Welcome to the Neurovascular Institute, where body, breath and brain find their ease and flow.
I’m Dr. Cathy Pliscof Holway, physical therapist, and since you’ve found me here, I’d love to share my story with you. I’ve been a physical therapist for 35 years, and have “been there and done that” through about every clinical and teaching setting imaginable, from hospital and nursing home work, to running seven orthopedic PT clinics, to working for Dr. John Upledger, to creating my own seminar and therapy business.
I became a PT in 1979 (Russell Sage College, Troy, NY), and was drawn to myofascial and cranial work in 1984. My studies led me to the Upledger Institute, where I studied the cranial and visceral curriculums. This work had a profound impact on me, healing a brain injury from birth trauma and resolving my seizure disorder. In 1995, Dr. John invited me to run his Intensive Treatment Programs at the Upledger Healthplex Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
My work at the Upledger Institute was a profound learning experience, and led me to the underlying psycho-physiological stories that were being interpreted as cranial work. I developed a different presence for the work, Profound Neutral, and a new approach to the work which at first focused on innovative techniques for mouthwork.
In 1999 I founded Sacred Spaces Seminars and began teaching classes about this more fluid cranial approach, through the touch of Profound Neutral. I called the work Sacred Spaces Bodywork, and developed 10 different classes that I taught around the country to therapists of all experience levels, parents, caregivers and laypeople. Therapists were relieved to be able to connect to the respectful life process of this work, which embraced a broad spectrum of philosophies while remaining intensely grounded in medical education. The Sacred Spaces work grew, and as its importance revealed itself, I felt the need to ground it even more securely in science-based medicine.
So I went to graduate school, and put the seminars on hold while I pursued my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Boston University. By the time I graduated from that program in 2008, I was ready to revamp the business, and The Neurovascular Institute, Inc. was born. Our work was now called Neurovascular Integration, where the elegant dance of our nervous system is engaged with the respectful, discreet touch of Profound Neutral. We move beyond the old osteopathic and cranial stories, into the latest concepts of neuroscience. Students learn about the power of breath, presence and touch as an expression of our very own neurology, and explore this subtle communication through presence and sensory skills, to enrich the healing processes of patient and therapists alike.
Surprisingly enough, my doctoral thesis project, an “Integrative Support Program for Parents of Special Needs Children,” has evolved into my real-life, post-doctoral therapy and seminar practice. While I work with children and families all across the country, I continue to find that the more directly parents are supported, the better their children do in their developmental processes. This evolution dances with the emerging research into neural plasticity and the re-wiring capabilities of brain, body and psyche. The newest aspects of this work address our stress regulating capabilities, which directly impacts our neural plasticity and rewiring, be it for pediatric neurodevelopmental delays or the family and work-life stresses of every day living.
So, I am here with this storytelling space to share the latest information with you, simply, elegantly and powerfully relevant to the stressful challenges we face through so many phases of our lives. I’ll be back with helpful information and simple tools to help you navigate this world with more ease – and better health! – for yourself and your families (and patients).
We’ll be learning a bit about our own neurology as we explore “Stress Relief Strategies” together, breathing, re-wiring and celebrating together as we find our way to a juicy, joyful dance.
Here’s to a great journey, and to living the best stories possible.
Thanks for joining me!