Introduction to The Way of Council

Introduction to The Way of Council

council“Council is effective for those who want to move from a hierarchical structure to a partnership model where initiative, responsibility and leadership are shared. Through deepening trust, council supports the clarification of values, co-visioning, and community building.” -Jack Zimmerman, ‘The Way of Council’

The roots of Council are based in the Iroquois teaching of the 13 arrows and have been found in Homer’s Iliad, Quaker and other forms of “meeting”. The Way of Council engages the Interactive Field of the circle to bring about heightened perception through devout listening and the four intentions:

1. Speak from the Heart

2. Listen from the Heart

3. Be Lean

4. Be Spontaneous

The Interactive Field is the unseen conductor who knows the music the council is meant to play. The mutually enhancing relationship between the Interactive Field and heightened perception is experienced as the profound inseparability of self-awareness and awareness of others. In recent studies it has been shown that we become Conscious primarily in being aware of others.

“Consciousness is a brain in communication with other brains. One’s being is centred not in one’s self but in relation to others.”* So do we say, All My Relations to call in Consciousness.

Participating in Council teaches us how to let go of personal expectation and become fully attentive to others. Council fosters compassionate response in the form of devout listening, for it is listening that enables a speaker to be authentic. A talking stick is used to invite each participant in the circle to speak, which is encouraged though choosing not to speak in a round is also acceptable.

The Interactive Field of Council provides a continuing source of Wisdom that flows from the wholeness of the circle as the “voice of the circle”. Feeling a part of the circle’s wholeness reduces the fear and despair of isolation, which allows disagreement to become the bridge to greater mutual understanding.

In these four weeks we will practice several forms of Council appropriate for families, schools, men’s/women’s groups as well as large community visioning meetings. The intention of this training is to create an informed bi-monthly Council for practice and application in addressing the needs and values of the community as an integrated whole. The Way of Council can also be applied to any kind of meeting.

We meet Tuesdays at 7pm – 8:30pm for 4 weeks.

Your commitment to all 4 weeks is necessary.

Starts January 31st. Preregistration is mandatory and can be arranged through the administration desk at the Salt Spring Island Wellness Centre.

$60 plus tax.

About the Facilitator: The ultimate authority of Council resides in the whole circle. This is not simply as a statement but something Real that is realized through practice and commitment to the Way of Council. As a carrier of Council Ne’ith has 10 years of experience sitting in and facilitating Council, shamanic training and sweat lodge facilitation.

Announcing the Abundance Farm Stand

We believe that no one in our community should be deprived of food, housing or health care. Aligned with this mission, we aFarm Standre excited to announce the opening of the Abundance Farm Stand within our urban permaculture garden on Hereford Ave. This farm stand is an offering of abundance from our local farms and gardens, sharing the wealth of local veggies and produce with those that need it.

This initiative supports, and also requires the support of the Salt Spring Island Community. Help us make locally grown, fresh and nutritious organic produce accessible to all, especially those families and individuals on low incomes and tight budgets.

Please drop whatever your farm or garden has in excess at our farm stand any time day or night.  

Nothing on the Abundance Farm Stand has a price and no payment of any kind is required, however a donation jar is available for those who are able to pass it forward. All cash donations will go to the local food bank and other initiatives to feed those less fortunate.

If you have produce to donate and are unable to make it to town, please call us at 250-900-1125 to arrange pick-up.

With love,

Greg Clayton and the Wellness Centre team



Now Offering Extended Health Direct Billing!

Frame 2 - Waiting Room TV imagesDIRECT BILLING


Salt Spring Island Wellness Centre is excited to announce Direct Billing for select insurance companies. Register with us and we take care of all the paperwork for you! This feature will save you time and effort to submit your receipts to your insurance provider, and will reduce any upfront out of pocket expenses related to your treatment.


We can direct bill the following insurance companies:

– Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan

– Desjardins Insurance

– Great West Life
– Sun Life Financial
– Manulife Financial
– Cowan Insurance Group
– Maximum Benefit
– Johnson Inc

– Johnston Group
– Industrial Alliance


We offer this service at no extra charge.


How does direct billing work?

We will ask you to fill out a Direct Billing Form which will give us your policy number/ID and we submit your claim through Telus e-claims.

Will I need to pay anything?

You may need to pay the remainder of the visit fee, according to the e-claims response. In example, if you are covered 80% of your 75$ visit fee, you will need to pay 15$ (e-claims will “pay” the remaining 60$ to the clinic). It all depends on your individual coverage and e-claims response. We will ask that you fill out a credit card pre-authorization form for any costs that are outstanding.



What treatments can you direct bill for?

