Deepak Chopra to visit Paradise Valley Wellness Centre

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      According to the founder of a wellness centre outside Squamish, we all have the capacity to calm our minds and set a positive “intention” for the day by meditating each morning and asking ourselves three basic questions.

      “This is what Dr. Deepak Chopra teaches as well,” Nirmala Raniga, founder and director of the Paradise Valley Wellness Centre, told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview. “ ”˜Who are you? What do you want? How can you serve others?’ ”

      Raniga is devoting her life to helping transform the lives of addicts, despite the fact that her training is in accountancy.

      She said she has worked in the field of addictions for the past 21 years and owns five outpatient addiction-treatment centres in the Lower Mainland. The Paradise Valley facility is the first residential centre, and one to which Chopra has now added his name. He’ll make a visit today (February 17) and will meet staff and guests at an invitation-only event at the centre, which sits on four hectares along the Cheakamus River.

      There are 16 beds at the facility, where fees are $6,000 for the first week and $4,000 per week after that. The minimum stay is two weeks, and most people stay eight weeks or less, she said. The centre also provides free residential treatment to patients referred by the nonprofit Sea to Sky Community Services Society in collaboration with the Squamish Nation and Vancouver Coastal Health, to a maximum of 52 “patient-weeks” per year, Raniga said. A minimum of 13 of those weeks are reserved for members of the Squamish Nation.

      Chopra provided curriculum for the treatment programs, which focus on healing patients on a spiritual level, as well as physically and mentally. This includes meditation, twice-daily yoga, and vegetarian food. Smoking isn’t allowed anywhere on-site.

      “With the addictions services, with the outpatient clinics, the reason we have that many clinics is because we believe in what we do, and we provide good service with lots of compassion and care,” Raniga said. “I know that there is a huge need in this field.”

      Raniga said she was convinced of this when an acquaintance went through addiction issues two decades ago and there was no treatment facility available to him.

      “Trying to access those services—this was the mid ’90s and early ’90s—it was hard,” she said. “So we took him down to the States to one of the facilities there to get help. And as I flew back, I knew that I would set up a facility here, in Vancouver and in Canada, to provide such services so people don’t have to go far away.”

      Raniga said she had contemplated meeting Chopra one day. Then, when he spoke in Whistler in 2007, she decided to try to get a note and some flowers to him, but she didn’t expect him to seek her out. But Chopra did just that following his talk, asking in front of the crowd where Nirmala was.

      “And so the very next day when I was walking down the lobby, he stopped me and he said, ”˜So, Nirmala, what do you do?’ So that was that door that opened. I said, ”˜I work in the field of addictions.’ And he looked at me and his eyes twinkled, and he said, ”˜I’m interested.’ ”



      John S

      Feb 23, 2011 at 8:58pm

      There is a large diff between Outpatient Treatment and Meth Clinics, try it before you buy it....


      Apr 11, 2011 at 1:44am

      Why is it so expensive to get treatment when most addicts are dirt poor? And all to often there is a mental illness, such as BPD, underlying the addiction problem. Most treatment centres are not designed to treat the special needs for such patients. Does anyone know of one?

      Anne Blanchard

      May 18, 2013 at 7:42am

      Just a note to comment on the price of this treatment centre.

      Yes I totally understand that a centre or a business does not run itself. There are people hired to get paid, in all difference levels.

      So money is not a problem for me because I have none. Is there a sponsor program to get help from. i have been an addictive as a teen and continue to be at the age of 60.