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By: Patricia Ann Chaffee

Jeanne ZuzelPeggy PellettPeggy Pellett is a woman of extraordinary strength and resilience, and she finds comfort, focus and nurturing through healing touch. Healing Touch is a type of non –invasive energy therapy to introduce relaxation and pain management, to calm the mind and calm the body using the energies of the body to create balance. The healing touch practitioner is trained to be a facilitator of healing so they allow the energy to flow through themselves, and the client can draw upon the universal energy store that is around us.

“People can establish a baseline of energy so that they can get in the right place for healing,” says Jeanne Zuzel owner of Incite Wellness Center- International Center for Integrated Therapy and Education in Norwich, Connecticut, and a healing touch instructor.

When Peggy’s husband John was diagnosed with stage four cancer in April of 2012, she came upon the Connected Hearts Program at the Incite Wellness Center. Cancer patients and their families qualify for free healing touch sessions through the program’s mission to offer “relaxation and symptom management to clients affected by cancer.”

“I sought Jeanne out because I was John’s caregiver,” says Peggy. “I had taken leave from work and took care of him at home. I needed to do something for myself.”

John and Peggy were Norwich Technical High School sweethearts. They married when she was only 19 and had a daughter and son together, and later three grandchildren. They had 36 years together. John had Legionnaires' disease a couple years prior to his cancer diagnosis and that’s when Peggy first learned about the Incite Wellness Center.

“I started going there for healing touch whenever I needed to get a grip on things. It was important to go there and just take care of me. It gave me the ability to focus on him and tend to his needs.”

Six months later John passed away. Over the course of about two years she dealt with a lot of health crises and loss. Six months after John died, Peggy was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy, radiation and reconstructive surgery. Then her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. With a passion for adopting old dogs, even her dog Nevada died.

Peggy and John Pelletttouch“I don’t know how much more I can take,” says Peggy, who is doing well now, and is back to work full time as a medical assistant. “I am a spiritual person. I do believe in it (healing touch). You have to believe in order for it to work. I had healing touch in the hospital before my last surgery. It helped me to feel comfortable with the procedure and the whole process. It’s all about what you believe.”

“Healing touch is a certified program that has five levels of training and anyone can do it,” says Jeanne. “It’s not limited to nurses or medical people. Many practitioners and students are people without medical background. “

Jeanne is a registered nurse, with a master of science degree in holistic health. She got involved with holistic health when her daughter was ill. A group counselor suggested some “body work” and that was the first Jeanne heard of it.

“I was living crisis to crisis all the time. I tried some body work and didn’t feel anything at the time, but later cried all the way home. I didn’t make the connection right away, but later realized I was experiencing an emotional release. I found peace with myself. I had been so stressed, I had digestive issues that manifest itself in crisis.

After this, I was a different human being. My whole life started to shift. “

She found a healing touch program being offered at a local church and was hooked. Jeanne is founder of Healing Touch Connecticut (http://www.healingtouchconnecticut.com), an educational program that trains practitioners worldwide, and acts as a resource for folks who want to learn more or find a practitioner in their area.

She got certified and then certified to teach and has now been teaching others to practice healing touch for the past 15 years. She has mentored 70 people in 14 years and has more than 900 students all over the world. Last year she taught in Peru and in February she’ll be in Guatemala to establish a healing touch program there.

Although the state of Connecticut does not require licensing, it is credentialed by an international board. As of October 2013, healing touch International, Inc. became Healing Beyond Borders™. Because it meets board certified standards of care and is often covered by insurance companies, Jeanne believes these factors play a role in its growing popularity. Healing touch is a very individualized therapy where the client may be touched or have hands positioned above the body depending on the clients preference.

Peggy continues receiving healing touch when she can and has since adopted a new eight year old bull dog named Bentley.

“I just fell in love. He’s bald in spots and has a thyroid condition,” says Peggy. “I’m taking care of him. He’s good for me. He gets me out of bed in the morning.

John always took care of me. When he passed away I was lost. Two days before my diagnosis of breast cancer I ran into a man at the grocery store whom I casually knew before. We talked and George asked for my phone number and has been with me ever since. He takes care of me like John would have. He has been here when I was sick, cooking for me. Making sure I eat and get rest or get out when he thinks I need to. I believe John sent him to me to take care of me where he left off.

The Connected Hearts program is supported entirely by donations and anyone interested in benefitting from or supporting this program can call (860)889-4690. Or contact Jeanne Zuzel at www.newincites.com.

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