NEW CLIENTS

Two New Clients

Last week, Well On The Way® received 2 new clients, one was 6 months old and the other was 93.

PART 1
The 6 month old, we’ll call him Joseph, was particularly interesting in his clarity of communication. Joseph’s mother, Anne, was an osteopath and she had taken one Upledger CranioSacral class just before Joseph was born. Since then, she was taking time off to be home with Joseph. She wanted Joseph to be treated with CranioSacral Therapy (CST) because he was having digestive difficulties, constipation and crankiness.

Joseph is a robust bright eyed little guy. He lay for a moment on the treatment table looking at me curiously. His mom was telling me a little bit about him and his birth. My hands were immediately drawn to his head, holding him with one hand on either side of the head. Instantly, he began to scream. “This is about his birth,” I said. “He’s mad about being induced. He didn’t want to come out just yet.”

Joseph drew himself up into a little ball and wiggled up against me until he was upside down in my lap, held against my abdomen with his head touching my legs as I sat on my treatment stool beside the table. He was slightly right of center in a perfect fetal position. He was screaming.

Joseph was induced a week early because his position pressing on his mom’s sciatic nerve was causing her absolutely miserable back pain. I looked at him leaning on my right pelvis and asked, “Was the pain on the right side?”

“Yes,” she said, “At the end, it was.”

“Ok, ok, Joseph,” I said. “You can stay. You don’t have to go anywhere just yet.” Joseph stopped screaming and listened.

“The position you’re in, pressing on mom’s right sciatic nerve is extremely painful. If you can move over into the middle, you can stay.”

Joseph was very still and quiet for about 10 seconds. Then, with a quick little wiggle, his body moved and was centered along my pelvis and low abdomen.

“Good,” I said, “You can stay there as long as you like.”

He stayed right there contentedly for a while, then wiggled down so his head was further down and pushing against my legs. He began to scream again.

“You can push through if you want to or not,” I said to him. “We’re not going to force you. You decide.”

He wiggled back up and got real quiet and content again. He repeated this a few times as if testing us. He always wiggled back up into the “womb” rather than continue through to “birth”. I wasn’t going to hurry him.

Now I spoke to mom. She seemed pretty amazed at this enactment and confused about whether or not she had made the right decision.”Ann,” I said, “your concern about if the decision to induce was right or if you should have continued on in pain is adding anxiety to the situation. So what do you say we change the energy? We’re just going to take 5 minutes and change the energy, OK?”

“What can you say to yourself that is the exact opposite of what you’re feeling right now? Something like ’I’m the perfect mother? or ’I feel great?’ or something that feels right for you.”

Ann thought and said, “I’m the perfect mum. But it’s not the truth.”

“That’s OK,” I said. “It doesn’t have to be. It’ll work anyway. Just start saying it and I’ll join you and we’re going to say it for 5 minutes.”

So Ann began and I joined her and she developed a unique rhythm to it as we spoke so we were eventually singing it “I’m the perfect mum” over and over and Joseph was getting so relaxed and quiet as we sang. He was still upside down in my lap and in a deep sleep as we finished and we all three were just vibrating with this perfect mum energy. It was the end of the session and Ann packed Joseph up and he never did wake up. Her homework was to do minimum of 5 minutes every day “I’m the perfect mum.”

PART 2
A spry elderly gentleman opened the front door. “Mr. Wilson?” I asked. “I’m here to give your wife a massage.””Oh,” he said, “She’s very bad today. You’d better take a look. She collapsed and she’s not feeling very well. She’s in here, in bed.”

In the bedroom was a hospital bed with a frail white haired woman under covers so you could barely see her. Her body was a bit twisted and her head at a sharp angle to her body. She did not look comfortable. We went out onto the porch to talk.

“She’s 93 years old and I’m 92,” Mr. Wilson told me. “I’ve been taking care of her for 9 years, ever since she fell and hit her head against the air conditioner. They say sometimes Alzheimer’s can be brought on by a fall. Sometimes she doesn’t even know me. She said to me, “Who are you?” I said, “I’m the crazy guy who married you 52 years ago. She looked me straight in the eye and said, Baloney!”

Mr. Wilson laughed vigorously and I joined him. “Then she told me I was too smart to be doing such work. I oughta get a better job. I told her it was a labor of love.”

I was in awe of this man who looked about 70, but was 92 and was his 93 year old wife’s sole care giver. My mind was having a hard time catching up with what was going on and I heard myself asking, “You probably have a lot of family living close by, right?”

