I have always had a strong sense of the body-mind connection, though my passion for bodywork began when I started to seek out and study holistic models of health. My professional experience has largely been within community-based programs and I have always enjoyed serving as a supportive worker.
I also enjoy teaching, and I believe that education and wellness are interrelated and inseparable concepts. My personal approach to treatment and health involves sharing knowledge and learning together.
My path to bodywork began in 2005, when a local community centre in Ontario offered courses for Reiki as a self-healing tool. My training coincided with a time when I was experiencing many personal struggles and the practice helped me to gain strength and experience peace. While attending the University of Toronto (2003 – 2007), I had many life-roles to fill; student, caregiver, mentor, partner, employee, sister, etc. I didn’t have a lot of resources or support at the time and was only beginning to understand the need for self-care.
Expression, awareness and health go hand-in-hand as well. Noticing links between my sense of self and the relationships within my prevailing environments, I found that when I felt I had a voice, I felt better. I believe that we experience self-connection through artistic means which help us to bring clarity to our lives. Making time for self-expression is an important outlet for stress and allows others to understand us. For me, healing arts serve as a means of artistic expression through which I can effectively share and communicate with others.
While living in Vancouver in 2009, I decided that it was time to expand my skills and delve deeply into a practice of Shiatsu massage, which I personally had found to be a very effective form of treatment. It seemed like a logical progression to move into a modality where the concept of healing with my hands was relative. I studied at the Vancouver School of Bodywork and Massage, and graduated with honours. Studying Shiatsu gave me a renewed sense of commitment and pride for the compassionate nature of holistic work.
I come from a background of modest means and have always strived to do the best I can with what has been afforded to me. I welcome all people in need of treatment or support, though have some specific areas of interest within my personal research, which include: individuals who have experienced major trauma or abuse, people who have been adopted, queer youth, and students who are also serving as care givers. Throughout the course of my holistic path, I have profoundly realized that by providing treatment for others, I increase my own personal growth and development. Moreover, this beautiful work renews my enthusiasm to continuously seek out new forms of knowledge and practices for the purpose of health.
For more information about Stephanii’s integrative and community-centred private practice: www.wholeapproach.ca
Clients of Whole Approach will have their $10 1st time paperwork fee waived for Heart & Hands Community Acupuncture.