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Ryan Brooks R.Ac, R.TCMP

Ryan Brooks has studied at the Academy of Classical Oriental Sciences in British Columbia and the Toronto School of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  He is also a graduate of the Eastern Studies program at the University of Western Ontario. Following his studies in Canada, Ryan completed a clinical internship at Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Teaching Hospital in the Sichuan Province of China. Ryan’s current practice includes Traditional Chinese Medical treatments such as acupuncture, moxibustion, herbal medicine, auriculotherapy, nutritional and lifestyle counseling, tuina bodywork, gua sha, cupping and Qi Gong. Ryan is an active lobbyist for the implementation of a high professional code of practice for TCM practitioners. Since the founding of Eight Branches Academy of Eastern Medicine in 2010, Ryan has been working to implement his vision for the Academy by teaching the numerous modalities of East Asian Medicine.  “My single aim is to help people improve their lives, to take control of their health, and to increase their physical and mental well being”.


Timothy Sibbald R.Ac, R.TCMP

Tim is a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, specializing in Acupuncture, Moxibustion, Herbal Formulas, and Tuina Massage. He has been educated in both the Western and Traditional Chinese medical systems, having earned degrees from Queen’s University (B.Sc. Life Sciences) and the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (B.Med. Traditional Chinese Medicine). Tim is fluent in English and Mandarin, and is an accomplished teacher of martial arts, qigong, and meditation, having studied extensively with some of the world’s top lineage grandmasters in the Chen style Tai Chi and Xinyi LiuHe internal systems for over 12 years. Tim currently maintains practices in Toronto (, Clarkson, and Kingston, Ontario.


Poney Chiang R.Ac, R.TCMP, MSc (Traditional Oriental Medicine), PhD (Medical Science)

Poney Chiang’s clinical expertise is in dermatology, internal medicine and pain. He combines his herbalist training from a MengHe lineage of classical Chinese medicine with Kampo, a Japanese style of traditional herbal therapy.  His style of acupuncture is a mix of Chinese, Japanese and neurofunctional medical acupuncture.  He is the medical director of River Clinic Oriental Medicine (, located in Markham ON. Poney Chiang is a 22nd generation practitioner of Daoist cultivation from the LongMen (Dragon Gate) sect of the QuanZhen (Complete Perfection) school of Daoism, as well as a practitioner of Daoist internal martial arts.  He also consultants in Classical Feng Shui and Chinese Astrology, through his consulting business Space-Time Feng Shui (  Poney Chiang’s style of medical practice is a unique combination of Daoist Chinese Medicine and medical metaphysics. He finds spiritual fulfillment as a practitioner of Oriental Medicine and is humbled to be a part of his patients’ wellness.


Lihui Guo R.Ac, R.TCMP

Lihui Guo received his medical degree in 1986 from the Liaoning College of Chinese Medicine. He was an Associate Professor and Vice Chief Physician, teaching and practicing Chinese medicine at the Liaoning College of Chinese Medicine, its affiliated hospital, and the Liaoning Academy of TCM until 1998.  He has taken on-the-job training programs at the China International Training Center of Traditional Therapy of TCM, where he also majored in acupuncture, tuina massage and TCM traumatology. Lihui Guo also conducted clinical research on the effects of acupuncture on high blood pressure. He specializes in acupuncture and tuina treatment of sciatic neuralgia and headaches. He has taught and practiced acupuncture, tuina massage and Chinese Medicine since coming to Canada in 1998.


Wendy Yao Yu Ding R.Ac, R.TCMP

Wendy Yao Yu Ding graduated in 1985 from Tian Jin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, P. R. China. She worked in Tian Jin Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital as a Pediatrician from 1985-1999. Wendy has over 20 years experience teaching TCM theory and practice. In 1999, she moved to Toronto. Wendy recently teaches Nei Ke and Er Ke at Eight Branches where she has quickly developed an excellent rapport with students and faculty.