We can direct bill for Naturopath, Physiotherapy, Registered Massage Therapy and Acupuncture. Each individual plan may have different coverage with regards to each treatment type.

Can I check what my exact coverage is or how many visits are covered?

The web e-claims submission portal is not designed to check statements/limits/policies etc.

If you want to check your coverage, remaining balance, deductible or other benefits related policies, please contact your insurance provider directly.

Can I use direct billing to prepay for my future visits?

No, we can only direct bill for visits that already took place.

What if I have several insurance plans? Can you help to coordinate them?

Unfortunately, at this time we do not offer any coordination of benefits. We can only direct bill one plan. You will have to contact the other plan provider on your own.

Do I get a receipt if I direct bill?

You will get a receipt only for the portion that you pay in the Centre for the portion that is not covered by the plan. We can also print the statement of direct billing submission to e-claims if you would like that.

What if you cannot process my direct billing, i.e. due to e-claims submission portal being down?

You will pay for your appointment the regular way i.e. cash, debit or credit card. We will provide you with a receipt and you can submit it to your plan.




Direct MSP Billing

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 11.44.17 AMOur mission to provide accessible and affordable care has expanded and we are excited to announce that the Salt Spring Island Wellness Centre is now set up for DIRECT BILLING TO MSP. In combination with our low cost “Pay what you want” scale that offers some registered treatments for $20 – $50, direct billing means that those who are on Premium Assistance with MSP qualify for $23 off up to ten (10) qualifying treatments per calendar year.


Community Acupuncture with Alinka, Isabelle or Adam = $0.00 – $27.00

Traditional Chinese Medicine with Adam = $26.00 – $56.00

Registered Massage with Alan Johnson = $30.00 – $76.00

To register for this service all you have to do is call us with your first and last name, and MSP number. Pre-booking for your appointments is required.

We will be adding more registered practitioners in the future so keep in touch and we will let you know when we have additional services covered.


Please share this info with those who you think can benefit from this service.

TCM and the month of Movember

daliMoustache[3] copyWhether you decide to grow a moustache this month, shave one out of your existing beardedness, or continue to regard Movember as a spelling mistake, November has become the month for prostate awareness.

The prostate is a male reproductive organ that is responsible for secreting the majority of sexual fluids. The urethra, which leads urine out from the bladder, passes through the prostate gland. With age the prostate tends to enlarge, constricting the urethra. This leads to difficulty initiating urine flow, dribbling during urination, painful or frequent urination, and possibly urinary incontinence. In extreme cases, urine may be completely blocked, which can lead to a fatal back-flow of urine into the kidneys. About 50% of men will develop some symptoms of enlarged prostate by age 50, and by 85 almost 90% of men will show signs of enlarged prostate, diagnosed as Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH). Cancer of the prostate is also relatively common for men but is not necessarily linked to BPH. Prostate cancer usually develops very slowly and tends not to metastasize, meaning it tends to stay localized in the prostate and doesn’t invade other tissues. The prostate is also susceptible to both chronic and acute infections, as well as nonbacterial prostatitis where there is inflammation without any infection present. Current medical treatments for enlarged prostate include medication that can shrink the prostate or help relax the muscles of the area and surgery to remove obstruction of the urethra. Both medications and surgery of course carry possible side-effects such as fatigue, impotence, low blood pressure, infertility, and worsening of urinary control if nerves are significantly damaged during procedure. Often times the severity of symptoms and level of discomfort will dictate which, if any, treatment will occur. Many men simply adjust to the changes in their body, seeking treatment only if the symptoms worsen or interfere greatly with everyday life.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the prostate organ and function is recognized as being part of the Kidney meridian system, integral in the Kidney’s role in reproduction. The Urinary Bladder, being the paired organ of the Kidney, also has a role in prostate health as urine flow is affected by the prostate’s size if it becomes enlarged. Men and women have the same acupuncture meridians, but there is obviously the difference in sexual organs between the genders. When comparing male and female anatomy, the prostate gland is said to be the male equivalent of the uterus, located in the Lower Dan Tien (aka Lower Energy Field) with its role dedicated to reproduction. This is significant because these Energy Fields are understood as having important roles in health and vitality, the lowest of the three Energy Fields being the most vital storage region of the body. The continued function and integrity of this area of the body is therefore very significant in TCM physiology.

