A Living & Loving Tribute to Faye Schenkman
“As for the word ‘ripples’, I cannot think of a more appropriate metaphor to express Faye’s impact on the world. She humbly drops her pebbles — her guidance, her knowledge, her wisdom — and their impact spreads untold distances. Who can know how many have been touched through her writing, teaching, healing, and being?” Dr. Janice Stefanacci Seward , Psy.D., M.C.A.T.
We meet many people in life that shape us in some way. Parents, friends, partners, teachers, and mentors all impact us at different levels and times in our lives. We often don’t realize the degree of influence these individuals have had on us until long after we’ve met them and sometimes not at all. We retain only the intangible knowledge that someone touched us and made a difference.
On occasion we meet someone who changes us from the moment of our first encounter, someone who reflects such authenticity of spirit and compels us to evolve in that same direction. We recognize the contribution of these individuals that transcends the layers of our existence – physical, mental, spiritual. These are the people consciously working to make the world a better place and they are gifts to us all.
This missive is dedicated to one of these rare individuals, Faye Schenkman. Faye has touched the lives of so many people in her role of practitioner, teacher, friend, and more. She has worked tirelessly in her contributions to healing at both individual and collective levels of existence. Very simply, many of these people whom Faye has touched want to say, “Thank you!”
“From my very first interaction with Faye Schenkman there was a no-nonsense, solid and confident air of certainty that I was in good hands and before a person with a depth of knowledge that I have aspired to be like in my own life and practice ever since.” Christofer Lovrin LMT, Owner – 3 Elements Healing Arts Center, Bayside, N.Y.
“I have so much love and respect for this woman, Faye Schenkman. To convey my thoughts and feelings in a few lines is a monumental task. In these past 9 years, Faye has opened my world to so much more than my physical body. I continue to learn so much about my mind, my body and my spirit….” Paula Steigler, RVT and Patient
“Gracious, nurturing, caring, intelligence combined with extraordinary wisdom…Blessings come in many forms at various times in our lives. Faye is a blessing, wrapped in unconditional love.” Anita Lynn, Friend
Faye Schenkman – An Introduction
“There is a saying that we can never repay God, our parents and our teachers. This is a great truth for we gain more from them than we can ever repay. But we must still do our best to honor them through what we have learned and in our care for them.
Born in Brooklyn, Faye is a direct descendant of Yitzchak Elchanan, a talmudical scholar, greatly revered by the rabbinic community.
“His sound reasoning, his liberal views and his love of peace combined to establish him as one of the great leaders of Russian Jewry.” Nahal Yitzhak by Isaac Elhanan.
I find this bloodline quite significant especially when we see the same defining attributes in Faye Schenkman.
Faye’s doctoral studies in Chinese History led her along a path that crossed with that of a great spiritual teacher, Dr Robert Sohn. In 1973, Faye was introduced to Dr. Sohn to translate Chinese acupuncture charts into English. There were very few books available in English at that time and Faye was studying and teaching Chinese language to high School students. Within a short time, their relationship grew to that of student and teacher. Faye began spending her time with a growing group of students (introduced to them by her future husband, Steve) at Dr. & Mrs. Sohn’s home, learning karate, yoga, oriental medicine and spiritual work. In time, the spiritual group evolved into an ashram and lived a life of spiritual practice. They opened the Institute for Self Development and the Wholistic Health Center, and taught the practice of Self evolution and Conscious awakening. With Mrs. Sohn’s tutelage and empathic abilities, the concepts of AMMA were decoded, translated and guided into a practical healing art.” Kim Rosado, (MS, L. Ac., LMT, CAT, Dipl. ABT & Acup. (NCCAOM), Co-Director, Wholistic Healing Arts, LLC.
