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Three strong Scorpio women; Nancy fights "failure to thrive" syndrome

Updated on November 16, 2013

Enter Nancy the Great

Great Aunt Nancy flew in four days after Isadora was born, bearing gifts of competence, compassion and a skill set perfect for what ailed the child.

Nancy was trained in Psychology and Occupational Therapy, but ever diligent, had expanded these disciplines to include cranial sacral work and fascia release. She was internationally known and traveled nationally as a well respected lecturer.

Her resume- copied below- revealed a talent for pushing boundaries and focusing on the child, despite push back from the medical establishment. Her goal then, as now, was to "provide cutting edge interventions and techniques for wellness and rehabilitation," including "sensory processing and energy work."

Of course, we knew her as the aunt who laid hands on whatever ailed us:

  • When I twisted my back and experienced an intense muscle spasm 22 years ago, Nancy's gentle hands kept me out of the hospital.
  • When my daughter experienced a brain injury, Nancy's invitation to Camp Avanti and confidence-boosting tasks moved my daughter toward competence.
  • All injuries were fair game for Nancy's hand action: bumps on the head, twists of the ankle, internal angst. She worked on it all.

My brother built a child's dream of a playground outside their home so that Nancy could begin her work with special needs children in their backyard, it became the favorite location of all the cousins to gather and especially helped their eldest daughter, who had stroked at age two.

From the time we welcomed Nancy into the family, she was something special; bent on saving the world one child at a time. Save them she did, from Special Children Center in Hudson, Wisconsin to orphanages inside China. Nancy expanded children's belief in themselves while releasing what physical ailments kept the from functioning in the realm of normal.

And now she sat my struggling granddaughter, admiring and assessing her.

The Beginning

It is quite possible that I would have no granddaughter to miss, had Nancy the Great not purchased an airline ticket and flown to Denver last September. Isadora was not doing well. Our darling girl had struggled through a lengthy delivery and was finally taken Cesarean, where it was determined the cord had been slung across her shoulder like an efficient seat belt. She had crowned 5 or more times, to no avail.

Already, at age "delivery", she was experiencing feelings of inadequacy and failure to do that which she most desired; to birth herself in the pattern ingrained within her psyche, known intuitively to all of us as the "cardinal movements of labor." These include:

  • Engagement (fetal head reaches 0 station.)
  • Descent (fetal head descends past 0 station.)
  • Flexion (head is flexed with the chin to its' chest.)
  • Internal Rotation (head rotates from occiput transverse to occiput anterior.)
  • Extension (head extends with crowning, passing through the vulva.)
  • External Rotation (head returns to its' occiput transverse orientation)
  • Expulsion (shoulders and torso of the baby are delivered.)

Isadora's failure to accomplish the first task at hand inspired an inability to fight. Nursing was hard. Breathing oxygen was hard. Regulating body temperature was hard. She put effort into each activity, but had no endurance. She and her mother fell into despair, fear, self-loathing.

Isadora wasn't able to latch. Isadora lost too much birth weight. Isadora wasn't gaining it back fast enough. The hushed words failure to thrive echoed in and around the pediatrician's office. reports, "Kids who fail to thrive don't receive or are unable to take in, retain, or utilize the calories needed to gain weight and grow as expected... Poor nutrition during this stage can have permanent negative effects on mental development."

Beautiful inside and out


Resume for Nancy the Great

2010 - Present: Owner of Points of Stillness
2009 - Present: Program Development for Points of Stillness (providing innovative wellness programs for children and adults)
2007 - Present: OT Volunteer for orphanages in China with Red Thread Charities.
Evaluate special needs children in orphanages, train staff, and lectures.
1986 - Present: Lecturer for Professional Development Programs, nationally.
1986: Co-founder of Special Children Center, Hudson Wisconsin (a therapy clinic for children with special needs)
1986-2008: Administrator for Special Children Center: provided supervision and program development for the clinic, provided direct service to children and families.
1986: Co-founder of Research and Development in Pediatric Therapy, Inc. a non-profit organization that develops programs for children with special needs. Projects include: Winning Riders (therapeutic horseback riding program), Camp Avanti—St. Croix (therapy camp for children with sensory processing disorders).
1986-2009: Administrator and Program development for Camp Avanti—St. Croix

A dream is a wish your heart makes


What is CranioSacral Therapy?