“Did have,” he said. “They’re all gone now.”

“Where’d they go, did they move away?” I can’t believe I said that. I must have been in shock.

“Oh, yeah, they moved away,” and he began to laugh again, like it was a private joke. He was laughing so hard he could hardly talk. “They all moved away–up to the North White Plains Cemetery!” And he kept on laughing and it was so contagious and good natured, I was laughing, too.

“I want whatever you’re having,” I told him and we laughed some more.

I went into the bedroom and gave Mrs. Wilson the first massage she had ever had in her life. It was light touch lymphatic drainage therapy and in the first few minutes her whole demeanor changed and she visibly relaxed. Mr. Wilson was amazed.

“Looks like she likes it,” he said. “Florence, you like it?” he asked. And she nodded.

9/11 TRAUMA INTERVENTION

9/11 Trauma Intervention Team

By Elizabeth Pasquale, LMT, CST

Its December 20, 2001 and I’m on the train heading to NYC to join the Upledger Institute’s 9/11 trauma intervention team. The Swedish Institute for Massage Therapy on 26th street has donated space. I notice a headline in the Post that the man seated next to me is reading: “TWIN TOWER INFERNO FINALLY OUT.”

I think about that black cloud I lived under the week I was there doing volunteer work. I’d often wondered since then if it was still burning. Anytime I’d meet anyone who said they’d been down to Ground Zero, I’d ask, “Is it still burning?”

They always said yes. I’m so relieved to see, 3 months later, the fire is finally out.

It was a big classroom we worked in with about twelve tables set up and 24 therapists, 2 to a table. The idea it that everyone is treated in one room, so everyone’s energy helps everyone heal. Joanie is my first appointment.

Joanie lives in Battery Park City, 4 blocks from Ground Zero. She was at home with her 2 year old son that morning. Her windows face the river, so she didn’t see what happened. She heard a loud crash and as a new building was going up across the street, she thought the huge crane at the site had fallen over. So she went to the window and looked out and saw the crane was still there.

She then looked down and saw every person on the street below standing completely still, all looking in the same direction, all with the same look of horror on their faces. So she knew she had to get going. She got the baby into the stroller quickly and went out and began to run with everyone else up the West Side Highway.

Joanie was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease about 7 years ago and she shakes. Especially her hand shakes. She was shaking as she ran up the highway. But she looked around and for a change she noticed she was not the only one. Everyone was running and shaking. It’s not that she wasn’t scared, but just at that moment, she suddenly felt unreasonably happy.

That afternoon, my 1pm appointment still hadn’t shown up by 1:30, so I was assisting Penny. Her table was across from the door and I noticed a woman’s face in the window, then a man’s. I went to the door.

“She has a 1 o’clock appointment,” he said. “She’s late.”

“Marcia gave me her appointment,” the woman said. “My name is Faith.”

She kept looking down at the floor, fixing her gaze at her feet. I led her in to my table, but it was at the opposite end of the room and we had to go by everyone else. She never looked up once. Judith joined me and we began to work.

We found out later, she suffered that morning from agoraphobia-fear of going out. She managed to call her boyfriend and asked him to walk her over here.

“I’m having panic attacks,” Faith said. “It started about a month ago. It’s just too much. I’m moving out of the city with my son, Steven. He’s 3. We got a big loft in Brooklyn. And my 2 friends who were supposed to take it with me, they backed out because they lost their jobs. And other friends don’t want to move to New York now. They’re moving to New Jersey. I can’t handle it alone. I can’t sleep or I collapse and want to give up. The last time this happened was 10 years ago. It was too much then, too.”

“Tell me about what was going on 10 years ago…”

So we go back 10 years and find we have to go back a lot more years to when she was 3 and felt like she’d done something bad and become like a dirty little animal that her grandmother hated. It was a long trip back from there to the present with lots of detours until finally she was back. It was such a long and exhausting lifetime, that we decided she would take a 2 week vacation during the last 10 minutes of her session. She went on a relaxing train ride while Judith and I finished up some structural work.

She decided all she needed was a couple good people to move in with her, so she made her request to “World”. And World replied that he’s thinking about it and what’s required is Trust.”Trust takes more work,” she says. “Sometimes its easier to go with fear. It’s more familiar and I get to fall apart, let everything collapse and there’s nothing more I have to do. With Trust, I have to take the next step. OK. I can do that.”

“Oh, so that’s what this room looks like,” she says when we finish. “I didn’t dare look before.” She leaves looking out at the world with interest, upbeat, light in her face.

