(Ericka M., Rehabilitation for Children)
Amanda has a genetic syndrome and we have a doctors visit to a geneticists every 2 years. This doctor has followed Amanda since birth. We saw him the other day and he was just amazed at her gains. He was so surprised he brought in other doctors to see how Amanda has progressed. He was delighted at what I had done with her and all the work that I exposed her to.
˜I have been taking Amanda here to the the Spiral Movement Center for almost 3 years. This work has helped Amanda walk, roll, crawl, explore, interact with me and just be more physically engaged with her environment. I feel without it Amanda would not be what she is today. The doctor said that it was wonderful to see Amanda’s development because she is a person who is missing hundreds of genes and yet is still able to reach those developmental milestones and progress.
(Larissa S., Injury Rehabilitation)
I contacted Yuji after two years of unsuccessful treatments with osteopaths, RMTs, PTs and chiropractors. On my right side, the hip was tight and the SI joint and lumbar area felt unstable. Just one session with Yuji brought relief and a ton of inspiration. He had me connect with a support system that had been there all along- I just wasn’t using it. I teach movement (Pilates), yet Yuji had to teach me how to walk! I’m blown away with how “natural” dysfunctional movement can feel…
Yuji is warm, attentive, and easy to open up to. His sessions are much longer than most practitioners’, and I never felt rushed. The usual healer/healee relationship was also turned on its head in a way that felt empowering because Yuji didn’t “work” on me – he worked with me to relearn what my body already knows how to do, and always will, if I let it. I believe this Body-Mind approach to movement is the future in health and healing. Don’t believe anyone that tells you you’re just getting old!
(Kathryn B., Thinking/Feeling)
I first met Yuji and Steph through rock climbing clinics. When I found out they offered classes for children with special needs, I enrolled my son. He enjoyed his classes and I appreciated the way Steph and Yuji connected with him. Later on, I contacted Yuji for help with chronic back pain that manifested in my lower back and impeded my ability to practice yoga. Once I began working with Yuji, I felt we had a good therapeutic rapport and we explored the effects that difficult emotions from recent life events were having on my body. Through thoughtful guidance, Yuji helped me learn how to process these feelings. This is very helpful whenever I experience anxiety, I am grateful for the self-confidence that has come from knowing how to care for myself successfully. I have been able to move forward with my recovery much more quickly than the time I spent in physical and cognitive therapy. Thank you Steph and Yuji!
(Becky G., Rock Climbing)
I have worked with Yuji and Stephanie periodically over the course of the past few years, and I have benefited more from their help than I have from any other forms of work I’ve done. I have attended yoga and meditation workshops, and have gone to them for help with injuries. Most recently, I impinged the tendons in my shoulder, preventing me from climbing for several months. Though I was mostly healed when I went to see Yuji, continuing aggravation of my biceps tendon kept me from being able to bear much weight in several positions, including overhead. In one session, Yuji had me hanging from a bar with my full weight, and in four sessions, I was working in the climbing gym on an overhang. Yuji gave me invaluable insight into how to use my arm and shoulder as part of my body, rather than as appendages. After just a few sessions practicing what he showed me, I’m now able to climb with much better technique and without risking re-injury.
Though I greatly appreciate their help with sports injuries, I find that the more profound aspect of Yuji and Stephanie’s instruction is that they recognize, and can help me access, the connection between mind and body. They have repeatedly helped me cope with stress in the non-athletic parts of my life, and I deeply appreciate the fact that to them, the mind and body are parts of a whole. I find that I very often use their mental techniques in sport, and their physical techniques in my work. I wish that every allied health practitioner could do what they do; but in my experience, Yuji and Stephanie’s techniques are unique.
(Michelle M., Thinking/Feeling)
I did four intensive sessions with Spiral Praxis which I found very profound as it led me to connect to a deeper grounding within my body. This discovery to really listen and feel what the body has to say helped to find more grounded answers that feel authentic and right to me, and being able to quiet the over-thinking in the brain which tends to confuse me. This experience helped me discover my own ability to get in touch with myself and I have been able to use these techniques in my life after the sessions. Yuji & Stephanie continue to provide insights into my own perspective that helps me to unravel thoughts and emotional confusion that I feel. They also support me by helping me to better understand my own strengths and how I can apply them in this life. I very much value their continuous support and guidance and feel very lucky to come across Spiral Praxis.
