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My name is Amy McQuillan and I am a RMT- Registered Massage Therapist, currently finishing my studies in Acupuncture, Acupressure, and Traditional Chinese Medicine. I can not say enough about how amazing this program has been. For so many reasons but what I learned most from it was human connection. From the training at CCATCM in the acupressure aspect of the program, it occurred to me that there is so much more to discover when making the connection between you and your patient when you are starting a relationship with them. I have learned to connect, via acupressure (regardless of my massage background), with a person’s body, mind, spirit and energy but most importantly, their emotions through physical contact with their tissue. It is extremely beneficial for the rapport, the trust, the result and as a practitioner, it gives you the skills to know exactly what that person needs. Just through touch. The reasoning behind this is because when you learn the theory and foundations of acupuncture and TCM, it teaches that there are three circulatory systems in the body. There is your blood circulatory system, your lymphatic circulatory system and your energy (Qi) circulatory system. The Qi circulatory system connects from head to toe, via meridians which run along the same pathways as the other two circulatory systems creating a connection to the internal organs directly. When you apply your hands, or tools such as needles to specific points along these channels it will have a direct impact on the area and the meridian which that point belongs as well as a specific organ. 
Using the acupressure as an amazing tool and guide to connecting to the person’s energy and tissue, gives that person a sense of calm. A sense that they are safe and well taken care of. This is where the magic happens. If you have any discomfort, hesitance or are not confident with your therapist, it will not make an impact on the treatment. If you were to go for a massage and the therapist made you uncomfortable, would your muscles relax? No. The treatment would be barely effective. Thus, by making a physical contacted connection with that person, having them take deep, long, calming breaths, it will allow the mind to relax and once the mind has relaxed, the body will be ready for the next step into the treatment. That next step is to feel the tissue and understand it without judgement. If it feels tight, you may need to stay longer on that area with your pressure. If it feels weak, you may need to use stimulating techniques in order to awaken the tissue. By understanding what the tissue is saying to you, you can then insert the needles in the appropriate acupuncture points. I feel so much more, in so many ways when my therapist or Doctor takes the time to make me comfortable before inserting needles into my body. It is, and should be a tremendous, enjoyable and relaxing experience.
Amy McQuillan

I chose CCATCM because it was important to me that I learn about the philosophies of TCM.  I also appreciated the fact that the CCATCM curriculum is based on a holistic health care model which includes body, mind and spirit. I believe that each individual is unique and when it comes to health care, people should be treated as individuals. TCM provides a model where people can be helped, healed and respected and I want to be a part of that. In the future, I hope to enjoy a successful and rewarding career in TCM.
Michelle McNeil

My interest in natural and holistic medicine has led me to want to study Traditional Chinese Medicine, specifically acupuncture. It is my desire to learn this ancient art of healing in order to assist those in need and to help individuals live their lives to the fullest. I moved from Ottawa and I chose to attend the CCATCM not only for its location in beautiful Halifax, but also because I trust the associations it has with other TCM colleges will greatly benefit me as a student. I also believe that the size of the school and the student body, as well as the experienced teaching staff will be beneficial to me as I will have more one-on-one time with the faculty. I hope to make a positive contribution to CCATCM through my positive outlook and helpful attitude.
Erin Mitchell

I am from Amherst, Nova Scotia. I was attending Saint Francis Xavier University taking my RN degree when I was exposed to Chinese Medicine and acupuncture in a religion course. It occurred to me that it targets the actual problem. When I decided to attend CCATCM, I was happy to learn that I can take a natural approach to healing and the prevention of disease. As a nurse working in a Western health-care faculty, I know first-hand the difference prevention can make. People are usually only ever treated for the symptoms of their diseases, not the actual root of the problem. In the long run, this is not beneficial for the patient because the root of the problem is steadily growing worse and is being covered up by medications that are being taken for the symptoms. In the acupuncture program at CCATCM, you treat the root of the problem and learn how to prevent diseases from returning.
Kate Mosley

