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02-28-2008, 10:17 PM #41
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03-10-2008, 11:27 PM #42
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Read through. Great article! Good news.
L. Ron Hubbard detox program improving the health and quality of life for Fire Department of New York (FDNY) firefighters and emergency medical personnel who responded to the WTC attacks
Health Beat - Detoxification Clinic Offers Hope for WTC Responders
By Mary Jane Dittmar
Senior Associate Editor
Fire Engineering Magazine
Detoxification, a process through which the level of toxic chemicals in the body is reduced, has been shown to be effective in improving the health and quality of life of Fire Department of New York (FDNY) firefighters and emergency medical personnel who responded to the WTC attacks or worked there in the rescue and recovery phases. The health and overall well-being of tens of thousands of firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, and other rescue workers, have been adversely and severely affected by exposure to the multitude of toxic substances that permeated the WTC environment for weeks and months.
As of December 31, 2002, 18 responders, including union leaders and some of the most respected firefighters in FDNY, had undergone detoxification through The New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project/Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education (FASE) at Downtown Medical, P.C. a newly renovated clinic located at 139 Fulton Street.
The Scope of the Problem
"Exposures resulting from the WTC disaster are unprecedented. The toxic dust, fume and vapor that arose from the collapsing WTC and subsequent fire contained hundreds of different toxic chemicals, including dioxins, PCBs, asbestos, silica, benzene, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, manganese, chromium, lead, mercury, nickel, oxides of nitrogen and sulfur," according to Dr. James G. Dahlgren, M.D., assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Moreover, he says, "The great force generated by the collapsing towers "created ultra-fine particles of these toxins-smaller than have ever been seen before-making the 'dust' that resulted in many ways more like a gas, rendering the body mechanisms intended to protect the lungs useless."
The public health response to this serious problem has been focused primarily on respiratory distress, particularly the "World Trade Center cough."
Research on toxic exposures conducted over recent decades, the most recent pertaining to Gulf War veterans, has shown that serious health problems can develop if preventative measures are not taken.
One FDNY firefighter who had undergone the Hubbard method of detoxification used in The New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project had purple sweat come out of his body for 11 days during the process. The towel was sent for analysis; manganese--a known carcinogen-was the main substance identified.
FASE was established in 1981 as a coalition of researchers, physicians, scientist, environmentalists, and other professionals. It has participated in studies and reports of the Hubbard detoxification method, developed by L. Ron Hubbard, author and humanitarian. These documents have been published by organizations including the World Health Organization, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Society for Occupational Health, and the American Public Health Organizations.
In October 2001, FASE received calls from rescue workers concerned about the long-term effects of exposures during the WTC operations. Subsequently, representatives of FASE came to New York and met with union representatives and officials responsible for the medical care of the rescue workers. The objective of all parties was to do anything possible to help the rescue workers who were suffering.
In January 2002, Thomas Manley, the health and safety officer for the Uniformed Firefighters Association, invited Keith Miller, FASE president and founder of HealthMed Sacramento, California; David Root, M.D., FASE senior associate and board-certified occupational medicine specialist; Jim Woodworth, C.C.D.C., a certified chemical dependency counselor, executive director of HealthMed, and acting director of the International Academy of Human Detoxification Specialists, to come to New York to present information on the detoxification program to FDNY medical officers. HealthMed, a not-for-profit corporation, has supervised the administration of the Hubbard detoxification program in a clinical setting to more than 3,500 individuals who were suffering from the effects of chemical exposure. They later met with local physicians qualified to deliver the program in a clinical setting, and a Project advisory board comprised of authorities in the fields of environmental medicine and public health was established.
In addition to Manley, the Project has the support of FDNY's executive chief surgeon, the executive director of Fire and Life Safety for FDNY, and Israel Miranda, health and safety co-chair for the EMTs and Paramedics of the FDNY.
Apryl McNeil, M.D., a board-certified family practice specialist and specialist in medical acupuncture, HIV medicine, and nutritional therapies, heads the clinic.
The New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Fund was established in November 2002,. It will solicit donations to cover the costs of detoxification for rescue workers and others affected by WTC exposures.
The first rescue workers entered the detoxification program in September 2002 and completed it in October 2002.
Today, the number of new arrivals is greatly increasing, predominantly the result of word-of-mouth accounts from participants. The Project has developed a protocol for a research project that will involve the health screening of 1,000 firefighters and the detoxification of 100. In addition, since many firefighters do not live in Manhattan, plans are underway to construct clinics on sites outside of Manhattan. The first will be in Hickesville, Long Island. Local contractors have agreed to build the clinic at cost.
The Hubbard detoxification methodology has been widely implemented, studied, and demonstrated to be safe and effective. Hubbard began researching the effects of radiation and chemicals on the human body in 1940s and 1950s. He developed and piloted various detoxification protocols in the 1970s, which evolved into the present methodology. The program is used extensively in drug rehabilitation, through the Narconon group.
The basic elements of the Hubbard detoxification program are the following:
Daily doses of immediate-release niacin.
Moderate aerobic exercise.
Intermittent sauna to force sweating, a primary elimination route for toxins.
Subjects take frequent showers to cool down and remove substances from the skin and prevent their reabsorption. Liquids are administered, and participants are monitored for signs of dehydration and heat exhaustion.
Ingestion of cold-pressed oils, to prevent mobilized toxins from being reabsorbed by the intestines.
Vitamin and mineral supplementation.
FDNY Detoxification Results
A participant who described himself as "depressed, angry, and sullen," and said that "there was just no enjoyment out of life anymore" came to the program "hoping to regain some sense of normalcy."
After completion of the process, he reported the following to Project personnel:
"While on the program I experienced a change in my overall attitude and my mood. The best description I can give is that I feel more comfortable in my own skin. I no longer feel tired, depressed, weak, angry, or sullen. I sleep like a baby now. My future looks bright, and I am not overwhelmed by life like I was prior to the detox and after 9/11. I had no idea how this program could have renewed every aspect of who I am! This includes physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
"I want you to know that if you have taken part in this project to help people, you certainly accomplished your goal with me. I am at a place where I never thought I would get back to again."
