Archive for January, 2015

Satori Integrative Health Centre

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

Satori Integrative Health in Steveston by Palla MediaHow many times have you passed by the quaint Satori Integrative Health Centre on No. 1 Road and yearned to know what lies inside the little white heritage house?

While the building may be small it is rich in history and over the last 100 years always served as a community hub. In 1912 it housed the Steveston Telephone Exchange. People would visit the communications centre to make and receive calls prior to telephones being installed in homes. For a short time it became a private residence; however, it was eventually converted and served for nearly 20 years as the United Fishermen’s and Allied Worker’s Union office. Bill Rigby was the union’s first secretary treasurer and welfare director and it is in his honour that the building is officially named.

Satori’s Co-Directors Danielle Aldcorn and Dr. Sean Graham are quick to point out these facts, as this was what initially attracted them to the space. One of the first things you will spot is a vintage telephone on display in the waiting room, along with framed information about the past life of this fascinating structure. It always pleases them when people share stories from the past.

It all began in 2002 when they were hunting for a location to fulfil their dream of opening an integrative health centre. When they found the historic space for lease they immediately loved it and began renovating to create four treatment rooms from the previous open floor plan. Along with tasteful paint and décor choices, in February 2003 they opened for business.

Dr Sean Graham Danielle Aldcorn by Palla MediaThe married couple are honoured to be the stewards of the Bill Rigby Memorial House and to carry on the tradition of serving the community as a wellness hub.

They agree that some of the most satisfying aspects of their jobs include meeting new people and working to solve problems holistically. Another common thread is they are both eager to serve this community.

Ironically, without having discussed it together, they both came up with the business name Satori which means enlightenment in Japanese. Enlightenment is the light of truth and knowledge that frees the mind, body and spirit on the path to awareness. They thought this word was fitting both for the centre and also to honour Steveston’s Japanese fishing village roots.

Aldcorn began her career as a social worker and eventually opened her private practice as a registered clinical counsellor. Her work with children, youth and families includes issues such as anxiety, family conflict, social and behavioural concerns and autism. She facilitates communication, assertiveness, and self-awareness in clients to help them gain insight, solve problems, and cope with difficult situations.

With younger clients, Aldcorn uses a mixture of verbal and expressive therapies including games, art, journaling, music, stories, sand, and role-play.

Aldcorn is a long time Steve-stonite. She has been working in the community since the age of 12 when she began volunteering at Steveston Community Centre. She says she has come full circle working so close to her youthful stomping grounds.

Dr. Graham grew up in Richmond. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from UBC and graduated with his Doctorate of Chiropractic from the Southern California University of Health Sciences. He obtained fellowship status from the Royal Chiropractic College of Sport Sciences-Canada. He treats sports injuries, headaches, back, neck, joint, and chronic pain.

He is also the head chiropractor for the B.C. Lions football team. This partnership evolved from Dr. Graham’s former career as a professional CFL football player with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the B.C. Lions (he had the good fortune of winning the Grey Cup championship in 2000). While he always knew he wanted to go into the health care field, Dr. Graham credits his career to his years with the CFL where he learned the immediate benefit of holistic, hands on, rehabilitation therapies.

As time marched on they introduced collaborative like-minded practitioners including Dr. Kristian Frantzen (chiropractor), Melissa LeBlanc (registered dietitian), Lily Zhu (registered acupuncturist), Hannah Beard, Shawn Mercer and Wesley Skakun (registered massage therapists), and Bob Aldcorn (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction instructor). They are a true family business with Danielle Aldcorn’s mother Brenda Aldcorn also helping out with reception.

Satori Integrative Health 2 Steveston by Palla MediaSatori Integrative Health 3 Steveston by Palla MediaThe centre is the only one of its kind in Steveston to offer this unique combination of therapies.

In addition to chiropractic, Drs. Graham and Frantzen provide ART (Active Release Techniques for the upper and lower body) and orthotics.

If you are looking to reduce stress, enhance clarity and creative thinking, improve communication skills and cultivate leadership and teamwork, inquire about Satori’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction courses, workshops and retreats.

Over the years the couple have found the fine balance between work and free time. Aldcorn is a published author of many young adult and new adult novels. Her next book titled “One Percenter,” releases February 23, 2015 under the pen name D.R. Graham. She has also been a columnist with The Richmond News for over a decade. Dr. Graham is an active member of the Rotary Club of Steveston; he coaches Hugh Boyd Secondary’s varsity football team and he is currently working toward earning his private pilot’s license.

What sets Satori apart? It exudes a genuine home-like feeling; in fact it is so relaxing and peaceful that people have been known to fall asleep in the lobby.

Appointments can be made by phone or online and new clients are always welcome. If 2015 is the year that you are looking for a chiropractor, counsellor, dietitian, acu-puncturist, massage therapist, or Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program drop by the little white house.

Satori Integrative Health Centre
12004 No. 1 Rd
Richmond BC V7E 1T4
Telephone 604-274-7224

Ask Sean

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

Should I Downsize?

Recently I participated in a panel discussion on downsizing sponsored by RBC. We spoke to several groups consisting of financial planners, wealth managers, branch loans officers and managers and also at a public event attended by prospective downsizers.

