Who uses relaxation therapy?

Authors, artists and musicians because it opens up creativity that stress has been blocking.
Business owners and managers because they accomplish more without feeling stressed or overworked.
Students because relaxation enhances their memory and helps them prepare for stress-free exams.
Hospitals because it reduces side effects of treatment and improves patients' quality of life.

In short: regular, everyday people like you are benefiting from relaxation therapy to improve their health, be happier and more efficient, and take a break from the hectic pace of life.

The science of relaxation

What you feel

Warmed jade stones inside the therapy bed soothe your tense muscles

During your session, far-infrared heat (thermotherapy) gently warms your body to a temperature that increases blood circulation to the extremities. This relaxes your body, soothes muscle pain, and gives the sensation of floating. This clean heat source is free from electro-magnetic field radiation (EMF) that is emitted by the type of heating pads and electric blankets sold in stores.

You'll also feel relaxing waves of vibroacoustic sound. This technology calms your central nervous system by using safe low-frequency sound. Vibroacoustic sound therapy is used in many hospitals in Britain and the U.S. to relieve patient stress and has even been found to reduce symptoms of illness and disease (National Institutes of Health study, 1999).

What you breathe and smell

The air in the relaxation centre is HEPA filtered and negative-ion treated to make it refreshing and pure.

Colin uses a blend of exotic Asian and local essential oils

Room temperature, humidity and oxygen levels are computer-monitored and carefully adjusted for optimal relaxation.

Colin has created a calming aromatherapy blend exclusively for the relaxation centre that cannot be found anywhere else. The subtle aroma of Japanese evergreens includes oil extracted from the Japanese hiba cypress. Studies have shown that the oil of this tree contains a substance that promotes relaxation and purifies the air, and may even boost your immune system.

What you hear

Using special noise-cancelling headphones, the outside world will vanish as you listen to a relaxing audio programme in high-definition stereo.

An audio programme that helps you relax and unwind

Depending on your session, the audio programme may include:

Guided Imagery Sometimes called visualization or guided meditation, this mental exercise guides you into a deeply relaxed condition and teaches you to use your imagination to overcome negative thinking.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation You'll be gently guided to breathe deeply while you tense and release the muscle groups of your body. This simple easy exercise resets your body from any muscle tension and gently eases the mind.

Some sessions also feature high-definition audio recordings of nature sounds or gentle music that is based on biologically harmonious scales and tones.

What you see

The relaxation centre in Halifax has a night sky with moving northern lights

The aesthetic of the relaxation centre is Japanese style, with shoji screens and natural igusa straw mat flooring. This is a simple, peaceful setting where you can feel comfortable and restful. Shoes are not worn in the therapy room, and you can leave your phone outside. This is a place to unplug completely from the outside world.

Even the lighting helps you to relax. You will be amazed by a night sky northern lights projector system that Colin created exclusively for the relaxation centre.

The night sky is beautiful to see, but also uses specific wavelengths of light to stimulate your body's relaxation response even when your eyes are closed. According to Richard Wiseman, Professor of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire (UK), this particular light spectrum “enhances the production of dopamine in the brain...and turns attention inward away from daily stress”.

What you taste

Gyokuro is a shade-grown Japanese luxury tea that relaxes you without causing drowsiness

In the reception area before your session, you can enjoy a cup of a Japanese green tea called gyokuro. This is a very special luxury tea grown in the shade. It has a delicate taste and aroma, and a beautiful emerald green colour. The fresh subtle flavour of this tea is a delicacy in Japan, and unlike any tea you have tried before.

But there's also another reason why Colin has selected this tea. Gyokuro leaves contain high levels of L-theanine, a naturally-occurring amino acid that has been demonstrated to heighten creativity and soothe anxiety. It will enhance your session and unlock your relaxed mind without making you drowsy.

Colin serves this tea the natural way in traditional handmade pottery cups from Japan. Please arrive a few minutes early so you'll have time to enjoy the experience of gyokuro tea!

Sessions and fees

Relaxation therapy is unique in that you'll feel instant results the very first time. Research suggests that after six to twelve sessions, most people effortlessly learn and remember how to activate the body's own relaxation response to feel more relaxed every day. Of course, you're never required to commit to any plans or memberships.

Sessions range from 15 to 60 minutes. Some sessions incorporate guided imagery (visualization exercises) or high-definition audio recordings of natural sounds or music. Aromatherapy, vibroacoustic sound therapy and northern lights phototherapy are used during your session unless you prefer otherwise. The treatment room accommodates only one person at a time.

Here are some specially-priced sessions currently available at the Halifax clinic:

50 minutes: Himalayan Sound Therapy $80 + HST
“Out of this world!” That's how one client described her experience with Himalayan Sound Therapy. The sound of centuries-old singing bowls moves from the sound therapy bed through your entire body. It is totally relaxing, and has beneficial effects on brain health. This is a music-only session without guided imagery or relaxation exercises. Read more: Himalayan Sound Therapy
Himalayan bowls and tuned chimes in HD sound (24-bit)
Far-infrared heat thermotherapy
Special Tibetan healing aroma
Vibroacoustic sound therapy

