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Camosun College partners with View Royal recovery community to offer massage therapy

Students gain real-world experience, residents gain access to treatment, often for first time
Camosun College massage therapy students Nicole Ross, Jessica Marks, Amanda Dowie, Taylor Wall-Baker, Beth Langdon stand outside the teaching clinic at the school’s Interurban campus. The school has partnered with the New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community in View Royal to provide massages to men undergoing addiction recovery treatment. (Photo courtesy of Camosun College)

Men seeking addiction recovery treatment at New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community in View Royal are now able to access massage therapy, thanks to a new partnership with Camosun College.

The partnership teams up the school’s two-year massage therapy diploma program students with the community, benefiting both parties. Massage therapy chair Emah Christiansen said students are able to share their skills with those who may not typically access them, and gain valuable real-world experience in the process.

“Students develop a deeper understanding of practice in the community, and participants are able to use massage therapy as a tool in their recovery. It’s a wonderful partnership,” Christiansen said in a release.

READ MORE: B.C. announces 47 new addiction recovery beds, converts 58 private spots to public

From a recovery perspective, New Roads director Cheryl Diebel told Black Press Media being able to offer extra services such as massage therapy to men in the community is greatly appreciated by Our Place – which operates New Roads – and provides some strong benefits in the recovery process.

“This is something that is going to physically help them feel better, help them with their stress, their physical ailments,” Diebel said, noting those elements are intertwined and important to recovery.

“Part of recovery is being able to self-regulate, being able to be more mindful, being able to better read your body … anything we can do and offer the men to help them regulate their stress is really important.

Diebel said the partnership is showing early signs of success, with positive feedback from the 15 men who have been able to receive a massage in the first two sessions.

After receiving the first massage of his life, one participant said he is excited to continue.

“She taught me how to properly maintain my neck posture, so I can extend the benefits of the treatment,” the man stated in the release. “I really appreciated the time and her attention to detail.”

The partnership is set to run until the school semester’s end in April, but Diebel said she would be more than happy to keep it going for as long as Camosun is willing.

READ MORE: An inside look at Our Place’s Therapeutic Recovery Community


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Justin Samanski-Langille

About the Author: Justin Samanski-Langille

I moved coast-to-coast to discover and share the stories of the West Shore, joining Black Press in 2021 after four years as a reporter in New Brunswick.
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