Another rescuer who had completed the program reported the following:
"Prior to September 11, 2001, I was in good health both mentally and physically. The attack on the WTC changed it all for me ... The effects started to manifest in October 2001. I developed significant respiratory problems, lack of energy, loss of concentration, loss of short-term memory, irritability, loss of patience and mood swings. I was so sick at times I missed approximately five to six weeks of work total. I was concerned that the department would be forced to retire me prematurely. I was taking two different steroids and an inhaler with little improvement ...."
He had learned about the detoxification program from Miranda, who introduced him to Woodworth, who explained the program. "It made sense in theory, so I decided to give it a shot," the rescuer said.
He summarized the results as follows:
"At approximately day three, I began to notice changes. I did not need to use my steroids or inhaler, nor have I had to since. This was amazing, since this was the first time in approximately 10 months I had not used an inhaler. I started feeling better physically. By day five, I noticed a pronounced change in my mental ability. My short-term memory had improved; my attitude and mood were much better.
"... As each day passed, I noticed improvement both physically and mentally. By the third week of the program, I was feeling like I did back in my college days--full of energy and mentally sharp. In summary, I feel I have benefited tremendously from this program ....
"I am committed to helping in any way possible to make this program available to my fellow rescue workers."
The daughter of a now retired firefighter from Manhattan's Rescue 1, related in a letter to the Project, at her father's request, how he, who was "worn down physically and mentally, sluggish, and sad" before starting the detoxification program became "more positive, uplifted, and hopeful" each day in the program. He had gained back his appetite, was sleeping better, and "gained energy and the desire to do things he had always enjoyed but had stopped doing. He felt his muscles strengthening, his lungs repairing, and his attitude changing. It was amazing.
"You gave us our dad back; you helped give one brave guy his health back," she concluded.
For additional information on the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project, contact Jim Woodworth, executive director, at (212) 587-3961.
Mary Jane Dittmar is senior associate editor of Fire Engineering magazine and fireengineering.com. Before joining the magazine in 1991, she served as editor of a trade magazine in the health/nutrition market and held various positions in the educational and medical advertising fields. She has a bachelor's degree in English/journalism and a master's degree in communication arts.
04-20-2008, 09:10 AM #43
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A New York voice. An intentional pause between measured words. A snippet of emotion piercing the moment. A perseverance shining through a tired soul. This was retired New York City firefighter and massage therapist James Kearney telling his story in the aftermath of September 11, 2001.
Tending to the Wounded
James Kearney was seeking out a dream on Sept. 11. Aboard a ship on the Atlantic Ocean, he had hoped to offer bodywork to on-board scientists. All that became insignificant when Kearney first heard the news. "The need to be home was a desperate need," Kearney said, six weeks after the attacks. "I knew firemen had to have been killed. Then one of the crewmen told me the numbers. It was devastating. The magnitude was beyond comprehension."
It took him a docking in Africa, a flight to Paris and a week of anxiety to get home, but Kearney finally returned to his loved ones on Sept. 19. The news at home was even more unbearable. Kearney had not only lost many of his firemen "brothers," but also his cousin, another New York City firefighter. Relief came in hearing his brother, also a NYC firefighter, was safe.
In the midst of grieving for his blood and brother families, Kearney said he hit the ground running. Eleven years on the job and it wasn't hard to guess where he went first. Ladder 22, Engine 76 -- his old company, his old firehouse.
While Kearney knew many of the firefighters who lost their lives that day, the men from his old company were graciously spared. "They got out miraculously," Kearney said. "The chief was responsible for saving many lives. He had taken a megaphone and intuitively, without the blessing of Command Post, started ordering men out." Many on their way up, turned around to heed the order. "They ended up in one of the few voids that didn't collapse," he said. "Some were trapped for five hours." Kearney said these are the severely traumatized.
He explained how the trauma is hitting on so many levels. Between funerals and recovery efforts, New York City firefighters are still manning their stations. "They're going from funeral to funeral with no respite." Kearney said there is an incredible grief permeating the men and women. "I think it will only get worse before it gets better."
In addition to the emergency personnel so directly impacted, Kearney said the needs are incredibly high throughout all of New York. "Some Red Cross areas are desperate," he said. "These workers are calling for help. They're dealing with displaced, stressed out people." The needs of these volunteers is just as critical, he said, citing the example of an art therapist who, while in the midst of her massage, started crying. "When she got up, she said the reason she was weeping was because someone was taking care of her," Kearney said. "Chaplains and ministerial people are dealing with the same thing, too" he said.
Survivor, grieving family member, caretaker, rescuer, bystander, witness -- Kearney believes there is one simple truth for all. "We all need to be touched, especially now."
The same is true of massage therapist and bodyworker. As Kearney explained his need to help and the comfort it brought him to work with the affected families, his words stopped. The tears flowed quietly for a brief moment before he continued on.
The grief comes in waves for Kearney, he explained, but he's learned to respect it. "I have my own healing process that I have to attend to. This is grief that I won't repress -- any of it. I'm willing to feel so I don't have to carry it forever."
Talking with people and being with people are Kearney's two outlets. "I need to collapse in people's arms too," he said. "We can't become part of the working wounded if we're going to help." It was a mistake he almost made early on. "When I first got down there, I hit the ground running and didn't stop to relax. I realized that if I wanted to be of help to anyone else, I needed to take care of myself first."
His plea for the rest of the bodywork community is to remember to take care of each other. "This disaster has really mobilized the healers and it's truly, truly been appreciated," he said. But it's important to understand the dangers.
"When you are working with a family dealing with this kind of pain, you take on the pain yourself. It's almost a secondhand trauma, which is what so many therapists are experiencing."
Trading bodywork is imperative, as well as having someone to talk to. Kearney said he's been relying on a colleague for just that. He said all bodyworkers are energy workers of a sort, and as such, need to dispel the energy of grief and pain to remain effective. "At times I was realizing I was taking on the grief of everyone I was working on. We have to have a way to discharge that energy."
