Virtual Clinic

Connect With a Multidisciplinary Team of Specialists

Recovering from dystonia is challenging. This complex condition affects not just your body, but your emotions, mind, and environment too. Every aspect of your life, from diet and exercise to sleep and emotional well-being, plays a crucial role in your recovery journey. We understand the struggle of finding the right support team - neurologists, nutritionists, therapists, and personal trainers who truly get what you're going through. Many of us have been on this difficult path of searching for years. That's why we've created the virtual clinic, a place where you can easily connect with a multidisciplinary team of specialists who are ready to support you every step of the way.

Meet the Virtual Clinic Team

The platform offers the possibility to book direct appointments with different experts worldwide who really understand dystonia. All therapists and trainers have dystonia themselves and have been following Dr. Farias’ program or were trained by him.


Ph.D., M.S., M.A.

Joaquin Farias

Dr. Joaquin Farias is a leading specialist treating dystonia with neuroplasticity-based movement therapy. He has a doctorate in biomechanics, as well as master’s degrees in neuropsychological rehabilitation, psychosociology, and ergonomics.

Since 1996 Dr. Farias has helped thousands of people to have their lives and livelihoods back after being affected by dystonia. Dr. Farias has served as a coach to Deutsche Grammophon, Sony Classical, Philips, and EMI musicians, Olympic and Paralympic athletes, and principal dancers, helping them to recover from focal dystonia.

He is the director of the Neuroplastic Training Institute Toronto and seasonal lecturer at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Farias has published three books on dystonia:

  • Limitless: How Your Movements Can Heal Your Brain, an Essay on the Neurodynamics of Dystonia
  • Intertwined: A New Approach to Rehabilitating Dystonias
  • Rebellion of the Body: Understanding Musicians’ Focal Dystonia

He has presented his work on dystonia rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School, McGill University Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, Tokyo University, Toronto Western Hospital, Universidad La Sapienza di Roma, and The European Union.

Joaquin Farias is a specialist in relaxation techniques. During the last 30 years, he has developed a deep practical knowledge in mind-body medicine, being an avid practitioner and instructor of traditional Japanese martial arts, Yoga, Meditation, Medical Qigong, and Shiatsu.

Services provided

  • Online group seminars
    • 12 hours of training 750 USD.
    • Available for patients affected by Cervical dystonia, Leg dystonia, Hand dystonia, Spasmodic Dysphonia, Blepharospasm, Oromandibular dystonia, Musicians’ Focal dystonia, and Embouchure dystonia. These seminars are available in English. Special seminars in other languages can be organized from time to time. Please contact us for more information. The online seminars can be attended by brand-new patients, or patients who have been practicing the training protocol and want follow-up advice
  • In-person group seminars
    • 12 hours of training 900 USD.
    • Available for patients affected by Cervical dystonia, Leg dystonia, Hand dystonia, Spasmodic Dysphonia, Blepharospasm, Oromandibular dystonia, Musicians’ Focal dystonia, and Embouchure dystonia. These seminars are available in English. Special seminars in other languages can be organized from time to time. Please contact us for more information. The seminars can be attended by brand-new patients, or patients who have been practicing the training protocol and want follow-up advice

Description of services

Training in neuroplasticity-based interventions to recover function after dystonia. This kind of movement training can induce structural and functional changes in the brain of patients, including in some cases neurogenesis. These changes can make the brain more stable and efficient, reducing or in some cases stopping the symptoms of dystonia.

Languages Joaquin speaks

English, Spanish

You can book your place in our online group seminars by clicking on the button below

When his expertise is needed, one-on-one consultations and training with Dr. Farias are available only for patients who have attended an in-person seminar or an online group seminar or through a referral from our therapists in the virtual clinic. These sessions can only be booked by emailing us at [email protected] (Please be aware that these individual consultations have a cost and are not included in the Online group seminar fee). Dr. Farias has a waiting time of over a year for one-on-one consultations. If you wish to be seen sooner and there is one open, you can sign up for a seminar with Dr Farias. Another option is to make an appointment with one of our virtual clinic Physiotherapists.

Register for a Seminar

M.A., R.P.

Joyce Lutgen

Since 2006 Joyce Lutgens has been working in mental health care with people suffering from a variety of severe and complicated mental health concerns. She has a lot of experience in working with people suffering from depression, anxiety disorders, trauma, and ADHD. She also helped a lot of clients change or overcome difficult and rigid personality traits. She is an experienced therapist in Client-Centered Therapy, Cognitive behavioral Therapy (CBT), Schema Focused Therapy (SFT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR). Joyce is also an experienced mindfulness teacher. She is experienced in working with individual clients and groups.