(Harold A., Injury Rehabilitation)
When In 2006 I could not move. I stayed on the ground and even breathing hurt. I did not know it at the time but for 6 hours, I was enduring a back spasm. When I was finally able to move freely, I got up slowly and when I straightened out, experienced such a lightning bolt of fire throughout my body which ended in my lower back. Since then, I have had pain in my back with every move and breath I take. My headaches worsened (I suffered migraines as a teenager) and I became even more sensitive to light and sound. Regardless, I went on with life and still rode my bike and remained active. In 2012, while riding my bicycle, I was hit by a car. This worsened my condition. With time, my legs, feet, arms, hands, neck, shoulders, and the rest of my back and chest tightened. Brushing my teeth and lacing up my shoes became difficult tasks. I tried acupuncture, chiropractic, physiotherapy, osteopathy, massage therapy, TCM, trigger point body work, thai massage, yoga, qi gong, reiki and chakra rebalancing, somafit micromovement therapy, fascial stretching, cold laser therapy, tens, biofeedback, neurofeedback, and vitamin B12 and cortisone injections but my back simply did not want to open and stayed tight.
Being in constant pain and inflammation led to a chronic nerve pain syndrome diagnosis and I was told by my doctors that I would be in pain for the rest of my life. CT scans and MRI’s confirmed fractured vertebrae and bulging, herniated discs. In December 2015, I visited the Spiral Movement Centre daily for 4 days. On the first day, I experienced what is was to have my back fully relaxed and blood flow throughout my body. My feet were not cold anymore! On the second day, the pain was reduced significantly. On the third day, I felt my back muscles working again. After the fourth and last session, I felt no sharp or piercing pain and learned how to strengthen and support my back and walk freely again. Stephanie and Yuji took the time to listen and knew when to make small adjustments. They knew when to stop. They knew when to go. Through periods of discomfort, Yuji stopped what he was doing, allowed me to relax and reset, and took another approach. I feel this is what really helped. I can now move and look forward to building on my progress. Thank you Stephanie and Yuji!
(Kimberly F., Injury Rehabilitation)
When I went to Spiral Praxis I was suffering from chronic pain in my foot from an injury in 2007, which had been diagnosed as Plantar Fasciitis and a Morton’s Neuroma, and had pain in my hip and knee on the side of my injured foot. I was suffering from chronic pain in my back, neck, and shoulders from a car accident in 2013. I was struggling with anxiety, and had recently been diagnosed with an undifferentiated autoimmune disease. For these issues I had seen all sorts of doctors, physical therapists, a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, bought expensive foot inserts, supplements, and practiced tai chi, all with little to no success. The description of issues I was having was about two pages long when I went to see Steph and Yuji.
In addition to all of the doctors I had been to, I had also been working with myself extensively for over a year trying to make adjustments to the way I walked and held my posture, without avail. However, after a few sessions at Spiral Praxis, I understood why I was in pain and that it wouldn’t be much trouble at all to fix things up, no needles or special equipment required. With their exceptional guidance, I learned the simple and precise changes to my physical alignments that were needed to resolve the pain. It was well worth my time to consult with people who really know how the body works… it likely would have taken me many more frustrating years to try to figure things out on my own. In just a couple of sessions I learned to adjust the way that I walk and it has nearly erased all of the pain in my foot, knee, and hip.
In addition to teaching me new ways of movement and alignment, Yuji and Stephanie also walked me through a number of relaxation and stress reduction exercises that helped me learn about my own body and mind in a unique and practical way. The self-awareness I gained from this experience is unequivocally more valuable than learning a handful of specific techniques that you might learn in a mediation or yoga class. With this greater self awareness I now have the ability to really live my life in a way which I believe will finally let me heal, and am on the path to truly living life in a more balanced way.
(Emily L., Somatic Thinking/Feeling)
I contacted Stephanie and Yuji at the beginning of my second trimester of pregnancy. I was suffering from prenatal anxiety. I had fungus growing on my back for a year, which got worse whenever my stress level was higher; and the chronic lower back pain I had suffered for seven years was getting worse as the pregnancy progressed. I had trouble laying on my back, and I experienced pain when I lay on the bed and turned from one side to the other.
