For 33 years he practiced
seven days a week in Brooklyn,
New York. He only took three
vacations during that time and saw well over 150 patients per day. In 1980, he
took down his shingle "so the young ones could have the limelight and the
so-called mature people can sit back a bit."
Now Dr. Pasquale Cerasoli
teaches post graduate courses once a week in the auditorium that used to serve
as the lecture hall for his lay lectures. "I teach the philosophy of
chiropractic and adjusting to D.C.s, but lay people like to come down and learn
about chiropractic philosophy so they sit in too," he said.
His colleagues said that,
at one time, there would be 60 or more patients in his reception area who would
wait sometimes two hours to receive "chiropractic services." According
to his colleagues, he saw 361 patients on his busiest day. Dr. Pat, as his
patients called him, adjusted children for free. He charged $2.00 an adjustment
when he began practicing in 1947 and was charging $3.00 when he retired in
He is as dedicated to
chiropractic today as he was when he first found out about chiropractic. He would drive two hours one way, three days a week to
receive an adjustment from William H. Werner, D.C., whose office was located in
Queens on Woodhaven Blvd. But, according to Dr.
Pat, it was well worth the trip and he had made a vow that if he ever found a
cure for what ailed him, he would spend his life making sure as many people
found out about it as possible.
"When I was three
years old, I was vaccinated for polio and I received post vaccinal encephalitis
from the vaccine. For three months doctors at that time said I would not
live," Dr. Pat explained. "Well, I made it but I was always sick and
I tried everything. Finally, many years later, someone told me about
chiropractic and I got well through chiropractic."
Dr. Pat attended Eastern
Chiropractic Institute, which was located in Manhattan and became a part of National
College of Chiropractic.
His patients were as
dedicated to him as he is to chiropractic.
"My own receptionist
was one of my first patients. She was a very, very sick woman. No one could
make any diagnosis. She was only about 80 pounds when I got her. She was so
desperate, she went all over, to spiritualists and so forth and so on,"
Dr. Pat said. "So, when I came back from the service I opened up (my
practice) and her husband heard about me and after about eight months of
adjusting, she began to feel better.
"After I set up this
building in 1950, I asked her if she would like to be my receptionist and she
said she would and she stayed with me right up until 1980," he continued.
When Dr. Pat refers to his
"building," he refers to the structure he built 57 years ago which
served as his office, his living quarters and an auditorium for his lay
lectures. His office was on the first floor, his living quarters on the top
floor and the auditorium, which seats 100, is in the basement.
Dr. Pat's most memorable
and rewarding experience still gives him "goose pimples." He tells
the story like this. "This woman came in with her young child, about eight
or nine months old, and the child was something like a rag doll. She couldn't
see, couldn't hear, couldn't talk and the child got this way because she had a
middle ear infection which hit the brain and this child went into a coma and
remained that way. So, the woman was told to institutionalize the child because
no one would be able to restore her," he explained.
"She heard of
chiropractic and she came into the office and I told her I didn't know what
could be done but at least give the child that much of a chance. So, three
times a week I adjusted her and after four months, we seemed to have no
response at all. This child didn't seem to respond a bit. But at the end of
four, the child was on the adjusting table and, my receptionist used to assist
me while I adjusted, and this child, for the first time, started to move her
eyes from side to side. Prior to that, she stared. And then she looked over and
she saw her mother and she said, 'Ma Ma.' Of course, the mother started crying,
my receptionist started crying and I got the goose pimples," he continued.
Dr. Pat said today his
patient is somewhere in her 40s, is completely healed and has a job as a bank
teller. He said, "I've had a lot (of experiences) but I just keep thinking
of when that child was on the table and she just moved her eyes from side to
side and uttered her first words. That's enough to get you."
His advice to the young
doctors to whom he has turned over the "limelight" is to believe in what
they are doing. "They've got to feel that the profession, that
chiropractic, is something unique. Of course we need an education, but that
unique feeling, that courage of one's conviction can only be had through
himself or herself.
"We've got to stop trying
to make ourselves bigger than chiropractic. I believe what the good Lord has
blessed me with is that chiropractic manifests through me but I do nothing
without that manifestation," he continued. "I think they've gone into
too many fields. You can only be a master of one field and you can't be a
master of too many fields. When I had patients, if I thought they needed some
other help, I would tell them so because it's a lifelong study, chiropractic
is. I'm still learning. I don't care how old I get. I'm past 97 now but I'm not
old, I'm just mature."