Ms. Lutgens obtained her Master’s in Psychology degree at the University of Nijmegen, continuing her professional training with postmasters in Health Care Psychology and Psychotherapy. She is a trained and experienced mindfulness teacher. Ms.Lutgens obtained her Master’s in Psychology degree at the University of Nijmegen, continuing her professional training with postmasters in Health Care Psychology and Psychotherapy. She is a trained and experienced mindfulness teacher.

Joyce was diagnosed in February 2019 with cervical dystonia. Prior to the diagnosis, she had 2 years in which she had mild symptoms. After a long stressful period, she ended up with severe, impairing symptoms: “I could not drive, I could hardly work, walking became very difficult. I suffered from panic attacks and was constantly anxious. I needed a lot of help with daily activitiesThe symptoms made me feel very uncomfortable in social situations and I started to isolate myselfLuckily, I found the program very soon after being diagnosed so I could start the recovery work right away. I’m doing much better now but I’m not asymptomatic. It is still a challenge to find balance but I have faith in the future. 

Services provided

  • Initial psychotherapy session (130 Euro)
  • Follow up psychotherapy session 60 minutes (130 Euro)
  • Follow up psychotherapy session 75 minutes (150 Euro)

Description of services

  • Counseling: Advice and coaching in all kinds of problems you are facing at this point in your life and recovery journey. For example:
    • motivational problems
    • unhealthy lifestyle
    • questions and concerns about psychological health
    • problems with scheduling
    • problems in work-sphere
    • problems in relationships
    • problems in setting boundaries.
  • Psychotherapy:  During Psychotherapy, psychological methods will be used to help you change and overcome your psychological problems. Psychotherapy is more in-depth than counseling and in general, more sessions are needed compared to counseling. The psychological methods that can be worked with are client-centered psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, eye movement desensitization, and reprocessing.

For counseling and psychotherapy, there are in general more than one session needed. The first two sessions are primarily information gathering sessions in order to properly evaluate your concerns. After these sessions, advice can be given. Depending on your question and goals we can book follow-up sessions.

These consultations are available in English and Dutch.

Languages Joyce speaks

English and Dutch. She can understand German very well but she can’t speak it very well at this point.

You can book your sessions with Joyce Lutgen M.A., R.P. by clicking on the button below

Book an Appointment

PT, DPT

Kathleen Lautzenheiser

Dr. Lautzenheiser has experience working as a physical therapist in different outpatient sports medicine and orthopedic clinics in Virginia, where she continues to treat patients that have experienced overuse injuries, traumatic injuries, and/or surgical procedures throughout the body. Kathleen enjoys working one-on-one with patients to figure out how to physically get them back doing what they love. She has personally experienced several overuse orthopedic injuries through competitive distance running and understands the patience required to rehabilitate as well as the effect that injuries play on one’s mental health. With the onset of leg dystonia in 2018, Kathleen’s professional interest has changed to understanding the body and nervous system in a more holistic nature.

Kathleen received her B.S. degree in Kinesiology and Health Sciences from The College of William and Mary, followed by her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. She has also taught anatomy in the cadaver lab at the college and graduate school level. Professionally she has attended several running analysis workshops to further her understanding of gait analysis, biomechanics, and predisposition to injury.

Dr. Lautzenheiser first experienced leg dystonia symptoms while running in January 2018, she was officially diagnosed by the NIH in August 2018. Refusing conventional treatment including Botox and medications, she visited Dr. Farias in December 2018 and was encouraged to return to distance running, which she was able to do successfully for 1 ½ years. However, her walking was affected in August 2020 and she is now on the path to recovery using Dr. Farias’ technique. She believes that recovery is possible for all types of dystonia with patience, mindfulness, hope, and continued determination.

Services provided:

  • Physical therapy
    • Initial consultation 1 hour  (120 USD)
    • Follow-ups 1 hour              (120 USD)
  • Personal training
    • Initial consultation 1 hour   (120 USD)
    • Follow-ups               1 hour (120 USD)
    • Follow-ups              30 min (60 USD)

Description of Services:

Initial consultation involves obtaining the patient’s medical and dystonia history/symptoms, understanding the patient’s current exercise routine as pertains to dystonia rehabilitation, and answering any questions with the current plan. This may involve reviewing form with exercises, development of a detailed exercise routine to be followed per week, and reviewing breathing/relaxation techniques with patients.

Follow up appointments involve answering any questions regarding the exercise plan and discussing the performance of the current routine. May involve modifying the routine as needed.

Language Kathleen speaks:

English

You can book your sessions with Dr. Kathleen Lautzenheiser PT, DPT by clicking on the button below

Book an Appointment

BSc. PT

Michelle Read

Michelle Read graduated from the UBC Physical Therapy Program in 1991. She has spent 15 years working in private practice treating orthopaedics. She has worked with adults with developmental disabilities, and has worked in community care and acute care. Michelle is also a certified Personal Trainer. She currently works in McBride, BC, Canada, as a virtual physiotherapist.

