Saying it saved her, Abate brings holistic healthcare to LES

Catherine Abate and her son, Kyle Kliegerman, onboard the Oct. 22 fundraising cruise for the holistic healthcare clinic at 150 Essex St. Photo by Bob Buchanan

Catherine Abate and her son, Kyle Kliegerman, onboard the Oct. 22 fundraising cruise for the holistic healthcare clinic at 150 Essex St.
Photo by Bob Buchanan

BY HEATHER DUBIN  |  Alternative medicine is gaining increasing acceptance in the Western world. In the case of Catherine Abate, president and C.E.O. of Community Healthcare Network, she not only accepts alternative medicine — she firmly believes it helped save her life.

Diagnosed with stage-four uterine cancer in May 2012, Abate’s positive experience with holistic medical practices prompted her to bring these same modalities to Community Healthcare Network’s Downtown Health Center, at 150 Essex St. on the Lower East Side. The nonprofit C.H.N. provides medical care to underserved New Yorkers at 11 federally qualified healthcare centers.

In an interview last week, Abate spoke about the new Essex St. integrative health center — which will incorporate alternative therapies with traditional medicine — as well as about her own personal journey regarding her condition.

Abate has always worked in public service, striving to help others. An attorney, she is a former New York state senator, and before that was the commissioner of New York City’s Department of Corrections.

C.H.N.’s Essex St. center caters to 6,000 patients a year. According to Abate, this population has “a tremendous interest” in acupuncture, herbal supplements and medication, but lacks access to them.

“Medicaid and private insurance doesn’t cover it, and there’s a great need,” she said.

State, city and federal grants help cover the cost of medical services currently offered at the center. While there is a sliding-fee scale based on income, patients are never turned away.

Abate noted that C.H.N. centers are sited in the poorest and most underserved areas of the city. They have sites in every borough except for Staten Island.

The Essex St. center offers complete primary care, pediatrics, nutrition, social services and other basic medical care. While these services will continue, Abate wants to add holistic medicine as an integral component to improve patient health. The program is in the planning process, and Abate anticipates the revamped facility’s opening next February.

“It’s the perfect site to do this,” she said.

The demographic the center serves is mixed ages with the majority of patients under age 50, while the ethnic breakdown is mostly Latino and Asian. Abate also noted that many patients suffer from chronic diseases, such as asthma, obesity, hypertension and diabetes. These patients are familiar with and eager to try alternative therapies that could potentially benefit them.

Thanks to federal money, additional exam rooms have already been constructed to accommodate the expanding center. As part of the holistic approach, there will be more time focused on personal nutrition. Yoga, acupuncture, energy healing, reflexology and meditation will also be part of the new program. Abate wants patients to take ownership of their care, and she thinks these modalities will help them do this.

“We want the patients to feel better about their care, and improve communication between them and their provider,” Abate said. Three years ago, she started a health literacy program. Results show patients, during an office visit, do not receive useful information that encourages them to go home and change their lifestyle, which is often essential for dealing with their health problem.

“Whether it’s positive thinking about their healing, stopping smoking or eating healthy, or cleaning up their home environment from mold, or whatever,” she said, “there has to be better communication to really make them a partner in their healthcare.”

Abate feels this improved informational dialogue empowers patients, providing them with more balance and control, which will improve their overall health and well-being.

She understands this firsthand.

“I don’t think I’d be in the shape I am in today if I didn’t use the complementary and alternative-use therapies,” Abate said.

Her initial diagnosis, following her first operation in June 2012, gave her 12 months to live. Abate, who is in her mid-60s, turned to Western medicine for surgeries and chemotherapy, and saw an immunologist, which is a field she wants to implement at the center. But she also went to a life coach and energy healer, who taught her the power of the mind.

“Mind, body and spirit come together,” Abate said. “Everyone has the power to heal themselves. I had a lot of healing, and I’m not saying chemo didn’t have something to do with it. But even my oncologists would say, ‘It wasn’t just the chemo.’ ”

One doctor told Abate that he thought her mind was one of her most powerful weapons in her recovery.

