Here is the testimonial Iwrote for Joaquin Farias at www.focaldystonia.net/.
Dr. Joaquin Farias is highly competent, highly educated and an extremely good listener. Not only clear, logical and open-minded: he was a paradigm of discretion. I immediately felt relaxed in his presence despite knowing that my playing had totally collapsed.
My initial fears that these seminars might be a sophisticated fraud evaporated almost as soon as we had shook hands. Sat, literally one metre apart and face-to-face, Joaquin roughly outlined the three phases of the sessions. First was what Focal Dystonia actually is, its nature and why it occurs. Next was an examination of my own dystonias – “the peeling back of the layers”. Finally, came the rehabilitation techniques.
I was worried that I would forget all Joaquin’s advice and the information he would give me over the eight hours. I asked if I could take notes or otherwise record the sessions. Joaquin assured me that there would be no need. As we explored, the ideas and concepts became so shockingly obvious (20:20 hindsight is a wonderful thing) that I know that I should have been able to figure it all out for my self, yet I could not. Another reason there was no need to record was that Joaquin did not teach. We explored my dystonias. These dystonias became tactile objects, a part of my make up, and thereby unforgettable once recognised.
During the sessions, Joaquin helped me see that every Focal Dystonia is different. They are developed by different people in different ways and developed in response to different stimuli and ideas. No two dystonias are the same and no one method to find a solution. But, the very mental plasticity that helped me to develop my own dystonias is the same plasticity that will now help me re-educate myself.
In a nutshell, I can honestly say that I learned more about playing music in eight hours with Joaquin than I have in more than thirty years of playing. What had become a nightmare has once again become a source of extreme pleasure. And despite the hours and days, weeks and months of practice ahead, thank you Dr. Farias.