My Level 4 Modality Saved My Work Life

My Level 4 Modality Saved My Work Life


Originally published in Energy Magazine: The official Publication of the Healing Touch Program March issue.  My Level 4 Modality Saved My Work Life by Ellen Laffey, HTCP

The Parthenon in Athens, Greece is a site to be­hold. Five thousand years old! When one stands on this hallowed ground, you cannot believe you are walking in the steps of Socrates, Aristotle and Saint Paul.


Marble is the stone from which the Parthenon is constructed. As time, weather, and millions of visitors have worn down the marble, it is very slippery from dust and sand covering the stone. Signs alert visitors, “Slippery rock; watch your step.



While on the grounds of the Parthenon, I was walking and tak­ing in the site. I stepped over a very low pile of rocks. The bot­tom of my sneaker slid right down the side of the rock. My feet and legs rose up in the air, and I came right down onto my coc­cyx on top of stone. I checked my spine, legs and arms before I got up. No damage. I was so thankful as people surrounded me to help me up.




However, weeks later back home and at work, I had mental messages at work to not pick up anything that was too heavy. Then, one Saturday while coaching Special Olympic Bowling, I found I was experiencing spinal nerve pain. By late afternoon, I could barely move. Moving anything in my body caused nerve pain. I had no clue what to do. On Sunday I went to the Urgent Care Center, moving excruciatingly slowly.

Diagnosis: Sciatica from the fall. Treatment: Muscle relaxants and pain medication; call your doctor.

Being a problem solver myself, but never experiencing a spinal problem, I had no idea how to handle solving this.

Then it came to me. Shiatsu! Shiatsu is an acupressure using knuckles and palms for pressure, instead of full hands as in a massage.

Healing Touch students moving from graduation from the program are prepared during their year or so of apprentice­ship through eight different assignments incuding the receiv­ing of ten different holistic modalities. After my Level 4 class, I chose to experience Shiatsu as one of the modalities. I had interviewed Bill Anderson, whose integrative medical specialty was Shiatsu, as well as massage, Craniosacral, Qi Gong, Yoga, and Reflexology. I immediately called him. That Wednesday, I walked into his office as if I had been riding on a horse for a month – having never ridden a horse before. Bill said, “I’ll race you.” I said, “You win.” “Oh, you give up so easily!” he replied. We laughed. After telling my story, he began to work on my injured spine. After a one-half hour session, I walked out of his office with a normal gait and no pain. I was able to drive home without having to take deep breaths to withstand nerve shocks to my body.

After thanking God for the people who developed muscle relax­ants and pain medication, I now thanked God for Bill and his knowledge of Shiatsu that put my spine back into alignment.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Ellen_Laffey_Photo.jpgWhy was this healing very important to me? In spite of the obvi­ous, at the hospital where I work, I was just about to begin a three-month Healing Touch research study doing HT for hospital inpatients. I did not know how I would be able to do this study with an injured back. Now, the study can go forward, and I am looking forward to HT becoming a mainstay, integrative medicine here at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, Milwaukee, WI.


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