“She sees more than she will ever say. But she tells you exactly what you need to know. A genuine soul who shares her gifts wisely.” Dana Sutter, Patient
“She is indeed a rarity whose actions serve to inspire. If you’d like to find the embodiment of unbridled compassion in a world of frequent lunacy, look in the direction of Faye Schenkman.” Steve & Marion Lefkowitz, Longstanding Friends
“…Only when we are truly versed in our understanding can we leave our door open literally and figuratively to all students, peers and superiors…Faye’s door has always been open.” Joyce Barker LMT, BPS (Amma), BFRP, Faculty Trainer YUSA
“The world of Wholistic Health is illuminated by its brightest star, whose impact is immeasurable because of all the lives she has touched and will continue to touch. She has taught practitioners and teachers who will continue to spread the knowledge forever.” Susan & Jerry Rosenzweig (Sister & Brother-in-law)
Faye & AMMA Therapy®
“Faye was very instrumental in the translation, development and teaching of AMMA. The Institute for Self Development grew and transformed into the New Center College (and later the New York College) for Wholistic Health Education and Research. The college expanded its Massage and Advanced AMMA Therapy® programs and added Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, and Wholistic Nursing. Eventually, Faye became the Dean of the Massage Therapy Program, the Director of the Advanced AMMA Therapy® Program, and the Director of the Wholistic Health Center and Herbal Dispensary. She taught in all the programs and had a thriving clinical practice.”
Kim Rosado, (MS, L. Ac., LMT, CAT, Dipl. ABT & Acup. (NCCAOM), Co-Director, Wholistic Healing Arts, LLC.
“You would be hard pressed to find someone who has furthered AMMA Therapy in the health care professions more than Faye Schenkman.” Mark Petruzzi MS, LAc, LMT
“To this day, whether through her busy Wholistic Healing Arts practice with her clinic partner Kim Rosado, teaching AMMA at the Tri-State Acupuncture School in NYC, or spreading her wealth of knowledge and experience in Wholistic Health, Herbal Medicine and Nutrition to hundreds of nurses through teaching in RN Masters and Bachelors Degree programs at Columbia University and New York University for the last 13 years, I can’t think of any other person who has done more than Faye to honor her teacher and the tradition of AMMA, as well as work to keep this wonderful gift of AMMA alive.” Steven Schenkman, Husband
Faye – The Teacher
“All AMMA students crossed her path and developed under her watchful eye. Though many had varying degrees of contact with Mrs. Sohn, it was primarily Faye who guided our education, and patient care and enabled the legacy of Mrs. Sohn’s art to be carried on. She played an integral role in the transmission of AMMA Therapy ® to massage therapists, acupuncturists and nurses throughout the country including her leadership roles in the AOBTA (American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia) and NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine).
Faye’s commitment and dedication helped to raise up her students, not just in technique but in the higher principles that she aspired to align herself with, based on the profound teachings of Dr. and Mrs. Sohn. Through Faye’s constant oversight, her boundless knowledge, ceaseless efforts, and her true commitment to elevate her students, she gave us a solid foundation upon which to practice and evolve our AMMA.” Kim Rosado, (MS, L. Ac., LMT, CAT, Dipl. ABT & Acup. (NCCAOM), Co-Director, Wholistic Healing Arts, LLC.
