We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex Tan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alex, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
At 28 years old, I gave up my engineering background and went back to University to study a 4-year degree in Chinese Medicine. At the end of that degree, we went to China for a 6-week internship, and I ended up staying 10-years. I was already a seasoned traveler and China was an amazing adventure back then. In Beijing, that is where I met my wife who is from Flagstaff Arizona. We had 3-kids at the time, and decided to move closer to family, so when we moved to Flagstaff, I opened my Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Clinic.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I have a passion for Chinese Medicine and read everything I can get my hands on to do with Eastern philosophy and Chinese Medicine. There is the clinical arm of Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture, Herbs & Bodywork, and then there is the preventative side of Chinese Medicine: Daily Rhythm, Dietary Therapy & healing exercises like Qi Gong & Tai Chi. The most famous doctors of the past always emphasized, ‘Only when your diet & lifestyle fail, should you use herbs and acupuncture’. In other words, the emphasis should be on prevention. So, even though I am a clinician I am always guiding others to higher states of wellness via Chinese Medicine ideas of life and prevention. I live those ideas myself, I am passionate about them, I develop easy ways for individuals to grasp them, and I help them implement simple steps in their life to improve their health. They, then own that!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m from Sydney, I’ve traveled all over Australia, spent over a year in South America, more than a year in Europe, and then 10-years in China. The last place I thought I would end up is America, but I got to say Flagstaff is a pretty sweet spot to raise a family. Friends love visiting, and we tick off the big box items like Sedona and the Grand Canyon. Then, I personally love Wupatki, Sunset Crater area, or a walk through the aspens in Lockett Meadow is a must and then I love 4WDing, and Arizona is an awesome spot to get off road, climb into some ruins and appreciate the history and wide-open spaces! Friends and family LOVE it!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Straight from high school, I went to University and completed a 4-year degree in Construction Management. During that degree, we had to complete a certain amount of ‘general-studies’ courses. One of those courses was a comparative religion/philosophy program that exposed me to readings from a book, ‘The Dao of Physics’, that explained how modern science (that I was heavily into at the time) and what they are discovering in quantum physics today was parallel to how the ancient Chinese masters had described it. That fascinated me, and started me on my journey to martial arts, astronomy, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, world travel and finally, 9-years later to quit my career and pursue a life of Chinese Medicine.