Victoria Health Co-op:  Come celebrate with us!

Victoria Health Co-op: Come celebrate with us!

By Vanessa Hammond

The Victoria Health Co-op, working with the James Bay Project kept the medical centre going in 2007 when it was at risk of closing. We began with a new model of health care and now serve 7,400 patients. If you are a patient, come celebrate. If you are one of the amazing 598 members of the Co-op who have supported the Health Centre and kept it running for all these years, come and celebrate. If you did not realize that the lack of doctors in Victoria is a serious ongoing challenge, come and learn how we have kept the Co-op Health Centre open, how our Complementary and Alternative CAM practitioners and clients share wonderful treatments, how they contribute to the Health Access Fund. Come and hear about some very encouraging new developments. Come and meet the Board, practitioners and staff.

And now some updates:

Calling All Artists - A message from Dacia Moss, Chair of our CAM group. At the Co-op Health Centre we take delight in offering our walls to artists in the community to display their work. If you are a professional or accomplished amateur artist with a body of work that is framed or otherwise ready to hang, please contact me, Dacia (Daysha) Moss at or 250-744-7288. We love to feature work that is colourful and uplifting to boost the spirits of our patients, clients and our staff. We can accommodate between 10 and 20 works depending on their size.

Calling All Members – also from Dacia. Our next Wellness Clinic will be on September 24. Some of the health practitioners who volunteer their services to our members include Beverley Norman, Alexander technique movement teacher; Dacia Moss, energy practitioner and craniosacral therapist; Howard Dieno, Osteopathic practitioner; Susanne Hunter, counsellor; Anna-Marie DeZwager, kinesiologist who designs specialized individual exercise programs; Alexis Henning, Medical Herbalist; Madi MacLeod, foot care nurse; Kelsey Meagher, Thai massage and Nicole Costello, Reflexologist. Our members are notified by email and book their appointment with the practitioner of their choice in advance. After their session, they pay whatever they can afford. The money is held in the Health Access Fund. Members who need the support of Co-op natural health care practitioners but can’t afford their regular fees can apply to the Fund for financial support. Everyone benefits.

Calling our patients, members and community – We have some exciting updates to share. Come, learn, ask questions, decide if you can offer a little (or much) financial support to help fill the gap due to the severe shortage of MDs in BC. Or can you offer an hour a month as a volunteer (training provided, fun work.) Contact Vanessa if you would like to contribute to or have a display at our Birthday Party.

Calling all who would like to move more freely with less pain and tension – a message from our Victoria Health Co-op “Person of the Month, Rae Bilash.”

The Trager® Approach is an innovative, gentle and pleasurable body therapy that improves movement and mobility while releasing habitual patterns of muscular tension that have accumulated over the years in your body.

In a session, you lie on a well-padded table in a comfortable environment. Using gentle rocking, stretching, compression and delightful passive range of motion, your practitioner gently supports and moves your body within its pain-free range of movement and natural rhythm. Each movement sends a message through the nervous system, imparting feelings of lightness, ease and comfort, while inviting the body to release accumulated tension, pain and trauma that impair health and mobility.

Milton Trager, the originator of the work, spoke of “re-educating” the tissue towards ease through feeling sensation, now we know this to be neuroplasticity. As your body and mind receive these soft movements, tensions disappear and new movement patterns become possible.

Benefits are cumulative; subsequent sessions allow for deeper and long-lasting changes.

Benefits include:

  • Relief from pain, stress & tension
  • Improved posture and balance
  • Quicker recovery from injuries - release of pain and trauma from past injuries
  • Increased well-being, mobility and flexibility
  • Improved flow of lymphatic, vascular and respiratory systems
  • Relief from symptoms of MS, Parkinson’s, Dystonia, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.
  • Enhanced performance in sports, dance, voice and theatre

Rae Bilash is a Certified Trager® Practitioner with over 20 years experience, and Practitioner member of the Victoria Health Co-op. You can reach her at (250) 380-8733


If you have ideas or questions about the Victoria Health Co-op, our Co-op Health Centre, or our Birthday Celebration, please contact VHC Chair, Vanessa Hammond 250.415.9272 or See you on Sept 9. Bring friends!

Sights around the neighbourhood

Sights around the neighbourhood

James Bay Neighbourhood Association: July & August Meeting Reports