While rescue personnel find purpose and importance in "bringing home" as many victims as they can from the Trade Center rubble, Kearney finds validation working with the victims' families. He said it's especially healing for him when he has the opportunity to massage the family of someone who is lost. "It's almost like helping my own family who's suffered the same loss." To see even a second of relief is a joyous moment. "It's such a wonderful thing to take people whose bodies are containing so much of this stress and grief, and be able to bring them to some temporary peace."
He said seeing so many firefighters "jump on the chair" told him a lot about the impact of the tragedy and the walking wounded's unspoken understanding that touch was something their bodies craved.
Kearney remembers the one police officer who stopped him on the street. "I was going through one of the check points and the officer said, 'Whoa. Where are you going with that,' " pointing to his massage chair. "I ended up giving a massage right there on the street." He said people are starting to understand, and this tragedy has helped put massage in a different light, moving it in many peoples' eyes from luxury to an important and "human" healing modality.
One of those converts, according to Kearney, was an EMS Disaster Medicine Director from New Mexico. This doctor was attempting to have massage included as part of the Red Cross disaster response for the future. "She said what we were doing was a lot more beneficial than what her own medical people could do."
Today, Kearney continues to minister to the grief-stricken through his hands, while he prepares for the next wave of distress -- that which reels its ugly head in the form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms. With his bag of bodywork tools, ranging from Swedish massage to cranialsacral therapy, Kearney said he's ready. "I'm in this for the duration."
What wisdom can he offer his colleagues in the profession? "Recognize the power of what they can offer - the comforting of bodies and souls of all the people in this nation, wherever they are. New York may be Ground Zero," Kearney said, "but the entire nation has been wounded."
As a parting thought, Kearney wanted therapists to know how important they are. As those who can so quickly remind the world how simple, and how important, it is to touch someone, it's imperative the knowledge is shared. "We are so lucky. We are so fortunate to have something that is so desperately needed. Everyone in this country feels a tremendous need to do something, and we can."
Karrie Mowen (Osborn) is the former editor and current contributing editor to Massage & Bodywork magazine.
- A New York State-of-Mind
- Grief and Degrief, Part 4
- Grief and Degrief, Part 3
- Healing Triumphs Over Domestic Violence
- Erasing Borders
- Surviving Trauma
- Touching Grief
- War and the Body
- Trauma Touch Therapy
- Psoas Health
Search online articles: http://www.massagetherapy.com/articl...article_id/480
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© 2007 Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals.
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04-21-2008, 10:10 AM #44
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Massage Therapy Ground Zero/Katrina
Their stories are just as important today as they were five years ago, but what’s most valuable is the message they want us to remember—that the field of massage changed that day, too. That massage was seen in a new light, that people witnessed firsthand its power in the trenches of grief and suffering, and that touch is still the best gift anyone can give. (taken from below)
It’s difficult to look back. And it hurts to remember. September 11, 2001. It was a day, and it was an eternity. It’s when grief stole America’s smile, and when the air of an entire city was thick with dust and death.
Like the rest of the country, bodyworkers felt scared and helpless in the siege of human suffering. Yet, we all experienced that day in different ways, from different eyes. We shared a spectrum of those experiences with you on these pages five years ago, all of us trying to make some sense of the senselessness. They were poignant stories that offered a snapshot of people helping people. Today, in this age of disaster, genocide, terrorism, and fear, it felt important to check in on the “massage missionaries” we met back then to see if the experience has changed them.
Just as the experiences of 9/11 and its aftermath were uniquely individual, so was the process of finding the way back from what some call “a shared experience of hell.” For some massage therapists who came to volunteer services in the early days of the disaster, there’s no doubt they remain in the center of the storm’s eye. Some say 9/11 and its aftermath hasn’t affected them at all. For others, the experience remains too fresh and “too precious” to share. And then there are those who say the very foundation of their lives changed that day.
What follows are stories about a few of the people who were part of that effort five years ago. They found themselves scattered around the battered city, working in conditions and places they would have never dreamed. They are the ones who learned that working behind surgical masks doesn’t stop your flow. Or that touching a client through a dusty FDNY T-shirt doesn’t hinder relief one bit. They are the ones who, with a table hoisted on their back, trekked out of the “war zone,” only to be stopped by a weary police officer begging for a massage in the middle of the street. Or the ones who, through a brief massage, gave a spent chaplain working at Ground Zero the energy to carry on. Let them tell you their stories, in their own words.
New York massage therapist and retired firefighter Jim Kearney has traveled a long road since September 11, 2001. But along the way, in the midst of incomprehensible shock and grief, Kearney says he mostly remembers the miracles—the stories of healing.
The path this man took five years ago and the choices he made has brought him to a defining place in both his personal and professional lives. The work he did on those brutal days of September stole his professional innocence, and now, he confesses, “It’s all I’ve known.” But Kearney wouldn’t change a thing. It’s the foundation for his passion today.
Like most of us, Kearney vividly remembers where he was when he first heard news of the attack. But for this New Yorker, it was more where he wasn’t. He wasn’t at home. Initiating his professional dream, Kearney was offering bodywork to scientists aboard a ship on the Red Sea. But with news of the disaster came a complete life shift that’s still impacting him.
“The need to be home was desperate,” Kearney told us five years ago. “I knew firemen had to have been killed. Then one of the crewmen told me the numbers. It was devastating. The magnitude was beyond comprehension.” After a week of struggling to find a way home, Kearney landed on U.S. soil and hit the ground running. He was greeted with more tragic news—his cousin had been killed in one of the towers and untold numbers of his FDNY colleagues had fallen. There was some respite in knowing his brother, also a New York firefighter, was safe, as were his “brothers” from Ladder 22, Engine 76 Battalion—his old company.
Kearney was compelled to do whatever he could for the people of New York and set out to find what that would be. He followed true to the oath he voiced back then—“I’m in for the duration”—and volunteered at the Family Assistance Center in Lower Manhattan, working largely with family members. Every day for six months he lived and breathed the tragedy and pain as he worked on countless bodies and souls.
Knowing full well the value of bringing bodywork to survivors, Kearney was torn when the assistance center eventually shut down. But he also knew he had to spend time dealing with his own issues, too. “I felt overwhelmed—at a loss,” Kearney remembers. “There was so much that needed to be done, and you’re still in the throes of it yourself. On one hand you’re kind of a victim of this, but at the same time you’re trying to go help fellow victims.”