The healthcare C.E.O. believes visualization, diet and acupuncture all help effect a change of attitude toward life.

“It adds up, I’m feeling strong,” she said. “I’m not totally cured yet, but I’m on the right path.”

Abate still receives some low-dose chemo treatment, but she has spent many months playing tennis, and, as she put it, is doing “quite well.”

She partially attributes her health status to alternative therapies.

“I’m not suggesting people turn away from Western medicine,” she said. “I’m suggesting Western medicine becomes that more effective when you also utilize holistic and integrative approaches.”

She used to receive holistic treatments weekly when she was sick, but now only goes every couple of weeks. Abate does practice daily visualization and takes herbal supplements.

“I wake up with gratitude every day,” she said. “I see the beauty in things and in people, and the promise of the world.”

To help foster this same hopefulness for others, Abate has submitted grants for the holistic program. She wants the therapies to be free or low-cost for patients.

With that goal in mind, a boat cruise fundraiser around Manhattan was held on the evening of Tues., Oct. 22, with 240 people paying $250 per ticket. Demonstrations of alternative therapies were conducted onboard the boat.

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Nine Steps to Getting Unstuck — a Guide to Flow and Freedom from Kwan Yin Healing's "The Reconnective Journey" Teleseminar, May 7 – June 25

Munnsville, NY (PRWEB) March 31, 2013

May 7 to June 25, Kwan Yin Healing will offer “The Reconnective Journey,” a teleseminar to take participants from their ordinary world through the inner work necessary to free themselves to move forward in their life goals. A series of free Tuesday evening teleseminars has presented material related to this journey; the next one, Tuesday April 2, will focus on “Leaving your comfort zone, facing your fears, and why do to it.” Registration for this and future calls is available at

Last week's teleseminar focused on “Why are we stuck? What keeps us stuck? How can we get unstuck?” Nine steps were presented for this process.

Step 1) Understand what’s not working.

Three ineffective roles populate the world: Prosecutor, Victim, and Rescuer. The Prosecutors are the tough manager, the strict teacher, the overbearing parent, who actually just convince people to avoid them. Victims look at Prosecutors as the problem, but that means the Victims’ behavior is always off the hook, not responsible for anything, and thus unable to change it. Rescuers at first seem great, but afterwards, when life isn’t perfect, the Victims turn on the Rescuers for “not rescuing good enough.” Victims become Prosecutors.

So recognize two points: (a) give up trying to control others, and (b) acknowledge that the current approach isn’t working. People will endlessly defend what isn’t working, but something has to change—and that’s the old way.

Step 2) Get help.

The old way created the current problem, and maintains it. Get help: more resources, more ideas, people who aren’t stuck in the same place, because they don’t have the same stuck mindset. At more advanced levels, this is all the more important, because on new ground, and the help of guides who have been in the new situation is required.

Step 3) Find a spiritual center.

This can be, but doesn’t not have to be religious or traditional. Forget about disbeliefs—these are irrelevant. What are the actual beliefs, however minimal—Tao, nature, energy, what? These can be very small, but whatever those beliefs, we need that focus. Construct a daily spiritual practice around this. Perhaps morning reading, evening meditation, or a quiet cup of tea with a favorite tree, but the power is in daily practice. It will build in ways unimaginable until experienced. This daily touchstone is necessary to move forward—whatever happens, it allows a start fresh again from this personal deep truth.

4) Take a Personal Examination.

What is the current situation, really, and what is desired? Most people don’t get what they want because they don’t know what it is. Create a dissonance between the reality of the current situation and where the desired outcome might be. Blaming others for the status quo won't work. To reclaim power, reclaim self—all of it. This is NOT a pain free process, but an essential one.

Watch for pointing fingers. At whom? What’s the problem? What does this situation threaten – lots of things are problems that don’t cause any bother, so why is this one standing out? What’s the personal contribution to it? Even if just 5%—this the beginning of power. What’s good about this situation, even if only a little? Gratitude is also power. How is this other person suffering (hurt people hurt people)? Be patient with people struggling through their own “stuff.” Wish them well – that’s for the wisher, not them, as it separates wisher from the stuck situation.