After 3 days Tad tells us we’ve treated 64 people. They fill out forms when they leave, answer a couple of questions about whether or not they feel the therapy has helped them. Tad says the response is overwhelmingly positive.

“Keep up the good work,” he says. “You guys are doing great.” He’s much too modest and we have to remind him that its because of him that we’re there and he’s all the time arcing the room, landing at one treatment table or another and often taking over, much to the relief of myself and the other therapists.

Everyone mentions how much it means to them, the 9/11 trauma victims, that therapists have come all the way from Ireland to help out. We decide that in any future program, this would be something we would like to continue-having therapists from abroad. It gave us all the feeling that our trauma is shared, it’s not just our trauma.

Judith came from Ireland and she talked about how easy it was for her to raise money for the trip. She just went into a room full of people and told them what she wanted to do, and they gave her the money. They said, “You go and we’ll feel as if we went, too. We want to do something to help.”

Tad tells us the only criticism he’s received on the evals is this one: People are arriving for trauma treatment, maybe its not such a good idea to have a skeleton in the waiting room. Up until then, we really hadn’t noticed that there were skeletons hanging all over the place. Tad tried to put them behind screens. But the next morning when I arrive, there’s a skeleton standing in the hall, facing us as we come out of the elevator.

Penny tells me about Jessica. Jessica worked on the 72nd floor of 2 WTC. When the first plane hit the other tower, she curled up under her desk in the fetal position in terror, thinking she was going to die. Then she ran down 72 flights of stairs in 3 inch heels. Over the loudspeaker she heard, “Return to your office. You are perfectly safe.”

Then on the street, Jessica ran with everyone else. She ran to her boss’ house. They heard planes overhead and thought the attack was continuing. She hid in the closet curled up in the fetal position again.

Penny said, “We just kept releasing layer after layer of fear. So much fear kept coming out of her.”

Dave asks us one afternoon at our after session get together, “Does anyone else feel the energy cysts in the air? I mean, you release an energy cyst, and then there’s another one and another. And it seems as if they linger outside the body, in the air, and as you inhale they re-enter. And then you release it again.”

Tad leads us in a meditation. He asks us to breathe in the trauma, the energy cysts, the traumatized cloud that NYC is experiencing, to breathe it into ourselves. And then to release it, breathe it out, and breathe out our healing intentions for New York, and for us all. We breathed in and out. Breathed in the trauma. Breathed out the antidote.

Fran lived downtown. She had some stomach problems, bloody stools since September 11. She’d been to the doctor. We identified fear living in her stomach. We asked how long it had been there in her stomach, when had it entered. She said she didn’t know.So I aged it the way Jean Pierre Barral teaches you to age a scar and I got a fuzzy period between 7 and 14 years old and picked age 10. So I asked her, “What was going on when you were 10?”She was quiet and then said, “Nothing really. I can’t think of anything.”

We went on and were doing structural work: liver, stomach, kidney. Then she tells me she grew up in Jerusalem and maybe there was something around when she was 10.

“Was that the Suez Canal War?” she asked. “Let me think. The Cuban Missile Crisis happened around that time. And when I was 10, we began sleeping in a bomb shelter at night. But none of that was unusual. I’m surprised to find fear around from that time. I thought it didn’t affect me anymore.”

“I just don’t get it. Fear is like an old friend to me. He’s been around so long. So why did it affect me so, when I saw the towers go down. We watched from Canal Street. Why did I feel so much, so much shock? I thought I’d be used to it by now. I thought I’d be numb.”

So she pictured herself sitting down with Fear in our waiting room and talking with it. Fear shrugged and said to her, “What did you expect?” And she laughed.

It got to be Friday, the end of the day. Tad gives us the number of people we’ve treated each day and it was something like 100.Gene told us he loved treating Laurie. Laurie was 8 weeks pregnant. Gene said, “Here she is, bringing a new baby into the world. The new generation. And I couldn’t find any fear in her body at all. None. I was so happy, filled with hope. She was delivering a baby to the world, completely fearless. I told her she was the start of a new breed of New Yorkers. Completely fearless.”

Copywrite E.Pasquale 2001

Reminiscences: September 11

Everyone remembers where they were on September 11, 2001. I was one of those first responders one hears so much about, because there were so many of us.

