Browse By

Acupuncturist needles local bus drivers

Her much-appreciated health advice dispensed en route to work is a natural offshoot of her enthusiasm for traditional Chinese medicine

HEALTH POINTERS: Acupuncturist Sayeeda Hosein-Silochan illustrates the theory behind her practice with the help of a model. Photo by Flo da silva/Vaughan Today

Sayeeda Hosein-Silochan commutes three days a week on public transit from her Toronto home to her Woodbridge business where she practises traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture.

She’s been making the trek to the Centre for Health and Rehabilitation at 1160 Clarence St. for nearly a year, and in that time has become something of a medical celebrity among some of York Region Transit’s drivers.

“I’ve been giving some of the drivers tips on how to maintain posture and relieve wrist pain from holding onto the steering wheel all day,” Hosein-Silochan says in a phone interview. “One stopped me last Friday to tell me that he’s been practising what I’ve showed him and it’s been working; there was a big smile on his face.

“He doesn’t drive the bus that I need,” she adds, her voice betraying a genuine sense of joy, “but he’s always waving to me. I’m delighted it worked for him.”

Hosein-Silochan says she discovered traditional Chinese medicine more than 15 years ago and entirely by “accident” — literally.

She was studying sciences and psychology at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont. when a car wreck left her with a severe case of whiplash and led to an increase in the frequency of the migraines she was already prone to.

“When I went to my first TCM appointment, the doctor at the time who did the assessment told me things about my health that nobody else would know unless they were very close to my family,” Hosein-Silochan recalls. “His assessment was very, very accurate and that started my recovery.”

It also changed her career path. The chiropractic-college hopeful discovered her calling in those treatments and enrolled in a four-year traditional Chinese medicine program, graduating in 1993.

Today, the main focuses of her practice are women’s health, management of chronic pain and stress, and the relatively new area of cosmetic acupuncture, Hosein-Silochan says. Corporations also invite her to speak to staff on managing stress and pain in the workplace.

It was a car accident that steered her from a career as a chiropractor to one in traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, but her medical training started years earlier at the side of her maternal grandmother.

“Her people were from India and they brought with them the knowledge of various herbal medicines (and) many people would come to the house to consult with her about their health,” Hosein-Silochan says. “Being a child, I was all ears.”

Though the doors at Hosein-Silochan’s practice are open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., her time is not as free as it might seem on first blush.

She has sat on the board of the Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Association of Canada, which helped convince the provincial government to recognize and regulate the profession. She also looks after corporate affairs for the Caribbean Children Foundation — a charity that the Trinidad native says is near and dear to her heart.

In spite of all the demands on her time, she says there is one unfulfilled dream that she hopes to find time for.

“Eventually,” she says with pleasure, “I’ll get around to writing the book I’ve had on the brain for a while.”

Vaughan Today
Online: November 28, 2007 [link]