Chopra Addiction & Wellness Blog: A Message from Our Founder

by Nirmala Raniga, Founder & Director Mahatma Gandhi once said: “Infinite striving to be the best is man’s duty; it is its own reward.” I try to live by these words. For over twenty-five years I have committed myself to helping drug addicts get clean. I broke ground in the field of addiction rehabilitation by demanding that people in opiate dependency programs be treated with respect. Individuals fighting addiction face enormous challenges and deserve compassion, not moral disdain or manipulation. I believe life is precious and priceless! We all deserve…

Understanding Gambling Addiction and Problem Gambling

by Nirmala Raniga, Founder and Director “To heal an addiction, you first need to recognize the destructive patterns of conditioned behavior that are dominating your life. When you’re caught in a maze, you may not be able to find your way out if you wander aimlessly around the web. The best way to escape is to find a new perspective outside and above the entrapment you unknowingly created.” – Deepak Chopra Gambling addiction, also known as compulsive gambling, is a type of impulse-control disorder. Compulsive gamblers can’t control the impulse…

The Beauty of Giving Thanks

by Nirmala Raniga, Founder and Director In many cultures worldwide, the harvest season is a traditional time where communities and families gather to celebrate the abundance of nature and give thanks for all that nourishes and sustains life. Celebrating gratitude is an important way to bring awareness to the gifts and blessings that we have received and share that thankfulness with our loved ones. The time of Thanksgiving is also highly important because it creates a space in our lives where we can stop and reflect on our own hard…

The Importance of A Strong Support Network in Recovering from Addiction

by Nirmala Raniga, Founder and Director Healing from addiction and addictive behaviours is very often seen as a solitary process. The person struggling is viewed as the one with the problem, who needs to halt his or her destructive habits. In reality, however, alcohol and drugs are true family issues with potentially damaging effects extending beyond the person in recovery and into the lives of loved ones. Destructive compelling behaviours can upset the family structure and strain the social network, tearing apart those all-important bonds. Many studies show that social…

Allowing Evolution: A Way to Greater Health & Wellbeing

by Nirmala Raniga, Founder and Director “Everything is continuously changing, including your thoughts, feelings, and molecules. Accept that change is a part of life. Evolution calls upon us to adapt to change with creativity.” - Dr. David Simon Life is a process of constant change. On a physical level, we are constantly evolving based on what is going on around us. Our bodies react to our environment on a biological level, and as humans we also react to it on a cultural and technological level, which allow us to occupy new…

Addiction Is Not The End Of The Road

by Nirmala Raniga, Founder and Director When we hear the word “addict” we usually visualize someone who is a hard core drug user, an out-of-control alcoholic, or a heavy smoker. But there are many more addictions that fly under the radar until the damage they have caused becomes obvious. The list of addictions is as long as there are things to crave, including compulsive gambling, sex, eating, work, running, shopping, toxic relationships and the internet to name a few. Addictive behavior is defined as any activity, substance, object, or behavior…

David Simon House Building Dedication

Nirmala Raniga with Dr. David Simon “When all your desires are distilled; You will cast just two votes: To love more, And be happy.” -Hafiz Throughout his lifetime, the late Dr. David Simon made great contributions to the field of mind-body medicine through his work as a renowned physician, best-selling author, and sought-after speaker. As a young medical student, Dr. Simon felt disconnected from traditional medicine, which viewed the human body as a machine and ignored the connection between mind and body. Through his experiences with the ancient traditions of…

Hope for Opioid Addiction

by Nirmala Raniga, Founder and Director With the passing of acclaimed actor Philip Seymour Hoffman from a drug overdose, the international spotlight had once again focused on opioid and other drug abuse, a problem that cuts across all socio-economic boundaries, shattering the lives of everyone affected. The US based National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines opioids as medications that “reduce the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain and affect those brain areas controlling emotion, which diminishes the effects of a painful stimulus.” Essentially, opioids can become addictive due…

Nurturing The Seeds Of New Growth

by Nirmala Raniga, Founder and Director Nurturing ourselves comes in many forms – from delighting the senses & nourishing the body with the zesty preparations of a meal, to the deep relaxation or release brought about through therapeutic body work. A hot soak in an epsom salt bath to ease tensions held in the body or an exciting exploration of the natural world each day can truly feed the soul & deepen our relationship with ourselves & with the world around us. Unseen & at times, unnoticed by others, an…

Connecting With Grace

A therapy dog wasn’t something Grace had remembered from her brief read through the Center’s website. It was wholly unexpected to see a honey-coloured canine stroll into the group room and join in by greeting everyone, one after another with a soft gaze and a comforting nuzzle this morning. Skybear was introduced as a certified therapy dog who’d had a rough start in life down in New Mexico. It was pretty clear life had improved for her since being found alone on the streets at 7 weeks old. Grace caught…