Soft Tissue

As my hands ran along the spine my client, Shirley, flinched a bit. I slowed my hands, took a breath, and ask, “Did you feel that?”

“Yes, what is it?”

“That is your tissue, it’s a bit lumpy?”

“Why?”

In my mind, I see Shirley running around like a chicken with her head cut off. Tears form in my eyes as I witness an emotional scene. Aloud I say, “Life can be busy and we tend to get caught up in it. Sometimes we hold on to things; things that are ours and things that are others. These things build in the body and make the tissue hard. Muscle tissue is meant to be soft, thus the term, SOFT TISSUE.” My hands continue to work. Eventually, I feel the tissue softens as if it heard me whisper, be soft. I ask Shirley, “Do you feel that?”

“Feel what?”

This is such a common reply that after thirty-two years in the therapy field it makes me smile. People don’t feel their bodies, they “think” them; meaning they think they are tight or loose. I continue to run my hands along Shirley’s spine. “Follow my hands. Do you feel them on your back?”

“Yes.”

“As you feel my hands touching you, can you feel how smooth it is here?”

“Yes.”

I reach the lumpy spot. “Now, do you feel this?”

“It feels hard,” Shirley squirms, “uncomfortable.”

Another smile of recognition from me. “Yes, it is hard.” As Shirley tunes into the hard tissue I take her back to the soft tissue. “What do you feel here?”

“It just feels good. I don’t feel any pain. I guess I’d say it’s soft.”

Finally, Shirley has gotten the picture. “Yes, the tissue is meant to be soft, that’s why it’s called SOFT TISSUE.”

“Oh. so it being hard is not good?”

“Do you feel the difference between the hard tissue and the soft tissue?” My digits slide over both areas on Shirley’s back.

“Yeah, the hard tissue feels painful. The soft part is comforting, like being wrapped in a cozy blanket.”

“Exactly, the hard tissue contains life deposits, the soft tissue is the natural environment. Tissue gets hard which makes things difficult. When it is soft, everything flows. Soft tissue allows the energy to flow.”

“I like it when I feel the flow, there is no pain.”

“Your body appreciates it as well.”

Shirley’s session continues in an upcoming blog. Stay tuned to learn more about the body and how therapy assists general health as well as specific issues. Until then, be well… Nancy T

Advertisements

It’s Not What You Think

The mind can be a powerful instrument. It can also be a trickster. Prior to traveling to Colorado to celebrate my 35th anniversary of life AFTER the cliff, I thought I’d be reliving the incident with Michael, the man who was behind me when I fell 40ft and disappeared before his eyes. However, my mind didn’t prepare me for not feeling 100%. In order to travel, I rested to clear my head as much as possible. Still congested, I did the best I could with the energy on-hand. All weekend, I wished I felt better but I also found gratitude for the health that I take for granted most days.

Although nature has always inspired me, my other interests have changed. The Fort Collins weekend home had a yoga studio. Each day I took time to sit, meditate and do a few asanas (poses) to assist my healing, in a much more an inward journey than an outward experience. In college, my practice was partying, playing sports, and acting silly.

On October 16, 2017, I laid in bed and recalled the day I fell. As details flowed through my mind’s eye, I remembered how beautiful the day was as autumn filled the air. The leaves were turning color all over SIUC campus. I heard Little Grand Canyon was a special place to view the color change. After partying all night, I gathered friends to see what Mother Nature would provide for our senses. Slowly, we came together and headed to the great outdoors.

My mind shifted to the rescue of 1982. Being carried out of the canyon in a basket was a unique adventure. Transported by ambulance and then helicopter to the hospital, I knew my life was altered as I couldn’t feel anything from my chest down.

Last weekend in Fort Collins, I could feel the warmth of the covers touching my body, reminding me that I feel. Gratitude swept over me as I felt my body just laying calmly on the bed. I could feel my feet, my legs, my back, my arms, my head; all resting on the cozy surface. What a feeling!

