by Karen Secord, Healing House Canada Project Manager

If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.
Author Unknown

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
~George Bernard Shaw

These are exciting times for Healing House Canada (HHC).

We’re moving forward. Changing. Adapting. Growing. Nudging our vision from conception through practical application and into the classroom.

An enthusiastic group of students have just begun our first-ever host training program. It will set the standard for future HHC forays into the classroom. Current hosts have been invited to share what they have learned, what they think and how they feel after their hands-on experience at the Carp Ridge Healing House.  Although the hour-long weekly sessions will be taught by Katherine they will be augmented by time with various other practitioners, including food specialist Cindy Fleming, a business coach, a yoga/meditation teacher etc.

The Carp Ridge Healing House (CRHH) is being re-vamped; down-sized with a renewed focus on the link between the Natural Health Clinic and the guests, education, personal responsibility and holistic healing.  The CRHH will close its doors on May 29 in preparation for Katherine and her family’s return home. On July 2 the CRHH will re-open featuring the wheelchair accessible apartment as its guest accommodation.  Watch our website: for new package deals.

Hosts Carol and Sandy, Kim and Lise have been instrumental in proving that the healing house concept really does work. Their cheerfulness, patience, kindness and willingness to participate in something so unique and necessary has truly been inspiring. We wish them all the best in their future endeavours.

The Healing House Timeline – We’ve Come a Long Way Baby!

January 2008 ~ Katherine Willow ND invites a group of practitioners, staff and people of interest to a brainstorming retreat at the Galilee Centre in Arnprior.  It is here that she shares her vision for a healing house; a program that trains people to open their own healing houses; a place where people with a wide range of needs can go; a home with a philosophy based on holistic principles at its core.

February-August 2008 ~ The HHC team takes the vision from theory to reality. They create a program outline, begin to write the basics of both student and instructor manuals, design a logo and advertising material, legally register the name “Healing House Canada” and begin advertising in natural health magazines across the country. Probably most importantly, Katherine decides that for the educational program to have “teeth” it must be built on a foundation of accumulated data, and to do this the first HH must be created. Katherine turns her home on the Carp Ridge over to the project.  Two staff – future hosts – are hired. The team shifts its focus from material preparation to household staging.

September-November 2008 ~ Katherine does a series of monthly presentations to introduce potential hosts to the training program.

December 2008 ~ The Carp Ridge Healing House opens its doors and we accept our first guest.

December 2008-September 2009 ~ On-going training includes Ayurvedic cooking lessons, whole food selection and preparation, CPR training, food handling certification and palliative care classes with Friends of Hospice Ottawa. Monthly open houses introduce the community to the CRHH.

September 2009 ~ A crisp new website and guest materials are created. A new price structure is approved. A series of packages are introduced. A dedicated office is set up on-site. Practitioners at the Clinic are reminded to refer patients. Two part-time staff are hired to ensure that the labour code is adhered to. A wide range of guests are accommodated. The potential for a healing house to serve as a retirement option is entertained.

September 2009-May 2010 ~ A rhythm is created as the hosts become more comfortable in their role, providing care and comfort to their guests.