Judy Fasone, is a Sr. Trager Practitioner, Mentastics Teacher, Trager Tutor and Instructor Trainee. Judy has been in private practice for 24 years. Judy’s personal and private practice focuses on self-care as health care. She empowers her clients to use their internal and external awareness, integrating the body, mind and natural environment that surrounds us for self-healing and wellbeing.
“My focus is self-care through movement, to move more freely, and I call it a moving meditation. Because if we slow our movements down and really become more aware of how things are working, it changes our whole way of being in the world.” ~Judy Fasone
When you move more freely, it allows you to follow your heart, and this offers many more opportunities to feel joy and happiness.
Combining Nurse Coaching with other modalities one is passionate about allows Nurse Coaching to become more personalized to the Nurse and to clients, patients, and communities.
Nurse Coaches are entrepreneurs, and can also work in more traditional Nursing roles.
Nurse Coaching reduces the use, impact, and burden to the healthcare system, because the skills of a Nurse Coach help people understand they can learn to rely on their own wisdom. It also helps them act earlier, instead of waiting for illness to happen.
Shifting Nursing practice to telehealth and becoming more comfortable in the virtual space opens more opportunities for Nurse Coaches to reach into their communities.
Nicole Vienneau 00:00
Welcome, everyone, to Integrative Nurse Coaches in ACTION! This is Nicole Vienneau, your host, and I am thrilled to invite Judy Fasone from judyfasone.com. She has been a Nurse entrepreneur in private practice for 20+ years. Her taglines are: body, mind, nature. And her slogan, which is an incredible slogan, is: self-care is healthcare. And fun fact: Judy is also a musician and a gardener. So, we invite Judy. Welcome, Judy!
Judy Fasone 00:38
Hi, Nicole, thank you so much for inviting me to talk about what I love to do most in the world: Nursing.
Nicole Vienneau 00:45
Yay, Nursing! Me too! And so I feel like we’re just having virtual tea together.
Judy Fasone 00:50
Nicole Vienneau 00:52
Yes. So, I’d love if you could tell us a little bit about why you got into Nursing.
Judy Fasone 00:58
I really felt a long, long time ago, maybe when I was eight or nine years old, that I was helping my grandfather at the Nursing home, and we were visiting, and they needed help passing trays. So, my brother, who was a year older, and I got to pass trays to these elderly people. And I feel like at that point, I was so appreciated, and they were so kind to me, I think that’s where I got the bug, just to be able to help and give something back and then get that response from people.
I think that’s what sticks with me most. And then, of course, it’s a wonderful way to, you know, to support yourself because there’s so many options with Nursing. And I’ve done a whole gamut of different types of Nursing, from psychiatric care to community health to med-surg to chelation therapy, which is an alternative care modality to movement, which is what I do now, the Trager Approach– helping people move more freely.
And I think all of that can be just a big white board for anybody to create a pathway and do what it is they love to do as a Nurse.
Nicole Vienneau 02:17
I love this connection to Nursing and being able to do whatever it is that you want to do, whatever you’re passionate about. And your trajectory has been just that, you know, discovering what you love, and then moving towards doing it. And literally, in your case, moving. Because you are a Trager practitioner.
Judy Fasone 02:39
Yeah, I’m a somatic therapist, which means that we connect the body and the mind, and we do that through movement and touch and through communication. You know, we really help people learn how to say what they need, and get what they need, in a way that works for them.
So, in my world, the Trager Approach has been part of my life since 1997 and I’ve gone all over the world with this. I was on the board, I was on Trager National, and so I served in that capacity, and many subcommittee meetings, many dialogues, and I’m still doing that. I love it. We have three or four meetings a week where we’re talking– I’m sorry, not a week, a month– where we’re talking about the neuroscience of Trager, and we’re really amping up our language so that we can bring Trager along into this time frame that we’re in.
Dr. Trager created this modality back in the late 60s, 70s, 80s, and taught, and started out at Esalen Institute. I never really met him, but I’ve met the next generation of teachers that he trained. And I’m, like, the fourth generation of teachers now being trained to teach. But he really didn’t feel like he could work on more than one or two people a day, just because he was so into the sensation of it, for himself and for that person. And so, we’re finding that everybody has a different way of making this work for them.