Michelle was diagnosed with cervical dystonia in 2008. She relied on Botox injections until 2017 when she started Dr. Farias’s program. She has made improvements in her symptoms and believes whole heartedly in the brain retraining techniques of the Dystonia Recovery Program. She would like to specialize in helping patients with cervical dystonia.

Services Provided:

Personal training sessions.

  • Personal training. Initial consultation: 1 hour (120 USD)
  • Personal training. Follow-ups: 30 minutes (60 USD)
  • Personal training. Follow-ups: 60 minutes (120 USD)

Description of Services:

In the initial consultation, a detailed history will be taken. The client’s exercise program will be reviewed and modified depending on their needs. Symptoms from other physical injuries or conditions will be taken into consideration along with the dystonia symptoms. After the session, an individualized training schedule will be emailed to the client, based on the exercises from the Dystonia Recovery Program.

In follow-up sessions, the client’s progress will be discussed and the training schedule will be progressed or modified as necessary.

Language Michelle Read speaks:

English

You can book your sessions with Michelle Read BscPT by clicking on the button below.

Book an Appointment

BSP, ACPR, RHN

Bonnie James

Bonnie James graduated as a Holistic Nutritionist from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in June 2017. Prior to discovering her passion for nutrition, she worked as a pharmacist for 15 years in both hospital and community settings. After being diagnosed with cervical dystonia in November 2015, she developed a special interest in using nutrition and lifestyle strategies to help people cope with the effects of stress and anxiety, and ensure optimal brain function. She has taken additional training in the areas of gut and hormone health, mental health and neurology, and emotional eating. Bonnie has recorded several educational videos for Dr. Farias’ Dystonia Recovery Program. She has had remarkable success in improving her own dystonia symptoms after attending Dr. Farias’ workshops and focusing on various techniques to alleviate stress. She continues to use the online program to maintain her progress and to work towards full recovery.

Services provided

  • Holistic Nutrition initial consultation package: 1 hour initial consultation + 30 minute follow-up (150 USD)
  • Holistic Nutrition Follow-up: 1 hour (120 USD)
  • Holistic Nutrition Follow-up: 30 min (60 USD)
  • Holistic Nutrition Follow-up package – 4 sessions: 30 min (200 USD)

Description of services

Initial consultations will involve reviewing your health concerns and goals, medical history, current eating & lifestyle habits, and symptoms as indicated on the questionnaire. Additional information will be gathered as necessary to ensure an accurate assessment.  Nutrition and lifestyle recommendations targeting the main health concern will be provided at the follow-up session included with the initial consultation package.

Follow-up sessions will provide ongoing support and accountability, and offer further recommendations to address any new symptoms, questions, or concerns you may have.

These consultations are only available in English

Language Bonnie speaks:

English

You can book your sessions with Bonnie James BSP, ACPR, RHN by clicking on the button below

Book and Appointment

D.M.A.

Monica Chen

Monica Chen is a native Taiwanese violinist and the first certified practitioner of The Farias’ Technique in Asia. She has a DMA in violin performance and currently working as an assistant professor of Taipei National University of Arts. Monica Chen followed a rigorous training under the guidance of Dr. Farias in writer’s  cramp, Hand Dystonia and Musicians’ Focal dystonia retraining. Monica was affected by Focal dystonia in her hands and worked hard to recover her ability to play again. As a practitioner of Farias technique, she has helped many musicians to regain the ability to perform after career ending situations. Monica is also the Chinese translator of Dr. Farias’ book, ‘Limitless.’ She has researched dystonia for many years and established the first Chinese website about dystonia. She aims to spread dystonia awareness to people and help them to recover by using their own movements with proper assistance. Since 2020 Dr. Chen is a member of the trainers’ team of the Dystonia Recovery Program.

 

Services provided

  • Musicians’ focal dystonia retraining ($120 USD)
    • Initial sessions and follow-ups
    • All instruments
  • Hand dystonia (writers’ cramp) retraining ($120 USD)
    • Initial sessions and follow-ups

Description of services

During a retraining session, the instructor will correct how you practice the exercises provided on the platform, design specific exercises for your case, supervise your training routines, and help you improve your movements to optimise your recovery process.

This class is available in English and Chinese.

If you are not an active member of the Dr.Farias’ Dystonia Recovery Program, you need to attend an online group seminar or book 4 consecutive appointments to start your training.

Language Dr. Chen speaks

English and Chinese

You can book your sessions with Dr. Monica Chen by clicking on the button below

Book an Appointment

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