Through her own personal experience, Yumi believes “ if one’s body doesn’t change, people never change, one’s mind and body are inextricably linked, never separate” (心身一如 (shinshin ichinyo)). As a National qualification holder for Masseur (Japanese Traditional Massage, Massage, Finger Pressure) she has chosen to heal others through the power of touch.
Since I was young I suffered from a terrible stiff neck, shoulder and back pain along with chronic fatigue and physically felt unwell.
At its worst my shoulders would suffer a sharp ‘stabbing’ pain and I felt intense pressure on the base of my neck. Also, I often experienced bloating of my stomach, which would make me feel sick and generally under the weather.
At that time my body felt so hard, like concrete. I tried massage but no matter how hard the male masseuse pushed I couldn’t feel any affect on my body.
For ten years I tried many types of therapy (Shiatsu, manual therapeutics, chiropractic, acupuncture etc.) but whatever I tried, nothing worked.
Since Junior High School I have been reading literature in the field of Psychology. I once discovered a book called ‘愛なくば (ai nakuba)；Without love’ written by the founder of Psychosomatic medicine, Dr. Yujiro Ikemi, which truly moved me. I was interested to learn that people’s ‘emotional scars’ heavily influence the body’s condition.
In High school I decided that I wanted to be a pioneer for ‘Psychological healing through body conditioning and repair’. I am of the opinion that body ailments have a direct affect on the Psychological state and now understand that I too am in need of this type of healing.
After graduating in Psychology at University I started working with children and adults who suffered from truancy and attendance problems. At that time I also started study to become a practitioner of psychological healing through body conditioning and repair. During this period I met my lifelong teacher at a local community study group, which was created by Dr. Ikemi, an encounter that was to be the turning point of my life.
At that time I decided that before treating others it was I who should first be treated. With the aid of my teacher I underwent a course of therapy. I came to realize that the damage to myself was far worse than I could have imagined and as such still continue my sessions whilst undertaking my work.
The treatments I offer mean that I am in constant bodily contact with others. This has made me realize how bad my condition was, to the point that, if left untreated may have resulted in cancer or brain hemorrhage and ultimately my demise.
My body was very stiff so I enrolled in a therapy. This offers a deep muscular work out and as a result was extremely painful. Due to the severity of my problem, I required a course of over 50 sessions.
However, this was just the start of my recovery. If I could liken it preparing a fine meal, this therapy was merely the ‘preparation’ stage. I have come a long way, but the journey is far from over as treatment of the physiological and psychological keeps uncovering further issues and challenges.
Compared to the past my body is revived and I feel like a new person. I no longer suffer pain in my neck or upper and lower back but do still have light stiffness in my shoulders but I feel this can be attributed to the many hours I spent massaging others. I feel that much more human and alive as opposed to the ‘robot’ I once was.
During the course of my work I see many clients who are ballet dancers (there is a ballet theatre close to my practice). Many dancers, regardless of level, suffer from Hallux Valgus, which can have a profound physiological affect on performance. Any surgical procedure undertaken would render them immobile for up to 3 months. After contemplating how best to treat the condition it came to me that a deep muscular work out (similar to the one I received) could offer the best solution.
A long time ago I suffered from a bulge at the base of my little toe and on the top of my foot as well as a Hallux Valgus. Unless stretched prior to wearing for a better fit, my usual 24.5cm footwear proved to be painful and uncomfortable.
After receiving treatment and reformation of my foot, the bulges disappeared. The bone structure became visible and my big toe straightened as the condition of my Hallux Valgus improved. An unexpected ‘bonus’ was that my ankles became more streamlined and thinner and I can now wear shoes of my choosing.
As a result of this experience I decide to mix techniques (deep muscular work out, reformation etc.) when offering treatment on Hallux Valgus for the ballet dancers that came to see me. Some of the more severe cases were able to dance again after this type of treatment. I soon started to receive more and more enquiries for treatment after the success stories spread by word of mouth, many of whom had given up hope of a cure.
I believe that there is a relation between Hallux Valgus and the condition of the mind. I now try to solve my client’s problems from both a physiological and psychological point of view.
Good foot condition is key to supporting your body, making steps and getting where you want to go in life.
It is my passion and hope that clients who come to see me can regain themselves and find ease and comfort in their lives.