Chinese medicine practitioner Ning Li of the Red Deer Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Clinic in one of his patient care rooms at 5431-43 Street.

Chinese medicine practitioner Ning Li of the Red Deer Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Clinic in one of his patient care rooms at 5431-43 Street.

‘I want to help Canadian people’: Chinese medicine practitioner had a long journey to open new clinic

When Ning Li opened his Red Deer Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Clinic earlier this month, it marked the culmination of a journey that’s spanned a decade and two continents.

When Ning Li opened his Red Deer Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Clinic earlier this month, it marked the culmination of a journey that’s spanned a decade and two continents.

A registered Chinese medicine practitioner and acupuncturist, Li is eager to employ his healing skills on area residents. His specialties include treatments for depression, diabetes, colitis, nasal polyps and anal fistula, but his practice at No. 5, 5431 43rd St. covers a much broader range of ailments.

The son of a well-known doctor in Shandong, China, Li grew up watching and helping his father treat patients, and decided at a young age to join the profession. He obtained a university degree in Chinese and Western medicine in 2005, and went on to study under Dr. Chaogang He — whom Li describes as one of China’s leading medical doctors.

Eventually, he went to work at his father’s clinic. But anxious to exert his independence, Li approached a recruiter who was seeking workers for Maple Leaf Foods in Canada.

To improve his chances of landing a job, he claimed to be a butcher.

“I lied,” admitted Li a laugh. “I was really a doctor.”

The fib earned him a one-way trip to Canada. He left China in 2007, with a young wife and infant child still behind.

“When I take the airplane from China to be in Canada, my son only 20 days.”

Li ended up at a Maple Leaf’s pork processing plant in Brandon, Man. After working hard for two years, he was able to bring his family to Canada.

Medicine remained his aspiration, and one day he approached the owner of the Brandon Acupuncture and Chinese Massage & Herbal Centre. After reviewing Li’s credentials and testing his knowledge, the owner agreed to help him develop his skills and learn to speak English.

For the next several years, Li continued to work at the Maple Leaf plant but also helped out at the clinic.

He went from watching and assisting, to treating patients himself.

Li’s father, meanwhile, was urging him to return to China and take over the family clinic. But Li felt his time in Canada had given him the opportunity to do more here than he could in his home country.

“I want to help Canadian people.”

He continues to feel that he has the skills and knowledge to provide treatments that might not be available elsewhere. For instance, said Li, his acupuncture-focused treatment for depression is not widely known outside China.

“This is my responsibility.”

Last fall, Li and his family relocated to Red Deer. After working briefly at Olymel, where his wife continues to work, he focused his full energies to starting Red Deer Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Clinic.

That business now operates from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Saturday.

As his patient list grows, Li hopes to employ his wife as well, but for now is just happy to finally have his own practice.

“I want to open clinic by myself,” he said. “I want to be free.”

Li is certified by the Canadian Society of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, the College and Association of Acupuncturists of Alberta, the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario, and the Manitoba Professional Acupuncture Association.

Information about his clinic can be found online at www.reddeertcm.com.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said province's test positivity rate for COVID-19 is steadily declining. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
One new COVID-19 death in Red Deer, 257 additional cases province-wide

Red Deer sits at 459 active cases of the virus

Eric Rajah and Brian Leavitt were awarded with Meritorious Service Medals by the Governor General for co-founding the Lacombe-based charity A Better World. The agency’s goal is to reduce poverty and boost education in Africa and Afghanistan. (Contributed photo)
Co-founders of Lacombe-based charity receive one of Canada’s highest honours

Eric Rajah, Brian Leavitt of A Better World are honoured by the Governor General

Nice Horse, a band with Central Alberta connections, won three times at the 2021 Alberta Country Music Awards. (contributed photo by Heather Pollock).
Nice Horse wins three times at 2021 Alberta Country Music Awards

Calgary-based band has some central Alberta connections

(BLACK PRESS file image)
AHS warns parents to keep button batteries away from small children

Some kids swallowed the small cells and were hospitalized

Many rural seniors are having to travel a long way to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Stettler residents are being told to go to Red Deer, Drumheller or Camrose. (Black Press file photo).
Rural central Alberta seniors have to travel far to get vaccines

Stettler residents are being directed to Red Deer, Drumheller or Camrose clinics

Red Deer dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

A sign board in Toronto shows the closing number for the TSX on Thursday October 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
North American stock markets quieter after strong start to March as all eyes on bonds

North American stock markets quieter after strong start to March as all eyes on bonds

Shipping containers are seen at the Fairview Cove Container Terminal in Halifax on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
After worst year on record, Canadian economy enters 2021 with double digit growth

After worst year on record, Canadian economy enters 2021 with double digit growth

Good Earth Cafes unveils strategy to move in when Starbucks closes Canadian shops

Good Earth Cafes unveils strategy to move in when Starbucks closes Canadian shops

‘Door is open:’ Ottawa ready to help pork producers affected by Olymel shutdown

‘Door is open:’ Ottawa ready to help pork producers affected by Olymel shutdown

Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson responds to a question in the House of Commons on Nov. 19, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada can’t ‘power past coal’ and keep exporting it, environment group says

Canada can’t ‘power past coal’ and keep exporting it, environment group says

A nurse assistant prepares a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 during a priority vaccination program for health workers at a community medical center in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Andre Penner
Split over AstraZeneca vaccine sparks questions on who will get it as variants spread

OTTAWA — Canada’s chief public health officer says new COVID-19 cases are… Continue reading

Banana bread (file photo)
Calgary not-for-profit going bananas trying to off-load pallets of fruit

CALGARY — It’s been bananas at a Calgary not-for-profit as it tries… Continue reading

Image courtesy Creative Outlet
Edmonton chiropractor admits to sexually assaulting six female patients in 1980s

EDMONTON — A chiropractor has admitted to sexually touching six of his… Continue reading

Most Read