RIC Prof. Pens Book on Alternative Treatment of Schizophrenic …

Charles Boisvert

Charles Boisvert

Charles Boisvert, professor of counseling, educational leadership and school psychology, calls his recently published academic book, co-authored by psychologist Mohiuddin Ahmed, “Mind Stimulation Therapy: Cognitive Interventions for Persons with Schizophrenia,” a product of his life’s work.

“We could have written it earlier,” Boisvert said. “It was a matter of putting all our work and knowledge down on paper. It’s been a long, thought-out process.”

Boisvert and Ahmed met in 1992, when Ahmed was already applying the methods of treating schizophrenic patients outlined in their book in his mental health practice.

The book presents a therapy intervention model – Multimodal Integrative Cognitive Stimulation Therapy – seen as an alternative approach to treating schizophrenic patients by incorporating forms of talk and behavioral therapy into medicinal treatment.

Boisvert said the model was developed through looking for ways to give schizophrenic patients more care than prescription medication to treat their illness.

“We had such good luck in practicing this model, which provides direction on tapping into areas of the brain in schizophrenic patients that are functional but not reachable,” Boisvert said. “It gives new ways of looking at treatment for those patients.”

The Multimodal Integrative Cognitive Stimulation Therapy model is described as emphasizing mind stimulation to enhance patients’ information processing and ability to engage in reality-based discussion. It is grounded in cognitive stimulation techniques that include body movement-mindfulness-relaxation, mind stimulation using group discussions, and mind stimulation using paper to pencil cognize and self-reflection exercises.

Boisvert said the book is practical, easy to follow and will appeal to clinicians, mental health centers, psychologists and hospitals. Boisvert is also incorporating the manual into his teaching.

The book also includes chapters on apply the Multimodal Integrative Cognitive Stimulation model to substance abuse and geriatric patients.  There are also clinical vignettes that illustrate how the therapy model can be applied in actual practice and provides guides on responding to clinical encounters and issues raised during the therapy as well as handouts and worksheets to be used with clients.

“This approach does not replace treatment, but augments it,” Boisvert said. “It offers an innovative approach. We knew it made since to present the model in a clinical manual.”

The book was released in June by New York publishing house Routledge and has received several positive reviews by psychiatry professionals including Dr. David Osser, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Boisvert has been a professor at Rhode Island College since 2000.  He earned his bachelor’ degree at Le Moyne College, his master’s degree in agency counseling at Rhode Island College, and his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Rhode Island. He was a fellow at the Lahey Clinic, a nonprofit teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine. His clinical practice is at the Rhode Island Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in North Kingstown.

Shiffa Diamond Oil Chakra Balancing Treatment

NEW YORK, Oct. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — The Ancient Healing Arts Academy and Spa introduces the “Shiffa Diamond Chakra Balancing Treatment” an exclusive luxury transformational treatment that utilizes the unique diamond gemstone oils created by Shiffa Dubai and the Healing powers of Reiki. Shiffa Dubai specializes in holistic, natural skincare products inspired by ancient Arabia.

The relaxing 60 minute treatment includes applying the Shiffa Diamond oil to meridians and chakras and a 60 minute Reiki treatment given by a Reiki Master.

The Diamond is known as a master healer and has a harmonizing influence on all of the chakras.  The oils used in this treatment contain precious diamonds in addition to rose and geranium known for their balancing effects.

The 60 minute “Shiffa Diamond Chakra Balancing Treatment” is offered exclusively by Ancient Healing Arts Academy and Spa. Treatments are $275 and are available in Soho NYC. please  call 718-483-4991 or visit: to schedule an appointment.

About Ancient Healing Arts Academy and Spa

The Ancient Healing Arts Academy and Spa was created by Reiki Masters Joy Romano and Wendy Lipson. Ancient Healing arts Academy offers spa healing treatments and teachings to serve those interested in greater awareness, expanding personal empowerment and the healing of self and others. Our mission is to provide services and courses of study so that we may access higher vibrational energy to balance mind, body and spirit.

Media Contact: Joy Romano, Ancient Healing Arts Academy and Spa, 718-483-4991,

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