If you had told me that I would be part of anyone’s healing and recovery, especially a stroke survivor’s, after 28 years working in law, I would have scoffed at the idea.  I thought I was “stuck” in the reality of living an inauthentic life of doing something that left me without passion.  Wrong!  After taking the leap this past March, I have experienced more passion these past five months than I have in years. Recently, I was asked by Jayne Dabu, an acupuncturist with Lotus Acupuncture and Holistic Health Center in Virginia Beach (, to help her work with Susan, a stroke patient who needed help regaining her mobility and speech.  Jayne was already working with Susan to help alleviate her pain and get the blood circulating in the affected area of her arm.  At the age of 64, Susan had suffered a stroke which left her partially paralyzed in her right arm and her speech impaired (which were her physical symptoms), but the bigger problem was the sense of hopelessness and fear that Susan experienced, as do many stroke patients.  Susan first was treated in the hospital and went through traditional physical therapy to no avail.  Losing hope quickly, she was connected to Jayne through a former co-worker who encouraged Susan to try the Eastern approach to healing and offered to even pay for the sessions. Angels come into our lives in all forms and Kristen was definitely Susan’s angel!  As Jayne works with cupping (an ancient Chinese form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin which mobilizes blood flow in order to promote healing), Susan regains blood flow to the area of her right arm which is the most affected from the stroke.  After the cupping procedure, Jayne inserts acupuncture needles into Susan’s scalp and I proceed to work with her utilizing Ageless Grace techniques (as I am an Ageless Grace educator;  These techniques consist of tools which help re-run the neural pathways of the brain as well as promote mobility and strength.  Susan and I are also working on her speech and her progression is nothing short of phenomenal.  Making healing fun, I throw on some great tunes by Frank Sinatra, Billy Joel and the “Mamma Mia” soundtrack and we go to work working through various therapy techniques which includes making “funny faces” at each other to strengthen the muscles in the face.  My greatest accomplishment comes, however, by allowing Susan to know that she is worthy, valued and loved explaining to her that our body always tell us what we need to know.  Before the stroke, Susan never stopped, always trying to accomplish everything and dealing with much stress in her life until her body said “enough” and slowed it down for her by causing a stroke.  It is a hard concept for us to understand, but there is always a mind/body connection and it is very important to read the signs the body is trying to get us to hear.  The most exciting news here is that Eastern medicine and the holistic approach works miracles where Western medicine falls short.  Using the techniques taught by Prof. Ming Qing Zhu, L.Ac., who has treated more stroke patients than any other acupuncturists in the world, Jayne Dabu is bringing hope to many people in the Hampton Roads area utilizing these principles.  Dr. Zhu’s technique ( has helped people all over the world recover from the debilitating effects of a stroke.  As I continue to work with Susan, I am amazed by her progress from not moving her arm to touching the top of her head and using her hand again to grasp objects such as an eating utensil, the greatest gift to me is the pure delight of observing Susan’s face light up with each accomplishment, her laughter at our silly antics designed to help her heal and her tears of joy.  Susan doesn’t quite grasp the profoundness that every disadvantage in our life becomes an advantage and through her story, she will help to inspire and heal many.  I am so blessed to be a part of this healing.  Know that there is ALWAYS hope in any situation and to try all avenues before giving up.  Sometimes Western medicine just doesn’t have what it takes to stimulate the healing process as Eastern medicine does. There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophies. ~Friedrich Nietzche


About Marcella Zappia

Upcoming Host of “Cella’s Chat” on Voice America’s Health & Wellness channel
Writer, Nia Instructor, Ageless Grace Educator


Mobile:  757-650-5811