As the day progressed, Beth, Michael and I headed for the hills. As a forester, Michael’s workplace is rather distinct and gorgeous. For hours we hung out at Borden Memorial Forest. I thought we’d do another video, talk about the event from our past, but I simply took the time in nature to reflect, to give thanks, to appreciate my friends and the impressive surroundings.

Later in the day there was some talk of my fall; who was there, what transpired afterwards for Michael. We reminisced, not only about October 16, 1982, but our time at SIUC. As I told Michael, we all have a story, it’s what we remember about our past. Some of it’s clear, some of it is foggy, some of it lost until a friend reminds us of an event. One thing is evident, we share a history.

It was great to be with Michael and his family. Elaine, Ben, and Nick dined with us each night furnished a wonderful home cooked meal. More memories were created and placed in the bank. The trip certainly wasn’t what I thought it would be, it was better. It showed me how deeply my fall touched lives and how it no longer consumes my life or those who shared the day with me. Be well… Nancy T

  • Go to http://naturalmassagetherapy.com/books/ to purchase your copy of “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life” by Nancy M. Turcich, NTS, BCPP. For a limited time, take advantage of a special offer (only available by email: nmt1@naturalmassagetherapy.com)$12.00 plus shipping and handling.
  • eBooks are available on Amazon, iTunes, & Nook.

Healing

In 1983, within four months, according to the medical model, I was healed. I could walk, I could go to the bathroom, I could get up from a chair, I could have a life. After falling 40 feet, becoming paralyzed, learning to maneuver again, and healing all that I had achieved left me angry, lost and wanting for my old self.

When people ask me how long did it take you to heal, I reply, what day is it? I’m not being facetious, I feel I am healing more and more each day. Had I followed allopathic theory, I would still be a stiff, spastic, non embodied person wandering this earth! They were correct, I could walk but that was only the start of my recovery. Healing has become a continuous for me. If I listened to my doctors, whatever nerves came back to life within the first two years would be all that my body could rejuvenate. Yet, decades later, my nerves still create sparks.

By 1985, I was ready to move on. Without entry into a Physical Therapy program I had a year to wait in order to reapply. My brother Ronny offered his place in Albuquerque as my new home. Once his wife Mel was onboard and my parents agreed to funding, I enrolled in the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics. I had no idea what I was getting into when I filed my application. Healing on many levels came wrapped in that package. My body went from jumping all over the massage table like a fish out of water, to a relatively calm existence. That helped the anger to dissipate and the frustration to lessen.

As I continued with natural therapy, my body persevered, stepping into the role of teacher. What a great teacher, to be guided within and on the outskirts of my body tissue. Any time an instructor explained something and I couldn’t wrap my head around it, my body showed me. Healing has come from each cell, reenforcing what would help in my healing.

For me, healing is a process, not an end game. Each day that I awaken and proceed in life, that is a healing day. To recognize my health, to feel my strength, to know how different it could all be. Although medically speaking I was healed 35 years ago, to me I am happy to continue the healing process, to become sound each and every day. I’m worth it. Healing is a great practice. Give it a shot! Be well… Nancy T

Headlines

Daily Egyptian 

Monday, October 18, 1982

SIU-C student falls from bluff

An SIU-C student is listed in critical condition after she fell off a bluff Saturday afternoon at Little Grand Canyon, south of Murphysboro.

Nancy Turcich, 19, of Chicago, was carried 1 1/2 miles by friends and volunteers to a parking lot, where she was transported by ambulance to St. Joseph’s Memorial Hospital in Murphysboro, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

The accident occurred when Miss Turcich slid down a waterfall or stream and went off the end of the bluff, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office said. Five volunteers joined her friends to help rescue her.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I made the headlines. Not in some great style or in a fabulous fashion, but a student falling from a nearby bluff stirred things up at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

It was only after 27 years that I heard from a friend that a reporter wanted to talk with them. Fearing repercussions (paranoid teens), they turned the reporter away.

