How do you know a Healing Stay at the Carp Ridge Ecowellness Centre is for you?
by Dr. Katherine Willow, N.D.
If you are considering a Healing Stay at Carp Ridge EcoWellness Centre, here are a few things you need to know to make sure your expectations are met and you leave deeply satisfied with your experience.
Carp Ridge EcoWellness Centre is a natural environment where you can rejuvenate, learn foundational material about health, undertake emotional healing and cultivate spiritual connection while staying at our organic bed and breakfast. We offer holistic assessments and in-depth natural treatments with a team of dedicated natural health practitioners. When you return home, you will have an individualized program for rebuilding and maintaining your vitality on an ongoing basis.
At the same time, we do not have a typical resort environment. Therefore, I have, to the best of my ability, written the following description in order to attract people who will feel comfortable here and so have the best chance of a successful stay.
Alternatively, you have the option of staying at a different local accommodation and commuting to the clinic for your assessments and treatments.
Carp Ridge EcoWellness Centre or CREWC, is a family-owned healing centre on 190 acres of wilderness near Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. We do our best to use environmentally friendly technology, which includes composting toilets in the learning centre, solar panels, straw bale construction for some cabins, recycling entire buildings and using materials with minimal toxicity. We would not qualify as a place for people with severe environmental sensitivities, although we have had good results in helping people heal this condition if they are willing to go through some initial discomfort.
The bed and breakfast, with its organic beds, cotton sheets and healthy meals, is in our home where I live with my 11 year old grandson Felix, a friendly cat, several pet rats and a part-time dog. Although the animals are kept in the family area, there is the possibility of contact, so if you have an extreme allergy to animal dander, this may not be the place for you. We do offer strategies to overcome such allergies if you are interested. If you love animals, they are available as therapy pets…smile.
There may be sounds of children, both from Felix downstairs and little ones outside who attend our Forest Pre-School. Guests are often integrated into our everyday lives, so it’s not like a hotel where it’s all business. I am convinced that this natural mingling and sharing is helpful for healing, but I also realize that some people may desire/require more privacy and separation. This is totally fine with us and respected and we recommend you google alternative lodging in the vicinity of Carp.
More importantly, the bathrooms are not ensuite. We have four bedrooms with double occupancy and three bathrooms in close proximity, with two that are wheelchair accessible, including an accessible shower and tub. Robes are available on request.
The bed and breakfast is wheelchair accessible from the parking lot to the bedrooms, bathrooms and dining area. Travelling in a wheelchair from the bnb to the clinic and back would require assistance for most people. Although our trails are not yet accessible (one of our long-term goals), one can wheel onto the front lawn and enjoy nature in the good weather.
Wifi is free and turned off at night. Occasionally it is unreliable due to being out in the country. There is a small business nook where you can connect to the internet by cable if you need to work at night. Or you can turn the wifi off when you are done if you want to work in your room.
Meals are organic, local if possible, healthy and delicious, with ingredients ranging from vegan to organic animal products, usually from area farmers that we know well. We do our best to serve according to guests’ conditions and constitutions (Ayurvedic body types and blood types) and enjoy sharing our recipes. Weather permitting, we can gather local plants for morning tea or sumac lemonade with you if you are interested, a good opportunity to practice barefoot dew walking!
We have an infrared sauna downstairs in the family area—which means possibly encountering our various pets. Just so you know. The sauna is not wheelchair accessible.
Laundry for bedding and towels is typically done weekly. We use scent-free natural cleaning products. Personal laundry can be done at an extra cost.
Weather can be an issue in Canada. We have hot, humid summers and cold, dry winters—although these days weather can be surprising due to climate change. In the summer, between May and September, we have some degree of mosquitoes and black flies despite our regular use of garlic spray. You can purchase natural insect repellants or borrow our bug netted shirts and hats for taking walks on the trails in that season. All the buildings are air conditioned. In winter it is not unusual to have storms that delay all transportation for a day or two, with occasional power outages. We have a generator at the bnb for such incidents.
The Carp Ridge Natural Health Clinic is a five minute walk through nature from the bnb. Here you will receive your assessments and treatments in Naturopathic Medicine, Emotional Healing, Chiropractic, Massage, Energetics, German New Medicine and various tests. If walking is difficult, guests can be driven to the clinic or practitioners can see them in their rooms at the bnb. We are team players and if you need a referral to an off-site practitioner, we don’t hesitate to do so and will collaborate with their recommendations.
On this note, we have a small staff, so if you need extra help moving around, getting dressed or in the bathroom, please bring a friend or family member (they come for free). Alternatively, there are local companies that provide personal care workers and we can connect you with them if required.
In a similar vein, we are out in the country, not within easy walking distance of amenities such as stores, restaurants and recreation. Evenings may be boring for you if you are not used to this kind of quiet as we do not have staff available then and I am usually engaged with my grandson. If you are considering a longer stay, please be realistic about what you need and what you can handle. Having your own vehicle can solve this as there are all kinds of opportunities for fun in the surrounding towns and the city of Ottawa. We have a long list and can give you recommendations. If there are more guests at the time, you can collaborate in recreational activities. There are many nature-based possibilities on the property and we lend out snowshoes, lawn games and other items that help you get outside. Children have access to our natural playground in the woods.
Speaking of children, they are heartily welcome here, they just need an extra caregiver for the times you are in appointments as we don’t have enough staff to look after them.
Notes on transportation: we are an easy 45 minute drive from Ottawa International Airport or 30 minutes from the nearest train station. The nearest bus station is 20 minutes away at Kanata Centrum. If you don’t want to rent a car, we can usually send a staff person to pick you up for an extra cost if you arrive during staff hours. If you choose to live off-site for your stay, you will do best to rent a car, although in some cases we can drive you to and from the centre if it’s arranged ahead.
Finally, please check out our packages and costs. We encourage guests to begin by choosing an Assessment Stay, although this is flexible. If you already have a holistic program with a natural health practitioner, if you are coming for Emotional Healing, or if you are coming for a self-directed retreat then an assessment stay is not necessary. During our phone interview, we will suggest the best package for your situation.
If after reading this you are interested in being a Healing Stay guest, we look forward to hearing from you so that we can proceed to the next step: a screening questionnaire and follow-up phone call to continue assessing if you are an appropriate candidate for this program.
If you are a health care practitioner wanting to refer a patient, please read through the questionnaire and then call us if you think this is a good fit. We enjoy working with other health care providers to co-create programs.