Seeing Tahoe through different eyes
Debra Bacchi, 47, is a myopathic muscular therapist, a type of massage which addresses pain. She lived in Lake Tahoe for 14 years, and now lives in Gardnerville. She has her own practice, as well as one at Elements Lakeshore Lodge and Spa. Being legally blind gives her a unique perspective of Tahoe’s “scenery.”
Q: What is myopathy?
A: Myopathy is muscular manipulation. The theory behind it is if you have normal body structure, you have normal body function. So with this treatment, it helps rid the body of tension.
Q: You use this to heal pain?
A: Yes, all the time. We use it for carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, headaches – any aches in the body or lesion in the muscle tissue, myopathic muscular therapy will help.
Q: How do you do it?
A: I push, I pull, I poke. Doing these things all at the same time helps the circulation and the blood flow. The blood flows through the muscle tissue, washes out the inflammation and helps it heal.
If you have tension above normal and inflammation, that is what causes pain. And if you have normal blood flow through the tissue, it helps it heal.
Q: How did you arrive at wanting to do this?
A: That’s a long story. I am legally blind and I was looking for a type of work I could do.
Q: How long have you been blind?
A: Since childhood.
Q: What were some challenges you had growing up?
A: I had cancer when I was nine. It was very challenging. To take tests, I couldn’t do them visually, so the teachers had to do them with me using tapes or just by asking me the questions.
Did you wonder what you were going to do when you grew up? No, I wanted to be a singer like Barbra Streisand. And then I grew up!
Q: How did you figure it out?
A: I was in Sacramento at the time and I was on the back of the bus coming home from one of my classes at junior college. I was getting off the back of the bus, and the bus driver didn’t know I was there and took off. And I went flying out of the bus onto the pavement. I was hurt.
For the next year, I went to doctors and chiropractors and nothing seemed to help and my grandmother heard about a healer named Don Christner in Placerville. So I went to see him and within 45 minutes, I was better than I had been before I was hurt. And what he had done was myopathy.
In myopathy, they always do a three-day session, and by the third day, I said to him, “Teach me, I want to know what you are doing.”
Q: How long have you been doing myopathy?
A: On and off for 17 years. I incorporate it into my massage. Each treatment requires three sessions. Some people need more treatment than others. It depends on how old you are. Older people take longer to heal.
You can’t do anything for three days straight after the treatment – you have to rest. I tell people they are like wet glue, you have to let it settle.
Q: Is there anything that people don’t know about you?
A: Most people don’t know that I’m legally blind. Some people have known me 13 years and they don’t know.
Q: Does being blind give you a perspective that other people don’t have?
A: Definitely. I have a different perspective. When I do massage, some people ask me, “It’s so beautiful in Lake Tahoe, don’t you just love it?” Usually, I just say to them, “Yes,” and then I smile to myself.
I don’t live here because I see the beauty, I live here because of the fresh air, the water, the way the snow feels on me, the fact that I can walk on the fresh snow.
Contact Debra Bacchi at:
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