According to South Africa-born Tokyo resident Jacki Job, our bodies are much like a spiral — a curve that emanates outward from a single point. After 20 years as a professional dancer, choreographer and teacher, the 37-year-old Job has devised a healing system based on the therapies that have helped her during her career. She calls it Spiral Therapy.
Drawing on such disciplines as contemporary dance, ballet, yoga and aerobics, Job used her understanding of the body and how it moves to guide herself through a pain-free pregnancy and childbirth. She developed Spiral Therapy to help others release their physical and emotional tension, especially pregnant women.
Clients describe Job’s techniques in a variety of ways, with some likening it shiatsu massage. Job herself simply recommends that people not come with specific expectations. “Just allow the body to experience the work,” she says.
Sessions last for an hour and vary depending on the patient, but some factors are common to all treatments. For example, the movements work with the natural swing or rotation of the limbs. “The sequence may not be the same each time, but the movements and touch are familiar,” she says.
Breathing is also an important part of Spiral Therapy, as is ensuring the client is at ease with the close interaction throughout the session. “If someone does not feel comfortable being touched at a certain part of the body, we can work on another part to facilitate release.”
Job says the benefits of her practice include relieving lower back pain and alleviating stress, as well as enriching the patient’s emotional state — as she puts it, “strengthening mind-body communication and generating positive emotions of empowerment and self-respect.”
Spiral Therapy is appropriate for women of all ages and backgrounds, though Job says she focuses on expectant mothers and those who want to have a child in the near future. “A pregnant woman may be feeling pain and be out of touch with her body,” she says. “I can help create a joyful pregnancy by allowing a woman to get in touch with what’s happening inside, and assisting her in becoming in tune with her breath, strength and capabilities.”
Although Job lacks medical credentials, she has the endorsement of Dr Hideki Sakamoto, an obstetrician affiliated with the Tokyo Medical & Surgical Clinic and a well-known figure among Tokyo’s foreign mothers. “Her designed methods of stretch and relaxation help women better cope with the physical and emotional challenges of pregnancy and birth,” he says. “She instinctively understands, applies her skillful touch, and heals.”
Job prefers to work with a woman throughout her entire gestation. “Women have different concerns at different stages of their pregnancy,” she explains. “Each day reveals something new.” Depending on the person, sessions could be once a week or once every two weeks. “This is not a quick fix. It’s a maintenance system … the sessions help women to get familiar with their essence, their primal selves, their strength.”
“The heart of my practice has always been to restore emotional, physical, mental and spiritual health,” Job says. This broader definition of health — encompassing more than just physical well-being — is clearly suited to contemporary trends. “People are realizing women need extra services when it comes to childbirth. Women are giving birth later in life and are not recovering as fast; there are different expectations being put on the body.”
“My specialized skill and knowledge of body form and movement has become larger than the studio or stage,” says Job, who has performed for the likes of Nelson Mandela and the Dutch royal family. “It has creatively evolved into a therapeutic place.” Job hopes that Spiral Therapy will help patients “cultivate an open mind and a smile that starts from deep within.” And just like the therapy’s name, this “smile” will radiate outwards, expanding like a spiral to create a balanced individual.
Sessions are 15,000 yen and can be held at your home. See www.spiral-therapy.com or email email@example.com for more information.
This story originally appeared in Metropolis magazine (www.metropolis.co.jp).© Japan Today