Sarkis Makarians R.Ac, R.TCMP

“The discipline of Traditional Chinese Medicine is a way of life and not just a profession”. Sarkis is a highly respected practitioner of TCM, and is considered by his peers to be an outstanding diagnostician and an expert in TCM theory. As an educator, his unique approach to teaching involves incorporating practical experience and clinical cases with hands on work and demonstrations to complement theoretical learning. His advanced knowledge of herbal medicine backed with a strong base in modern medicine and a knowledge of prevailing alternative practices grant him a unique approach in understanding and treating his patients. He emphasizes using modern scientific research to improve therapeutic efficacy. For instance using anti-viral or anti-cancer herbs to improve treatment outcome. However, he stresses the use of traditional Chinese pattern identification and treatment principals as the basis of determining therapeutic approach.  This combined approach has allowed him to implement several unique strategies in effectively treating gynecological conditions such as PCOS, as well as obstinate diseases such as autoimmune and neurological disorders. In his approach to acupuncture, he employs several strategies such as meridian therapy, five element, neuro-anatomical, scalp and musculoskeletal acupuncture, and emphasizes combining the treatments with patient education, exercise, tuina manipulations and dietary therapy in order to give the best results. He values the use of traditional techniques such as moxibustion and cupping as an inseparable part of the treatments. Sako advocates that acupuncturists should always keep site of the basic treatment methods and TCM principals.  At the same time, he emphasizes that treatments should not be applied mechanically but with flexibility and critical thinking. A solid TCM education, empirical apprenticeship, personal experiences and persistent studies in Canada and China have allowed Sako to continually grow and improve so that he can help his family, his patients and his students. Sarkis currently practices in Richmond Hill, Ontario.  To learn more about his practice please visit


Renee Pilgrim R.Ac, R.TCMP

Renee Pilgrim received her Diploma of Acupuncture and Practitioner Diploma of Traditional Chinese Medicine from the Institute of Traditional Medicine, Toronto. Growing up in a North Eastern Atlantic-coast Town, Renee understood from early on how important it is to live in relationship with the seasons as well as maintain one’s connection with community.  Rooted in the fundamentals of lifestyle and nutrition, Renee works with people who want to achieve optimum health. Over the past two years, Renee has been studying with Lonny Jarrett to develop the clinical practice of Chinese Medicine and incorporate how the medicine, which is over 5000 years old, relates to who we are in the post-modern world. Drawing on the roots of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Five Element practice, Renee has been working with patients in her current practice ( to transform their physical and emotional health. With a background in arts, psychology and history, Renee takes an integrative approach to her practice. She draws upon her experience in the study of reiki, yoga and tai qi, in combination with the various modalities of Chinese Medicine, such as cupping, guasha, moxa, meditation and Tui Na massage.  In addition to Chinese Medicine, Renee also spent many years working as a sexual health educator where she facilitated talks and workshops in Guelph, Peterborugh, and at several Toronto Universities. Renee’s diverse experiences allow her to take a well-rounded approach to patient care, which ensures that each of her patients reach a balance physically, mentally, and spiritually. Renee is committed to creating accessible spaces.  She offers workshops and information sessions in the GTA.


Azita Sadraei M.D. (Iran)

Azita Sadraei graduated from the medical university of Iran in 1999 and has practiced as a general physician for 5 years. She immigrated to Canada in 2004 and continued her education in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) including Chinese formula and Acupuncture. She attended  Massage Therapy School to be a registered massage therapist. She has been teaching Western Medical subjects and Tuina since 2007 and currently practices Acupuncture and Tuina Massage in Toronto. Her goal is to combine Traditional Chinese Medicine and western medicine together in order to provide the best solution in the treatment of patients.

Paymon Sadrolsadot MD (Iran), PhD (TCM)

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. Paymon is currently an Ontario licensed acupuncturist. Over the past 18 years, Paymon has treated thousands of individuals with a variety of health conditions such as pain, women’s health, stress, insomnia, hormonal issues and skin conditions. While Paymon’s practice is varied, clients can take advantage of his master training in pain management, insomnia, facial rejuvenation and neurological problems. Paymon is currently an instructor in the acupuncture program at “Eight Branches Academy of Eastern Medicine” and acupuncture clinic supervisor at “Shiatsu School of Canada” 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. Paymon’s background in both conventional and alternative medicine allows him to think deeply and find solutions for his client’s health. His approach is always very gentle and specific to each client’s personal needs. In Paymon’s practice he treats musculoskeletal disorders, insomnia and sleep disorders, stress and anxiety, digestive disorders, women’s health (including fertility and obstetrics support), complementary cancer treatment, parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. To learn more about Paymon’s practice, please visit his websites: and


