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Body & Mind Therapies

Biology, psychology, social, and spiritual factors are all addressed in the treatment of addiction. This approach, known as the Biopsychosocial Model of Health, is in contrast to the older Biomedical Model of Health, which considers health only as the absence of disease. Our approach is consistent with the World Health Organization definition of health*.

*Source: World Health Organization. (1946). Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/about/definition/en/print/

What We Mean by ‘Mind-Body’ Therapies

In keeping with current research, we recognize that thoughts and feelings can have a significant impact on physical health. This mind-body connection recognizes that psychological and physical health are interdependent, not separate, factors when achieving overall health. Stress, for example, is an important risk factor for addiction that can be effectively treated with mind-body therapies.

Two Approaches to Treating the Mind and Body

We treat addiction from two perspectives:

  1. ‘Top-down’ methods such as talk therapy that start with a client’s thoughts and feelings, and
  2. ‘Bottom-up’ methods which start with a client’s body, working up to the brain.

Our body/mind therapies include:

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is the application of soft-tissue manipulation techniques to the body in order to reduce stress and fatigue while improving circulation.

Clients at Sunshine Coast Health Centre receive several 30-minute sessions during the course of their stay.

Ozone Therapy

Ozone Therapy is a therapy where ozone is introduced to the human body. Ozone is O3, whereas the oxygen we breathe is O2. Proponents of ozone therapy claim beneficial effects such as increased oxygen delivery to cells, tissues, and organs, which benefit our immune systems.

We offer ozone therapy to our clients to help speed up the detoxification process. It is also used as a natural muscle relaxant prior to massage therapy sessions. Clients with addictions to opiates such as heroin, Fentanyl, and other prescription painkillers note particular relief due to ozone therapy.

For more information on ozone therapy, visit www.o3center.org.

Sweat Lodge Ceremonies

Once a month, our clients may join local Sliammon elder, John Louie, in a traditional sweat ceremony. It’s a healing and teaching ceremony where John shares the Sliammon traditions and explains the customs around the sweat. The experience is explained as something natural, beautiful, and exhilarating.

The tradition asks to bring tobacco for the ceremony as an offering to the fire to thank the creator and mother earth. The rocks used in the sweat are specifically from the Squamish area because they are lava rocks. Before the ceremony, the men are then smudged with sacred sage or cedar to help eliminate bad energy or thoughts.

The ceremony has four parts. Heat and steam are intensified with each part, which is shortened each time. The first part of the ceremony represents men and reflects the physical side and the second represents women and reflects emotions. The third is for the world around us and represents the mental side, while the fourth is for ourselves and our spirit.

After the ceremony, each man reflects back on his personal experience and spends time in deep thought. It is a very personal and spiritually charged journey.

Complementary Therapies for Trauma Treatment

We also offer additional body/mind therapies as part of the Trauma Program.

For more information, visit our Trauma Program webpage.

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Testimonials

The whole meaning and purpose approach really clicked with me and I could really identify with something missing in my life, so I felt, even before I got here, that it was a program that would definitely have something to offer and help me with the things I was dealing with.

- Rick

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