“Faye’s gentle compassion as a practitioner is matched by her fierce compassion as a teacher. Though sadly never a student of hers myself, her reputation as a teacher is summed up by the phrase “don’t even think about it”! “It “being any and all excuses for not doing your very best at all times. She has a no-nonsense, direct, practical approach to transmitting knowledge and inspiring others to learn as well as to continuously challenge themselves. She is the kind of educator who leads by example witnessed by the evident passion and thirst for her own personal and professional growth. She has also been a tireless leader and principal advocate for the dissemination of AMMA therapy practice and education in the USA for several decades. She is quite simply the most experienced and most accomplished teacher of this discipline anywhere today.” Nigel Dawes, M.A., L.Ac., Soho Health Arts, Manhattan, NY, Plaza Wellness, Brooklyn, NY
“… Through her passion and love of Amma Therapy, my classmates and I came to her searching for a pathway to health, and found a teacher we hope to emulate, and pass forward the benefits of Amma Therapy as well as continuing the treatment that is a truly healing modality for all.” Kathy Abugel, LMT
“I feel so very fortunate to have had Faye as a teacher and mentor. It was because of her that I fell in love with Amma and wanted to become an Amma therapist. She was a great teacher who inspired me, encouraged me, and generously shared her knowledge with me.” Jerelyn Kirby, MS, L.Ac, LMT, CAT
“Faye is one of my greatest professional role models; I strive to uphold her level of professional integrity and commitment to my patients and students…her work as an AMMA Therapist and teacher has benefited so many!” Elise Constantine, NY State Licensed Massage Therapist, National Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Instructor
“As I reflect back, I now more fully appreciate and understand how the program was meant to develop an AMMA Therapist…..knowledge, technique, sensitivity, strength, compassion…..Faye is a true role model.” Ginnette Groome, LMT, CAT, Certified Reflexologist, Bach Flower Practitioner, Baton Coach and Instructor
“There is not a day that goes by that I don’t dip into my ‘Amma Toolbox’. You have not only changed my life but your reach has extended to the many peoples lives I was able make a difference in from your teaching.” Audrey Shapiro, LMT, CAT
“Faye became my mentor and continually demonstrated a level of professionalism that I continue to emulate to this day. Without her wisdom and guidance, I would not be the Amma Therapist and teacher that I am today.” Beth Riley, RN, BPS, CNAT
“I would like to say how much Faye meant to me as a teacher and a mentor I was very fortunate to have been a student of Faye’s in the AMMA program…” Rochelle Schaeffer, MS, L.Ac., LMT, CAT
“… her mastery of the wholistic medicine and the healing arts deepens my own understanding with a very real and percussive effect. It could be just a moment; a brief chat and suddenly I see the full ignorance of my former thought processes…” Doug Mandalone , LMT
Faye – The Clinician
“I have been very blessed to have worked closely with Faye both at the college as my mentor and for the past 13 years as partner in our private practice, Wholistic Healing Arts, LLC, in Huntington, New York. I can honestly say that I learn something from her every day. “Faye is Brilliant!” I heard Dr. Sohn say, and I have witnessed this many times over in my years with her.
I have never known anyone who could speak so intelligently and expansively on so many topics, from history, to current events, politics, religion, sports, nutrition, style, entertainment, you name it and Faye can speak on it. Not only is she well informed but she integrates her knowledge into an expansive understanding which she communicates quite eloquently and appropriately to help broaden people’s perspective and minimize suffering.
I am continually impressed by her level of intelligence, compassion, loyalty, and dedication. Her care and patient advocacy extends way beyond the patient visit. She is always thinking about her patients; who she can set up with whom, what service, doctor, herb, supplement, device will be of added benefit. She has a direct, no nonsense, ‘say it like it is’ manner along with deep compassion and a heart of pure gold.” Kim Rosado, (MS, L. Ac., LMT, CAT, Dipl. ABT & Acup. (NCCAOM), Co-Director, Wholistic Healing Arts, LLC
“I never met a patient of Faye’s whose eyes did not convey immediate and implicit trust, appreciation, respect and love whenever her name was mentioned in her presence or otherwise. Appreciation for her skills and professional knowledge that has helped so many in their suffering, respect for her guidance and wisdom in counseling beyond the treatment room and love for her obvious and seemingly inexhaustible compassion and empathy for others in distress. Faye is the senior lineage holder of AMMA therapy in the US today, a system transmitted to her in the traditional style by her mentor and the founder of the AMMA Therapy, Mrs. Tina Sohn, who passed away some years ago. In short, clinical work has always signified a form of sacred service in the hands, heart and mind of Faye Schenkman.” Nigel Dawes, M.A., L.Ac., Soho Health Arts, Manhattan, NY, Plaza Wellness, Brooklyn, NY
