Dr. Richard Teh-Fu Tan, L.Ac, O.M.D.
Acupuncture, Feng Shui, Chi Gong and Herbal Medicine
By Robert Ross


Dr. Laura, Meet Dr. Tan
When you call Dr. Laura with a question on her nationally syndicated
radio talk show, she’ll usually  respond in a matter of fact tone, with a do this, don’t do that, got it? approach.  It’s the quick-fix treatment.  The fast food approach, if you will.  But, that fast food approach might leave a lot to be desired when it comes to satisfying one’s ongoing hunger for a healthy and happy life.

On the other hand . . . Dr. Tan, Acupuncturist and Feng Shui Master often begins his radio talk show (AM 1000 KCEO) by welcoming you to his party, as he refers to it (7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays). A story is frequently told early on in the show, perhaps of a dilemma that a friend or patient is facing in his/her life. The story is recounted in a relaxed tone and meant to encourage reflection in the listening audience; reflection about life . . . and the three determining elements (according to Dr. Tan) that affect that life . . . timing, place and people.  Dr. Tan refers to these elements  as the “three facets to perfection.”

To quote from a book co-authored by Dr. Tan “In Chinese culture, people believe that in order to have success  three important elements should be present.  The direct translations of these from Chinese are: Heavenly Timing Beneficial Location or Space Harmonizing People Simply put, in order to have a powerful, genuine, and positive outcome, we must have the perfect  timing, perfect space, and perfect people. The study of Feng Shui will give us the knowledge to choose the perfect space; the people who work with and live with you, should be positive and uplifting.” And finally, again from the book, “the timing should be right.”

“These are called the three elements of perfection because all three must be present for a perfect condition to exist.”  (From the book “Shower of Jewels”, by Richard Teh-Fu Tan, O.M.D., L.Ac. and Cheryl Warnke, L.Ac.)

And when you call Dr. Tan with a question? The response is similar to what one would hear from a spiritual master, rather than from  Dr. Laura.   In Dr. Tan’s world, the world of Oriental medicine and eastern philosophy, the talk is of sharing and learning, of healing and letting go, and of living a healthier and happier life.

“The radio show is an opportunity for people to peacefully and quietly re-examine their lives,” states  Dr. Tan.

Dr. Tan was born in Taiwan.  By the age of seven he began his lifelong apprenticeship in the healing arts, an apprenticeship that would not come to its full realization until he started his own practice in San Diego, in 1989. He practiced Acupuncture in Taiwan before coming to the U.S.

Dr. Tan received his university training and Master’s Degree in engineering, studying in Texas and Arizona, where he was enrolled in a doctoral program.  His engineering credentials brought him to San Diego.

While working as an engineer, Dr. Tan completed his licensing in the U.S. as an Acupuncturist and worked in his off hours as a Licensed Acupuncturist.  His client list grew — by word of mouth — and soon he was faced with a decision, engineering or medicine? The timing, place and people pointed to a full-time career as an Acupuncturist.

When you combine an engineering background with acupuncture the results can be very beneficial.  East meets west.  It is the practical “fix-it-now” world of engineering and the world of “alternative” medicine where herbs, chakras and energy lines blend into something less measurable — less manageable.

So, early on in Dr. Tan’s  practice, an eastern dilemma (acupuncture patient), brought out the west (problem-solving engineer) in search of a solution. According to Dr. Tan, a patient would come to him with a specific problem. He would treat the patient, and after a few treatments the patient would get better. There would be no more suffering, no more symptoms, no more pain. Dr. Tan would say “bye . . . you’ve graduated from my clinic.” Case closed. Unfortunately, after a few months some of these patients came back with the same symptoms.

For example, a person may have migraine headaches or insomnia. Often these symptoms go hand in hand.  Because of the headaches, the patient doesn’t sleep well. The lack of sleep leads to more headaches. It’s a vicious cycle. So, he would come to Dr. Tan for treatment, only to return months later with the same symptoms. Dr. Tan realized that the puzzle wasn’t complete.  Something was causing the symptoms to reappear in the patient.

The Acupuncturist did his job by healing the patient.  It was time for the engineer to do some problem solving.  What was it that was aggravating the symptoms in the patient?   Was there something in the environment?   Dr. Tan started researching and studying Feng Shui. (Feng Shui is the three-thousand year old Chinese art of placing objects and designing an environment in such a way that every item is in harmony with the environment and with nature.)  Soon he was going to patient’s homes to see if there were something affecting the symptoms in the patient.  After some investigative work, he concluded that in many cases there was something out of balance in the environment of his returning patients . . . an “environmental aggravation” as Dr. Tan refers to it. Suggestions were made based on Feng Shui concepts . . . the patient no longer needed to return to Dr. Tan for additional treatment.   Problem solved.

As Dr. Tan mastered the art of Feng Shui, his reputation grew and soon there was also a demand for his services in the area of Feng Shui.

By nature, Richard Tan  is an easy-going guy. In fact, listening to his radio talk show is a very relaxing experience.  And by nature, he promotes and lives a life that seems to flow effortlessly.

But along with this easy-going and flowing lifestyle, he has managed to do some remarkable things. For starters, he’s co-authored three books, (“Twelve and Twelve in Acupuncture”, “Twenty-Four More in Acupuncture”, with Stephen Rush, L.Ac., and  “Shower of Jewels”,  with Cheryl Warnke, L.Ac.).  Dr. Tan gives lectures and workshops throughout the U.S. and Europe to Licensed Acupuncturists, has a weekly radio talk show, conducts workshops on Chi Cultivation (Chinese energetic exercises that increase one’s natural self-healing capacity), and is a doctor of Chinese Herbal Medicine (O.M.D.). And . . . did I mention that he manages to run a thriving Acupuncture practice?

I’d say that by the looks of things Dr. Laura is going to have some pretty stiff competition!

For further information on Dr. Tan’s work, to become a sponsor on his radio talk show, or to make an appointment, call (619) 277-1070.

Copyright 1999 by Robert Ross, all rights reserved

Return to the September/October Issue Index page