Healing movement: Kathleen Wallace shares the slow, smooth, and healing exercises of the Lebed Method.

Author:Wallace, Kathleen
Position:Breathe in
 
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Eleven people, nine standing and two seated in metal folding chairs, laugh and lightly tall as they dip wands into bottles to blow bubbles. A casual observer, naturally, might shake his head wondering what these men and women, ranging in age from forty-something to eighty-something, are doing inside a building blowing bubbles at ten o'clock in the morning! The participants know that they are deep breathing as they inhale to blow as many bubbles as possible out of their wands.

As they try to outdo each other with bigger and better bubbles, they thrive on the camaraderie and laughter of the class. And through this, they are healing from surgery or illness and focused on coping with chronic illness, grief, or depression. They are enjoying the first activity in a fun-Idled, hour-long class in The Lebed Method of Exercise and Movement.

The Lebed Method Focus on Healing Program is a unique system of movement co-developed in 1980 by Sherry Lebed Davis, former professional dancer, and her two surgeon brothers with the goal to help their mother not just survive but thrive after breast cancer.

Unlike traditional exercise programs, the Lebed Method is structured on accepted therapeutic basics. It helps participants develop long-term, lifestyle changing physiotherapeutic skills to cope with individual alterations in body functions or capabilities. Individual alterations could stem from removal of muscle or lymph nodes during surgery, injury from accident, restriction from scar tissue, or disabling aspects of chronic illness, such as fibromyalgia, arthritis or chronic fatigue.

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A key focus of Lebed is its assistance for the lymphatic system, which supports and enhances the function of the immune system, so essential to vital health. The lymphatic system, one of the largest in the body, is often impaired through surgery or treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. For many cancer survivors who have endured traumatic procedures to the stage of recovery or remission, their sudden development of lymphedema is all too often "the straw that broke the camel's back." The Lebed Method leads participants through movements specifically designed in particular order to stimulate the optimum flow of the lymphatic system and the reduction of lymphedema.

In addition to the emphasis on the lymph system, the Method employs both basic passive and progressive active movements using the entire body to improve range of motion, circulation...

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