Kearney will be the first to tell you that his personal healing was a collaborative effort, one that found nurturing, comfort, and touch within a circle of bodyworkers he befriended and worked with in the aftermath of 9/11. “But I’ve always worried about the bodyworkers who went home,” he says of other volunteers who came from across the country to help. Even for the bodyworkers based in New York, Kearney says those who didn’t have someone to process and share the work and the experiences with suffered tremendously. “They didn’t have the opportunity to be with other people who really knew, who felt the same grief and the same experiences ... and also the tremendous joy from being able to contribute.” That’s not something you try to explain to someone who hasn’t been there to experience it, too, he says. “I was blessed with a group that I’m still involved with—fellow healers from that time. To have a support network was so crucial. I wasn’t alone in the process.”
He knows he also wasn’t alone in the number of bodyworkers who might have pushed themselves a bit too far during a time when all anyone wanted to do was help. “People who are drawn to this work, they often don’t think anything about running themselves into the ground.” Yet, veteran bodyworkers will tell you that self-care is a must when working in an environment of intense grief and sadness. Part of that self-care process for Kearney was a workshop for trauma relief taught by an organization called Sky Help. It was there he learned the valuable lesson of looking at the blessings of the experience, regardless of its pain. It’s those blessings, that loving response to the bad, that Kearney says creates space for the good.
Kearney’s dedication to trauma work didn’t stop when relief efforts for 9/11 victims ended. Over the last five years, he’s found himself in Bosnian refugee camps and more recently in Mississippi for five weeks of post-Katrina efforts. He made another relief effort there this May as well. “As devastating as 9/11 was for me and the rest of us, the vast scale of trauma to those amazing people in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana was 9/11 times a thousand,” he says. “Everywhere was Ground Zero there. And our bodywork community has another opportunity to show the world what compassionate touch can do to soothe an exhausted soul. For the people in traumatized areas, you don’t have to knock those doors down,” Kearney says of the willing. “The power of simply touching someone with compassion is universal,” and understood.
Working with the first wave of victims is always gratifying in this line of work, Kearney says, but offering bodywork to medical and ministerial staff is work that sustains the overall relief efforts. Just as massage therapists can’t work nonstop without respite, neither can relief workers. By touching them, the ripples of that effect will continue to wash over all those they help, too.
Times of Change
We know 9/11 changed a lot of things, but did it change Kearney as a bodyworker? Undoubtedly, Kearney confesses. “I went from massage school to Ground Zero.” Literally. He had just finished massage school and a year of craniosacral training, and hadn’t even begun to start his practice when the world changed. “I was just embarking on my career.” Yet, Kearney believes wholeheartedly that he had just the right amount, and kinds, of training for what he was meant to do. “I don’t think it was a coincidence I had the training I had, when I had it. I think there were people unknowingly placed by unseen hands to give me the skills I would need.”
There is also a sense of brotherhood Kearney can offer others now, based on what he saw those months in the trenches. It’s what he found happening with the people he was working on in Mississippi after Katrina. He says when a therapist has a wound, even after it’s healed, it resonates with the wounds of the client. As long as the therapist can stay neutral and grounded, it can be an effective pairing. “It’s why a war veteran can be the best therapist for a war victim, as long as he’s done his own healing.” It’s why he believes more and more of his clients are finding themselves unwinding old, sometimes long-forgotten traumas on his table. And it’s why Kearney knows he needs to grow professionally, again.
Ultimately, the work Kearney did on Pier 94 reframed his focus. “My experience with 9/11, and my prior training with trauma, brought me to work with trauma on a broader scale,” he says. Kearney now sees his work evolving into something new. “I’m feeling steered to combine bodywork with clinical social work,” he says. “With my craniosacral work, I end up doing a lot of processing with what’s coming up in the client’s body. When you’re used to working with craniosacral, even when doing massage, that mode seems to elicit issues up into the consciousness. It’s an area that’s very deep, and I want to be more prepared.”
So we know it changed individuals within, but did the aftermath of 9/11 impact the massage profession? Not as a question of economics, but of spirit and strength? “September 11 was the first wave of understanding that bodywork wasn’t just getting your body waxed,” Kearney says. “It was the first time people saw bodywork as an extremely valuable healing modality. We’re not long out of the massage parlor world. I still get called a masseuse every day. I think a major breakthrough for the massage profession happened with 9/11, and also down in Katrina. But it’s sad that trauma has to be the reason.”
In the world of disaster medicine and psychological trauma work, the value of bodywork is known well, Kearney says. “Bodywork, by far, offers the most immediate healing (in disaster settings). And because the pain is so great, the relief is that much more profound. It hasn’t been able to bury itself; it hasn’t gotten into the bones yet. When you’re able to release in the beginning, there’s a lot less trauma to carry.” After a disaster or extreme exposure to a disaster, Kearney says, “new neural patterns are formed in the brain. If people experience bodywork soon after, this can be a reorienting of the nervous system, helping the body and mind remember their original templates.” Ultimately, touching someone in crisis can be powerful.
And using your heart in the process is key. Kearney says that’s the lesson he tries to impart when teaching new massage students. “I ask them to put their hands on the shoulders of another and imagine touching a piece of white marble.” For the receiver, he asks them to simply be in touch with what they are receiving. The resulting experiences are nothing extraordinary, in fact, the touch is cold. “Then I have them think about blessing their partner with encouragement, that they’re going to get through this process together, while also touching their shoulders.” And what is the experience now? “They are astounded at what comes through; the bonding is instantaneous.” Kearney says this is what comes out of your heart when you touch someone; it is communicated through the touch. “I wanted them to learn right at the get-go the power they had, just from their hearts. It’s something I knew from my own work; I learned it quickly in the aftermath of 9/11.”
You don’t have to think about working this way, Kearney says. “You just have to want to touch with your heart.” And not everyone can do it, he says. “You are going to have your bodysmiths who are not necessarily in touch with their own hearts. They may have tremendous clinical skills, but they won’t touch on the psychospiritual healing.”
