Rusen Istarki, RD,
Chief Clinical Dietitian
Isabella Geriatric Center
New York City
Hometown: Born in China, lived in Turkey; came to U.S. with husband in 1971, now lives on Long Island
Education: Queens College, clinical dietitian since 1981; additional classes at NYU in TT
Married, 36 years to Ferit Istarki; one daughter, one son
Rusen Istarki is a practitioner of Therapeutic Touch. TT, sometimes referred to as “energy medicine,” involves the therapist moving his or her hands over the patient’s “energy field,” thus reducing the flow of energy so that pain is relieved and the patient can heal. The energy—and serenity—of making jewelry from stone beads that have their own energy fields also has provided Istarki with a tactile way to de-stress her life. And sharing her TT skill or the beaded jewelry she’s made, brings her even more serenity.
“My jewelry making came about through a Therapeutic Touch (TT) practitioner. We had Dr. P. Napawan, who has her doctorate in stress management, here on the staff at Isabella as a nursing supervisor. She now works here as a consultant. She opened up her therapeutic healing room to staff to treat our stress and also gave us classes. Apparently I had a talent for it and she gave a few of us advanced classes.
Natural stones also have a healing and energizing effect. That’s why I was interested in making jewelry, usually necklaces and earrings to match, with natural healing stones. About a year ago, a friend of mine from work was doing it and she taught me. I started making jewelry because I wanted to learn something new, as well. I like to design and when I was first married I did all my own clothes—it was very professional work.
I like all stones, but my favorite color is blue and I call these my ‘blue healing stones.’ It has healing effects on me. When I go to buy beads, I always wind up buying turquoise blue. It reminds me of the sea islands, of the Bermuda water and of Turkey—the water of the Aegean Sea is exactly that color.
I start one project at a time and work on it until it is finished. I do the necklace and earrings at one sitting—once I start, I can’t stop. It takes about four or five hours and I usually work on it from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., or during the afternoons on vacation or weekends. How long it takes depends upon the stones and the design; I design all the pieces from my own head—each one is different and unique. But there’s such pleasure to see the finished product. And when I give them as gifts that gives me even more pleasure.
Therapeutic Touch (TT) and healing people is also a passion. Recently, I was somewhere doing consulting and the nurse there had a knee that was hurting her. I did TT on her and she got up and walked more easily. It’s non-judgmental healing and giving to people. Here [at Isabella], I balance their energy and remove their stress. You don’t touch the person, you just balance their energy by feeling their energy field around them. I feel the energy where people are hurting and I see the color [of the aura] around the person.
It takes about 20 to 30 minutes for a treatment; energy flows in through the head and out through the feet. With the nurse with pain in her knee, I balanced her energy and gave her energy where it was hurting so she could get up and walk without pain. You usually feel much better two or three hours later, although it could be immediate.”