EIGHT BRANCHES ACADEMY OF EASTERN MEDICINE
Before 358 Dupont was established as Eight Branches Academy of Eastern Medicine and Healing Arts Centre, it was Kokoro Dojo – a peaceful sanctuary tucked behind the residences and busy storefronts in the heart of the Annex. Kokoro Dojo was a Zen Shiatsu school focused on the teachings of Shizuto Masunaga. These teachings emphasize personal development through meditation, Qi Gong, and extensive hands-on practice, in addition to technical instruction.
After studying Traditional Chinese Medicine in British Columbia, Toronto and Chengdu, Ryan Brooks was introduced to Kokoro Dojo, and found that its principals of practice coincided profoundly with his own. He established a thriving practice and became an integral part of the Dojo, teaching TCM theory and diagnosis; in addition to completing the Zen Shiatsu program himself.
Dondrub and Diana, who managed the Dojo and clinic, welcomed Ryan’s idea of incorporating a technical acupuncture program that included the Zen and Taoist principals of the Masunaga traditions.
The program was received enthusiastically by its students, and driven by an increased demand for comprehensive TCM instruction in Toronto, Eight Branches Academy of Eastern Medicine was established. With the addition of other treatment modalities and practitioners, the Dojo developed into Eight Branches Healing Arts Centre. The name “Eight Branches” refers to the eight foundational branches of Chinese medicine: acupuncture, moxibustion, herbology, massage, nutrition, meditation/exercise (tao yin, qi gong, tai ji), cupping and gua sha.
The core principles of Eight Branches are:
Education based upon the 8 foundational branches of Eastern Medicine
Balanced courses, offering both in-depth theory and extensive hands-on practice
Focus on personal development and care based on the Daoist Arts, which enrich the understanding of this system of medicine.