Not everyone is cut out for this particular aspect of the profession either, just as spa work and medical massage suit some and not others. “There are some of us who are called into this,” Kearney says of working in trauma relief. “Everybody has their own piece to the healing puzzle.”
Kearney is a different man, and without doubt a different bodyworker, than he would have been if 9/11 had never happened. “I think I have the experience of not knowing any other kind of bodywork,” he says, wiser, but not hardened because of it.
Five years of growing and processing have transformed Kearney into a bodywork missionary, he says. “It seems like disasters keep piling up on each other. And I imagine there are a lot more like me, who are being called into this work for the same reason, for the piece we’re bringing to this puzzle.”
The healing that bodyworkers can offer in times of great pain and despair is a tremendous gift. It’s what so many of those who were there those dark days of September and October already understand. “I want the entire medical and healing community to know the power of this,” he says. “I think it’s another way for the world to see bodywork in a whole different light. This is what will bring us credibility and respect.”
Diane Cherico was one of many who were inspired to do more for others after 9/11.
Diane Cherico was one of the hundreds of massage therapists who sought out ways to help after the 9/11 attacks. Only practicing for a year, and renting a therapy room out of a New Jersey training facility, Cherico says like most everyone else in the country, she felt helpless. After clients began coming in saying they’d lost people, she was compelled to do more.
Cherico took her chair to the Federal Reserve Bank a few times, but that experience was too hard. “It was too much for me,” she says. “It was too close to it all.” Instead, Cherico spent about a month volunteering at the assistance center on Pier 94, working with Red Cross workers, families of victims, police officers, and firefighters. It was an experience she recalls as “amazing.” And Cherico knows she made a difference there, especially as she touched people those first few weeks. “One NYPD stands out in my mind,” she says. “He was very distraught and didn’t think he mattered much. He kept hearing the sounds of the bodies dropping (from the towers). I spent a lot of time working with him and urged him to get some therapy.” She says the officer sought her out weeks later to thank her for the work she’d done and for urging him to get help. “It made me feel better that I was able to be there for all of them.”
When Kearney, her friend and former student, suggested her work would be greatly appreciated in the firehouses, Cherico found her calling. Once a week, for the next two years, Cherico took her table to Battalion 11, Engine 76. She would work on a half dozen firefighters while there, often enjoying a meal with the men before leaving. She also worked with another house that lost seven of its men on September 11. She keeps those stories to herself.
“They were all very grateful for the work we were giving them,” she says. “A lot of them had never had a massage before. At Ground Zero they were working their butts off. A lot of them had neck pain, upper-back pain, and lower-back pain from the work.” She says she gave them exercises to do at home with the help of their wives, trying to get families to reconnect and touch in their own healing process. She explained things like visualization, breathing techniques, and what she calls visual dropping—an exercise she says is much easier for a client to implement than just telling themselves to relax.
The time Cherico gave in the 9/11 aftermath helped more than just those on the receiving end of her hands. “It helped me, too,” she says. “We were all in a mind-set of ‘what can I do to help?’” She says she was lucky enough to find an outlet for that need.
The memories of those days stay with Cherico. She admits not only has she changed, but her profession was transformed that fateful day as well. “After 9/11, I do believe the profession changed,” Cherico says. “It definitely got more serious.” And so did the work, she says. “The seriousness of massage changed. It was not just a little backrub. People were getting problems in their body from the trauma. There were absolutely somatic changes in my clients after 9/11. Massage was a relief to get away from the world—to talk if they wanted to, to be silent if they wanted to, to feel the touch of a caring person.”
Cherico remembers those days both with a pained heart and a sense of pride. Difficult as the experience was, Cherico wouldn’t have changed her course of action and knows the work she gave those endless days was important on so many levels. “Without a doubt, the touch of a caring person made a difference in these people’s lives,” Cherico says.
Linda Tumbarello will never forget the individuals she helped following 9/11.
Josephina. That’s the name Linda Tumbarello has given the woman who ended up on her massage table at the Family Assistance Center one month after the towers went down. Josephina had worked as a cleaning woman in the towers, and now she had no job and no community to connect with. She hadn’t ventured outdoors much since 9/11 and hadn’t slept for most of the month. “We worked together maybe thirty minutes, and I was able to help her calm down and release some of her sympathetic nervous system overdrive,” Tumbarello says as she looks back to those intense days. “She clearly felt better, and I suggested she come back to the Family Assistance Center again. She looked me in the eyes and asked if I would be there. I couldn’t promise her that.” From her face, Tumbarello knew that this woman, who so desperately needed care, wouldn’t be coming back.
“When I think of Josephina, my heart breaks for her,” Tumbarello says. “I still wonder what happened to her. There are people I can still actually see, or feel, from that time,” she says. “I remember putting my hands on that woman. It was like volts of electricity running through her body.”
But it’s not just Josephina that haunts Tumbarello. This trained psychotherapist and bodyworker says what pains her most is the amount of help that was needed in New York City, and the lost opportunities when we failed to meet that need. By the end of November 2001, Tumbarello says the volunteer venues for bodyworkers had pretty much dried up. She recalls looking for a place to volunteer her services on the one-year anniversary, but found none. Her services as a counselor, however, were still being paid for. “People got paid to do traditional counseling, but we had to volunteer to do bodywork.” Yet, it was being touched that people wanted—and needed, she says.
It was ultimately her encounter with Josephina that prompted Tumbarello to start the Healing Touch Fund, a bodywork resource allowing those in need to return to the same therapist with whom they’d originally connected. “I wanted the Healing Touch Fund to provide this ongoing therapy—over time and with the same practitioners—to ameliorate the effects of this extreme trauma.”
Even though the project was short-lived, Tumbarello says she put her heart and soul into the effort until she realized she would not get funding from a relief organization and she couldn’t retain the role of fundraiser. “I think I did a good job of letting go of the project,” Tumbarello says. “I knew I had a choice—either burning myself to the ground or just stopping. So I stopped. But it broke my heart, and I’m still disappointed.”
