Since 1996, Dr Joaquin Farias has been working on providing alternative complementary care for people affected by movement disorders. He believes some neurological conditions make the brain “forget” how to move correctly. Dr Farias has developed a movement therapy which induces the brain to relearn how to move. One of the exercises involves the use of dance to overcome the involuntary reflex that causes spasms in dystonia.

Dr Farias worked with Suzie in Vienna in May 2015 with jaw dropping results. Suzie was slowly recovering movement through her own dance practice. Therapy with Dr Farias sped up her recovery dramatically and gave her ways to manage some of the worst spasms without medication. After just four days of exercises, Suzie was striding confidently and even dancing on her feet. She still periodically needs to use a wheelchair, or use crutches and props to balance, but her increased mobility and ability to manage the symptoms of dystonia have been life changing.

Dr Farias was interested in Suzie’s expertise teaching dance. With her help, Dr Farias hopes to expand the potential of his technique to benefit people with any sort of movement impairment. By incorporating the movement therapies into dance workshops, they will make the technique accessible to people of any age or ability.

Suzie and Dr Farias will jointly be working with the trainees in March. We are delighted that Dr Farias has agreed to volunteer his time to share his approach with the Trainees of Work In Progress and are extremely grateful for this rare and exciting opportunity!