YOGA MAY HELP WITH STIFFNESS AND BALANCE!

For many people with a funky sense of humor, they may substitute the first word in the title of this blog entry as “yogurt”, because they tend to shy away from accepting that alternative ways of managing their Parkinson’s symptoms (such as practicing Yoga) can successfully augment taking regular medications. Read on…

An opening statement in the February/March 2017 issue of Brain & Life magazine speaks to the importance of trying new approaches in one’s fight against Parkinson’s: “For people with Parkinson’s disease, yoga has been shown to increase flexibility and posture, ease stiffness, and possibly improve balance”, says Roy Alcalay, MD, assistant professor at Columbia University and medical adviser with the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.

Before starting any exercise program, including yoga, clear it with your doctor. While you consider the positives associated with practicing Yoga, read this article to learn why Parkinson’s Fitness includes Yoga in our programs.

Instructor Heather Tharpe leads her weekly Wednesday class in a wonderful new space at the Greater Beverly YMCA. Click here for a class description, location, and time.

We encourage you to make it a priority to visit Heather’s class and learn first-hand how Yoga can improve your physical strength, flexibility, and balance and create a positive sense of emotional relaxation.

STRATEGIZING THEORY FOR THE WAR AGAINST PARKINSON’S…

“Strategy without execution
is the slowest route to victory,
and tactics without strategy
is the noise before defeat.”
―Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu was a Chinese general, military strategist, writer, and philosopher who lived in the Eastern Zhou period of ancient China. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, a widely influential work of military strategy that has affected both Western and East Asian philosophy and military thinking.

When your strategy for holding Parkinson’s symptoms at bay is – “I’ll plan for exercise, education, and socialization with others to manage my Parkinson’s” – but then none of it is put into action, Parkinson’s gains another life-robbing victory in the war.

The Parkinson’s Fitness team is here to provide BOTH the strategies and the ways to execute them that fit YOUR abilities! We have a whole variety of classes and programs that address the many challenges Parkinson’s symptoms create. TRY ANY OR ALL OF THEM! Click here for days, times and locations.

 

ACTOR ALAN ALDA ANNOUNCES PARKINSON’S DIAGNOSIS…

Remember watching talented actor Alan Alda in many movies, television series and PBS broadcasts…especially those episodes of “Mash” in which he became a regular favorite in our lives as Army Capt. Hawkeye Pierce? Well, he was recently interviewed on CBS This Morning about his now-public Parkinson’s diagnosis.

Follow the link below to a video to hear him share his story…and his positive outlook…about living with a now all-too-familiar opponent of ours…Parkinson’s. Sorry for the advertisements, but his interview is well worth the annoyance of seeing and listening to any ads.

https://www.thewrap.com/alan-alda-parkinsons-disease/

“SILENT” 9-1-1 EMERGENCY CALL PROCEDURE


The “Silent Call” procedure is a unique program in the Massachusetts Enhanced 9-1-1 system that allows a caller who is unable to verbally communicate their emergency over the phone to receive the appropriate response.

If you need to call 9-1-1 and you are unable to speak for any reason, such as a physical disability, domestic violence or home invasion, follow these simple steps using a touch-tone wired telephone or a cell phone:

DIAL 9-1-1 – Once the call is answered:

     POLICEpress 1        FIREpress 2        AMBULANCE – press 3

 

The 9-1-1 dispatcher may ask questions that require a “yes” or “no” answer.
     YESpress 4             NO – press 5

 

SUMMERTIME AND THE LIVING IS EASY…OR IS IT??

At last, the long, cold spring is slowly turning itself into warmer summer-like weather. If the lazy, hazy days of summer are beckoning with plans for either staying around the home or travelling, click here for some very important tips on how to have fun, while staying prepared for unexpected situations that arise!

Ohh…those aching joints!

Shoulders, backs, elbows, knees, wrists, ankles, fingers, neck, hips…any part of the body that’s jointed can make us suffer from aches and pains that we could do without! Aside from natural aging, accidents, or neurological and orthopedic conditions, what do you think many of us do on a daily basis that actually causes those aching joints?

Click here to visit a web link to check out bad habits that YOU may relate to!