“She embodies everything she teaches and that is truly a wonderful quality in a healer.” Dennis Moseman, D.C., M.S., L.Ac., Dean of Studies, Tristate College of Acupuncture, NYC
“Faye is so much more than a health practitioner; she is a human being filled with deep compassion and I am so grateful to have her in my life.” Janet, Reading Teacher and Patient
“Faye’s concern for my well-being heals as much as her treatments heal. Faye’s commitment to the spiritual life is palpable and it draws me to return again and again for healing of body, mind and spirit.” Theresa Mintern, Director, Human Resources, Maria Regina Residence, NY
“Over the years I observed Faye’s unshakable concern, compassion, and devotion not only for her own patients, but for all of the patients, practitioners and staff in our Wholistic Health Center. Your mastery goes beyond the “Art of AMMA” to not only healing others, but teaching others to heal their patients, as well as themselves.” Cheryl (Strickland) Ostrow, Friend
“The effectiveness of her treatment is second only to her compassion and encouragement, which heal body AND soul! She has been a tremendously positive force in my life and I am forever grateful for all she has given me.” Michele Liva, Music Teacher, Patient
“Her invaluable advice is greatly appreciated. With love and gratitude.” Shelly, Brother
“As far as I’m concerned, it was a blessing to have met Faye (and her partner, Kim) in more ways than one. Not only have they comforted my body but have lifted my spirits. I have told them on more than one occasion that when I go to the office for a treatment it is like going to a warm and comfortable friend’s home. I am lucky, indeed, to have them in my life.” Madeline B. Ditta, Patient
“Her work ethic was stellar and she was a shining example of what a compassionate health professional and teacher should aspire to be. I am grateful for all the doors of opportunities that Faye helped to open for me.” Lorraine Kabacinski, MS, L.Ac., LMT, CAT
Faye – The Wisdom
“Faye taught Nurse Practitioner and RN student nurses holistic health principles and Eastern and Western herbs, at Columbia University for 13 years and is currently teaching at New York University’s (NYU) RN program. She is also teaching AMMA Therapy® with me (Kim Rosado) to Acupuncturists at Tristate College of Acupuncture in New York City. She has authored the Foreword (and more) in the AMMA Therapy book by Tina and Robert Sohn, the Appendix I: Basic Pharmacology for Massage Therapists in Mark Beck’s Theory & Practice of Therapeutic Massage, and several articles in health journals throughout the years. It is our good fortune that Faye Schenkman is available for workshops on AMMA, herbs, pharmacology and its relevance for the bodyworker/acupuncturist and more. I encourage us all to continue to learn from Faye while she is still teaching.
Wisdom from our teachers is not antiquated, but multilayered. It builds over time from their being closer to the source of the teaching, driven by higher principles and having many years of direct experience. Faye is a true master of the teachings and practice of AMMA Therapy® who continues to learn, educate and inspire. I am blessed to know her as my teacher, my mentor, my business partner and my best friend.” Kim Rosado, (MS, L. Ac., LMT, CAT, Dipl. ABT & Acup. (NCCAOM), Co-Director, Wholistic Healing Arts, LLC.
“Faye’s guidance and teachings have helped me to become the person I am now, to become an Amma Therapist, to have compassion, understanding and to love my profession.” Irma Callahan, MS, L. Ac., LMT, CAT
“I feel so very fortunate to be able to continue learning, working and collaborating with Faye. I consider her to be an early pioneer in the field of Eastern medicine, learning, practicing and paving the way for us to treat our patients in a holistic perspective.” Joyce K. Anastasi, PhD, DrNP, FAAN, LAc, Independence Foundation Professor, Founding Director, Division of Special Studies in Symptom Management, NYU College of Nursing
“Faye continues in her commitment to keep alive the legacy of her teachers. …I trust she will be positively affecting the lives of others for many years to come as she has mine.” Peter Yates, MS, L. Ac., Dipl. Acup. (NCCAOM), Spirit Gate Acupuncture
“Faye has always presented a calm and professional demeanor even in face of things that would try the patience of a saint.” Cindy Banker, MA., Chinese Herbal Medicine and Language, AOBTA Certified Instructor of Five Element Shiatsu, Dipl. ABT (N.C.C.A.O.M.)
