Kripalu Center for Health and Yoga in Stockbridge, Mass., partners with the National Parkinson Foundation to offer programs specifically for Parkinson’s patients. You can see scheduled 2015 programs at Parkinson’s and Yoga.
Insights found from NPR regarding various movement therapies to address Parkinson’s disease: Fight Parkinson’s: Exercise May Be The Best Therapy
Parkinson’s disease afflicts about a million Americans — more than multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and ALS combined. Every year 50,000 more get the diagnosis, a number that’s going up as the population ages. They face a gradual loss of control over their muscles, leading to tremors, loss of balance and difficulty walking or speaking.
And boxing, it turns out, is only one of an expanding array of movement therapies gaining in popularity as antidotes to Parkinson’s. Other Parkinson’s patients are drumming, dancing to a Latin beat, practicing the ancient Chinese art of tai chi or golfing.
Dr. Daniel Tarsy, director of the Parkinson’s disease program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston sees meaningful change in a lot of patients who go into these exercise programs.
“I’m a believer,” Tarsy says. “Patients look a lot different walking out an hour later than they did walking in. They literally have a bounce to their step.”
Tarsy says patients often report that their movements become more fluid. That’s the opposite of the rigid, jerky movements typical of Parkinson’s.
“There is a growing consensus among researchers about the short- and long-term benefits of exercise for people with Parkinson’s disease,” the National Parkinson Foundation says on its website. “Research has shown that exercise can improve gait, balance tremor, flexibility, grip strength and motor coordination.”