And for me, it is really about doing sessions that are slow and meet the needs of the person. They’re very individualized. Sometimes we never get to the table because people want to move and that becomes the whole session. And some people that I work with have a need to really share a lot of what’s going on for them, and so I just go with the flow of that.
But we can use the Trager principles, whether we’re moving, whether we’re touching, or whether we’re talking with people.
And Trager principles, basically, it’s a questioning, it’s like appreciative inquiry in the Nurse Coaching process, where we’re asking a lot of questions, and we were so happy with whatever answer comes up, and then we use that as the next jumping off point. So, appreciating the question, appreciating the answers that we’re getting— that, I think, is at the crux of Nurse Coaching.
And so, I have always felt, as a Trager practitioner, that I was weaving in this other aspect of coaching. But it wasn’t until I got trained as a coach, in that second cohort, that I felt supported in doing what I was doing. So, I really felt like the training itself catapulted me into a more confident place where I could do both.
And right after I got my Nurse Coach certificate, I was teaching. I had just jumped into a master’s program in Nurse education, in addition to my private Trager practice, and was able to feel much more solid with the whole support of this coaching group behind me; more solid in the holistic Nursing class I was teaching.
And we would do coaching modules so they could learn how to use their words differently. And I would supervise them, just as an experience, where they would do peer coaching in the classroom. And then also, I was able to do a module on the Trager approach every quarter, because they, you know, Nurses don’t get to touch people as much as people need touched, you know, there’s not space for that.
And so, in the holistic Nursing class that I did teach, I was weaving in those two things that were so much a part of my growth and development that it just felt like, after getting that certification, I was more confident and really expressing more of who I was in the classroom, and also with my clients.
So, I think I got a little bit off track there with where I started, but I don’t even sometimes know where to start because it’s, you know, career is constantly moving, and we have to follow where our heart goes. And one of the times, I was with a woman last year, and she told me something that I really took in, and she said that at her age, she’s not going to do anything that doesn’t make her happy.
And I really let that come in, and I just decided, you know what, I’m going to use that as a way of checking in with what I’m doing and making sure that what I’m doing is really making me feel good. And if it isn’t, I’m gonna let it go. And that has kind of helped me to evolve in the last couple of years into more of a, well, an instructor trainee for Trager International. I’ve wanted to do that for a long time, but now that COVID is here and I have more time on my hands and everything, I thought, well, I still want to do that.
And it still makes me really happy to give sessions and to be with people and watch people grow and change. And that’s what’s gonna make me the happiest right now, is to really get the support I need to go to that next level with my professional approach here. I think the Nurse Coaching and the Trager approach and all of those experiences I had previously have added to my repertoire of helping others heal and being that guide for them. So that’s sort of where I am right in this moment.
Nicole Vienneau 08:48
It’s amazing that you are able to find something that fully supports you and your happiness, as you’ve come to recognize. And using the skills that you’ve learned as a Trager practitioner and then incorporating it through the Nurse Coaching lens– that combination has really helped you to find more purpose and more light and energy in your work.
Judy Fasone 09:16
Yes, you know, the self-care is healthcare motto came from my Nurse Coach experience with INCA. I don’t know why. But, you know, I’ve always had this feeling that our healthcare system really is, in a lot of ways, is inefficient and not accessible. But then there’s also a lot of good to it.
But I think that we overuse the healthcare system, and that’s one of the problems. And so, if people can look at their own self-care as a way of not needing the healthcare system so much, that is going to help everybody. And so, in the discussions that I was having at the training, it just became very obvious. I was one of 30 Nurses, and many of these were administrators and had been, you know, teaching PhDs– like, people that were a lot more, I thought, were a lot more skilled than I was in many areas.
But that whole group, there were only three of us that were Nurse entrepreneurs. And I knew what that meant, and I knew that I was good at it. And so, all of a sudden, I felt like I was at the top of the class.
And that gave me so much confidence because the other Nurses, although they had all this knowledge of all these different specialties, I had this overarching umbrella about what it means to be in our body and really enjoy what we’re doing, and also love ourselves enough to make those needed changes so that we have more energy and more joy and those other things that come from having a personal dedication to ourselves, you know?