While there were thousands who were there at the time of the initial impact and were fleeing terrified on foot, there were almost as many going against the tide. We were called the “first responders” and we were going to where we felt we could help. We were policemen and firemen and doctors and nurses. We were also massage therapists, actors, kitchen staff, chefs, clergy, and volunteers from every walk of life.
I don’t know about the others, but I for one was very scared on my way down there. I sat at home watching the images and that evening I picked up the phone and called the one doctor I knew in Manhattan, Dr. Antonio Abad. Antonio worked for Bellevue Hospital and he picked up the phone when he called.
He said, ” I can’t believe you got hold of me. I just walked into my apartment for a shower. I’ve been at Ground Zero since the attack, setting up a triage center. Yes, come right down.”
So the next morning I headed down there. The subway wouldn’t go south of 23rd Street, so I had to walk the rest of the way. The streets were closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles. I was walking straight into that big black cloud. I was hoping someone would stop me. Instead, when I got to 14th Street, I saw a bunch of men getting into a truck. They said, “Where are you going?”
I pointed to the cloud.
They said, “So are we. Get in.”
So I got in and they dropped me into the cloud in front of a door. I went inside. The cloud was just as thick inside.
Someone eventually gave me a mask, which I wore day and night for 1 week while I was there. I started by joining the sandwhich hand out line. Then Antonio found me and began bringing me clients to treat.
There were massage tables brought by therapists, as well as cots. Antonio wanted me to identify people who were to exhausted to work so he could send them home. People were working 48, 72 or longer hours straight with hardly a break for food and certainly not for sleep. They were digging through the rubble looking for people. I won’t tell you what they were finding.
A group of massage therapists, chiropractors and I were eventually stationed with a line of tables on the stairway landing. It was a huge stairway and about 10 tables and chairs fit on the landing. We received people to treat night and day. We worked in 24 hour shifts. I don’t know what the others were doing. I was doing CranioSacral Therapy (CST) and Lymph Drainage Therapy (LDT).
These therapies examine the fluid flows of lymph fluid and cerebrospinal fluid around the body, similar to taking a pulse and feeling blood flow. What I found is the trauma of 9/11 almost completely stopped the flow of these fluids. This is common in shock and everyone there was in shock. They all had stories to tell. The CST & LDT treatments allowed them to relax for that time with me, and unload their stories. And unload tears.
It was an awful time, and it was a wonderful time. Awful for all the obvious reasons. Wonderful for all the hidden wonders, hidden from the public out in TV land. People were heroic on an everyday basis. They were moved beyond their normal capabilities and rose to superhero dimensions. All of us. Including me.
I never in my life imagined I would be capable of treating through the night, 18 hours nonstop, 2 or 3 hours sleep, and then do it again.
So on September 11, 2011, let’s get together to celebrate our superhero inside. We’re offering a great big room, large enough to hold all of us, our healing light, our traumas, our massage tables.
Please join us.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10am-1pm

222 Westchester Ave, Room 104

White Plains, NY 10577

(GPS: West Harrison)

For more information, Call: (914) 762-4693

Estelle

You know, I don’t exactly know how energy therapies work.  All I know is, I’ve witnessed some amazing things. For instance, I work for Hospice.  I work there in the capacity of a massage therapist and when people are dying, I go in on their request and make them more comfortable
with a massage.  I use the more energetic therapies with them because the light touch is very soothing and seems to work better for them.

There was this one time when I went to see a woman about 80 years old who was dying of cancer.  (more…)

Trauma, Death, And A Summer Paint Job in December: A Year In Review

It’s a quiet morning caused by an unexpected snowstorm.  I’d like to be full throttle in renovating my home, but scheduled workers didn’t show.  It’s the perfect moment for the quiet introspection I’ve been dreaming of.

Max New Year;s Day last year.

Last December at this time, my dog, Max was in a doggie wheelchair and the vet told me he would never walk again.  The family holiday powwow was to schedule one sibling to be with Mom 24/7 because she had just completed her cancer surgery and needed round the clock assistance.  Mom and I were debating the value of life at 4 AM on a regular basis.

The surgery to remove the tumor from under her right cheekbone meant removing her right cheekbone, her right eye which had been invaded by cancer, and, well let me explain it this way. If you put your finger touching the middle of the roof of your mouth, everything to the right had to go.

Shortly after the surgery, they put in a very refined denture that mimicked the roof of mom’s mouth.  Without that, she couldn’t talk or eat.  She was trying to figure out the care of it, she was exhausted and beat up from the surgery.  The surgery impacted her hearing.  She was completely deaf without her hearing aide and the hearing aide was working inconsistently.  Her sight was much worse.  She had trouble breathing and frequent nightmares.