Shadi Sarebanha MD (Iran), PhD (TCM)

Shadi received her Medical Doctorate Degree from Iran University of Medical Sciences. As she was highly interested in natural medicine she moved to China to complete a five-year PhD program in Integrative medicine (Integration of Chinese Medicine and Western medicine) where she was fortunate enough to be under the supervision of TCM professor Dr. Niu Xin (??) at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. Her background in both conventional and alternative medicine makes her able to combine two modalities and bring them to the educational forefront. She has taught a wide variety of science courses including Anatomy and Physiology, Medical terminology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Microbiology, and Biochemistry at various colleges in Alberta and Ontario for the past five years. Shadi has conducted course development for acupuncture programs in Edmonton and has participated in different international congresses of complementary medicine. Currently she teaches Pharmacology for acupuncture students at Eight Branches Academy of Eastern Medicine.


Adina Stanescu R.Ac, R.TCMP

Adina received her acupuncture certificate from The Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 1994 and a diploma in Chinese Herbal Medicine from the Institute of Chinese Herbal Therapy in 1997. She also interned at the Longhua Hospital of TCM in Shanghai, China.?? Adina has pursued post-graduate studies in dermatology, infertility, autoimmune and allergic diseases, as well as Motor Point Acupuncture. She runs a thriving private practice and writes regularly for various health publications, determined to educate the public on the comprehensive ability of TCM to effectively treat many of the most troubling health conditions of modern society.


Matthew Sedo, R.Ac

“I feel lucky to have found a career that I love and continue to learn and grow with. I’ve been working with clients on their road to better heath since 2002.” Matt’s interest in healing grew out of a background in competitive diving. His first introduction to Chinese medicine was through his diving coach from China, who would use acupuncture and massage to manage injuries and relax divers before competitions. “I had little idea about what it was at the time but remember thinking… this is amazing… I want to learn this!” After university, Matt moved to Japan where he was fortunate enough to study shiatsu with a few great teachers. This sent him on a path back to Canada where he enrolled in the Shiatsu School of Canada and completed a diploma in Shiatsu and later Acupuncture. Matt apprenticed at a local tuina and acupuncture clinic in Toronto and immediately fell in love with the practice. Tuina as been a staple part of his acupuncture practice ever since. His clinical focus centers around providing pain management, rehabilitation and stress relief. He approaches treatment through a traditional Chinese medical framework and a contemporary understanding of neuroanatomy, pain and dysfunction. Matt is thrilled to pass on to students what he’s learned and is still discovering.


Amrit Singh R.Ac

Amrit Singh has been studying and practicing acupuncture for over five years. She completed her Diploma in Acupuncture at the Institute of Traditional Medicine in Toronto, after which she extended her studies in both Beijing and Tokyo.  Studying in the East, particularly under the Toyohari Practitioners (visually-impaired Acupuncturists) in Japan, taught Amrit to further refine her techniques and to bring a more gentle approach to treatment. Amrit is currently completing an internship to learn the Kiiko Matsumoto style of Acupuncture here in Toronto, a style well known for its precise diagnosis and gentle needling techniques.  She will also be commencing her Japanese Acupuncture Diploma this fall, to deepen her understanding of this particular style. Amrit’s experience and belief in the value of acupuncture motivate her to make the practice more popular and well understood. “Where modern Western medicine had no explanation, Eastern medicine answered all my questions”, she explains.  Consequently, Amrit sees the importance in answering her patients’ questions during treatments so that they fully understand how and why acupuncture works.  “When the patient has some understanding of what is occurring from an Eastern medicine standpoint, they become more relaxed and trusting, which creates a better healing environment.” Amrit deeply respects ancient and traditional medical systems from around the world. Accordingly, she seeks to integrate the strengths of these systems into our healthcare system today, to provide a comprehensive and effective approach to healing. Keeping with tradition, she believes that acupuncture and traditional medicine should be available to all. In addition to her regular practice, she also offers sliding scale rates through her Drop The Needle Community Acupuncture program. Amrit is a fully insured Acupuncturist certified in Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture, Clean Needle Technique and a member of the Canadian Society of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture (CSCMA).  All of her work is conducted in a positive safe space. For more information about Amrit’s background and services, or if you would like to book a complimentary consultation please contact her by phone at 416.662.0564 or email at [email protected]