My sessions were filled with Spiral Praxis bodywork techniques on relaxation through mind body reconnection; pain relief; as well as relearning proper postures and alignment for walking, sitting and lifting. At the end of my very first session, I was amazed at how efficient my lower back pain was relieved. I had been to chiropractors, physiotherapists, yoga classes in the past, and never had the feeling of getting the pain under control. And these techniques I could use both during my private sessions as well as at home. By session eight, my lower back pain was gone, and I was able to walk around confidently knowing how to adjust my postures, and using techniques to relieve tension on my body. Somewhere during my first eight sessions, the fungus on my back just stopped growing.
Working with Stephanie and Yuji had helped me to transform. Being able to re-pattern my emotional response to situations, let me experience the joy of living my life on a whole new level. The benefit of my sessions extended beyond issues I had brought to them at my first eight sessions. The techniques I had learned at Spiral Movement Centre had sparkled my interest on the infinite potential and capability of my bodymind, and I am looking forward to learning more of what it can bring to my daily well-being.
(Sanju S, Injury Rehabilitation)
I’ve always had a lot of pain and tightness in my upper back, neck, and shoulders. These pains would be further aggravated with exercise. It was normal to feel soreness and discomfort on a daily basis. In my first session with Yuji, he used manual release techniques to relieve 70-80% of the pain in my shoulders and neck. After 4 sessions with Yuji, I felt complete ease and freedom in what were very restricted regions of my body—I even experienced relief in tight joints that we didn’t address during the sessions. Yuji also helped me achieve proper internal torso alignment and showed me how to exercise safely. The concepts he used to help me rework my understanding of my body were very straight forward, logical, and effective. Spiral Praxis was a very positive experience and I feel lasting improvements in my overall health.
(Lucia W, Somatic Thinking/Feeling)
When I came into spiral praxis, it had been because I was struggling with the feelings that my mind and my body each had well– minds and bodies of *their* own and I wasn’t in control of either of them. I felt scattered and disoriented in my own life, everything felt a struggle and a war within myself– when I was using my brain to read and write, I had massive headaches no matter how easy the content, and when I would feel into my body while meditating, I would fall into long formless trances where words cannot even begin to touch and I would come out hours later wondering where reality starts and ends. I felt like I was torn into two separate persons, either I was all feelings and no rationality or I was all thoughts and no emotion or empathy. Overtime, it became very difficult to do everyday things. And when I tried to explain my struggles to people, people would not understand, for what was happening with me cannot be pinpointed as neurological, or scientific, or spiritual, or psychological. But when I came to Yuji and Steph, they understood the state of my consciousness right away and knew the solutions to my problem lied in body mind integration. They have a deep grasp of the layers of possible consciousness and unconsciousness that exists within people’s minds and they are able to perceive very quickly the unique situations of each individual and where they fall on the map of consciousness. They taught me using many different methods that catered to my learning style about the natural state and proclivities of my thought patterns, and gave me lots of directions on how to navigate interactions in real life situations (like going to work or interacting at parties) that would be least stressful to the way my mind functions. They helped me learn to perceive the world through my senses in ways that felt like I was using every part of my body and brain together so I felt like a human being instead of either a physical body with a robot brain or just a vessel of pure emotions. It was an extraordinary six sessions– and massive noticeable physical and emotional changes have permanently taken place in my body– I no longer have tension headaches, or emotional freak-outs (where I feel like I am so overwhelmed with emotions I am trying to jump out of my body), and I feel more balanced than I have my whole life. So thank you, spiral praxis.
(Craig B, Injury Rehabilitation)
I contracted diabetes a few years ago. As a result, I made a great many changes to my lifestyle, including exercising approximately 2 hours 5 or 6 times a week. However, I have a number of ailments including shoulder injuries that can cause nerve pain to travel down my left arm especially. I spoke first with Yuji who made it clear that if he was to work with me, he’d like to proceed very slowly and re-build strength and flexibility in a progressive manner. I booked four sessions with Stephanie and Yuji and the end results have been shocking. I have regained the ability to raise my arms high and even to shoulder press weights without pain. In addition, my range of motion is already far greater than what it was when I first approached them. They have broken down the positions and movements in a series of highly technical steps that have allowed me to understand my body in ways that I do not believe that I had ever really even considered. After each session they provided me with new exercises, movements and stretching techniques to perform, all of which increased my strength and flexibility and most importantly, taught me how to move without pain.
