Experts dispense advice at health show

Inappropriate behaviour by public figures, such as those exhibited by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford over the past few months, has heightened awareness for treatment options for people suffering from drug addictions, says Nirmala Raniga, founder of the Squamish-based Chopra Addiction of Wellness Centre.

Raniga is among 150 exhibitors at this weekend’s Victoria Health Show, which is at the Pearkes Recreation Centre today and Sunday.

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While Raniga acknowledges that everybody possesses an inner strength that can ultimately overcome their demons, few can do it by themselves.

“Healing does not happen alone,” said Raniga, who has more than 25 years experience dealing with addiction, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“To move forward, most people need the support of health providers and family. It’s extremely hard to break out of the cycle by oneself.”

The Victoria Health Show marks its 23rd year with seminars and 150 exhibitors showcasing all the latest trends in health products, services and fitness techniques. The generally attracts more than 5,000 visitors. There are seminars and workshops led by some of Canada’s leading and well-known health experts, including Dr. W. Gifford-Jones, whose medical advice column is published Sundays in the Times Colonist.

Local experts include: Dr. Marita Schauch, who will explore women’s health; Jessalyn O’Donnell, a registered dietitian with Thrifty Foods who will speak on understanding food labels; Dr. Jamie Grimes, a chiropractor who will focus on pain management; and Dr. Ted Venema who will hear questions on hearing loss.

The 50-minute seminars run throughout the show.

Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. To encourage use of green alternatives to get to the show, people who arrive with a bike helmet or transit ticket get in for half price.

Visitors can also get two-for-one admission by cutting out the advertisement in today’s Times Colonist. The show runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre, 3100 Tillicum Rd. For more information, go to

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