Onyx Uriarte was born in Detroit Michigan. During childhood family circumstances moved her to Canada, and since then from a young age she has been impassioned to come to a greater sense of wholeness and balance in relation to suffering. As a teen Onyx read Don Juan’s words to Carlos Castenda, “To the ordinary man, everything that happens to him is either a curse or a blessing. To a warrior, each thing is a challenge.” Warrior here is to be understood with the meaning from spiritual traditions throughout the world of practicing human bravery, and fearlessness. To be heroic and kind, to be who you are, and taking on the responsibility of offering help to others without imposition. Bringing this approach into her healing practice as a Registered Massage Therapist, has Onyx looking at the uniqueness of everyone against the universal background of our shared humanity.
Onyx is a graduate of York Universtiy in Theatre Direction with a minor in Psychology. She spent a few years on the theatre scene before studying at ISIS– Canada to graduate as a certified Expressive Art Therapist. Her work then was with the Toronto School Board and Clarke Institute, where she partnered with teachers in their classrooms to use drama therapy as a means of connecting with “at risk” children. Through dramatic metaphor in stories and movement the intent was to bring about a greater sense of internal cohesion for the children, and overall group cohesion in the classroom. When this project was later affiliated with the George Hull Centre, Onyx published an article contributing to a resource manual for teachers dealing with aggressive and at– risk children.
Onyx then moved on to work with adults within various settings, from individual homes to mental health centres. She spent six years working full time as an Expressive Art Therapist at Muki Baum Treatment Centre For Adults and Children with Complex Disabilites. Here Onyx worked as part of a therapy team to address deep trauma issues experienced by the adults at the centre. As an Expressive Art Therapist, her work was being informed very much so from the physical body, and the importance of being comfortable in our own skin. This interest has led Onyx to various studies of body work, shamanic energy healing and movement therapy in Canada and the United States. A focus on Craniosacral therapy with its deep healing potential is an important aspect of Onyx’s work. Since 1998 she has completed several levels of Craniosacral therapy and has teacher assisted classes for the Cranial Centre in Toronto. While serving at Muki Baum, Onyx established a Massage therapy student placement program with Sutherland– Chan massage school. In 2006, she began a full time study in Massage Therapy at Kikkawa College and graduated with honours.
It is important to Onyx to continue education and keep her creative process and meditative practice alive, as this all provides the fertile ground for her to be with clients on their own healing journeys.
In 2012, Onyx completed training in Contemplative End of Life Care at the Institute of Traditional Medicine. Getting to know her client’s over the years, it is apparent that many face the responsibility of supporting their aging parents and other relatives. The compassionate assistance received from a thanadoula, midwife for the dying, can be a soothing balm at the end of life. The meditative quality of her work and her passion to assist others led Onyx to this training. When called upon Onyx is honoured to offer soothing touch at the end of life for those home bound or in palliative care.
In late Spring 2016, Onyx graduated with honours from AIM — Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine Academy and now offers Registered Acupuncture in sessions. Her approach incorporates a gentle Japanese acupuncture perspective that mixes well with her hands on healing or on its own.