Like Kearney and others, Tumbarello reiterates the necessity of tending to yourself in the throes of crisis. “By the time this was all over, I needed some pretty deep healing,” she says. “Even though I worked hard on protecting myself as much as I could, it was pretty hard to not take stuff in.” She sought out some energy healing, because from a spiritual aspect, Tumbarello says she felt she needed a “larger perspective” after 9/11.
And like her fellow bodyworkers who responded to the crisis, Tumbarello says there’s no doubt she’s changed as a bodyworker. “I thought I had worked with people with extreme trauma before.” Having helped clients dealing with childhood traumas and sexual abuse, Tumbarello says she thought she’d seen the worst. “But to feel that kind of grief ...,” she says, letting the thought trail away. “I did a lot of just putting my hands on people’s heads,” she says, being present for those on her table the best she could.
The what-could-have-beens still bother Tumbarello—why wasn’t any substantial money directed to body therapies; why wasn’t bodywork made available for more than six months (sometimes only two); why aren’t the rescue, recovery, healthcare, and ministerial people getting continuing care, even today?
“Yet, as devastating as the whole experience was, on the other side, I was glad I was there,” she says. “I could really see how people were helped.”
Their stories are just as important today as they were five years ago, but what’s most valuable is the message they want us to remember—that the field of massage changed that day, too. That massage was seen in a new light, that people witnessed firsthand its power in the trenches of grief and suffering, and that touch is still the best gift anyone can give.
www.atss.info—Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists
www.istss.org—International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
www.traumacenter.org—The Trauma Center
www.traumahealing.com—Foundation for Human Enrichment/Peter Levine
www.stws.org—Serving Those Who Serve
www.skyhelp.org—Sky Help Trauma Recovery Services
www.rapideyetechnology.com—Rapid Eye Institute, to release stress/trauma
www.emdr.com—Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Institute
Last edited by firetruckred; 04-21-2008 at 10:17 AM.
04-21-2008, 11:44 AM #45
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Sorry Double posted this
Last edited by BryanLoader; 04-21-2008 at 11:49 AM. Reason: Double post
04-21-2008, 09:14 PM #46
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The first article is a bit dated, of course. The second article is more recent and more in depth about the effect's/benefits of bodywork in traumatic situations. I am delighted to post it. It is lengthy but well worth the time. The words from each of these therapists are amazing and moving. They can help heal today just as they did yesterday and will tomorrow. The information and comments made are exactly what is needed to be said and done and continue today, for the long haul.
Heartfelt appreciation to all those who dedicate there time, heart, soul and money to the cause of helping those who are suffering become well. It is a ongoing process. You make difference one person, one day, one hour and even one minute at a time.
Last edited by firetruckred; 04-21-2008 at 09:18 PM.
05-23-2009, 04:33 PM #47
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After the terrorist attacks of September, 11th 2001, 34 year-old demolition supervisor John Feal joined the army of blue-collar workers converging on the smoldering wreckage of the World Trade Center for the largest recovery operation in American history. Feal, like countless others, raced into the toxic cloud at the ruins of the WTC, unknowingly inhaling a toxic stew of asbestos, dioxins, benzene, lead, mercury, powdered glass, and more than 2,000 other deadly toxins. On September 17, John was horribly injured when his foot was crushed by an eight-ton steel beam during the frenzied, dangerous cleanup.
Soon after 9/11, John Feal (a US Army veteran) started experiencing serious respiratory problems, a condition they now call "The World Trade Center Cough." He spent two months in the hospital while he battled with a host of health problems. Because of an arbitrary exclusion in the law, Feal, like many search and rescue workers who were injured during a two-week window at Ground Zero did not qualify for the 9/11 relief fund. Like thousands of others, John risked his own life to save others, but when he became sick and injured, he was abandoned and forgotten. Today, his organization, the FealGood Foundation, has grown into one of the most prominent advocate for 9/11 responders. Their fund raising efforts have helped countless families with financial and medical assistance.
On August 30, 2007, John Feal participated in a triple kidney transplant at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, where his kidney was donated. On February 16, 2008, John Feal and his organization successfully hosted a fund raising event to raise awareness for the organ donation needs of the ailing 9/11 responders. In recognition for his work, John Feal was chosen by 107 living Congressional Honor recipients as the finalist from New York State to be the recipient of the Above and Beyond Citizen Honors for the year 2008. This is the highest civilian award presented by the 107 living Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.
Public Activism : Since 2003, John has acted as a leading advocate for 9/11 heroes who where denied both the benefits promised by the federal, state, local governmental and the charitable aid collected on their behalf. He has worked closely with all of New York’s state, local and federal representatives to help these men and woman. John spoke on the issue of 9/11 workers before a US Congressional committee in June 2005 and at numerous public gatherings alongside our nation’s top political leaders. John is also a former board member of Unsung Heroes Helping Heroes, a not-for-profit raising awareness of the plight of 9/11 responders. In addition to assisting 9/11 workers as a whole, John has been active helping Ground Zero workers on an individual basis with administrative issues and by helping first responders get media coverage. Most notably, John was instrumental in lobbying Congress for the passage of the Walsh Amendment, which set aside $125 million of unspent 9/11 money in December 2005 to help New York State residents with current and future 9/11-related health expenses. While it will help cover medical screening and treatment, the money will only meet a fraction of the first responders' needs. Because of the massive needs still unmet, John continues to advocate for legislative action at all levels of the political spectrum.
On February 26, 2008, an important rally in Washington D.C. was jointly organized by FealGood Foundation and 9/11 Health Now, where John Feal shared the microphone along with the supporting members of Congress calling for the passage of the "James Zadroga Bill" (The 9/11 Health and Compensation Act) and to demand proper healthcare for 9/11 responders. John Feal and his supporters protested the proposed 77% budget cut for 9/11 Healthcare Funding.
Press Coverage : John Feal has been prominently featured in two documentaries: Robert Greenwald’s Sierra Club Chronicles http://www.sierraclub.org/tv/episode-911.asp
9/11 Forgotten Heroes and in Heidi Dehncke-Fisher’s Dust to Dust: The Health Effects of 9/11.