David Surman D.Ac, TCMP

David began his studies in Eastern Medicine through a keen interest and practical training in martial arts and Qigong in Toronto, the US and more recently in China.  This lead to training in Shiatsu Therapy at the Shiatsu School of Canada and the Shiatsu Centre, Chinese Herbal Medicine at the Institute of Traditional Chinese Herbal Therapy in Toronto, clinical internship at the Guangzhou University of TCM Training Hospital in Guangzhou, China, and completion of a comprehensive TCM program at the Toronto School of TCM during which time he successfully completed the American Board (NCCAOM) diplomas in both Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine.  He administrated, practiced and ran the InnerQi Centre for Eastern Medicine in downtown Toronto for more than 10 years. David recently spent another four years in China for the purpose of post-graduate training in TCM as well as further training in Wushu, Taijiquan, language and music.  He taught and studied at the Shandong University of TCM in Jinan and the Zhejiang Medical University in Hangzhou, China. He also trained and became certified in the practice of Thai Massage in Chiang Mai, Thailand during the above sabbatical. David’s first degree was a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University.  He taught piano and music theory extensively before moving into eastern medicine. He has taught Taijiquan and Qigong for more than 15 years, taught English while in China, and presently teaches at the Eight Branches Academy of Eastern Medicine, the Ontario College of TCM, the Rising Sun School of T’ai Chi Ch’uan and the Metro Central YMCA. David continues to practice Eastern Medicine at the Mind and Body Integrated Medical Clinic in the Lakeshore Village, Toronto and the Holistica Wellness Clinic in downtown Toronto.


Takamasa Tsurasaki R.Ac

Tak Tsurusaki has been practicing Japanese acupuncture and moxibustion in the lineage of Master Kiiko Matsumoto and Master Kiyoshi Nagano for over 20 years.  He has been passing this knowledge on to his students for over 10 years.Through his apprenticeship and long-term work with Kiiko Matsumoto, Tak has become recognized as a leader in the field of ‘Nagano style’ Japanese acupuncture.

Zuocheng Wang R.Ac, R.TCMP, PhD (Medicine)

Zuocheng Wang received his Bachelor of Medicine degree from Hebei University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in China in 1993, Master of Medicine degree from Tianjin University of TCM in 1996 and became an attending physician and lecturer in General Hospital of Tianjin Medical University in 1998. He later received his PhD in medicine from Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan. As a clinician and scientist, Zuocheng has conducted research on many different diseases in China, Japan and Canada. He has published 10 articles and 4 books on TCM topics in Chinese, 1 in Japanese and 20 in English on various medical topics in high-impact peer-reviewed medical journals. Here ( is his English publication list. He has been a member of many different professional societies such as Canadian Society for Biochemistry, Molecular & Cellular Biology, American Society of Nephrology, China Association of Chinese Medicine, Society for Neuroscience, the Japanese Biochemical Society, and others.

With over 30 years of experience in internal martial arts, Qigong, TCM (herbology, acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, acupressure, Tuina massage, Gua Sha, etc.), nutritional counseling, molecular/cellular biology, genetics, immunology, gynecology, pediatrics, cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, hematology, neurology, nephrology, oncology, pulmonology, rheumatology, geriatric and sports medicine, Zuocheng emphasizes the health integrity of a human being within and in harmony with the environment, from psychological to physical and individual to social. He has been applying various approaches including integrated internal martial arts, Qigong, nutrition, TCM and modern medicine to help people with their health issues in above areas of medicine.