“I was surprised to discover why most people have such a hard time with taking action on this decision and embarking on the next chapter of their lives…”

Sean-Lawson,-Steveston-RealFrom a real estate/investment perspective, it’s a no brainer for the 65+ aged crowd. Having so much of your nest egg tied up in one asset is a risky proposition. Like a stock portfolio, you have to ask yourself: how would I feel if I woke up after a market correction and found my asset worth 20% less? On a typical West Richmond home, this is a $200,000 reduction in your net worth.

As a lifestyle decision, most 65+ aged homeowners are more than ready to make the move. After having renovated their single family home several times over the decades and finally seen the kids finish college and fly the coop, many have grown tired of frequent repairs and maintaining a large yard. Most downsizers look fondly to the prospect of a newer, simpler housing choice.

So why the reluctance? Amazingly, for many, it’s because of all their stuff! Years of possessions build up and tie homeowners to their existing space. The simple thought of having to deal with and sort through everything is too overwhelming to even contemplate a move! Thankfully there are now reasonably priced professional services to help with this situation so you can get help if you’re delaying this important financial step because you’re overwhelmed. Simply starting with tackling one room at a time is a great idea. Start with the easiest room first to gain positive momentum and start this process early so as not to suffer the stress of an impending move date.

The current downsizing cohort has done very well with the investment in their home. As the Baby Boomers moved through their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s, they “moved up” their housing needs each decade and drove prices up along the way. Now aged between 50 to 65 years old, the Baby Boomers are on the verge of becoming downsizers themselves. Married couples without children at home make up the single largest component of families in Richmond according to 2011 Census Data. So what will happen to the prices of single family homes in suburbia? Will immigration pick up all the slack in demand for this housing type once the Baby Boomers have opted out?

I feel the next great investment will be in strata developments catering to these downsizers. They are not looking for the average tiny two bedroom, two bathroom high rise unit with one parking spot located at or near a skytrain station. It’s been my experience that downsizers are looking for a strata unit with a unique community within walking distance (think Steveston, Edgemont, Granville Island, White Rock, etc.), larger rooms that actually fit their dining sets for family dinners, master bedrooms that accommodate a king sized bedroom set, walk-in closets, spa-inspired ensuites, views, etc.

I believe early adopters of these “special location” units will see fantastic price growth over the next few decades as the tide of Baby Boomers wash over this market, much like it did for suburban home prices in the past.

Sean Lawson, President
Steveston Real Estate, RE/MAX Westcoast
Telephone 604-274-7326
12235 No 1 Rd
Richmond, BC V7E 1T6

Richmond Nature Park

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Richmond Nature ParkNew Programs for Babies and Children in  2015

Nature Baby (6 – 18 months)
Explore ways to introduce little ones to the outdoors with a nature walk and nature-themed songs and rhymes. Register online at, by phone 604-276-4300 or in-person at the Richmond Nature Park, 11851 Westminster Highway, 604-718-6188.
Saturdays, May 2 – 30
10:00 – 11:00 am
$28/4 sessions

Nature Detectives (5 – 7 years)
Learn about nature and investigate the outdoor world. Different themes offered each day. Register online at, by phone 604-276-4300 or in-person at the Richmond Nature Park, 11851 Westminster Highway, 604-718-6188.
Monday – Friday, March 16 – 20 and March 23 – 27
9:30 – 12 noon
$87/5 sessions

Sleepover at the Richmond Nature Park (6 – 12 years)
Walk the trails at night with a naturalist and learn about nocturnal creatures, play game, create crafts and listen to animal-themed bedtime stories before tucking in for the night. Fee includes evening snacks and continental breakfast. Register online at, by phone 604-276-4300 or in-person at the Richmond Nature Park, 11851 Westminster Highway, 604-718-6188.
Friday – Saturday, June 19 – 20
7:00 pm – 8:00 am
$48/1 session

Plein Air Painting Workshop (16+ years)
Create a watercolour piece outdoors in the natural environment under the guidance of a plein air (in the open air) artist.
Saturday, May 23 – June 27
11:00 – 2:00 pm
$126/6 sessions

Urban Wildlife Talk (all ages)
Participate in a guided walk and learn about different components of the Nature Park. Walk themes change seasonally. Afterwards, visit the Nature House’s small collection of live animals that are the ambassadors for the wildlife community of the bog. Suitable for all ages. Not offered during events. Richmond Nature Park, 11851 Westminster Highway, 604-718-6188.
Sundays, 2:00 – 3:00 pm


This 200+ acre park is the largest undeveloped natural area in Richmond and is a sanctuary for plants and animals found in this rare bog environment. Trails and board walks provide access to the unusual plants native to this fragile bog environment.

The Nature House features programs, visitor information, trail guides, family friendly activity kits, exhibits and a gift shop. A small collection of live animals showcases the creatures that live in the park. Park amenities include interpretive signs, a wildlife garden, bird feeding station, a picnic shelter, nature playspace and public washrooms.

No pets or bicycles permitted in the park

The park is open daily, dawn to dusk and the Nature House is open daily, 9 – 5 pm. Contact staff at 604-718-6188 or for details about the park, programs or Nature House.



The Richmond Nature Park Society is a non-profit organization aimed at promoting natural history and natural history education in Richmond. The Society works in partnership with the City Of Richmond to provide natural history education opportunities that encourage residents and visitors to Richmond to learn about the environment and natural history of this community.

Angela Soon | Community Facilities Coordinator
Community Services Department
City of Richmond
604-718-6188 (office)