So, I felt really good about that and I felt like that had been missing, like I hadn’t had the confidence that I needed to put the two together. I always had the science and the Nurse over here, and then I had the Trager and the alternatives over here, and coaching helped me to just really bring these things together in a way that worked for me.
And I still really enjoy, I enjoy writing about it– I have blogs on my website, you know, initiate newsletters for my clients. I have an online class in movement that’s starting next week, for eight weeks, that I’ll probably run again in the fall.
But all of these things take preparation, and it’s using all the knowledge that I have from my training, of course, but it also is being presented in a way where people can individually make it work for them. And the coaching is a big part of that, where we really tune into how the person learns, what motivates them, and what they really want as a goal– keeping those goals small enough so that people can be successful.
And there’s so much room in our world for change right now that if it starts here, and we get confident that we can change ourselves, we can reach beyond ourselves and then have an impact in a larger way.
Nicole Vienneau 12:23
Starting with our own self, and then extending it outwards to help others find their self.
Judy Fasone 12:33
Yeah, exactly. That reduces the impact on the healthcare system in a way that I don’t think has been measured or can be measured yet. That would be an interesting research study, you know? Because if we have chronic illness, and we are able to change that and become well, think of how many less appointments you’re going to have with the doctor, how many less minute clinic visits or ER visits.
So, paying attention to ourselves and really becoming clean and clear and dealing with our stress and cleaning up our diets and moving every day will reduce the amount of time we need to spend in the healthcare system. So that’s where the self-care is healthcare came from.
My intention is that people rely less on the healthcare system, and more on themselves for being well. And that includes food as medicine and natural things that we can do at home.
For instance, I have this chronic lung infection that’s going on now that I just found out about. So, what I’m doing is I’m drinking– you know, I’m going to a pulmonologist, I want to make sure, I’m gonna go with that too– but I am also drinking garlic and lemon juice and cayenne pepper three times a day in hot water. I’m doing lotus root tea, which is a Chinese medicine for lung conditions. I’m going to have some help from my husband with cupping, he does cupping. I’ve done two mustard plasters on my chest this week.
So, there are so many things we can do at home to help ourselves– and these are old-timey things that have worked for others– instead of letting things deteriorate. And, you know, we have to get into the right frame of mind to give ourselves the care and attention we need. Sometimes we’re overwhelmed. This has been an overwhelming year. Definitely we can amp up our self-care. I’m talking a lot about self-care.
Nicole Vienneau 14:46
It’s good! I mean, self-care is health care, and I really do like that slogan. And, as you say, when people are given the opportunity to take ownership of their health and well-being by potentially, you know, working with a Nurse Coach, they then see what is most important to them.
And the things that they’re doing on a daily basis– you spoke of all the lifestyle strategies, you know, movement every day, reducing stress, getting good sleep, eating for nourishment– I mean, all of those things that you do on a daily basis really have an impact on health or… not so healthy.
Those discussions that you speak of, one-to-one or in small groups, where Nurses are helping people understand that they can be the authority over themselves and their health– and yes, we would utilize the healthcare system when necessary– but just as you spoke of, if you do own yourself, likely, you’ll have less time to go see the physician or less use of services like testing or less medications and more autonomy, more self-efficacy, over your own life.
Judy Fasone 15:59
Yeah, there’s a lot of options. And just because we’ve been doing it one way all along, doesn’t mean we can’t change course. But we do need people to help guide us and make decisions, sometimes, about what the next step might be if we don’t have that familiarity ourselves.
So, I think the coaching role, it’s just the right time for it in our culture right now. And, you know, telehealth has become really common now, where when I was teaching– I retired from that two years ago– it was just starting. Like, five years ago, it was just brand new. And we’re trying to teach this to our student Nurses.
And we didn’t have as much information, but now, all of a sudden, just like that, everybody’s doing telehealth. And because of that, I have been teaching movement classes online and have actually joined in on a number of them. And it is possible, it is possible also for counseling, it’s possible for a lot of things that you would think wouldn’t be comfortable.
And I know a lot of people really don’t like Zoom, but I have to say that the opposite of not doing it or, you know, what the effect is of not being on Zoom with people is, it’s definitely worth doing it and getting comfortable with it.