Carol Brussel of the Denver La Leche League has written a piece titled "Considering CranioSacral Therapy" and says:

"CST is a light-touch manual therapy used to encourage the body's self-correcting mechanisms. Generally using about five grams of pressure, or about the weight of a small coin, the practitioner evaluates the body's craniosacral system. This system plays a vital role in maintaining the environment in which the central nervous system functions. It consists of the membranes and fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord as well as the attached bones-including the skull, face, and jaw, which make up the cranium, and the tailbone area, or sacrum."

Have you witnessed the miracle of craniosacral work?

See results

What Nancy did

Nancy observed Izel in motion, asking about her labor and delivery and drugs that had been used to aide the process. She noted how Izel latched and immediately understood that there was an issue with Izel's palate. Her jaw was thrust back, somehow not in its correct position.

I am not a trained therapist, so I cannot explain all of this technically. However, I did witness what she appeared to do and its effect on Isadora's ability to latch.

Placing a finger gently on the roof of Isadora's mouth, Nancy's energy released what held it out of place. This careful touch allowed it to slide into correct position.

Nancy also placed hands on Isadora's head, helping the cranium correct itself.

By the time she left, Isadora was nursing with enthusiasm. The depression that seemed to encompass her had lifted. This was the moment we changed the title Great Aunt Nancy to the more appropriate "Nancy the Great!"

Nancy the Great


A Strong Woman touches all.

Were Nancy not a strong woman, filled with inner resolve, she would have bent under pressure from negative forces that surrounded her too many times during her 61 years.

I thank God every day that she was able to withstand the betrayals and ill effects of a life that from the outside may appear charmed. It only appears charmed because of her strength of character and determination to move forward with her life's work.

I know my brother, my sister, my children, nieces and nephews respect her work and the blessings she has brought to us. Nancy, on this special day of your birth, I honor the work you have done and support the gifts you have yet to offer to our little family and the world.

Symptoms------------Where to find therapists----------- Why not?

Does your baby have problems with: Sleeping. Feeding. Breastfeeding. Excess crying. Constipation and straining while going to the toilet. Flat spots or bulges on the head. Ear infection. Uneven ear or eye positions. Infant colic. Prefers feeding on one of their sides. Prefers lying on one side rather than another.
These symptoms may indicate the need for craniosacral work. There are several professional organizations with certified therapists you may wish to check out. One is the Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Org found at A second is the Upledger Institute at Call one of these organizations or find one in your country. It doesn't hurt to get an assessment and it may change the future prospects for one you love. Isadora's transformation has been permanent.
Yes, there are always naysayers. It seems their duty to disagree with or find fault with nonsurgical practices. However when a jaw can slide into place by the simple touch of a finger and turn a baby from failure to thrive to quite a chunk, something is working right.

A therapist works on a newborn.

My Prayer

If I were powerful
rich or influential
I would make certain
certified craniosacral
therapists inhabited
each and every delivery
room around the world.
Every single baby
deserves the chance to
enter the world
with all systems GO!

A CST Bible, perhaps.

© 2013 Barbara


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    • Storytellersrus profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Jaspal, Nancy the Great would certainly appreciate you as much as I do. I will be sure to greet her with a special hug. Thank you!

    • Jaspal profile image


      5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Wow, what a hub! I am educated. Had never heard of such a treatment. While reading about your experience, it seemed something like Reiki, which too I've never witnessed first hand, but have heard relatives/friends raving about it.

      Your Nancy the Great is a wonderful person ... please give her a special hug from India when you meet her next.

    • Storytellersrus profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      JB, YES! You are absolutely right! Thank you so much for your comment.

    • JamesBenjaminJrMD profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      This is a great article ! Thank you! I love "Nancy The Great". A lot of being great is knowing when to come to assist.


    • Storytellersrus profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Frank you are so generous! Thank you!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      the cardinal rule.. hmm a very insightful, interesting hub Story voted up and of course shared


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