Borrowing from other Diseases

“Do not fear going forward slowly; fear only to stand still.”
Chinese Proverb

The other day I ran into a friend who has MS.    She too, has been told to exercise to improve her boxing-glovessymptoms.  She goes to regular, not adaptive, yoga classes and swims.  We talked about the boxing for PD classes that I attend and the benefits of this type of exercise.  During the course of  our conversation, we both were curious to find out if classes designed for people with Parkinson’s would be beneficial for people with other neurological diseases.  So . . . .

A brief internet search found several articles about exercise for both diseases.  The goals of exercise for both PD and MS is to increase mobility, improve muscle tone, balance, reflexes and core strength.  In many cases, the same exercises were recommended for both conditions, whether it is Pilates, strength training, yoga or swimming.

For those of you who are teaching exercise classes for PD or MS, do you have any insights or suggestions for people seeking a trainer or class?  Have you had MS patients attend your yoga, boxing or dance for PD classes with any success?  Or, are the needs so different in these two populations, making it difficult to have them in the same classes?

Please share what you’ve learned.

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Invertigo Dance Theater
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2 thoughts on “Borrowing from other Diseases

  1. Bonnie hampel

    My friend with MS thinks rock steady boxing might also benefit her. We haven’t asked yet but I don’t see why not. We have the same mobility issues.

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  2. I run the Dancing Through Parkinson’s program in Los Angeles through Invertigo Dance Theatre (www.invertigodance.org/parkinsons) and we have had many people with other neurological diseases attend our classes because they help improve their lives physically and emotionally. Just like people living with Parkinson’s, people who have Multiple Sclerosis, Dystonia, and even those who are recovering from a stoke all benefit from the challenges of a dance class like balance, mind-body connection, moving fluidly, hand-eye coordination and gait. Dance classes are not only good for exercise but they also create strong community and help connect people with one another which can be super important for those dealing with the isolating effects of neurological conditions. We encourage all our students, whether they have Parkinson’s or not to find creativity and joy through movement and I think that is so empowering for someone who is grappling with any kind of issues that inhibit their ability to move. The act of changing the focus to what you cannot do with your body, to what you can do, and to do it gracefully, is such a good experience for people dealing with neurological conditions. So I will end saying that if you ever wanted to try dance, feel free to come to any of our 5 classes in Los Angeles whether you have Parkinson’s or not. We have both weekly and monthly classes through out the city. P.S. Thanks Sharon for posting our photo in your article 🙂

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