BUSINESS NAME: Zachary Owen, Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac.), Cobourg Health Collective.
OWNER: Zachary Owen
This blog is written by Zach.
I began practicing in Cobourg, ON in January 2012. At the time I was finishing a second diploma in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Though my School was in Toronto, I was lured by Massage Therapist, Richard Rammler, a very good friend of mine, to practice with him in Cobourg. We knew we could learn and grow together as sharing practitioners, so the decision was founded on synergistic collaboration. I accepted my friend’s offer, moved back to my home range, and we continue to work side by side to this day.
In October 2016, we aligned with 2 other bright, spirited, and talented practitioners: Haim Bahar, who also practices Traditional Chinese Medicine and teaches local Qi Gong classes; and Nicola Dew, Advanced Skin Care Practitioner, Certified Master Pedicurist, and Certified Reflexologist. We courageously opened a clinic together at 44 University St. West, the Cobourg Health Collective. We have been blessed with a strong client base and we all share a very personable yet professional touch to our treatments.
Before I began practicing TCM, I worked and apprenticed in the environmental field for 5 years. During this time, I was constantly led towards Chinese Medicine to help my own well-being. I found that I share the oriental perspective regarding the human body as a living ecosystem, and experienced very favorable results from treatments. For thousands of years, the philosophies of the Chinese health practitioners has reflected the cycles of nature and see the microcosm of the inner world and the macrocosm of the outer world as reflections of one another. My heartfelt connection with these concepts, as well as the effectiveness of their application for promoting my own well-being, inspired me to pursue a new education which has enabled me to help people improve their daily lives, health and well-being from a truly holistic perspective.
Studying at the Institute of Traditional Medicine in Toronto took me on a 6 term journey of in depth Traditional Chinese Medicine training which also includes western anatomy and western herbology. After my first diploma, I chose to pursue another 3 terms of studies that focused on advanced TCM techniques with an herbal and dietary focus. My school was fairly unique in the sense that it focused on practical experience and observation; we began observing in clinic from our very first term. But, of course, the real education continues day by day with each individual that I meet.
At a young age, I was influenced and inspired by my parents who owned a health food store in Toronto. They helped to cultivate my first interests in health and wellness. When I was nine years old, my family who knew of my love for nature, decided to move to Port Hope where natural surroundings were more abundant. While in high school I worked at an herbal store, and subsequently apprenticed with an herbalist at a medicinal herb farm and distribution company in Fenella, ON. Feeling that I had to learn more about the natural world, I attended Sir Sanford Fleming College where I studied Ecosystem Management. There, I made the connection between our external and internal environments and began to understand how one affected the other. Throughout my time working demanding jobs within various natural environments – such as environmental inspection and Ecological Land Classification in very rough terrain, often hiking up to 11 hours per day – I began to use TCM more regularly for my own health, and could no longer deny the importance of focusing more of my time on healing modalities.
I’ve always had an affinity for subtle energies and following intuitive leads to uncover and reveal what may have felt hidden or obscured prior to investigation. I often incorporate Reiki, medical Qi Gong and Simple dream work as well as intuitive questioning into my treatments.
In my work, I honour that Traditional Chinese Medicine is very individualized, and I often use multiple modalities within one session. Each modality is explained and discussed to my client before it is applied. To determine which modalities could be most effective for the client, I follow a series of diagnostic explorations. Diagnosis can be made through the use of pulse, tongue analysis, visual inspection, asking questions and body palpation. The specific modalities that we use in a session are selected and discussed with each patient depending what they need that day and what they are open to receiving. TCM is so much more than just acupuncture; other modalities include Tuina Massage (pronounced Twee-na), Cupping (a method of altering local circulation and releasing facial tissue adhesions), and Moxabustion (a method of applying heat to a very precise area of the body). Acupuncture is often, but not always used. The thin acupuncture needles are gently utilized to send signals to the body and mind helping direct the flow of energy, known as Qi, in order to bring about a unique and natural response. The objective of TCM is to help the patient come into greater harmony and balance. People benefit in so many ways, because TCM is a complete medical system of diagnosis and treatment. Some benefits include everything from achy muscles to fertility, anxiety, headaches, migraines, nausea, menstrual cramping, arthritis, abdominal bloating, inflammation, troublesome emotional, erectile dysfunction, as well as both diarrhea and constipation.
The potential for TCM to enhance the quality of your life is vast, and it certainly has improved the quality of my own life.