Yuxiang Wang R.Ac, R.TCMP, M.Sc. (China, TCM), Dipl. Ac. & C.H. (NCCAOM)

Yuxiang Wang was born in a renowned Chinese family that has specialized in the study of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for over a century. Under the watchful guidance of her uncle, himself a respected TCM doctor, Yuxiang Wang began reading medical journals and instructional texts at the age of ten. At the age of eighteen, she entered Tianjin University’s Medical School, which offers an extensive, demanding eight-year program that is recognized as one of the best medical programs in the People’s Republic of China. There, Yuxiang Wang studied TCM and Western medicine and was awarded her Bachelor’s Degree in TCM, followed by her Master’s Degree with Honours in gynecolology in 1986. For the next twenty-five years, Yuxiang Wang practiced Chinese and integrated medicine, serving first as the director of the gynecology department at the Tianjin University’s Teaching Hospital. Then, after emigrating from the PRC, she worked at clinics in Philadelphia and Toronto and eventually opened her own private practice, Herb Fragrance Oriental Healing Centre, in 2005. In addition to her clinical work, Yuxiang Wang has been an instructor at the Tianjin University of TCM, the Delaware County Community College in Pennsylvania, and the Toronto Chinese Medicine School. Many of her papers have appeared in acclaimed TCM journals. Her book, Handbook of Pediatric Chinese Dietary Therapy, was published in 2005. With her strong background in gynecology, Yuxiang Wang currently specializes in such diseases as infertility, dysmenorrhea, irregular menstruation, and menopause. She has also successfully treated a wide range of chronic and acute illnesses during her many years of practicing experience.


Xiaoxue Yin R.Ac, PhD (China, TCM)

Xiaoxue Yin received her Bachelor of Medicine Degree from Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine in 1994.  In 1997 she received her Masters Degree in Orthopaedics and Traumatology and in 2003 she received her PhD in Orthopaedics from Peking University.  Later she completed postdoctoral work in Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at the University of Washington.  With 20 years of clinical experience and 10 years as an educator, Xiaoxue is highly regarded for her expertise in treating musculoskeletal and sports injuries.  Xiaoxue has won various awards for her medical publications including articles by several medical academic journals including Chinese Materia Medica, Beijing Youth, and Peking University Third Hospital. She has also been a reviewer for Acta Pharmacologica Sinica, Acta Laboratorium Animalis Scientia Sinica, a guest editor for the Chinese Journal of Osteoporosis and is an editorial board member for the Chinese Journal of Comparative Medicine.

Recently Xiaoxue has worked as an associate professor, attending doctor and master tutor at the Department of Orthopaedics, Peking University Third Hospital in Beijing.



Simon Yoon R.Ac, R.TCMP

Simon began his career in health with a Bachelor’s degree in Food Science from the National University of Chungnam in Korea.  His enthusiasm for health and wellness lead him to pursue an education in SaAm Five Element (SAFE) Acupuncture where Simon trained and interned at Dr. Kumo’s SaAm Acupuncture Institute in Korea.  He later came to Canada to learn English and to complete a Doctoral Diploma in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In addition to running his clinic, Simon teaches SAFE Acupuncture to the public.  He is also the executive director of the Five Element Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association of Canada (FEACMA). Simon has a strong interest in giving back  to the community and helping those in need locally and around the world, and is active at Kumo’s SaAm Non Profit Acupuncture Service (a registered Korean charity), and Health Mission Outreach (HMO; a registered Canadian charity).


Annie Zhu R.Ac, R.TCMP

Annie Zhu graduated from the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology of Beijing Union University in 1995. After that she began her medical practice at Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She accumulated lots of practical experience and learned from many experts at the best Traditional Chinese Medicine hospital of China-Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Annie Zhu has been practicing successfully around Toronto area since 2002.  Annie Zhu’s current practice ( is located in Maple Ontario near Vaughan. As a female TCM doctor, Annie Zhu is particularly interested in pain relief, women’s health issues and pediatrics. For women’s health issues, she specializes in fertility treatments for women and men, pregnancy and delivery, stress, anti-aging, and weight control. Meanwhile, as a mother of two children, Annie Zhu also specializes in treating children’s illnesses such as infantile eczema, cough, asthma, ear infection, diarrhea, viral myocarditis, epilepsy, hypophrenia, hyperactive syndrome, and Tourette’s syndrome. Annie Zhu uses Traditional Chinese Medicine, including Acupuncture, Chinese Herb, Tui Na (Chinese Massage), to help clients harmonize the interior organs, balance the mind and integrate the body’s function into an organic whole. Traditional Chinese Medicine addresses the root causes of disease, rather than just treating the symptoms, so illness/disease is treated even cured.