There are two main patterns in TCM involving the prostate; Damp-heat in the Urinary Bladder and Kidney Yang Deficiency, with the later being the more common expression of the disease. Damp-heat in the Bladder occurs more often in relatively younger patients, men in their 20’s to 40’s, with symptoms of painful, interrupted, burning, dark urination, possibly with blood in the urine and maybe with a fever. It usually occurs acutely or with a background of chronic inflammation. The patient may feel a heaviness on the area and have the sensation of needing to void the bladder without being able to or needing to. This is because the area is congested, full, blocked, stagnant, smouldering hot and sticky. Kidney Yang deficiency is quite the opposite. With age it is normal for Kidney energy to decline naturally. Depending on one’s constitution, Yin or Yang or both can become low and lead to various symptoms with increased age. Kidney Yang deficiency leads to an excess of pale urine that is difficult to void or is blocked, feelings of coldness, fatigue, pain in the lower back, and diminished hearing or tinnitus. If Kidney Qi is also affected, which often will be the case as Qi is Yang in nature, there may be symptoms of dribbling and incontinence.

Acupuncture therapy can be successful at relieving the symptoms of mild to moderate PBH. By treating the organs systems and acupuncture meridians corresponding with the patient’s presentation, function can improve without requiring medications or surgeries. Acupuncture works by improving the flow of Qi in the appropriate meridians. Besides the organ systems previously mentioned, points on the Spleen meridian may be chosen for assisting in the transformation of Dampness, as well as points on the Ren (Conception) Channel and/or Du (Governing) Channel may be used as they relate directly with Yin and Yang in the microcosm of the human body. Herbal therapy may also be beneficial in more advanced cases as an adjunct to acupuncture treatment. Saw Palmetto is a popular herb that is helpful for some men, but Chinese Medicine has other herbal therapies available, always depending upon the patient’s individual diagnosis. One patient may show signs of inflammation and Blood Stasis and may require herbs that cool the blood. Another man may need herbs that strengthen the Fire of the Kidneys in order to restore proper urinary function. Food therapy is generally less potent than herbal medicine but can gradually have a profound effect on the body. Pumpkin seeds are a good food therapy for prostate health. A common ingredient in granola, it can be sprinkled on salads, or just eaten as a snack. Try adding a tablespoon or two a day to your diet, and throw in some walnuts here and there, they are good for your Kidneys, Lungs, and your brain too!

As always, discuss your health plans and goals with your health professionals. Most doctors have an open mind to acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine these days. Talk to your doctor about your options, and talk to your acupuncturist about your symptoms. We men can be notorious for ignoring our body’s warning signs, and then we apparently complain a lot when we get sick! An ounce of prevention in worth a pound of cure.


Adam Alexander Cappuccino R.TCM.P.

Adam is a Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner in the province of British Columbia practicing the ancient science and art of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine out of Island Community Acupuncture at the Salt Spring Island Wellness Centre. He can be reached at the Wellness Centre at 1-250-900-1125 or via email:

New Management – Ganges Yoga Studio is now a part of the Wellness Centre

Its hard to believe, the Salt Spring Island Wellness Centre opened its doors just over a year ago, and the transformation of a near vacant, receivership-laden space into the wonderful Hub of Wellness on Salt Spring Island that it now embodies has been amazing.


As the season changes, so to does the ownership of Ganges Yoga Studio. The Salt Spring Island Wellness and Ganges Yoga Studio, which was created and run by Celeste Mallet Jason, are now one (her letter to the community can be found here)Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 10.35.04 AM.


As of October 1, the space has been re-opened with some big changes:

  • Unlimited Yoga Passes will allow students to attend their choice of 27 regular scheduled classes each week.
  • An additional 13 Special Classes are also available. From Dance to Pre-Natal Yoga, to Crystal Bowl Healing to Mediation to Aikido to Boot Camp. There is a class for everyone.!
  • Infrared Heat in our Hot Wellness Studio – such a great way to spend some cold winter days in Hot Yoga, Community Acupuncture and other community clinics.
  • Community Acupuncture is now open late on Thursdays,
  • Addition of Community body work clinics,
  • Drop-in B12 Shots and a Naturopathic Medicine Clinic,
  • RMT Massage
  • Business Coaching
  • More $49 pay what you want treatment
  • Workshop Space for rent


What we still have that you must check out:

  • Online Event Calendar – post your event or workshop for FREE
  • Online Practitioner Directory – Free Listings available
  • Most treatment services offered on Pay-What-You-Want basis
  • Fully outfitted fitness center and personal trainers 6am-11pm 365 days a year
  • A permaculture garden and farm stand with our freshest organic vegetables


And we are not done yet. Coming soon,


  • 30 day class challenge
  • Summer 2015 Teacher Training
  • More great membership benefits
  • Stay tuned!


Check out our website for an up to date schedule, pricing and other news about the amazing things happening at 120 Hereford.


We love you Salt Spring!


From all of us at the Wellness Centre