Ting-Hsia—or Tina, as her clients know her—may have been destined to practice traditional Chinese medicine. Both her mother and her father were practitioners, and they used TCM to treat Tina’s frequent illnesses when she was growing up. A weak immune system typically kept her down, but over the years, traditional Chinese medicine such as acupuncture, tui na massage, and herbal therapy gradually restored her health. This increased overall wellness may be due to traditional Chinese medicine’s ability to stimulate the body’s own self-healing properties, something she feels Western medicine currently can’t achieve.
Now a certified practitioner herself, Tina aims to escort bodies down their own paths of healing through a cadre of the same non-invasive, holistic techniques to which she was privy as a child. In order to tailor each treatment session to individual clients, each visitation starts with a consultation. After discussing the issue and answering questions such as “Will this hurt?” and “Can you make it hurt?”, she devises a treatment plan that integrates acupuncture, massage, and Chinese herbs she mixes on the premises.
Each day, Bikram Yoga Westshore's certified instructors vaporize stress with deep breaths, warm personalities, and 105 degrees of therapeutic heat. Every 90-minute class revolves around 26 Hatha poses designed to help clients develop lean, lithe physiques. In addition to fostering strength and balance, the poses raise pulses for 20–25 minutes during a cardio workout that builds stamina.
Heat melts tension in muscles, fostering deeper, safer stretches, and induces sweating that works to rid bodies of toxins. Nonporous, hypoallergenic, floor panels ward off germs to prevent sneezes, and optional towel service keeps students dry and comfortable. Fresh air constantly circulates through the room from the heated ceiling to ensure that muscles remain oxygenated throughout the workout. After class, yogis can retire to the showers for an extra dose of relaxation, or search the studio's boutique for a yoga mat or spare parts to fix a broken nirvana.
Perfect Look Optical's team of eye care professionals and lab technicians help remedy near- and farsightedness with sight tests, a variety of prescription lenses, and an array of designer sunglasses and glasses to fit each visitor’s facial features. The centre's exams test sight for conditions such as astigmatism and for visual acuity and depth perception. Their Guess and Marc Jacobs sunglasses, available with or without prescriptions, bear polarized lenses to protect eyes from the sun's UV rays and attempt to instigate pie-throwing fights. Preparation time varies depending on the prescription and type of frame, but technicians may be able to fill some orders within an hour.
VI Fitness—a workout mainstay with a dozen locations peppering Vancouver Island—splits its real estate between coed and women’s only gyms. Coed locations line the floors with a wide variety of strength and stability equipment, free weights, and cardio machines; women’s locations host a similar array of gear but in designs tailored specifically for women. The two gym models are otherwise similar, hosting yoga classes and group exercise courses such as VI Fitness’s signature indoor cycling—which guides stationary bikers over simulated terrains, from rolling hills to the cratered surface of the moon’s intricate highway system.
Alternatively, each gym’s team of personal trainers creates customized regimens for patrons with the help of the Polar BodyAge system that measures individual fitness levels. The sessions also motivate athletes and ensure they use proper technique, significantly reducing the risk of injury, overexertion, or the embarrassment of accidentally bench-pressing a treadmill. The on-site child minding watches over exercisers’ little ones while secure rental lockers keep personal effects locked up.
At Cadence Fitness, guests can tone their bodies in core workouts, sultry pole-dance spins, and aerial circus arts without leaving the building. However, the women-only studio isn't a training spot for acrobats?its expert staff invites ladies of all backgrounds and body types to their classes. Owner Amie set out to create a safe and compassionate haven where guests can experiment with movement, whether they are spinning six feet from the ground aboard a lyra or stretching into atmospheric yoga's midair splits. Her programs have been featured on Shaw TV's "The Daily" for their accessibility and benefits, which include having enough strength and balance to tightrope walk while tearing phonebooks in half. Amie and her team also host workshops, parties, and teacher-training seminars, inspiring groups to shed their insecurities and twirl toward empowerment.
Under the direction of licensed optician Carolin Roussel, the team of eye-care specialists at Eye Etiquette Optical Boutique outfit customers' eyes in stylish frames. Patrons peruse sunglasses in more than 15 designer brands, including Oakley ($165+), Ray-Ban ($140+), and Nine West ($125+), for use during poker tournaments and dinner dates with the aurora borealis. All of the boutique's shades can provide 100 per cent UV protection with polarized and non-polarized lenses.
For 14 years, Jean-Paul Thuot practiced acupuncture under the traditional North American model of one-on-one treatments that lasted roughly an hour. Something didn't feel quite right though. For one, it was expensive, which made it inaccessible for a lot of people who couldn’t afford the cost or weren’t allowed to use seashells as currency. He also felt that patients were often rushed—just as they were beginning to experience the benefits of treatment, they'd be kicked off the table to make room for the next client. Having studied for four years in Taiwan, he knew there was another way: community acupuncture.
With a team of equally skilled practitioners, he is now able to treat a wider range of patients at Stillpoint Community Acupuncture. Community acupuncture takes place in one large room, where clients relax quietly in recliners alongside other individuals undergoing treatment.