I realize now that I am just at the beginning of a path whereby I might come to increase my flexibility and my internal strength. I might, perhaps for the first time in my life, exercise in such a manner that I will actually integrate the different parts of my body and understand how they work together to achieve optimal results with as little effort as possible – to become so strong that the movements of the body become a deceptively simple flow. One added benefit to this approach is that it brings a certain peace of mind with it, given the absence of pain coupled with both freedom of movement and greatly increased strength. I would strongly recommend the services of Stephanie and Yuji to almost anyone who wishes to work through certain types of injuries whereby range of motion has become inhibited, and perhaps to anyone who simply wants to understand their bodies in a quite technical albeit thoughtful and very integrated manner.
(Karen D, Injury Rehabilitation)
I sought the help of Spiral Praxis for shoulder pain that I had been experiencing for many years. In addition to the chronic pain, I was repeatedly injuring my shoulders during karate classes as well as a yoga program I started in an attempt to stretch out the area of my chronic pain. I had been to various other practitioners, but massage only offered a few days of relief from pain, and physiotherapy seemed to focus on strengthening single muscles or small groups of muscles. In my sessions with Yuji and Stephanie, we focused on movement and how to achieve the desired movement instead of focusing on specific muscles. In only 4 sessions, I learned how to properly move my body during my weight training, karate, yoga, and more so that I no longer experience pain during or after. Now, if I do experience pain or discomfort, I am able to figure out why it is happening and modify my movement accordingly. They also took me through a whole body relaxation technique that not only relaxed my body more than I had previously experienced, but also helped me to note blockages to work on. I almost cannot believe how much they helped me – it’s amazing to not have to deal with the chronic shoulder/shoulder-blade-area pain every day!
(Anton K, Injury Rehabilitation)
For about 3-4 years now, I had been having pain in the right shoulder which increasingly degenerated and finally forced me to stop climbing. After suffering from sporadic and fragmented treatments from doctors and physical therapists, I had the luck of meeting Stephanie & Yuji. They immediately saw that my underlying problem was bad bodily alignment that over the years led to accumulating injuries. Working closely together with me, they constructed a rehabilitation plan which involved: (a) reducing my shoulder pain using a combination of manipulation, massage & relaxation; (b) re-educating body-positioning and alignment , especially as applied to climbing. Their holistic & systematic approach to injury rehabilitation (& their persistence and encouragement) put me, finally, on the fast track to recovery. Professionally,Yuji and Stephanie are true masters of their art, with deep, intimate knowledge of human biomechanics, body-mind concepts. I am extremely grateful to them.
(Jeremy H, Injury Rehabilitation)
I have been suffering from pain in the tendons of my left elbow for almost a year. I was really impacting my ability to get the most of my workouts and the activities that I enjoy, such as rock climbing. At times my arm would literally give out with out warning. I read about Yuji and Stephanie, while climbing one day. After meeting Yuji, and having my first treatment, the pain was about 80% reduced, and he also showed me some techniques for improving my posture that to help make sure I don’t injure myself again. After 2 treatments the original issue seems completely gone, and the pain issue has improved greatly. I really appreciate the time he spent in learning about my injury and teaching me how to avoid injuring myself in the future.
(Heemok K, Injury Rehabilitation)
Five years ago I was involved in a big car collision where my car was totalled. I wasn’t hurt at the time but gradually I noticed that I got severe tension headaches if I sat more than 20-30 minutes. It took away my ability to study or read without pain. I saw a couple of PT’s, sports therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists but the relief I received was very temporary and I was dependent on the therapist’s care. Through my sessions with Yuji I learned how to connect to my muscle myself and it improved my posture—I learned that adjustments in my hips could improve the feelings of pain in my neck! After a few months of treatment, I’ve been able to bring my own neck pain from 8 out of 10 to almost nothing. I’m happy to learn so much about my own body through Spiral Praxis.
