As a child I had always been active, moving freely most of my time; enjoying dancing, climbing, swimming etc. Since my early school years and through my ballet and gymnastics classes it was obvious that my body was genuinely flexible in a way that allowed me to perform contortion tricks that others would require hard work to achieve. I used this feature as a talent throughout my youth but it was not until a lot later when I found out that I have what is called Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
I started performing at school and became a professional performer at age 17 in singing, acting, aerial acrobatics and stilts.
From age 15 I started experiencing problems with my body that doctors did not know how to treat e.g. achilles tendonitis, therefore I was looking for a way to exercise that would not make me feel tired or stressed and to help me find my natural strength and find peace within myself. In the search for this, At the age of 16 joined the Qigong and TaiChi class of Petros Kouropoulos*. At the same time I received my first initiation into Reiki I and my first Aromatherapy workshop. I noticed that through the mindful practice of QiGong, Tai Chi and self healing through Reiki, my symptoms would disappear and I would not feel any pain but would actually have a great amount of energy!
The years that followed I continued practicing regularly and progressed to Reiki II and Master Reiki Usui degrees. At the age of 29 I became a TaiChi and Qigong instructor and started teaching.
At the same time I started my career as a performing artist, performing in all sorts of productions from theatre to cabaret, circus and musical shows. However, that caused me to overuse my abilities and have several injuries that left their mark and caused further issues
During, for example, the days of the 2004 Olympic games in Athens, I was performing theater on stilts for 8 hours for 15 days) which caused injuries such as broken ribs, bunions etc. Not wanting to take the time to heal and guided by doctors, I instead took powerful medication which in addition to stress factors, caused the development of lupus SLE (an autoimmune disease).
The doctors were unable to help me, but I did find some relief (although not a cure) through Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). However, to be able to put up with my performing demands, I had to regularly visit chiropractors, osteopaths and physiotherapists in order to get physically in balance again.
In an effort to find a way to sort out myself and stop needing ‘fixing’ by other specialists, I was introduced to the Alexander Technique. It showed me a way to live without this constant readjustment. The effects of the continuous practice of the technique on my life inspired me to train as a teacher. I decided to immerse myself in the transformational process that one goes through by attending a Teacher Training Course and for that reason I moved to London from Athens. Three years later, I successfully qualified and started teaching. I was amazed by the similarities of all the principles of the Alexander Technique with the Daoist Principles that underlie the practice of QiGong and that resulted in combining both traditions in my practice. During my training, my lupus symptoms disappeared to the doctor's surprise, but I believe this was a direct consequence of the practice of the technique. It is my firm belief that stress (in all levels), which is not kept in safe distance, can cause disharmony in all levels. I owe the Alexander Technique the skill I learned that enables me to observe the way stress is triggered in my system and allows me to consciously process it without losing my integrity. I always look forward to sharing this life transformative process with all who can recognise its value.
Further on, in the ongoing journey of healing myself in body mind and spirit, I started having Five Element Acupuncture treatment. The ceremonial quality of the Five Element Acupuncture was something very different to the style of acupuncture that I had in the past and felt much deeper. So I decided to grow my knowledge more and trained in J.R. Worsley’s Five Element Acupuncture. Alongside this journey I have always been using Aromatherapy and created a series of healing oils and sprays that I use when treating or teaching and upon request make for others.
It is with great pleasure that I am now able to help people from all backgrounds and ages to achieve balance of body, mind and spirit with a wide range and combination of practices. I am dedicated to growing my understanding of the flow of the life-force energy and the ways that we can reach a state of new equilibrium. The ways that we can affect the energy and direct it are many and the inner arts as they are called by the Daoists are deeper than our understanding.
Roxani Eleni Garefalaki is an Acupuncturist, Alexander Technique teacher and teaches Tai Chi and QiGong emphasizing on their healing and meditative properties.
Her background is in performing arts having worked as a performance artist and director for many years and she is still active as such.
As a performing artist she uses a holistic approach to performance combining movement with sound, in order to explore the connections between art and healing.
She specializes in organic movement and Butoh, using symbolism. Her research is inspired by her love for Daoism, Nature and for the works of Bachelard, C. Yung, world Mythology, Anthropology, ancient greek philosophy, evolutionary biology, poetry and healing. Being influenced by a holistic mind/body approach to movement she was drawn by Butoh's unique coaching for performers, which helped her discover how to keep the dialog with the inner self while performing for an audience, how to explore different experience of performing time and qualities and how to condense the energy, keeping the balance between giving outwards and connecting inwards.
She has trained in music (Bachelor Degree in Harmony- Higher Theory of Music (Hellenic Conservatory), classical singing, Healing through Sound and voice (Joe Tornabene, Roy Hart theatre), and Butoh movement (with Moeno Wakamatsu & Sai Misima). She has performed in all kinds of stages, from ancient Greek theatres ( Epidaurus, Herodeion, Phillipoi etc, with the National Theatre of Greece and the Hellenic Festival, Opening of the 2011 Athens' Special Olympics Ceremony,) to street theater for the Cultural Olympiad for the 2004 Athens' Olympics, children’s theatre, dance theatre and circus cabaret, combining singing with physical theatre elements, stilts, aerial acrobatics and fire juggling and has acted on few short films.
Roxani is also a creator of performances, being a songwriter, lyricist and script writer. She has created productions addressing to different audiences, from dance theatre to open air stages and stadiums eg. (Art Sung productions "Clara Schumann" and "Alma Mahler" by Elizabeth Mucha, at Wilton’s Music Hall London 2017 (stage direction, lighting design), “Perform to Reform” Erasmus+ EU Program, Jugend & Culturproject e.V. producing the “Great Wheel” dance theatre (script, direction, music, scenography & performing), Dresden, Germany, “The Art of Basking”, Thessaloniki European Youth Capital 2014, “Seven” circus- cabaret dance theatre (Script, direction, costume design, scenography & performing), El Convento del Arte theater, Athens Zen Garden’s “Semantic” opening the Future Sound of London in Athens (23.5.09) at Olympic Softball stadium).