Faye – Friend of The Wellspring School
The Wellspring School for Healing Arts is committed to maintaining the integrity of the AMMA Therapy® lineage as part of our overall charter. As such, we spend much of our time educating on the origins, efficacy and contributors to AMMA in hopes of generating broader awareness and healing powers of this incredible modality. As a learning institution gifted with this mission, we are indebted to our predecessors and the teachers that have made it possible for our school to be here today. We send our gratitude to Faye along with the promise that we will continue along this path with her as our role model for as long as we are able.
“What I learned from Faye through AMMA I use daily and will keep with me till the end of my days.” Michael Guida, LMT (#19016), BPS (Amma), Dipl. Asian Bodywork Therapy (NCCAOM), Certified Triathlon Coach“I am forever grateful for your enduring, loving presence in my life and in the lives of all those you touch directly and indirectly through the lessons and lineage you have imprinted on those of us who practice and teach in your footsteps.” Rylen Feeney, CAT, LMT (#14733), Dipl. ABT & CH (NCCAOM), Founder of The Wellspring School for Healing Arts
“…you have spread a knowledge of and respect for Asian Medicine and its value in everyday life.”
Faye – The Person
Faye Schenkman has overwhelmingly touched the lives of many over the past few decades in her role as teacher, mentor, colleague and practitioner. As a human being, she represents the type of person with whom we all want to spend time and maintains the levels of authenticity and integrity we all want to emulate. Faye has made us all better people as well as practitioners. We are blessed to have her in our lives. We are honored to be able to express our gratitude.
“After 37 years of marriage it still never ceases to amaze me what a caring, compassionate, strong, and committed person and healing practitioner Faye, (my lovely wife), remains. I have been involved working in the education and training of massage therapists and acupuncturists for many years all over the country, and for the last many working in the education of various other Allied Health practitioners, and I have never met any practitioner go to the extents that she has and does to treat and care for her patients even if that meant accompanying her long-time cancer patients to their oncologist or hospital appointments in order to advocate for them.” Steven Schenkman, Husband
“A greater friend one could not have, a straight shooter who will tell you like it is, a mentor, a teacher, a lifter of people!” Susan Ambert, Family Friend
“Words spoken by Faye Schenkman, carry their weight in gold.” Cindy Kenny, RN, BSN, MAM (Masters of Arts in Health Care Management)
“I always say that if I was on the Millionaire TV show, Faye would be one of my life-line because she is knowledgeable about so many things. She is a wonderful teacher, mentor, role model and colleague.” Bernadette Capili DNSc, Assistant Professor, Associate Director, Special Studies in Symptom Management, New York University College of Nursing
“Faye is a human chalice of loving white light that speaks with her smiles and heals with her hands.” Kelly A. Simmons, patient since 2006, honorary niece since 2008, Environmental Scientist, MS Marine Biology, outdoor education instructor, published author and poet
Thank you, Faye.
With love and gratitude,
All of the friends, family, students, colleagues and patients whose lives you have touched
This piece was a collaborative effort of many people. A special thanks to Kim Rosado, Rylen Feeney and Michael Guida for initiating the process, reaching out to Faye’s community and collecting all of the wonderful feedback. Thank you to Rachael Myles for putting the final written piece together. Finally heartfelt thanks to all of those who provided such beautiful words to weave into this tribute. These latter contributions were so fantastic that we also created a standalone presentation for Faye that includes each individual of the tributes in their entirety.