John has also been interviewed by CNN, Good Morning America, Fox Network, Star Jones, Win1010 News, News 12 Networks, Air America Radio, Nightline, NBC News, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Eyewitness News, the New York Daily News, the NY Post, New York Newsday, and countless other media in print and on the internet. John also received recognition by the movie director, Michael Moore, for his role in assisting the making of Michael Moore's acclaimed movie, the "Sicko".As one of the Ground Zero movement’s most passionate and informed spokespersons, he is highly sought after by the print and broadcast media.
05-23-2009, 04:42 PM #48
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- Jun 2006
The Feal Good Foundation ("FGF") has had a tremendous year to date, and its only getting better! In March and April the FGF chartered two busses to go to Washington D.C. to show support for the James Zadroga Act, H.R. 847. Congressional leaders were impressed with the First Responder Community's' commitment to seeing that their rights be enforced and that health care be afforded to all those that were adversely impacted by the environmental irritants that existed at Ground Zero following the horrific attacks on September 11, 2001.
While keeping an eye on Washington, the Feal Good Foundation has continued to assist First Responders with their personal and financial needs, donating both money and services to needy men and women. Recently, the FGF donated to, and attended. The F.D.N.Y.'s tremendous event for fireman John McNamara, a responder who developed Stage IV cancer following his heroic efforts at the World Trade Center site. The outpouring of support for "Johnny Mac" by his fellow firefighters was truly inspiring.
The FGF's 2009 efforts are only beginning!! On September 11, 2009 the FGF, in conjunction with the Spano Family Charitable Foundation and Peter Grandich, will be hosting its Inaugural Charity Gala, an intimate evening on behalf of First Responders at the Trump National Golf Club in Colts Neck, N.J. All money raised at the event will go directly to the FGF so that it may continue to assist First Responders around the country in their times of need.
I hope that you will be able to attend this special event, ticket information can be obtained by visiting the gala website at www.fealgoodcharityball.com or by calling the Feal Good Foundation directly, at (631) 724-3320. If you are not able to attend, but wish to sponsor or donate to the event please do not hesitate to contact me at the above number, or by emailing Feal13@aol.com.
05-31-2009, 01:48 AM #49
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This taken from my facebook page about a 9/11 hero.We can help save his home if we open our hearts and take a moment to help. I believe he is deserving of a Extreme Makeover home but just a little help will be suffice from a few good and generous people.
Charlie Giles needs help to live in his apartment until he recieves his compensation in a couple of months. American people and those around the world show your spirit and help this 9/11 hero out. Hip & knee replacement on top of lung and heart illnesses from his heroic actions at ground zero. He is being evicted from his apartment after loosing his house 2 years ago to foreclosure,so lets all chip in and save a HERO!!!
I don't know Charlie but I bet he is an average guy who did the right thing along with so many others and now he needs help. We all need help these days- some more than others. If anybody knows how to help this family please reach out to them, Thank you.
05-31-2009, 08:14 AM #50
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- Canuck Expat May be anywhere
I think you are doing a fantastic job Red and may the good Lord bless you for it. I doubt anyone has even the slightest conception of the contents and chemical reactions tha occurred that day and I pray that no one will ever experience it again. Alternative medicines and treatments are being recognized for what they truly are. An aletrnative to modern medicines and often an amalgamation of the 2 can be of help as well.
Best of Luck
05-31-2009, 12:21 PM #51
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- Jun 2006
Well thanks Bryan. : ) That made my day.
07-15-2009, 01:31 AM #52
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- Jun 2006
Traditional Chinese Medicine- An Introduction
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has over 4000 years of history and is used to treat many painful and non-painful conditions as well as improving general health. It is therefore an excellent preventative of illness as well as a treatment.
Many people are familiar with acupuncture although they may not be aware of its exact uses and workings.
In recent times other elements of Chinese medicine have become popular. We have seen Gwyneth Paltrow with the characteristic circular marks on her back from Cupping therapy used for painful conditions and detoxification amongst other things,likewise Kate Moss has been seen sporting auricular (ear) seeds often used to help combat addictions such as smoking. Events like these have all helped to increase interest in this ancient art which is still used with great success today.
So what is Chinese Medicine?
Chinese medicine is a complete healthcare system that uses a number of different methods to bring the energetics of the body back into balance and harmony.
Chinese medicine is based on the concepts of yin and yang. When these two opposing elements become imbalanced ill health occurs.
The body is a complex system and the balance of yin and yang is affected by many elements. Chinese medicine treatments are used to affect a network of pathways that carry Qi (energy) around the body. These pathways are called the meridian system. There are 12 main meridians in the body which are bilateral (an identical set exists on each side of the body),there are also two unilateral meridians (running at the front and back). Furthermore each of these main meridians is linked to an internal organ (e.g. liver, gall bladder,heart etc).
When Qi is unable to flow freely throughout the meridian system yin and yang become imbalanced and ill health occurs.
To clear illness from the body these two dynamic forces must be rebalanced through physical treatments (acupuncture,tui na,cupping therapy, moxibustion), dietary therapy (Chinese herbal medicine, food therapy) and lifestyle advice.
08-09-2009, 03:37 PM #53
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- Jun 2006
Heavy Metal toxins
This is a website recommeded to me by a Dr. who works directly with New York rescue workers who are ill from 9/11.
Please take a look @ this website about Heavy Metal detox through chelation therapy. www.drmaulfair.com
This therapy called chelation is for those who have experienced heavy metal toxins exposure. It has worked for many but again not all people get the same results are can get the same detox therapy. I hope this info can save at least one life or at least make it easier or sustain life longer and healthier.
Conventional medicine has been using various intravenous chelation approaches since deployed troops were poisoned with the heavy metal arsenic during the First World War. Coined from the Greek chelè, meaning claw — to reflect their capacity to bind metals within a “claw-like” molecular structure, which is then excreted without further interaction with the body — the first medically-used chelating agent was developed at the start of WWII as an antidote to anticipated use of arsenic gas by the Germans. Today, chelation therapy is the recognized, U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved, medical treatment for heavy metal intoxication by lead, cadmium, aluminum, mercury, arsenic, and even iron.