Because I have people, as you said before, in my home, in my office with me, and it just makes my day 100% better because we are social beings, and we need people in our lives. We need to see people and we need to see them moving and we need to move with them, even if we can’t touch them. So, it motivates us to do more when we’re with other people.
And I also hope people are getting outside, regardless of what’s happening. You know, there’s no reason why people can’t go to a park, take a walk. There’s just no reason why people would feel like they have to stay indoors. So, that’s a big part of my coaching with people, is to make sure that they’re getting out there.
I’ve even taken people out there myself and gone for hikes and if they have issues with their low back, we might play for a little bit on a slope and help that person find better footing for whatever is bothering them while they’re moving.
Or, if their knees are not working, sometimes it’s as simple as, you know, find a way to step that doesn’t hurt. So, I say that, they find a new way to move, and all of a sudden the door is open and they’re outside. You know, it’s just simple stuff, but we have our blinders on a lot. And people that we work with, that care about us, can help us move beyond those blind spots.
Nicole Vienneau 18:55
I love the visual of moving beyond the blind spots. And I know this is a podcast, but just for our listeners, Judy had both hands up by her eyes like a horse. The horses have to only look in one direction, and with that, we cannot see to the sides. But once those are removed, then it’s like, wow, a whole new world is presented, and possibilities open up. So, tell us a little bit about how you see Nurse Coaching moving into mainstream.
Judy Fasone 19:34
Yes. You know, when I first got out of the program, I immediately had a Nurse Coach interview with a physician’s practice. I really thought this would be a really good thing for me to do, and I wanted to do it, but here’s what I was told at the end: you’re gonna have five minutes before the physician sees the patient, and then right before they go out the door, you’re going to get another five minutes. And I said, “Well, I’m not sure that’s gonna really work because, you know, coaching takes a little bit longer than that.”
Interestingly, I have developed what I call laser coaching– laser Trager– for those people that are really, they need something right now, and they don’t have a lot of time. But at that moment, I thought, you know, this is nice of the physician to allow a coach to come on staff, but I didn’t think it was for me, so I did not take that position. But I think that is where the work is.
I think that family practices need to have coaches, people that can support coaches, that can support these chronic diseases that they have, because that takes so much more time than just a five-minute visit, or a 10-minute visit, with a physician. If you don’t feel supported when you have to change something, then you’re not going to change.
The way I look at it is, the bigger the problem, the more support you need. So, a coach is like a major part of your support system. Since I have been diagnosed with this lung condition—basically, it’s COPD, which is very mild right now, but it was in my family, I have a genetic marker for it, it turns out all these things happen.
I was counting on my hands, the other day, how many people are actually on my team to help me with this, and there are nine people. And so, if you have an issue that is bigger than you, then you need to find enough support so that you can change that issue. And I think in the family practice setting, as well as Nurses that are in private practice for themselves, I think that is another place, but not everybody can afford that.
So, I think Nurse Coaches that are fixed to the more traditional care is going to be something that we’re going to see more of in the future. The insurance companies have already tapped into us because they know that they’re going to save money if these people don’t have to get a surgery. I think a lot of times, just like with any other insurance benefit, there’s probably a lot of limits put on coaching, but I’m not familiar enough with that myself. But still, it’s a good step in the right direction.
I do not have a Nurse practitioner, but I think Nurse practitioners would really benefit from getting this kind of training because I think they do spend more time with patients in general than a physician would. I think that information is really good, and it’s very much based on holistic Nursing, which is also something that has come of age now.
You know, we can’t ignore our environment, we can’t ignore what we’re putting into our mouth or our mind. We have to really look at the bigger picture, we have to look at our relationships. And it’s not just a one track, you know, fix-this-symptom, anymore. I think that the time for Nurse Coaching is now, no matter what field we’re in. I think it plays a role everywhere.
Nicole Vienneau 23:23
Do you see a difference between a lay person doing health coaching and a Nurse doing health coaching?
Judy Fasone 23:32
Yeah, I do. I feel like especially if there are chronic illness issues for someone, because a Nurse can help interface with the medical reports. They can help a person understand medication, they can help look at markers and also have research available. They know where to find the research. I think we probably could better assess a website that a person wanted to use as a resource.
And maybe that would just be the top priority, would be find a Nurse Coach if you have a chronic illness, but also because people have a lot of information about alternatives. I think Nurses need to be skilled in understanding the alternative medicine world and how people make decisions about that for themselves.