My wife Heather and I have had acupuncture for many things and have had the opportunity to be guided by a variety of acupuncturists as we’ve moved over time.  Acupuncture has helped us both in ways no other medicine could. I know this was the future for me. TCM, the culture and the holistic approach just resonate with me and my family at a soulful level. It is my destiny to be here. Prevention of disease was a factor in my choice of attending CCATCM. Prevention is living life in balance and with integrity. We have tried to raise our children with holism as a focus. We try to eat right, exercise, be creative, open and honest. This is what I feel the college is about as well. It is a great fit. Upon graduation, I want to help bring this incredible medicine to the masses.
Jamie Martin

I graduated from the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy in 2009. Afterwards I started working as a massage therapist at the S-T Natural Medicine Centre with Dr. Li and Dr. Chen. I had been working there for a few months when the process of opening the college got underway. By this time I had seen many patients get great results from their acupuncture treatments, most notably with Dr. Li’s infertility treatments. I was amazed to see these women who had been struggling to conceive, get pregnant and have babies! I have always had an interest in acupuncture but seeing firsthand the incredible results really made me want to find out more about it. I had the option of taking a 400 hour, weekend continuing education certificate program in acupuncture offered to massage therapists. But, I felt acupuncture and TCM is about intention as well as the theory and principles behind it, which I do not believe are taught in these weekend programs.
Dora Kinsman

I grew up in the Annapolis Valley, NS but spent my early twenties planting trees and traveling around Canada. I chose to study acupuncture because I like the idea of practicing honest, simple and effective medicine. I also feel that acupuncture is something I will study for the rest of my life, as it is so fascinating and in-depth. I think that our culture is on the brink of a rapid expansion into energy based medicine and I want to be a part of that expansion. I chose to attend CCATCM for several reasons, one being that it was within easy commuting distance from where I live. The morning schedules appealed to me as the mother of a young child. I have my afternoons free to spend with my son and to study. As well in CCATCM, there is a clinic onsite and one downtown where we do clinical observations and learn from patients as well as from our teachers. I feel that no matter in what capacity I practice acupuncture, be it in my own clinic or in an interdisciplinary clinic with other practioners, I will be staying for the rest of my life.
Zoe MacDonald

A number of years ago I received an acupuncture treatment in Vancouver that seemed miraculous. I had suffered for months. This successful treatment instilled me with great faith in TCM and the desire to learn this incredible art of healing. Shortly after I ended up moving to Chnia where I spent 4 years. During my time there I embraced the Chinese culture becoming a disciple of Taiji Quan and competing in it. Upon returning to Canada and Nova Scotia, I was pleased to see that Acupuncture was becoming an accepted and sought after treatment for a number of various ailments and preventative measures. Disease prevention is another key in my decision-making process as to why I enrolled at CCATCM. I hope to learn and in turn educate by example to prevent as much suffering as I can and to inspire the desire for well being.
Carole Potter

My father is a medical doctor and a pain specialist. He trained in Germany and worked in the pain clinic at a Halifax hospital. Because of his European background he believes in acupuncture and wanted me to train in acupuncture as well as Western medicine. As a result of my university schedule, I am only sharing one year with CCATCM’s founding class which I feel honoured to do. Besides 2 years of acupuncture training at CCATCM, I will train at Chinese colleges and their hospitals. I believe in acupuncture and integrative medicine and look forward to the day I get to treat my own patients.
Glen Koshi

The other day, I found a journal entry that I had written when I was fifteen. I was discussing the difficulties I was having in coming up with a life plan and choosing a career. At the end of this journal entry, I had written down three choices, acupuncturist, vetenarian or psychologist. During this time period, my mother had been experiencing a lot of medical intervention, using both Western and holistic approaches. I got to witness the effect of both types. It was easy to admit to myself that holistic medicine rang much more true to my heart. Studying at CCATCM was an easy choice for me as I have many roots in Halifax and it was best for me at this time to stay in my community. I was just lucky enough to be working in a clinic where someone had brought in some brochures for the college. Something clicked in me when I saw this brochure, and I started researching the college. I am truly proud to be a part of this school’s founding class. I am developing the skills I always knew I wanted to achieve.
Chanda Muise