(Amy C, Rock Climbing)
I met Steph and Yuji when I randomly stumbled upon one of their weekly bouldering sessions at the Toronto Climbing Academy. I hesitated to join at first since I had already been climbing for almost 5 years and as it was, have always focused more on building technique over brute strength training. However, I decided to join, having little idea that my climbing was about to transform more over the next month than it did over the past 4 years of climbing. Even after the first session, I gained so much new awareness about the nuances and subtleties of my body’s movement, just pure ‘movement’, that my climbing experience felt transformed. I felt refreshed and inspired by a totally new experience that involved a heightened sense of body awareness, sensitivity, exploration and discovery. Since I am always eager to learn new techniques, I was already familiar with some of the concepts they were teaching. However, I have never had someone analyze and describe the physics of our body and movement to such a fine level of detail and nuance as Steph and Yuji did. Their way of explaining things expanded my understanding of familiar techniques to a much deeper, more detailed and subtle level than I imagined possible. They explained and demonstrated micro-movements/adjustments/shifts at the muscular and skeletal level, discussed the effects of subtle mental techniques and thought patterns in connection with dynamic and static movements, and even broke down movements to the exact timing of specific muscle contractions and relaxation. Often, I felt more like I was in a yoga or a martial arts class (rather than a bouldering clinic), as we focused a lot on how to best utilize natural momentum and energy, gathering and transferring power from our core, how to move most efficiently and effectively, and consequently – more powerfully.
With these techniques, I witnessed both myself and others suddenly able to do very hard bouldering moves with incredible, almost effortless ease, and it was because we were learning ‘how’ to use our bodies ‘better’, not necessarily because we were getting stronger through the usual methods of pumping out and training isolated muscle groups. This was evident even with several people in the group who had never bouldered before, thus their specific climbing muscles weren’t necessarily developed, but even they were able to do over-hanging moves that were quite difficult with an ease that is not usually demonstrated with beginners. All in all, Steph and Yuji’s sessions really opened my mind and body to a totally new way of moving, and I have found their techniques really helpful and applicable to other activities such as yoga. I have certainly enjoyed my sessions and feel lucky I stumbled upon them that day at TCA, because the focus and feeling behind my climbing has really been transformed. However, I think their classes can be interesting and beneficial not only to athletic folks, but to anyone who has an interest in understanding how the body works and moves, and gaining greater mind/body awareness. The concepts they teach involve listening more carefully and deeply to our bodies, and because of the delicate and extremely subtle nature of their practice, the possibilities for exploration and improvement seem endless – and are endlessly enjoyable and rewarding.
(Angela B, Yoga, Fitness and Relaxation) This past year, I’ve exceeded my goals. I improved my flexibility and my performance in training because of what I’ve learned with Steph and Yuji’s guidance. I’ve increased my awareness both internal and external, which have made me develop a greater understanding of my body and its movements. I know I’m a better athlete and better trainer because of it. I’ve learned how to let go of tension and direct the flow of energy throughout my body. Doing Spiral Praxis will enhance your self-awareness, mobility and advance your physical performance. This kind of work will allow you to achieve a more balanced lifestyle, improve your wellness and avoid injury.
(Xioping L, Yoga)
I started practicing yoga in 1980. The Yoga classes conducted by Steph and Yuji are the best I have ever attended. They seem to have developed a new system with poses, movements, breathing, and internal energy directions, which I find innovative, refreshing, interesting and engaging for my body and mind. I enjoy the interactive poses and movements that require me to partner with another person. Steph and Yuji are a serene and dynamic couple, who create magic as they lead their yoga class together.
(Dani E, Injury Rehabilitation)
I hurt my left shoulder climbing and it became difficult for me to move my arms in certain directions. Rock climbing also became very painful and it hurt when I went to sleep at night. Someone suggested that I ask Yuji to work on my injury. He manipulated my arm using Spiral Praxis techniques and one week later (he told me not to do anything for several days), the pain had stopped and my arm was freely moving again!
(Eugene L, Injury Rehabilitation)
Six years ago I had an accident playing basketball where some of the nerves of my rich shoulder were ruptured. The doctors suggested surgery but I did not want invasive intervention. In the meantime, the muscles in my shoulder atrophied and I was experiencing ever-increasing chronic pain. It came to a point where I couldn’t even lift my arm overhead and I felt stabbing pains whenever I tried to do the simplest things like lifting a coffee mug. I had heard about Spiral Praxis but was skeptical that it could help me. I felt that it was too late.