While compiling,“Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life,” I tracked down the Daily Egyptian snippet. It was odd to read the words and imagine a young college reporter gathering the facts for the college newspaper.

I was told there were two volunteers plus professionals, but who am I to question the Egyptian’s totaling of five.

1 1/2 miles sounds like a walk in the park, except when you are carrying an injured person in a basket. Challenging rock formations, foliage, and sunset added to the stroll.

My buddy Mike was right, perhaps a different pathway would have been best, but I chose what looked like the fastest way down. I just didn’t see the 40ft drop between point A and point B.

I do remember being wheeled into the ICU after hours of tests only to hear, “We have a live on here.” I remember thinking, “Compared to what?” In my mind, everything was going to be ok. Once I saw the relief on my parent’s faces, the nurse’s comment registered more clearly. I was in the ICU, but I was responsive. In fact, I was talking and everything. Well, I couldn’t move. . . but I was ALIVE. Now that should have been the headline: SIU-C student falls from bluff and is ALIVE. Be well… Nancy T

  • Go to http://naturalmassagetherapy.com/books/ to purchase your copy of “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life” by Nancy M. Turcich, NTS, BCPP. For a limited time, take advantage of a special offer (only available by email: nmt1@naturalmassagetherapy.com) $12.00 plus shipping and handling.
  • eBooks are available on Amazon, iTunes, & Nook.

Anniversaries

When speaking of celebrating the day I fell from a cliff, I get mixed reviews. Some people think it is great, while others find it strange: Why celebrate something so tragic? For me, a life changing event with a positive outcome is well worth celebrating. October 16th is a day worth commemorating. Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life ~ Nancy M. Turcich available at http://naturalmassagetherapy.com/books/.

Today is September 22nd, the anniversary of my eldest brother Ronny’s death. There is no celebration, but I honor his memory. It wasn’t always that way. As a matter of fact, September 22nd had been a day of utter sorrow, fiery anger, and a day of great disappointment; in life and myself. Much of that came from Ronny’s choice to leave this Earth and my inability to STOP him. Through writing and many years of suffering, I have found a way to be okay with Ronny and to hold him in a fair light. In time, I felt he moved on and maybe I should too. In One of Eight–my perspective on our brother’s suicide,* I share my struggles, my guilt, and my journals.

Anniversaries mark events in our lives that have made us who we are today. For seven years, my fall made the greatest impression upon my life. Then, in 1989, Ronny checked out and nothing would ever be the same. Words last spoken, times spent, moments when the reality of what transpired sunk in, all played in my mind along with what “should” have been said, done, and completed, haunted me.

The saying, a Monday morning quarterback comes to mind. After all, at the cliff, had I listened to Michael and chosen a new route to descend, everything may have been different. Had Ronny’s day on September 22, 1989 been a little different, maybe he would have chosen to stay.

I’m not naive enough to think that I control situations, but I do know that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So, maybe, just maybe, I could have changed something by making a different choice.

For now, I am here, I am healthy and I am happy in my life. I hope Ronny found some peace and that he went on, somehow, someway. These anniversaries will be a part of my life for as long as they hold a space in my heart. And gratitude remains a part of it all. Both events took from me, but they also bestowed great treasures upon me. Would I change anything? Well, I’m certain that there would be different anniversaries to acknowledge. Be well… Nancy T

  • Go to http://naturalmassagetherapy.com/books/ to purchase your copy of “Finding My Way  From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life” by Nancy M. Turcich, NTS, BCPP. For a limited time, take advantage of a special offer  (only available by email: nmt1@naturalmassagetherapy.com): $12.00 plus shipping and handling.
  • eBooks are available on Amazon, iTunes, & Nook.

** 10 % of the proceeds from “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life” benefit the   Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundation.

Wheelies

Southern Illinois University in Carbondale (SIUC) is wheelchair accessible. In my time there, it was commonplace to see “wheelies” maneuvering about campus; powered by mouth straws, a joystick, or by hand.

