Dr. Kristin Schaefer-Schiumo| Manhasset NY

Integrative Psychology-Ballet for Neuropathy?

As many of you already know, I am a strong advocate for intergrative psychology, an approach that values working with an individual's emotions, mind and body. For that reason, I would like to bring your attention to a wonderful, recurring series of ballet classes (SAMPLE brochure attached. Please reach out to Christina_Hanford@hotmail.com for information on Fall 2016 classes). This class is designed specifically to help individuals struggling with neuropathic pain secondary to chemotherapy treatments. Please take a look, and if you find that you will be in the Manhasset, NY area please consider registering for this complimentary series of classes.

Ballet for Recuperation: Healing the Physical and Emotional Pain of Neuropathy

****this class is FREE for ALL who wish to attend****

Dates: Sundays: Jan 11th, Jan 25th, Feb. 1st, Feb 8th, March 1st, March 15th Times: 11:00 am -12:00 pm Addresse.: Berest Dance Center, 12 S Washington St, Port Washington, NY 11050 Attire: Please feel free to wear what makes you feel good and comfortable. Ballet shoes or jazz shoes are an option, but are not required. Socks are perfectly fine.

Class Overview

There are many breast cancer survivors who struggle with the chronic pain of neuropathy, pain that remains long after treatments have ended. One significant way to help survivors lessen this discomfort is through the use of ballet. Ballet is not only a beautiful form of expression, but is also a therapeutic, restorative form of movement that can assist the body in beginning to heal itself. During our hour together, we will teach you simple exercises at the bar or in the center of the dance studio that will focus on stretching your legs and feet in a way that will begin to lessen your pain. Just as importantly, you may come to realize that there are things you can do to strengthen your sense of control over an often frustrating situation. To achieve this goal, we will teach you a few stretches that you can easily do at home, in just a few minutes a day, to continue the healing process. All of our work together will be simple and gentle, promoting a supportive, encouraging and positive atmosphere.

Why Ballet?

Many people often struggle with neuropathy following dose dense chemotherapy treatments. In attempts to alleviate this chronic pain, individuals turn to anti-depressant, anti-anxiety and pain medications, the search for the perfect shoe, acupuncture, yoga and massage. Overall, the jury on these methods is mixed. More recently, some people have turned to ballet, and have experienced positive results. There are a few reasons for this. First, ballet stretches and poses move the muscles and bones in the foot in a way that other alternative approaches simply do not. Second, unlike medications and acupuncture that may work while you use them and are ineffective as soon as you stop, ballet allows you to learn the stretches needed to continue healing on your own. This makes for a very promising approach!


"My name is Kristin and I am an almost ten year breast cancer survivor. Since completing surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation, I have struggled with a number of common treatment side effects. One difficulty has been around the grueling foot pain associated with neuropathy. Over the years I have tried acupuncture, injectable iron, and injectable B12 (under medical supervision) and have been recommended a number of pain medications (which I declined). Finally, a dear family friend and fellow survivor mentioned how she had stumbled upon ballet. It was a dream to take classes, and following treatment and recovery, she finally decided to do so. To her amazement a few months into ballet her feet felt so much better. So, I thought to myself, what could I possibly have to lose? So, for the past eight months I have been a secret ballet dancer! Every day, whether drying my hair or talking to colleagues, I do several ballet stretches for my feet. I am thrilled to report that the neuropathy is worlds better! I am currently transitioning from summer to fall for the first time in ten years without excruciating, crippling pain. I am delighted to be a part of this wonderful, healing collaboration and look forward to seeing you all there!"

"A year ago I decided to take ballet classes after many years, for pleasure, strength training and balance. Imagine! my surprise when after a few months I noticed the neuropathy (from chemo) in the soles of my feet had disappeared-a revelation which I shared, and here we have a network of healing! Thank you Heather B and Jen K. " Maria TM

(650) 296-6320 or grace_hanford@hotmail.com