I spent nights with her at the hospital and she would wake from nightmares at 2 or 4 AM.  She would say how if she knew it was going to be this bad, she would rather die.  We would debate the merits of living and dying.  I would interject Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to release some of the emotion, much of it, fear.

Surgery can result in a form of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  The patient’s subconscious feels it is being attacked and doesn’t recognize this is a life-saving measure.  Mom’s nightmares were part of that syndrome.  Fortunately, I was able to get in there quickly with EFT.

When we got home, Mom slept for a while sitting up in a chair in the living room.  It was hard for her to breathe lying down.  By then we took turns staying with her.  During my turns, we often had those 4 AM discussions and EFT.

I briefly mentioned that my dog was in a wheelchair.  Just as my mom’s surgery was scheduled, my dog, Max, became paralyzed.  It was just before Thanksgiving.  He’s a little Bichon and the vet said a lumbar disc had dislocated.  The vet also said, after a couple weeks went by & Max didn’t show improvement, that he would never walk again.

I have to thank my good buddy, Steve Kowalczyk, for nursing Max.  I was pretty full time taking care of Mom.  So Max went to Steve’s house and got excellent nursing.  It was a lot to ask of anyone.  Max couldn’t get up at all on his back legs, so he had to be cleaned up several times a day and carried outside to relieve himself and held.

So in the back of my mind were life and death questions about Max as well.  I didn’t entertain them much, though.  Somehow I knew Max would be well and Mom would, too.

Maybe I felt that way because I was able to help them.  Mom would never take my USANA vitamins before.  But in her helpless state, I drowned her in them the best I could!  I ground them up and put them in her food, her drinks, her deserts.  I did the same for Max.

And I was able to do EFT, CranioSacral Therapy, Lymph Drainage Therapy, and Liss Stimulation, every skill I knew from my work I employed for both of them.

Around this time last year, we took Max to get his wheelchair.  As soon as he stood in it, he was so happy.  Since there was no weight on his back legs, he began moving them.  The woman at the custom wheelchair shop said that indicated that he would probably recover.

Max recovered and he’s still recovering.  At Thanksgiving, my daughter and I took a long hike in the woods.  I debated with myself whether to take him, as he hadn’t done any really long walks.  It was one of our favorite places we used to walk.  So I took him and he kept up and enjoyed it.

Our walk with Max, Nov 2009

Mom is back to her energetic self that our family really hadn’t seen in over 10 years.  She had gotten really overweight and was on medications for high blood pressure and cholesterol.  For about the last 6 years, she had lost her ability to walk any distance at all.  She had gone from a person who wore all her children out shopping, to someone who couldn’t make it across a parking lot.

After the surgery, she got her energy back better than ever.  She lost about 70 lbs and she did it healthy, not losing muscle.  She ran around taking everyone shopping and running the show this Christmas.  She’s still taking her vitamins on her own, just in case they have something to do with her anti-aging energy boost.

Mom clowning around in the kitchen Christmas day.
Max as Santa
Max as Santa 12/25/09

The only crazy thing was, well, actually there were 2 crazy things.  My ex-husband, the composer, Michael Galasso, died on September 9 and my brother, the cardiologist, Michael Pasquale, died September 17.

Mike Galasso had been struggling with his health for years and died of a heart atack while my daughter, Catherine was visiting him at his home in Paris. She had 5 weeks with him and he died the day before she was to fly back to NY.  They were very close and it’s been very tough for her.

She’s a choreographer and she’s been able to channel her grief in very interesting ways through performances she’s given in both NY and San Francisco.  It’s been both tough and inspiring watching her.

Out of the blue, while Mom was in recovery mode in the spring, my brother, Mike got diagnosed with cancer and died in September.  My brother, Tony, and I were together at Mom and Dad’s when Mike died and we gave them the news.  It could be the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Summer paint job in the snow. It’s all done & ready to go!

So here I am.  The snow is on the ground and on the scaffolding that stands in front of my house.  I live and have an office in a 3 story brick & cast iron building that dates from 1876.  Painting the cast iron and pointing the bricks, sprucing up the rusting facade, was supposed to be a summer job.  The summer job turned into a winter job, the contractor just finished yesterday, after many delays.  The scaffolding is supposed to come down the first clear day we get in the new year.

I’m deep into interior renovations of my home & office.  It’s planned to be a winter job and be done by March, in time for Chinese New Year!  I’ll keep you posted.

Happy New Year!

Well On The Way
The Natural Way To Well Being
191 Main St., 2nd Floor, Ossining, New York 10562
(914) 762-4693