Nevertheless, I decided to go and try it and I’m glad I did. To my surprise, Yuji and Stephanie were able to get rid of my constant chronic pain in just two sessions! They spent a lot of time guiding my muscles and helping me re-educate them. They also helped improve alignment which they said was the underlying cause of the problem. For me the change in function felt like a miracle. My right arm now has full range of motions without pain. Each week it’s strength has improved noticeably to where I can now lift 5-8 pounds of weight. Yuji and Stephanie now have me on a strengthening program. We now have the goal of reaching full functionality in 10 weeks which would be fantastic for me.
(Ellen B, Injury Rehabilitation)
Almost every year for the past 5 years, I have somehow managed to wrench my back causing a spasm that renders me hunched over and rushing to a chiropractor for several costly visits involving active release therapy. The first time I twisted it was while moving rocks, another time it seized up after a 2½ hour car ride, and the most ridiculous time was while reaching down, after a yoga class, to drop my keys into my purse which was lying on the floor! Most recently, it happened while bouldering not sure if I twisted to grab a rock, or if it was when I dropped down off the bouldering wall. I started feeling those familiar twinges, and feared I would wake up the next day incapable of standing erect or functioning at my usual pace. Stephanie recognized my discomfort, and offered me Yuji’s healing hands. After about 15 minutes of Yuji’s gentle manipulation of different areas of my back and shoulders, I could feel the sensitivity diminishing. He had me reaching, folding, bending, twisting, and resisting, while his hands were guiding, pressing, manipulating and resisting through a variety of different poses and positions. The following morning, my back felt a bit tentative, but I was fully functional. I proceeded with caution throughout most of the day, feeling that any wrong move would cause me to backslide, but by 4PM, I was 100% functional. Thanks so much, Stephanie and Yuji, for being so attentive, helpful, caring and curative.
(Neel P, Injury Rehabilitation)
As an avid rock climber and volleyball player, I had been plagued with a shoulder rotator cuff injury which is very common to both sports. The injury had progressed to a point where even simple tasks, such a putting on a t-shirt, would cause extreme discomfort. In an attempt to find relief, I had visited a massage therapist, physiotherapist, chiropractor and osteopath for regular sessions, with varying degrees of success. The common outcome from each visit was that the relief I felt was only temporary.I had all but given up hope on a full rehabilitation of my shoulder around the time that I first met Steph and Yuji at one of their yoga classes. After the class, Yuji spent some time discussing my injury with me to fully understand the nature on the pain I was experiencing. He then worked on isolating and treating the exact motions which caused the discomfort. The methods and techniques they have developed are quite unique and unlike any previous treatment I had received from any other practitioner. Their functional approach to rehabilitation is simple, safe, and effective. Within one session with Yuji, I was already noticing positive lasting results, and after the second session, I could confidently say that I was well on my way to a full recovery. Between Steph and Yuji, the combined knowledge of practical kinesiology, movement and the human body in general is astonishing. They are friendly, personable, and most importantly, passionate about their work and every other aspect of their lives.
(Ya Y, Injury Rehabilitation)
I had a wrist pain from climbing too much overhang without taking proper rest days during a climbing trip and then bouldering hard after coming back. It has been bothering me for the past several months. Even turning the wheel while driving was painful. Yuji discussed the injury with me and worked on my wrist for about half an hour. The next day the pain was somehow half-gone, while some soreness and clicking is still there. Yuji worked on it for another half an hour and told me to rest for the next few days and take it slow getting back to climb. A week later I went from barely able to climbing 5.7 to climbing moderate routes again. Two weeks later I was able to climb as hard as before I was injured. The pain faded in to soreness, and day by day, the soreness is gone. It feels great to enjoy the freedom to climb again!
(Barry E, Injury Rehabilitation)
Yuji and Stephanie have a unique way of helping people heal from injury. Unlike chiropractic treatment, their therapy is gentle and based on helping train the body to use muscles correctly to enhance healing and prevent future injury. Their knowledge of anatomy and mind/body inter-workings is extraordinary; they can immediately figure out what the problem is, how to limit the discomfort and what needs to be done to heal and get stronger. Yuji & Stephanie have treated my knee, back, shoulder and arm over the course of more than a year. Knowing them has taught me a lot about my own body. I recommend them whole-heatedly.