diligently practiced traditional meditation, health preservation and martial art movement systems. He is an official 20th generation TaiJi lineage holder as recognized by the BeiJing HunYuan TaiJi Academy. Jesse returns to China yearly to teach on behalf of his teacher and continue in advanced training.


Jesse has been recognized for his exceptional presentation and public speaking abilities. His desire to disseminate knowledge has led him to into leadership positions, making him an effective educator and a strong leader within interdisciplinary clinical settings. He has taught traditional Chinese medicine at many institutes and continues seeing clients in his own private practice.


Instructor of Business & Practice Management

Natasha started her journey as a Kinesiologist acquiring her BA at York University. Her interest in the body called her to study CranioSacral Therapy and diploma in Acupuncture.  Integrating the body mind and emotions.  Natasha worked for many years in a rehab clinic as a kinesiologist and was frustrated by the length of time for some people to mend. She then started exploring CST and acupuncture and combined her anatomy and clinical skills to blend them all together.  Natasha has worked in the Acupuncture clinic as both student and teacher and now works in a private practice.

Natasha has been a General Manager fulfilling such duties as recruiting training, counselling managers and staff.  Her expertise is in marketing and advertising.  Natasha offers many workshops including effective communication, craniosacral therapy, acupressure for animals and energy busting 101.

Natasha enjoys sharing her knowledge as an instructor for business and practice management.

Dipl.ST, MQP (Medical Qi Gong Practitioner)

Instructor of Medical Qi Gong
Carlos Praniauskas completed the 2200 hour Shiatsu Therapy Diploma Program at the Shiatsu School of Canada in 1988.

He became a Shiatsu Instructor at the Shiatsu School of Canada in 1990 and 3 years later Clinic Supervisor. His excellent communication skills and extensive knowledge within the field of Shiatsu therapy, created a wonderful learning environment for shiatsu students.

Carlos has devoted his life to the continuously expanding his knowledge within the field of Shiatsu Therapy. Carlos chose to refine his technique by learning other forms of Shiatsu Therapy by attending seminars on Seiki Therapy under Master Aklinobu Kishi as well as Tao Shiatsu under Master Ryokyu Endo, Toru Namikoshi, Kiiko Matsumoto, Honora Lee Wolfe. He continued to work alongside leaders in the Shiatsu field; individuals such as Tetsuro Saito who introduced Shiatsu to Canada and Kaz Kamiya, founder of the Shiatsu School of Canada.

Carlos first studied Qigong under Dr. Zaimen Shen from 1987 to 1990, later on with Master Wu. He also studied Qigong at the Acupuncture and Integrated Medical College in Berkeley, California where he received his certification as a Medical Qigong Practitioner in 2006.  This form of moving mediation exercise has proven to help reduce therapist burn out and increases overall health, flexibility and wellbeing. Qi Gong  is an important component to any healthy practice for both client and therapist.

The incorporation of Qigong to the Shiatsu practice allows the practitioner/individual the chance to connect to a deeper energetic level, elevating the effectiveness of the treatments. Qigong not only helps physical complaints but also helps to release deep emotional blockages or trauma.

He currently operates his own Shiatsu and Qigong Practice in Toronto and has done so since 1988.



Clinic Supervisor
Paymon received his medical degree from Iran where he practiced as a family physician for 7 years. He later moved to China and completed a 5 year PhD program in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture where he was fortunate enough to be under the supervision of TCM professor Dr. Chen XinYi at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. He wrote his dissertation about complementary treatment of Chinese medicine and acupuncture for patients suffering from lung cancer. Paymon is currently an Ontario licensed acupuncturist.


Paymon is currently an acupuncture clinic supervisor at “The Shiatsu School of Canada Inc. & The SSC Acupuncture Institute" and an instructor in the acupuncture program at “Eight Branches Academy of Eastern Medicine” in Toronto. He has taught a wide variety of science courses in different colleges and universities in Alberta and Ontario for the past 5 years and his goal is to teach his clients different ways to stay healthy. He has been practicing acupuncture with a focus on facial rejuvenation and weight loss since 2009. For more information about his practice visit:


Instructor of The Treatment of Disease & Clinic Supervisor

Giovanni Salvia began his holistic practice with shiatsu therapy.  Having completed his studies at the Shiatsu School of Canada he, further, continued his studies in acupuncture there as well.  He completed hi Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine Diploma at the Institute of Traditional Medicine in Toronto where studied in depth the use of Chinese herbal medicine.  As a pilates and yoga instructor he used movement and exercises as a rehabilitative therapy.  His current interest has been in the practice of Tai chi and Chi Gong, both as a martial and healing application.


Tony tavares, R.TCMP
Instructor of Jing Luo, Practice Management and Fundamentals of TCM
Tony Tavares is the founder of Shining Waters Health. He completed acupuncture training programmes at both the Canadian branch of the Beijing Capital University of Medical Sciences and the Institute of Traditional Medicine.  He has also completed the Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine diploma program with the Canadian branch of the Beijing Capital University of Medical Sciences.

He is currently a faculty member of the Shiatsu School of Canada – SSC Acupuncture Institute. In addition to his credentials in acupuncture and Chinese medicine; Tony has two decades of experience as a leader in the Toronto holistic, wellness and spiritual communities. His experiences are quite varied, having worked not only as a registered yoga teacher, but also as a fitness consultant and a Reiki Master. He has also received training in Tuina, Shiatsu and Ayurvedic bodywork modalities.

His interest and training in North American and African shamanism have lead him to receive initiations in these ancient spiritual traditions and, has brought about a deeper understanding of healing the whole individual and exploring the root cause of disharmony on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. His practice as a professional in the healing arts is imbued with these various philosophies and principles.

TAKAMASA TSURUSAKI,  R.Ac, Japanese Acupuncturist
Instructor of Japanese Acupuncture
Takamasa graduated from Japan Central Acupuncture College in 1986. He is trained in the Uwagawa and Uawada Styles of Acupuncture and Moxabustion, and has studied the Nagano style under Master Nagano and Kiiko Matsumoto. He maintains a private practice in North York.

Instructor of The Treatment of Disease and Clinic Supervisor
Joy has been practicing acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion, and Chinese herbal medicine since graduating from the ITCM in 2004. She is also a Reiki Master and practices Craniosacral therapy.

Dedicated to ongoing education, she has done further study in anatomy, as well as acupuncture for addiction, and is currently focused on deepening her knowledge of acupuncture for pregnancy and labor. Her expertise is in treating post-traumatic stress and anxiety, scar tissue, and chronic pain.

Joy has over 20 years of teaching experience, in a wide variety of fields. She teaches acupuncture and herbal medicine at the SSC, and also supervises the student acupuncture clinic.

Instructor of Functional Anatomy

Dr. Alwyn Wong completed a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario. Upon graduation, he went on to continue his education at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, earning his Doctor of Chiropractic.

To continue to provide better care for his patients, he completed the Medical Acupuncture Program at McMaster University. In addition to completing over 8 years of post-secondary education, Dr. Wong continues to educate himself, taking courses such as Active Release Techniques®, Kinesiology taping and advanced nutrition courses.    Dr. Wong uses an integrated approach treat his patients and clients, many of whom have included professional athletes from the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and PGA, as well as Olympic, UFC and IFBB athletes. He has founded a company, Zona Health and Performance Inc, which has been training and certifying personal trainers since 2004.

His book, The Kick Acid Diet, is currently available online through and various retailers. He currently sits on the Scientific Advisory Board for Bel Marra Nutritionals, and the Editorial Board for Doctors Health Press Inc.                                                                                                                                    


Clinic Supervisor