Yeah, I think a person who is trained as a health coach, that is not a Nurse, is not going to have that science as well behind them. And, of course, that would depend on how many years they’ve been a Nurse, I mean, if it’s a brand-new Nurse. I’ve been supervising Nurses who want to take the exam but can’t afford to take the full program, and a lot of these Nurses are already skilled, they’ve already been in the healthcare field for years and years.
They’re probably there already doing the coaching but, like me, they didn’t really have any support behind them to encourage more of that. But I have yet to agree to work with somebody who hasn’t been in the field more than five years and, in fact, those people don’t even contact us for coaching training, usually.
But as a Nurse gets older and has more years behind their belt, they also start looking at the healthcare system and their own bodies and saying, you know, I need to move on, I want to do something more fulfilling, this isn’t working for me anymore for whatever reason. I think Nurse Coaches are generally more experienced, have a lot more knowledge about health than a regular health coach training program, yes.
And I think Nurses really need to promote themselves as Nurses, too. And there’s been a lot of discussion about that because, you know, different states have different regulations. But, you know, once a Nurse, always a Nurse. I can’t put this knowledge away. And this knowledge is so deep that it comes up when I don’t even expect it.
I mean, if I try to remember something, it’s not there. But if I put my hands on a muscle, I’ve got muscle bone, I’ve got all this stuff, and I can tell people, you know, all about how their body should move and where it’s not moving. And that just comes from somewhere. It comes from being around people and thinking about these ideas for years and years and years. So that intuition that we have is much deeper than a person without medical training of any kind.
Nicole Vienneau 26:38
Yes, thank you for your thoughts on that. Of course, we’re not saying that lay health coaches are, you know, that Nurses are better coaches. It’s just a different approach because of the Nursing background, the science and the experience and the intuition, the wisdom that’s innate.
I thought of when you were saying, you know, it’s in your bones. You have all of this experience that you’ve accumulated over time, and that just flows forth as you incorporate all of the Nurse Coaching modalities and tools and techniques along with Trager and along with your life experience.
That just flows right into the experience with the client or the community. So, is there anything else that you’d love to share with us?
Judy Fasone 27:25
Um, yeah, I think one of the most common complaints I have from my clients, and from Nurses in general, is backaches. And so, I’m here sitting in my chair, really slouched over, but I wanted to sit up right now and kind of lead everybody, whoever’s listening to this, into a little bit of a… some help for low back, especially if you’re sitting a lot. So, I want to think about our spine as either a C shape or the opposite direction, which would be kind of the half side of a D.
So, when you’re sitting in your chair right now, if you can just kind of go into your mind’s eye and kind of see what shape your spine has against the back of the chair. Now, if you sit up on the edge of the chair, you’re going to sit a lot differently than if you’re sitting slumped into the back of it. So, as I’m sitting on the edge of my chair right now, I can roll my body forward so that I feel my lumbar curve.
My upper body’s not really doing as much as my pelvis. So just roll your pelvis forward and back a few minutes and just feel your lumbar curve going into a convex and a concave kind of state. Most people, when they sit in their chairs, their tail bones are not at the back of the chair, so they’re not really fully supported.
So, I like to say, “Okay, sit on the edge of the chair, let’s play with this first, and then we’re gonna go to the back of the chair.” So, to really have good posture, we need to have our sit bones right underneath us so that our head and shoulders and the sit bones are all coming down, straight down into the chair. And you can just feel that nicely supported body, because your sit bone is what you’re rocking on right now.
You can rock forward and back, and your head will come down and then your head will go back, because your sit bone is really making all this movement happen. If you’re sitting in a chair for more than 10 or 15 minutes, you’re going to start stiffening up. Now if you sit on the edge of the chair, you’re naturally going to have more movement. But if you’re sitting slumped down, that’s a whole different– it’s almost like things go very still.
So, I suggest to people that they get up on the edge of the chair first and find their movement, and then slide your tailbone back to the back of the chair and see if you can still feel your sit bones and sit up with the support of the back of the chair. Don’t sit halfway back and sit on the tip of your tail.
