Unique Activities for Recovery

Spa Expansion: Massage Therapy

As promised, WSTC Spa Services continue to expand. Many have asked, “When will I be able to get a massage?” Good news, WSTC Spa is now offering Massage Therapy. After obtaining clearance from our medical staff, patients come to see our new Massage Therapist Fabiana. In the beginning of the session Fabiana consults with the patient to see if there are any injuries or areas of concern for her to work on. As soothing music plays in the background, our patients are treated to a twenty minute massage. Techniques included in the massage consist of stretching, kneading, compression and vibration. Research has proven that Massage Therapy stimulates circulation, strengthens the immune system and helps to heal the brain. Massage combats stress on a physiological level. It has been found to decrease levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in the body. At the same time, it increases levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which are responsible for feelings of pleasure, and which play a role in addiction because using substances causes the brain to produce these chemicals.

After a while, the brains of addicts can no longer produce these neurotransmitters in response to normal stimuli. The result is post-acute-withdrawal-syndrome, which causes symptoms such as depression, insomnia and chronic pain for up to a year after the addict stops using. By stimulating the release of these neurotransmitters, massage helps the brain heal from the effects of long-term substance abuse and can relieve post-acute-withdrawal symptoms.

Massage Therapy also helps recovering addicts re-connect on a couple levels. Recovering addicts often do not feel a mind-body connection. This is because they have typically spent a long time trying to hide from their feelings, and feelings occur in the body. Some recovering addicts have a history of physical abuse and trauma, which only deepens the disconnection between mind and body. By bringing awareness into the body, massage therapy re-establishes that connection. Massage therapy can also help recovering addicts reconnect with others, by helping them connect with the massage therapist. For some, massage may be the first experience they have had with positive touch and it’s a therapy that lends itself to building trust. Through learning to trust a massage therapist, a recovering addict can begin learning to trust others.

WSTC believes in a holistic approach to substance abuse treatment. Massage Therapy is yet another tool we utilize to help with our patients’ healing process. Despite the rapid growth, WSTC Spa Services are still in their infancy. As we expand our service offering, we will continue to keep you updated. Be well!


#WSTC Spotlighted Employee:?Brandon Short

Psychiatric medications also are an important resource for treating mental and substance use disorders. Medications for mental and substance use disorders provide significant relief for many people and help manage symptoms to the point where people can use other strategies to pursue recovery. As such, the WSTC Psychiatric team meets with every patient to determine which medication if any will increase their likelihood of success in recovery. Fortunately, WSTC has a bona fide All-Star on our team. Brandon Short, PA-C has over ten years of experience in the field of Addiction Psychiatry and is Board Certified in Psychiatry. He is nationally certified by the NCCPA, a Fellow of FAPA and is licensed in Florida and New York.

Most recently, Brandon comes to us from working at Unity Recovery on the east coast of Florida where he also owned and operated his own private practice. Shortly after being born in Key West, FL, Brandon’s family moved to the greater Ft. Myers area. He attended Ft. Myers High School then went on to pursue his higher education. Brandon is very passionate about his work in Addiction Psychiatry. He believes society tends to stigmatize those who struggle with the disease of addiction and his goal is to end that stigma. Education, more education and corrective emphasis on family interaction are his weapons for the uphill battle. In his free time, Brandon is an avid surfer and musician. Having surfed exotic locales such as South Africa, Fiji, The Marshall Islands, Hawaii and Costa Rica; he is no stranger to adventure and is clearly always up for a challenge. After spending time with Brandon, it is apparent that he is of the rare breed of Medical Professional that possess all the requisite schooling and credentials while personifying an affability that allows for clients to be immediately comfortable in his presence. We are proud to have him aboard!


If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the White Sands Treatment Center at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of White Sands Treatment Center. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At White Sands Treatment Center, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.

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