FIRST STEPS - THE STORY OF HEALTHY STEPS
In 1979, Sherry Lebed Davis' mother, Rita, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Losing her breast and knowing that this disease had already claimed the lives of her mother and her sister was too much for her. First she stopped smiling, and then she stopped fighting. Sherry and her brothers knew they had to do something for their mother. Sherry had been a professional dancer and teacher for fifteen years, and her brothers were both physicians and surgeons. Together ,they developed The Lebed Method, Focus on Healing, now known as Healthy-Steps, a medically sound program designed to help their mother to thrive again.
For their mother, this creative, therapeutic exercise program gave her back the range of motion in her arm. More importantly, it brought back her smile. Dr. Marc Lebed, Dr. Joel Lebed, and Sherry Lebed Davis, knew they had to give this gift to others who were suffering just as their mother had. Sherry began by working with breast cancer survivors at several major medical centers in Philadelphia, including Albert Einstein Medical Center in 1980.
The journey Sherry began with her mother came full circle in 1996, the year that Sherry was diagnosed with breast cancer. Sherry had found many techniques helpful, but exercise and dance gave her the spirit to live and be able to have a better quality of life. In 1999, Sherry was diagnosed with lymphedema, so Dr. Marc Lebed and Sherry Lebed Davis developed new therapeutic movements to decrease swelling in the affected limb.
Since then, Healthy-Steps has been used to improve the physical and emotional well-being of people living with a wide range of other chronic illnesses and diseases, with astounding results. A children’s program, “Creative Rhythms” was also developed to address the special needs of children living with these illnesses.
In 2000, Sherry and Dr. Marc Lebed put together a three-day certification training program to train others to teach Healthy-Steps. The "Train the Trainer" program was started in 2002 in order to reach more people wanting to be certified and licensed to teach Healthy-Steps. Certification trainings are now offered in the US and over 14 countries internationally.Healthy-Steps can reduce many of the symptoms of Lymphedema by reducing fluid build-up in effected tissues, leaving participants with improved mobility, increased energy and a more positive attitude.
A healthy lymphatic system is essential for immune response and disease resistance. Fluid that is forced out of the blood stream during normal circulation, is filtered through lymphatic system to remove bacteria and other matter. Unlike the circulatory system, which has a pump (the heart) to move its contents, the lymphatic system moves by inertia.
By focusing on the areas of the body with the largest lymphatic collection sites, and opening lymphatic “drains”, Healthy-Steps opens up the lymphatic system and reduces lymphatic fluid build-up through gentle, rhythmic movements, and deep breathing. Healthy-Steps works in conjunction with compression garments, increasing their effectiveness. If you are one of the estimated 2.5 million people suffering from lymphedema, Healthy-Steps is here to help.