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Parkinson's patients benefit from dancing like a butterfly and stinging like a BEE!
 
Parkinson's patients benefit from dancing
There is a new therapy that is promising both physical and emotional benefits for people living with Parkinson's disease.
 
The progressive neurological disorder causes tremors, rigidity, a slowing of movement, and difficulty with balance. The best way to fight it, doctors say, is to keep moving.
"This is a transporting exercise. When I come here, I don't have Parkinson's," says patient Joel Marsh.
"People with Parkinson's and dancers really have the same challenge and that challenge is about finding a consciousness in movement. I think that's one of the reasons why dance, in particular, is so valuable for them because it's a road map for how to move not only that, it's a fun road map," says Leventhal.
UCSF neurologist Dr. Alec Glass says studies suggest dance versus ordinary exercise, helps PD patients regain balance and fight depression, sometimes better than medication.
"The community formed by dancing, the music, and sort of being together, and there is even a little bit of evidence that suggests at least that those patients are happier and it may help in treating depression," says Dr. Glass.
Source: ABC7News, March 28, 2008
 
Trainer uses boxing, other unusual moves to help Parkinson's patients
 
MIAMI -- Personal trainer Craig Marks wants to help his clients slam Parkinson's disease with a knockout blow - literally. Marks and his fellow trainer Onyedikachi Ibeji, who run a gym in Davie, Fla., lead a group of about eight Parkinson's patients twice a week through a workout routine that includes boxing. And they swear by his unconventional methods.
 
There are 1.5 million Americans living with the disease, according to the National Parkinson Foundation. The illness is a degenerative condition where the brain doesn't produce enough of a chemical called dopamine. That chemical is needed to transmit signals to muscles. People who have Parkinson's can't control their muscles well and, over time, they develop endless tremors or lock up into rigid positions. Boxing, along with other exercises like jogging, crunches and medicine-ball tosses, helps fight those symptoms and keep muscles strong, Marks said.
 
Getting out aggression is another key benefit. With a pair of boxing gloves strapped on, the 98-pound Silk whaled away on a punching bag like Ali in his prime. In 1983, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinsonism, a movement-disorder syndrome that mirrors Parkinson's disease. "I get very angry that I even have this lousy disease," Silk said.
 
Similar programs using nontraditional exercises have shown encouraging results. A study published last year by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis showed that Parkinson's patients who were taught the tango in place of standard exercises gained more balance and could stand up from a chair and walk around more easily.
 
Source:By ELY PORTILLO Tacoma News Tribune, July 23, 2008
 
Dr. Iverson's Comment
 
ANOTHER GREAT ARTICLE! Parkinson’s is a disease that affects movement and the aspect of the brain that is responsible for coordination.   IF YOU DON’T USE IT YOU LOSE IT!!! Both dancing and boxing have a similar aspect in utilizing this coordinating aspect of the brain. (Patients also tell me that step aerobics have similar coordination requirements.) Besides, what a better way to GET IN THE PRESENT MOMENT?! When you are dancing or boxing you are expressing emotions as well as being 100% present in the NOW. For participants this means less anxiety about the future or grievance over the past and pure enJOYment in the present.
I recommend to patients with Parkinson’s these coordination activities as well as dietary and nutritional support.
Be Well!
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