Despite decades of medical use in response to large-scale heavy metal exposures along with overwhelming scientific rationale and evidence, chelation therapy is often overlooked as a solution to the adverse health effects caused by more gradual build-up of toxic metals.
Why? you ask. There are a number of reasons:
1.- The controversy between newer oral chelation supplements and the intravenous treatments used for decades is confusing. Because oral chelation is regulated as a supplement, it does not come under the same scrutiny as physicians offering intravenous chelation therapy in their clinics.
2.- Well-done scientific research that supports use of intravenous chelation treatment is used to justify claims made by manufacturers of untested oral supplements.
3.- Because most exposures are not large-scale, occuring gradually at low levels from living in industrialized nations, for most of us the exact cause of our symptoms is hard to pin-point, or our symptoms are subtle, or we may not have symptoms but are trying to prevent disease from occuring.
4.- Subtle symptoms, or worse, diseases one is trying to prevent, are very, very difficult to study. This makes FDA approval for use with chronic degenerative diseases difficult (and very costly) as supporting research must show cause and effect. Keep in mind that chelation therapy is approved for use when someone has a known heavy metal exposure.
The fatigue, discomfort, and moodiness of low-level exposures.
Ever-increasing use and accumulation of pollutants in general, and persistant organic pollutants in particular, have received recent attention for their long-lasting adverse health effects. Gradual exposure to hazardous toxins is becoming more prevalent especially in overpopulated and industrialized parts of the world. Such exposure contributes to increased health risks . Unfortunately, there is no easy fix to protect or intervene against diseases associated with exposure to these insidious environmental pollutants.
Many pollutants, including heavy metals and persistent organics, bioaccumulate (pass up the food chain to humans) and build up in our bodies where they cause damage both locally to the tissues where they accumulate, including contributing to the formation of cancer, vascular disease, accelerated aging as well as altering the normal patterns of hormones — patterns that effect everything from energy level to fertility to mood.
Exposure to heavy metals can occur via many common sources: house paint (lead), dental fillings (mercury), vaccines (mercury), cigarettes (cadmium), food, drinking water and hazardous waste sites. Over 4000 articles in the medical literature connect small amounts of lead in the body and high blood pressure. Elevated mercury and antimony have been found in hearts of heart disease patients at autopsy .
Unlike many chemicals that can now be detected in the human body, the toxic effects of heavy metal exposures are well understood and many sources of exposure are regulated. Despite this, millions of Americans suffer from chronic, low-level, exposures to heavy metals, including lead, mercury, arsenic, antimony and cadmium.
A Center for Disease Control report states that 10% of American women of childbearing age (7 million women each year) have mercury in their blood at levels that are potentially unsafe for the developing fetus . Clear evidence now links exposure to toxins such as mercury, lead, pesticides, and in utero smoking exposure to higher levels of autism and/or ADHD . Despite the clear benefit to health of eating fish as a source fatty acids, many of us avoid fish because of its high mercury content — knowing that mercury is linked with cardiac disease [5;6].
Getting rid of unwanted contaminants.
Many doctors argue — have argued for decades — that chelation therapy can address low level metal exposures and consequent degenerative diseases. Recent understanding of how pollution contributes to the formation of blocked heart arteries, by contributing contaminants — inflammation-causing molecules known as “free radicals” — many of which are heavy metals, has lead to investment in large-scale clinical trials to gather more data on the effectiveness of chelation therapy to treat our number one killer, heart disease.
The National Institutes of Health's alternative medicine center recently funded a large experiment — 2,372 heart-attack survivors. Led by Dr. Gervasio Lamas of the Mount Sinai Medical Center-Miami Heart Institute, the five-year study began enrolling participants at about 100 sites around the country in 2003.
Lamas said he decided to design the study when one of his own patients asked about chelation. "While my answer, as a very conventional cardiologist, was initially, 'No, that's silly,' as I looked into it I realized I didn't really have the evidence base to say that," Lamas said. With hundreds of thousands of people seeking chelation therapy annually, "now we'll see what the real truth is."
The efficacy of chelation therapy has been clinically demonstrated with positive results in hundreds of thousands of cases where this treatment was utilized . In one smaller study, the results with intravenous chelation were so pronounced that the control group was taken off placebo and given chelation therapy so as to not withhold beneficial care .
The safety of this therapy, when properly administered, is also well known. It is estimated that over 500,000 patients nationally have been safely treated with this therapy by physicians utilizing the protocol developed by the American College for Advancement in Medicine without a single fatality attributed to I.V. EDTA. Surgical procedures or even taking aspirin have a much greater fatality rate.
Effective chelation therapy is administered in I.V. form over the course of several hours. Although thousands of websites promote oral chelation agents — it is important to understand why this approach does not work:
1.- Effective chelation therapy depends on whether the chelating agents are able to remove heavy metals that are circulating in the blood or deposited in cells in the body — the chelator must get into the blood and cells.
2.- Only about 5% of the oral chelation agent, EDTA, gets into the bloodstream.
3.- Further, oral chelation may prevent absorption of certain nutrient metals that are required at low levels for proper nutritional health.
4.- Oral chelation agents do not effect the build-up of calcium, iron, or copper within the cells – a build-up that can lead to stiffening and hardening of tissues and other degenerative diseases.
The ABC’s of chelation therapy.
Maulfair Medical Center gets you started on your chelation program with a thorough medical examination and a series of key tests. The necessary laboratory tests vary from patient to patient, but there are a few tests everyone will need. These tests include: toxic metal and mineral status, comprehensive metabolic panel and a complete blood count.
Other tests may include a pre and post-provocative challenge for heavy metals, Some tests will be repeated periodically, to monitor your kidneys effeciency in removing metals.
Dr. Maulfair relys on thirty years experience utilizing chelation therapy to treat chronic, degenerative diseases including hardening of the arteries, coronary heart disease, carotoid artery disease, peripheral artery disease, diabetes, arthritis. Clients of Maulfair Medical Center’s comprehensive chelation program have gained back their quality of life with improved circulation, restored energy, motivation and oveall sense of well being.
Dr. Conrad Maulfair, Maulfair Medical Center, Topton PA
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