Book Now

60 minutes: Personal stress consultation with guided imagery $118 + HST
Yes, you can learn to be less stressed! Includes half an hour of discussion, with an additional half-hour of guided imagery in the relaxation centre. You'll also get a Personal Stress Action Plan to bring home, with lots information to help you change the way you respond to stress. If you want to learn to be more relaxed, start here.
Personal consultation and discussion
Guided imagery (deep relaxation training)
Far-infrared heat thermotherapy
Japanese healing aroma
Vibroacoustic sound therapy

Book Now

30 minutes: Guided imagery - A Place of Your Own $48 + HST
Let your imagination paint a wonderful place for you that's calming and secure. A “home base” in your mind's eye for you to access whenever you need it. A place that opens up creativity and imagination. This life-changing guided imagery session is included in the personal stress consultation with guided imagery session, here offered as a stand-alone session for returning clients or those who just want to get right to the relaxation without a personal consultation.
Guided imagery (deep relaxation training)
Far-infrared heat thermotherapy
Japanese healing aroma
Vibroacoustic sound therapy

Book Now

30 minutes: Guided imagery - Something Within That Knows $48 + HST
Go deeper within and get answers! This power-tool of guided imagery is only for those who have previously done at least one session of “A Place of Your Own”. Reach deep within your subconscious mind and open storehouses of wisdom that are just waiting to be unlocked! This session can also help with gaining control of negative thought patterns that hold many people back from reaching their potential. You can also add a half-hour of personal consultation with Colin to your session (recommended, see fees below).
Guided imagery (deep relaxation training)
Far-infrared heat thermotherapy
Japanese healing aroma
Vibroacoustic sound therapy

Book Now

Book (with consultation)

15 minutes: Mind/body relaxation $24 + HST
In just 15 minutes your body and mind can reset from daily stress. Specially-designed music played through the sound therapy bed works on both your body and your mind to trigger the relaxation response, your body's natural stress-fighting biochemistry. You'll really feel it, even after just 15 minutes!
Brief relaxation exercise and biologically harmonious music
Far-infrared heat thermotherapy
Japanese healing aroma
Vibroacoustic sound therapy

Book Now

Many other personalized sessions can be created according to your individual needs. Contact Colin to discuss.

Sessions usually include a Japanese gyokuro green tea before, and warm face towel (oshibori) after, if your time permits.

Payment is made at the end of each session by Interac debit, Visa, Mastercard or cash. You will be provided with a detailed receipt for your records. HST is applicable. Colin's office does not accept tips.

Personal stress consultation

You can add a personal stress consultation to any session, or book a consultation on its own without a session in the treatment room. Colin has helped hundreds of people to learn relaxation techniques that are science-based and not derived from religious tradition. Please contact Colin for more information. The current (2018) rate for consultation is $140 per hour, pro-rated to the quarter hour:

90-minute consultation$210
45-minute consultation$105
30-minute consultation$70

Insurance coverage

Relaxation therapy is not covered by MSI. There can be some instances where your sessions may be reimbursable by an extended benefits package, however as a non-medical expense it is best to consider your therapy as something you are paying for out of pocket. Just like natural food and personal fitness, relaxation therapy is one of the best investments you can make - an investment in yourself and your future.

A note from Colin: Relaxation therapy should be for everybody. Some of the people who need my help the most are vulnerable or marginalized people who can least afford the out-of-pocket expense. I reserve two reduced-rate slots on my calendar each month for clients who are referred through community agencies. If you are a social worker, please contact me to discuss the waiting list and procedure for reduced-rate referrals.

Designed for you

Colin believes that every detail can contribute to your relaxation experience. Here are some of the things he has done to make sure your session is the very best it can be.

Colin pre-records his audio relaxation programmes in a studio for the best sound quality, and he will leave the treatment room during your session so that you can be alone to experience your programme privately while he prepares some notes and information for you to bring home. If you feel any discomfort at any time, you can stop the session by simply removing the headphones and sitting up. Remember: you're in control. You are never “hypnotized” or tranquilized. Although some clients fall asleep during relaxation, it is generally better to stay awake to receive the maximum benefits - unless you're specifically on a sleeping or napping programme. If you fall asleep, you'll gently wake when the lights come on. So don't worry.

Allergies and sensitivities

Colin asks that clients be considerate regarding scented products. However, rather than trying to enforce a “scent-free” policy (which is practically impossible anyway) Colin schedules sessions so that the air is completely cycled in-between clients. If you have environmental sensitivities, you'll be delighted to find that Colin's office is a haven where you aren't likely to have a negative reaction.

The traditional sobagara pillow keeps your neck properly aligned during your session

The typical aromatherapy Colin uses has no known allergic effects; it's a gentle blend of evergreen wood oils which has no pollen. Colin uses undyed cotton linens laundered in a gentle, natural unscented detergent. Cotton allergies are extremely rare, but if you have an allergy to cotton, please indicate this when you book. All cleaning products used in Colin's office are natural, but do contain citrus, lavender and evergreen extracts.

The pillow used on the therapy table is a sobagara makura, a traditional Japanese pillow filled with buckwheat hulls. Sobagara is natural, hypoallergenic, and provides air circulation around the head while providing optimal neck support. Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat.


Colin’s office is furnished with tropical woods that are both beautiful and ecologically responsible. For example, the reception area chairs are made from mango tree wood, which is cultivated once the fruit tree has finished its productive life.

In addition to using low power consumption computers in his office, Colin’s web site is 100% carbon neutral. The energy consumed by the web server is returned to the grid using earth-friendly renewable energy through Bullfrog Power.

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