Austria road signs

If you would have told me an impromptu photo at a red carpet event with a “musical impressionist” Austrian singer would have led me two years later to a whirlwind trip to Austria, and one of my most exciting and healing adventures, I would have said, “Really, now how’s that?”

So here’s Capo quick back story:

My energetic new accountant friend, Anita Katzen, invites me to go to the Muse Awards for the New York Women in Film &Television in Manhattan. She also invites Dalal Bruchmann, a recording artist who was born in Austria and is now living in the U.S. Dalal had just released a hit single and starred in a movie called, “Into the Darkness” which is about getting stuck in a cave.


Naturally I hear the cave part and want to know all about the adventure of being in the cave. As we’re talking, a photographer I know from another red carpet event, snaps a picture of us together. One thing leads to another and we become friends.

Thyroid Problems

Fran Capo and Dalal Buchmann Fast forward two years. Dalal and her mom, Maria Harmony Gratia Bruchmann, travel from their Manhattan apartment to my house in upstate New York. Somehow we get to talking about my crazy thyroid situation and how my Hasimoto’s is off the charts and no doctor can seem to figure out why all the normally prescribed thyroid meds–Synthroid, Levoxyl, Armour, Nature-throid, Cortisent and Tirosint–don’t work for me.

Turns out Dalal’s mom, an international award winning watercolor painter, is also the CEO of the Institute for Holistic Medicine and works specifically with the Quint System, “a very sophisticated, digitalized and computerized method in electro-acupuncture that is available worldwide.”

This method was invented by Dr. Christian Steiner from Austria. Quint, meaning five, relates to the five Chinese elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water.)  The system finds the therapeutic blockages in your body and frees them so your body can heal. Then she turned to me and said, “Would you want to come to my lab in Austria for treatments?”

Arriving in Austria for Treatment

Next thing I know, I’m booked on a plane to Austria, (OK, it’s not like they kidnapped me…we planned it.) Maria drives us through this beautiful countryside to their home in Bad Waltersdorf, which is about an hour away from Vienna. It’s a rustic area lush with vineyards, meadows, and woods and is in the middle of the Styrian thermal region. It’s a destination place for people looking for healing.

For whatever reason, I thought Dalal and Maria lived alone in their home. No. It’s a whole extended family affair filled with interesting characters: You have the grandmother, Hermine Bruchmann, whose ancestors were the royals in Liechtenstein, then you have the grandfather, Erich Bruchmann who is a bee keeper, and whose ancestors were Franz Seraph von Bruchmann, lyrist to Franz Schubert (Yes that classical music genius we all know and love).

Grandmother Hermine and niece Lena show off one of their culinary creations.

Grandmother Hermine and niece Lena show off one of their culinary creations.

In addition, there is Dalal’s ninja-like uncle, Erich, who I barely saw though I stayed in his upstairs apartment for an entire week, and finally Dalal’s shy niece, Lena (age 6) who took a liking to me and thought my fast talking was funny even though she didn’t understand a word of it.

They greeted me warmly and then the women folk gave me the tour of the place. They lived on a mountain street, in a bright yellow two-family house, complete with a full garden with every kind of fruit and vegetable that could grow in that region. Ninety percent of their meals came from that garden. Maria told me that Dalal’s grandparents have never been sick a day in their lives! (That in itself deserves a Guinness record.)

In a small section of the backyard was the grandfather’s “Man cave shed” that he retreated to whenever he felt the women were chatting too much (which was always).

On the side lawn was a huge trampoline, which Maria explained was good for the immune system, prevention of osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, diabetes, and de-stressing…(it’s true look it up.)

I have a small one at home, but wanted to try the jumbo size. Now you have to understand it is a very quiet farm neighborhood. They are “low talkers.” I’m a loud and fast talker.

I waved at some neighbors who passed by as I was jumping. I figured I’d try out my German since that’s what they speak in Austria, “Guten Tag!”  They just looked at me, as if I shot them. Maybe it was my New York accent.

Click here for details on my Quint treatment in Austria.