In 1981, I met Ed, a wheelie from Chicago. Ed was old by college standards; probably in his late 20s or early 30s. Ed was riding his motorcycle when someone ran him off the road. The last thing Ed remembered was picking up his shoe and seeing his foot inside. Immediately afterwards, he passed out only to find himself a wheelie months later.

Although my first visit to a doctor in Chicago was in a wheelchair. I never became a wheelie.

In the early days of my recovery, I was transported through Firmin Desloge Hospital on a stretcher. I recognized the ceiling more than the decor. Years later, I revisited Firmin Desloge under my own power. In order to move on, I needed to walk the halls and see things from an upright position. Afterwards, my friend Ozzie and I toured St. Louis to create more positive memories of the Gateway to the West.

My family home in Chicago was anything but wheelchair accessible. Upon my arrival from St. Louis, several family members lifted me over the fence and carried me to my bedroom. An office chair became my makeshift transportation on the main floor. Although the width of the chair scraped the woodwork, it was manageable as well as cost effective.

I never imagined myself as a wheelie. In fact, I was so opposed to the idea that I threatened suicide if I was unable to walk again. That remark broke my mother’s heart. Thankfully, I wasn’t tested and her cardiac rhythm remained intact.

On a recent visit to Philadelphia, I met my cousin Margaret for breakfast at the Reading Terminal. Margaret is a wheelie. Living in the city allows her to get around on her own. With a lift out of her apartment, a powered chair, and bus service, Margaret enjoys a fairly active life. In our conversation, she mentioned how things improved once she stopped suffering. Margaret explained it this way, “Sometimes people hold on too long.” Although some consider walking with a cane or other device degrading, maybe it’s just the next step. Perhaps by using the cane, walker or wheelchair, they can be supported and have a better quality of life.

What I learned from Margaret, Ed, and the men in the movie The Best of Men (Trauma & Healing blog) was life goes on whether you are a wheelie or not. Making the best of your life is essential. I admire wheelies. Be well… Nancy T
** 10 % of the proceeds from “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life” benefit the   Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundation.

  • Go to http://naturalmassagetherapy.com/books/ to purchase your copy of “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life” by Nancy M. Turcich, NTS, BCPP. For a limited time, take advantage of a special offer (only available by email: nmt1@naturalmassagetherapy.com): $12.00 plus shipping and handling.
  • eBooks are available on Amazon, iTunes, & Nook.

The Ripple Effect

Toss a pebble into a pond and you see the “ripple effect.” In 1982, falling 40 ft. from a cliff was like a boulder plunging into a lake. The waves created were immense and they endured for years. As a matter of fact, recently retelling the story of my fall to a client, I felt the waves of the past crashing into the present. When I spoke of my friends observing my fall and their involvement in my rescue, her eyes filled with tears. She couldn’t believe how many lives were touched by what happened to me. In fact, 35 years later, she became part of the ripple effect.

Ern, an east coast cousin said, “I’ll never forget the day I got the call.” Working for a doctor in Philly, Ern was a “go to” for my parents. Ern’s sister Sandy lent us a station wagon to transport my paralyzed body from St. Louis to Chicago. So many people jumped in to help.

It’s always surprising how far ripples spread. In 1984, while touring Europe with my elder sister Kathy, we arrived on the island of Krk, our grandfather’s homeland. A relative met us at the bus stop. With a language barrier, after we pleasantly greeted each other, we quietly walked to her home. After exiting the WC, it was as if an ocean wave swept over the island. Our cousin grabbed hold of me and vigorously slapped my back, saying, “Nancy, Nancy, Nancy!” Bug-eyed, I looked over her shoulder to see my sister in shock. I mouthed, “What did you say?”

Kathy responded, “I guess she just figured out who you were.”

Family near and far received word of my fall. I could have done without the back slapping, however, the love and recognition were welcomed.

When I think of others, I see how what happened to me impacted so many. The ripple effect certainly played on the sea of my life. It doesn’t take much to see how each of us touch this world. Just look at the surface and the waves we create. Be well… Nancy T