Industry News

Acupuncture at Friends for Life

by John Stan | Jun 11, 2009
Eastern Currents is proud to support the good work of The Vancouver Friends for Life Society - read on to learn more about how acupuncture has become of of their most popular care modalities!

By Craig Matsu-Pissot, Wellness Services Manager, Vancouver Friends for Life Society

The Vancouver Friends For Life Society offers a wide array of free complementary and alternative care modalities to its 1000 members, all of whom are people living with cancer and HIV/AIDS.  And one of its most utilized care modalities is acupuncture. 

There are currently five volunteer acupuncturists on staff: Edward Henrioulle, Jennifer Jellis, Agnes Ling, Estelle Won, and Sabrina Sung.  They volunteer their skills and experience 3 - 4 hours per week.  Two clinics offered through Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine also provide acupuncture treatments.  All of these acupuncture practitioners are consistently booked a month or more in advance.

Jellis says that the members she sees at Friends for Life are particularly focused on finding and pursuing whatever they can to improve their health.  Their treatments with her primarily address a desire for a better quality of life, including reduction of stress and of the difficult nature of side effects that both cancer and HIV can entail. In particular, her experience has been that HIV patients are often looking for relief from neuropathy; while cancer patients bring concerns about the effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea and pain. Jellis adds that she is consistently and deeply touched by the appreciation and gratitude that members express to her regarding her treatments.

John, a longtime member, is among the members who are grateful for the services these acupuncturists offer at Friends For Life.  John believes that acupuncture is one of the best complementary therapies available.  He also states that acupuncture has been life changing for him and other members, finding it very helpful for a variety of health issues, including problems with pain, inflammation, digestion, and sleep. 

Established in West End of Vancouver in 1993, Friends for Life is a nonprofit organization that has been offering its members acupuncture of over a decade.  Chiropractic, counselling, nutrition, a variety of massage and energy therapies, yoga, and meditation are addition programs that create a greater sense of support and well being, addressing the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the individual.  Last year, Friends For Life offered over $850,000 worth of free services to its members. 

The folks at Friends For Life would also like to extend their gratitude to Eastern Currents for their donations of acupuncture needles and ear seeds.  They’ve been a great support. 

To learn more about Friends For Life, please visit them online at 


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