Shortly after meeting with Dr. Li & Dr. Chen, I brought my mom to the clinic for acupuncture for chronic pain and fatigue. With only a couple of treatments my mom was finally sleeping better and had to fulfill a lifelong dream of travelling to New Orleans. I believe that through an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and a desire for improved health, I was lead to CCATCM. These so-called coincidences only confirm for me that I am on the right path. I will be forever grateful for the knowledge and experiences gained and shared here. I look forward to passing it on.
Angela-Rae Sollows

I started receiving acupuncture at a young age from my mother and father who are both doctors of TCM. First hand I know acupuncture works. I am studying to become a medical doctor but I feel I need to learn both Eastern and Western medicine and how to fully integrate them so I can help my patients more effectively. I am honoured to study with the founding class as I attend Dalhousie University. Besides two years study at CCATCM, I will also study and train in China at Beijing and Guangzhou Chinese Medical Universities and their hospitals. I believe this TCM education will give me an opportunity to practice integrative medicine and make me a better doctor.
Ravee Ming Chen

I always knew there was a connection between mind, body, spirit and events, but never found this important connection in Western medicine. I was very close to having my psychology degree but because of psychology's broken sense of holism, I searched elsewhere, including nursing to find a career with these connections, with no result. I always had an interest in alternative medicine so while browsing the Internet for alternatives, CCATCM came up. I was glad to find a college in Nova Scotia so I copied down the information but did not get into it right away. That weekend in the newspaper, there was an ad for the college open house. I felt it was meant to be. At that point in my life, I needed the healing environment as much as an education. I never looked back. Acupuncture has changed my life. I hope to further my education, share my knowledge and help those people who need it.
Ashley Roberts

I grew up in Chengdu, China, then I came to Canada in 1984. My mother and my grandfather are Chinese doctors. I started learning Chinese Medicine when I was 7 years old. My dream was to be a Chinese doctor. However, I got side-tracked. I studied business administration for a year, but quit. Then my mother opened a TCM clinic in Halifax. It reawakened my dream. Fortunately, the College opened that year, and I started living my dream. So far, I’m doing well in this college. The teachers are nice, and very patient to every single student. Class size is pretty small. Instructors give everyone more time. I will finish my dream.
Xiaohan Li

I needed to better understand how body, mind and spirit are connected and how they influence each other.  I believe that the knowledge I am learning from this program will better allow me to know my own body and prevent the cancer I have fought, from returning.  I have experienced how powerful the mind is and how strongly it influences all organs, cells and vessels in our body, both positively and negatively, but didn’t really understand why.  I felt that if I understood the “why” the body reacts the way it does and to what, then I could prevent the cancer in myself, and in anyone who walks into my future practice.  I have learned so much in just five months at CCACM.  I fully believe that I can prevent cancer from ever returning through lifestyle changes, mindful behavior and by practicing what I warm learning.  I am excited to continue this journey.
Andrea McKee

I am originally from Saskatchewan. Graduating from high school I felt overwhelmed I always wanted to pursue my art.  However, I also always knew I was meant to help others.  At CCATCM, I have found the direction I longed for.  Working with student clinic clients has shown me that I am in fact pursuing my art – the healing arts.  I feel fortunate to have discovered the profound and incredible knowledge Traditional Chinese Medicine has to offer.  I have beautiful like-minded inspiring classmates and friends, and some amazing and inspiring teachers who go above and beyond. I feel encouraged to be as ambitious and knowledgeable as they are.  I genuinely look forward to devoting my life to learning and sharing this art wt the world.
Jacqueline Raaymakers

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