Rong Zhu R.Ac, R.TCMP

Rong Zhu obtained his medical degree in June 1984 from the University of Beijing TCM.  Later he completed advanced professional training in TCM and Biomedicine through the University of Beijing TCM as well as the Medical University of Shanxi in June 1989. Since then, he has been practicing and teaching acupuncture, herbal medicine and biomedicine in China and Canada.

Rong Zhu is one of seven elected members of counsil for the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario.


Barbara Adach Diplomas in Natural Nutrition and Acupuncture

Barbara Adach earned a Diploma in Natural Nutrition in 2006 from the Toronto branch of the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.  She then received her Acupuncture Diploma in 2011 from the Institute of Traditional Medicine (ITM) in Toronto. Her areas of special interest, pain, stress and mood disorders, are approached from the point of view that the foods we eat profoundly influence our health.  The great Sun Simiao (581- 682 A.D.) referred to the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine regarding ‘moderation in food and drink’.  Centuries later, it is still great advice! To support the well-being of people living with chronic illness, Barb also volunteers with Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS). Barb is grateful to her Chinese Medicine teachers and mentors from Ryerson University Continuing Education programme.  They lit the spark of inspiration and love for this brilliant approach to comprehensive health and well-being.


Sandy Antunes, M.OMSc.

As the proud co-founder of GTA Osteopathy, Sandy initiated her health and wellness career at the Shiatsu School of Canada in 1995. She continued her education at the Shiatsu Academy of Tokyo with over 4400 hours of hands on learning.  Before owning her private practice Sandy worked for 5 years alongside various health care professionals including: MD’s, RMT’s, Chiropractors and Physiotherapists, at the Good Health Physical Therapy clinic. Their shared goal was to create the most effective treatment plan for the individual patient. Sandy’s patients range from children to seniors, aspiring for a healthy and balanced life. She has a specialty in treating women during pregnancy and treating patients with MS.  Sandy takes special interest in developing corporate health and wellness, and treating patients while at work, identifying and treating the underlying cause of their problem. Sandy approaches her practice with great passion and drive, and welcomes the challenge of assisting her patients in working towards their health and wellness goals in a wholistic and balanced way. As well as providing treatment to her patients, Sandy promotes her vision and commitment to Osteopathy as teacher at the Shiatsu Academy of Tokyo, where she is able to share her passion for her work. Sandy is a graduate of the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy & Holistic Health Sciences, with a Master Osteopathic Manipulative Science.  She is a member of the Registry of Osteopaths, the Ontario Osteopathic Association, the Shiatsu Diffusion Society and the Shiatsupractor Association of Canada.


Mai Cao ZSP

Mai has been practicing and extensivly studying eastern martial arts since childhood.  She is currently a black sash and instructor at Golden Harmony Kung Fu Club and a Tao Yin and Qi Gong instructor at Eight Branches. Mai maintains a daily practice and study of Zen Meditation, Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi and therapeutic Tao Yin and Qi Gong. She continues to develop her knowledge through the study of Shiatsu, Traditional Chinese Medicine and healing foods.Mai’s main objective is to help empower people with a greater awareness of the mind and body as one. She recently returned from her third trip to Sri Lanka where she teaches Tao Yin and Qi Gong and the healing aspects of the martial arts to children affected by the war, the tsunami as well as families of the disappeared and ex-combatants.


