My name is Josette Cicacci. My credentials include: Exercise Physiologist (BA of Science from Temple University), Physical Therapist Assistant (AS Physical Therapy from Harcum College), Yoga Alliance – 200 Hour Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (Living Mandala School of Yoga), Certified Lifestyle Meditation Teacher, Licensed Massage Therapist (Academy of Massage Therapy and Bodyworks) credentialed by the NCBTMB – National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, and Certified Gestalt Therapy Practitioner (3 yr training program completed with The Pennsylvania Gestalt Center).
I realize that I began the journey which has led me to where I am professionally today over a decade ago. However, it was not through schooling that this journey began. It was through an unfortunate diagnosis – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Upon receiving this diagnosis in 1998, my parents exposed me to absolutely every medical doctor possible. The hope was that certainly there must be at least one doctor who had enough knowledge/wisdom to remedy this diagnosis by removing the disabling symptoms that my body was experiencing. After all, this is what allopathic medicine, the mainstream Westernized approach of treating and/or suppressing symptoms of disease, aims to accomplish. It was not until we reached the end of the road with this form of traditional medicine that my family was led to assess my healthcare from a more holistic, Eastern philosophy based, approach. Ultimately it was dietary modifications (to include supplementation, as deemed appropriate), and the introduction of exercise which slowly began to yield positive shifts in my well-being.
What I understand today is that the body is, on a very innate level, designed to heal itself. Physical manifestation(s) which present in the form of symptoms, as we refer to them, are often sent as “red flags” for us to slow down and tune into what is actually happening within the body. As a culture, we tend to rush about throughout the monotony of the day-to-day unfortunately often choosing to ignore these signs/symptoms. I have learned this firsthand throughout my personal journey.
The foundation of my knowledge sourced from my studies in Exercise Physiology at Bloomsburg and Temple University (2003 – 2007) and Physical Therapy at Harcum College (2009 – 2011). Clinically, I grew as a practitioner in the physical therapy industry in a manually based clinic which led me to the study of Myofascial Release (MFR) under the leading authority in the industry, John F. Barnes. I completed my first course in MFR in December of 2011, and have subsequently gone on to complete additional advanced level training. I find this to be a powerful modality which has/is molding me as a clinician.
In 2007, I stepped foot in my first yoga class. I did so with reluctance, as I was someone who prided themselves on exercising aggressively. I was a Triathlete! I knew on physiological level how/why the body responded to exercise, and the fact that it could withstand high demands.
I cannot say that my first yoga practice was a life changing experience in and of itself. That said, I did return to my yoga mat. Each time I did I began to crave something about the practice, though it was hard to place into words what it was exactly. In February of 2012, I embarked upon an experience which did prove to be life-changing. My study at The Living Mandala School of Yoga at Ocean Earth Wind Fire led me to listen to my inner voice of wisdom. This inner voice led me to a practice which I now understand to be “awareness.” Embracing awareness has been an integral aspect of my professional growth.
Through a Divinely guided course of events, I began to work for world-renowned psychotherapist, Mariah Fenton Gladis. As a young professional, her gestalt-based approach to living was a grander teacher than I’d ever experienced. I began to learn how to expand upon the concept of awareness, now in a tangible and interactive manner. Mariah developed The Pennsylvania Gestalt Center located in Malvern, Pa. In 2018, I completed the center’s 3 year training program on contemporary gestalt.
Gestalt is defined as an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts. This knowing informs my unique approach. I acknowledge that we do not have a body, and rather that we are our bodies. I strive to embody an integrative approach which tends to ALL aspects of an individual when working with both traditional PT patients, as well as in the private work I offer clients and yoga students.
I would be happy to assist you in working through the physical manifestations, or “red flags,” which the body sends up as signal that may be indicative of a need for shift in your life. My overall goal is to guide my patients and students/clients to a sense of independence within the body which will enable one to manage symptoms day-to-day AND to have the insight to acknowledge a need for external intervention in the form of manual therapy as/when appropriate. I will not heal you; instead I would like to assist you in taking responsibility for your own well-being.