You have to sit back on the sit bones and let your pubic symphysis kind of be in your awareness that you’re actually sitting on this triangle. And then your shoulders can relax, and your spine and your belly can relax, you can let your belly hang, which women don’t like to do too much with that, but nobody’s looking. And that helps also with that lumbar to let go.
So, I would say that sitting and being aware of sitting, moving every 15-20 minutes, even if it’s just a switched-up position, you know, to kind of turn in your chair a little bit, or maybe, you know, stand up and shake your tail and then sit down again. So, if I would offer that, to something simple, that would really be helpful.
The next time you go to the dinner table, and you sit down for a meal, I want everybody to look at how they’re sitting. If you’re sitting on your tailbone, change that right away. Hard chairs are the best for practicing this. I remember, my sister, when I was very young, we were sitting in the Pew at church, and she said that the chair was the best invention other than sex. I was very young; it was very funny. The best invention they ever made was a chair.
But the fact is that our couches and our soft chairs are really hard on us, so we have to pay attention to that. And computers, because we get our mind so connected to what we’re doing, we forget all about our body. So, somehow, we have to remember that our bodies need movement. We are meant to move. And it has to be done frequently, throughout the day. So, thanks for asking!
Nicole Vienneau 32:11
I love it. I was exploring that– moving my pelvis and finding my sit bones and my pubic bone.
Judy Fasone 32:24
Yeah. Sitting is not good for us for very long periods of time.
Nicole Vienneau 32:30
Well, thank you for sharing that. Those little tidbits that we can incorporate into our day. You know, self-care.
Judy Fasone 32:37
Yeah. And I’m happy to, you know, work with anybody on a Zoom call. If you’ve got a problem, an ache or a pain that just won’t quit and you don’t know what to do with that, I can help you with that.
Nicole Vienneau 32:51
Great! How can people find you, Judy?
Judy Fasone 32:53
Judyfasone.com. Very simple. And um, yeah, I’m in Columbus, Ohio. I love Zooms, and phone calls are fine, too. We can do a lot just talking to each other.
Nicole Vienneau 33:10
Well, wonderful. You’ve also mentioned that you have a program coming up and you’re thinking about doing it again in the fall. Would you mind touching on that a little bit?
Judy Fasone 33:22
Yeah, sure. This is an eight-week movement class, two hours each week, from 1pm to 3pm on Wednesdays. That time probably will move into the evening the next time, just to give people more variety. But basically, we’re going to be doing similar things to what I was just talking about, but we’re also going to learn the benefits of pausing, you know, the neuroscience behind pleasure and pausing, the neuroscience behind our reflexive system.
And we do use reflex response for self-care a lot, for places in our bodies that are really just not in our awareness. We can heighten our awareness to our body. And so having a weekly class, with some things to do in between, little movement explorations, and having you journal about your experiences, will just enhance your self-care.
So, my focus is self-care through movement, to move more freely and I call it a moving meditation. Because if we slow our movements down and really become more aware of how things are working, it changes our whole way of being in the world. So, it’s a great class, I’ve taught it, I’ve been teaching “mentastics” — is what we call that in the Trager world– mental gymnastics. Because we use images for moving.
If I asked you to put on a pair of wings and move your arms, that’s going to give you a whole different feeling of movement. And now I’m moving my arms like wings because I said it (if you’re listening to me). But it gives you a whole feeling of complete openness in your chest and ease and grace and it can change your mood.
So, some of these things are just really good for our mental health right now, you know, to feel pleasure in our body, and not expect to get it from our community right now, because we can’t be touched as often, we can’t hug our families as often as we’d like, and maybe even people that you were close to, you’re not close to anymore.
So, a lot of social isolation has caused a lot of chaos in our bodies and our minds, so I think having a weekly class is really important. So, perhaps, if you’re interested in that, you can also send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to have a conversation with you, or a session for 30 minutes on Zoom, and let you know more about this.
Nicole Vienneau 36:04
Wonderful, Judy. I know that people will be connecting with you to tap into your wisdom and your love of movement, your love of people, helping people feel better, you know, not just physically, it’s more than that. Thank you very much for joining us today. We look forward to seeing more of your success and how you’re influencing your communities, helping people feel their best.
Judy Fasone 36:28
Great, thanks so much, Nicole. I really enjoyed talking with you.
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