Gregory Cockerill R.Ac

Gregory Cockerill has been a lifelong follower of Eastern philosophy and a registered acupuncturist since 2008 (Alberta).
A lover of music, medicine and martial art, Gregory has an honours degree in Composition/Arranging (Humber/BCOU) and is a graduate of the Alberta College of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.   He has a private acupuncture practice in Roncesvalles Toronto called Live Hand Acupuncture and also teaches Acupuncture theory at Eight Branches Academy of Eastern Medicine as well as the Ontario College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  In his spare time, Gregory still performs music regularly and trains in Brazilian Jiujiutsu and Kickboxing. He also holds an instructor certificate and 3rd Dan black belt in Hapkido.

Krysten DeSouza ND, B.Sc

Dr. Krysten DeSouza received her Honours Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics from the University of Guelph before moving to Toronto to pursue her Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. After practicing in Calgary, Alberta for a few years, Dr. Krysten returned home to Toronto where she now shares her knowledge and experience with patients in her private practice (

Dr. Krysten has a special interest in Advanced Pathology, a topic she has previously instructed and enjoys discussing with students and patients from both an Eastern and Western medical perspective. Outside the office and the classroom, Dr. Krysten enjoys an active lifestyle, a creative edge for healthy recipes, and a passion for adventure and travel.



Michael Fisher Registered Nutritionist

After graduating from Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, Michael Fisher studied in Japan for one year to discover Asian healing traditions. Since 2008, he has studied and worked with Paul Pitchford (author of Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition). Through this remarkable educational experience Michael deepened his understanding of pre-revolutionary Chinese Medicine, which emphasizes the three therapeutic branches, including awareness, movement and a foundational whole foods diet. He incorporates shiatsu diagnosis in his practice as well as therapeutic qi gong, herbal remedies, lifestyle and emotional counselling. Michael has written for several major health publications in Canada and teaches courses in nutrition and dietary healing at the prestigious Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in London, and at Eight Branches Academy of Eastern Medicine. Michael is most known for his work alongside Paul Pitchford, authour of Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition, joining him at his 2009 three-week Healing with Whole Foods intensive in New York, and again in 2010 in Bali, Indonesia.  


Marc Gabel M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Gabel is a General Practitioner practicing in Medical Psychotherapy in Toronto. He has taught Psychotherapy, boundaries, ethics and medical records for the General Practice Psychotherapy Association Primary Psychotherapy Course, and at courses at the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH.). He has taught Ethics and Boundaries to students of the Kokoro Dojo.  He is a member of the Council of the the College of Physicians and Surgeons, where is has been Chair of the Discipline and Outreach Committees. He has also served on the Quality Assurance Committee, and is a member of the committee on Complementary (Non-Allopathic) Medicine Policy, as well as Chair of the Medical Records Policy Committee. As well, he will be joining the Executive Committee of the College. Prior to being elected to the CPSO Council, he was  a peer assessor for 8 years. He received his MD in New York and completed residency training at UCLA medical Centre where he was on the faculty of Pediatrics. . He also received his MPH in tropical medicine from UCLA. He served as a Medical officer with the US Air Force in Asia, and later served with the Peace Corps and as a Public health Officer in Malaysia. He has practiced in rural British Columbia as a solo practitioner. prior to coming to Toronto. Dr Gabels’s community involvement includes past service as a Board Member and President of Women in Transition, founding Board of Assaulted Woman’s Help Line, and Little League Coach at High Park.


Yukimi Henry LLB, MSW, RSW

Yukimi Henry is a registered social worker (MSW) with the Ontario College of Social Workers and currently works as psychotherapist in private practice in downtown Toronto. A former lawyer, Yukimi worked in the area of criminal defense and international legal capacity building before transitioning into social work practice. She currently provides psychotherapy and life coaching services to individuals, couples and families struggling with personal or professional challenges, coping with loss or trauma, or seeking to make a positive change in their lives. Yukimi works from a strengths-based approach and is deeply committed to holistic, client-centered practice. Yukimi brings to her counselling practice many years of experience working in women’s health and social services, as well as counseling young people and individuals in transition. She also has a wealth of experience in assisting individuals to cope with work-life balance issues.


A.W. Lee M.Sc

A.W. Lee received his training in Anatomy and Cell Biology (MSc, 2007) from Queen’s University, specializing in developmental abnormalities. Since then, he has taught anatomy, physiology, as well as Sociology of the Body classes at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Queen’s University.  He teaches Pathophysiology at Eight Branches. He is currently completing his PhD at Queen’s University.


Susan MacRae RN

Sue MacRae is a Registered Nurse, clinical ethics consultant and a transpersonal psychotherapist. Until recently Sue was the Deputy Director at the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics (JCB).  Sue is a champion of patient-centred and narrative ethics, an innovator in building ethics and relationship centred competencies and capacity, a leader in scholarship in her work in clinical ethics program development and systems thinking and an innovator in education by virtue of her contributions to the growth of the highly acclaimed professional Masters of Health Sciences in Bioethics in Toronto.   Sue currently works in a private psychotherapy consulting practice–called Inner Care– in the Toronto and Peterborough area.  In the Inner Care work, Sue works with the emotional, psychological and spiritual content offered by her clients to help guide individuals towards solutions that are life-giving and transformative.  Sue has been a spiritual practitioner since 1997 and she has studied with Teachers in the United States, Canada and Asia for 14 years that includes a great deal of retreat work, including several month long retreats.   She has completed programs in Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction, Reiki, Meditating with the Body, Transpersonal Therapy, and Soul Care in Healthcare.  These combined meditation and practice-based teachings have informed her towards a personal spiritual practice that is Consciousness, Heart and Body based.  


Diana Ojeda ZSP

Diana Ojeda graduated from the Kokoro Dojo Zen Shiatsu Diploma Program in 2005 and has been in professional practice since that time. During her subsequent two years of private studies in Zen Shiatsu, she became clinical supervisor, and later an instructor in the Zen Shiatsu Therapy Program. Diana is the hara breathing instructor at Eight Branches.

Diana is a member of the Shiatsu Society of Ontario.


Donna Oliver

Shifu Donna Oliver M.Q.T. has trained in Chinese internal martial arts and Qigong since 1988 with Shifu Andy James, at the Tai Chi & Meditation Centre in Toronto, where she continues to teach and study.She has consistently won “Gold” in competitions including the Pan Am Games and is a Medical Qigong Therapist from the International Institute of Medical Qigong (Canadian branch) and President of the Taoist and Buddhist Meditation Foundation.



Dondrub Wangchuk ZSP

“I have always been fascinated by the Eastern approach to life from the philosophy, to the martial arts to the healing arts”.

When he was 20 years old Dondrub began to practice Kung fu, the original definition being “excellence achieved through long practice in any endeavour”. The “endeavour” he chose to pursue was Chinese Martial Arts. “I studied for 10 years, and learned how to be in tune with my body on a much deeper level than I ever thought possible”. During that time he was also introduced to Buddhist meditation as well as Tai Chi Chuan. “When I practiced meditation I discovered how loud and busy my mind was and now I was given the tools to help me deal with my mind. With Tai Chi Chuan I discovered a way of practicing being quiet on the inside while moving on the outside”. During this time he began teaching Tai Chi Chuan to the public and discovered “the more I teach the more I learn”. He continues to learn from his students every day. At 27 Dondrub began to study Zen Shiatsu Therapy at Kokoro Dojo. During his 17 years at the Dojo he has learned the art of Zen Shiatsu. “I have learned that it is possible to bring my whole self into a treatment (to be completely there with my client), I have learned to breathe from my hara, I have learned how healing touch can be”. Currently, Dondrub is an Instructor of Tao Yin (Taoist Yoga), Tai Chi Chuan and Zen Shiatsu. He continues to pursue studies in Medical Qi gong.
“I look forward to working with you and sharing with you what I know. I hope to help you regain your own natural flow”.


Come and go with me to that land!…We’ll all be together…nothing but peace… we’ll all be free, in that land…

(sung by Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon)

Marnie came to these modalities through Buddhist practice, theatre arts, music, religious studies, and 6 years in hospital-based chaplaincy. Training simultaneously in transpersonal (spiritually-focused) psychotherapy, reiki and zen shiatsu, has enabled Marnie to develop an integrative approach – which she offers in service of our collective journey to that land.

For more information about Marnie’s background and services please contact her by phone at 416.705.8995 or email