 

CLASS INSTRUCTOR DIANNA DALY INVITED AS GUEST FACULTY/STAFF PARTICIPANT AT “DANCE FOR HEALTHY AGING WITH PARKINSON’S DISEASE” WORKSHOP

Diana Daly, bottom row, 4th from left
Elaine Boone, top row, 3rd from right
Devera Ehrenberg, center row, far right

Parkinson’s Fitness Balance in Motion instructor Dianna Daly (http://parkinsonsfitness.org/about-fitness/class-instructors/) was recently invited by Linda Tickle-Degnen, PhD, OT, FQOTA and professor of the OT Department at Tufts University to participate as one of their guest faculty-staff participants at a university-sponsored Dance for Healthy Aging with Parkinson’s Disease workshop. The goal of the workshop was teaching Tufts OT students how to interact directly and collaboratively with people with Parkinson’s. To help accomplish the goal, Dianna invited two of her local Parkinson’s Fitness class members to accompany her to the event.

Showcasing the incredibly successful work in the field of dance to augment medical technologies used in combatting the progressively debilitating nature of Parkinson’s were David Leventhal, Program Director and founding teacher of the nationally acclaimed Dance for PD program, a nonprofit collaboration of MMDG and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group that leads dance classes around the world (https://danceforparkinsons.org/), and Pamela Quinn, professional dancer and Parkinson’s consultant for people with Parkinson’s, who has lived with her Parkinson’s diagnosis for over 20 years (https://pdmovementlab.com/about). Pam’s personal experience of dance and Parkinson’s gives her a unique perspective from which to analyze physical function, and to imagine creative solutions to the problems posed by Parkinson’s.

According to Quinn, “Dance by its very nature contributes to everyday health: working and stretching muscles leads to strength and flexibility; learning and remembering movement tones the brain; touch and partnering provide social contact, and creative context promotes expression and use of the imagination. People of any age, especially the elderly, need movement, fun, challenge, and connection. This workshop allowed participants to experience all those things first hand and helped them understand how to create such an environment for others as well.”

Quoting Dianna after the workshop experience: “It was great to be there alongside Devera and Elaine to represent our Parkinson’s Fitness community.” 

Elaine Boone, one of Dianna’s class members, offers her experience of attending the event:
I really enjoy going to anything that will give me support and, even more, ways to keep me moving. The dance session was very uplifting. Pam and David made the exercises fun and us all so much good advice. Everyone with Parkinson’s should watch Pam’s videos. As someone with Parkinson’s herself, she has discovered so many different moves that can keep us all going. And I enjoyed working with the students. The more they can see people with Parkinson’s and what symptoms we have and what we can do to slow the progression down, the better for them.

Without programs and the wonderful people who give of their time, we would be lost. We couldn’t do it without you all, and thank you for inviting me to the sessions. Please keep up your wonderful work!”

Devera Ehrenberg, another member in Dianna’s classes, shares her positive experience:
“The Dance for Health Aging day was full of wonderful exercises we created – starting with the introduction.  Bach (or Mozart) filled the room and we moved to the music, creating our own dance, and what followed were flowing movements to other ideas we created. We broke into small groups. The one I was in created paintings – Jackson Pollock throwing paint on a canvas on the floor, or Seurat, lots of dots, etc., as other groups created movements for their ideas.  Such wonderful, freeing movements! My Parkinson’s faded away and that lasted , for me, into the next day. I spent the next morning inventing dance movements! I loved it!  Thanks for this opportunity.”

Something to remember: Pamela Quinn will join us as one of our presenters during the next Parkinson’s Fitness educational symposium on the North Shore in September. Be sure to watch for all the exciting details as we post them during the next couple of months!

 

MEDRHYTHMS 8-WEEK SERIES OFF TO A HUGE START!

WHOA! We all attended the start of our 8-week MedRhythms/Parkinson’s Fitness music therapy series for a number of reasons. We want to learn techniques for strengthening our voices so that we can continue to communicate effectively with others; we want to tap into the regions of our brains where music rhythms help trigger the signals that help us with mobility; we want to have fun singing while we learn together! The program is available for people with not only Parkinson’s, but also Multiple Sclerosis, stroke recovery, and traumatic brain injury therapy.

MedRhythms music therapist, Stian Hansen, and his assistant, Michi, introduced a group of 37 men and women to the opportunities that await us through their use of vocal sound variations, facial exercises, pitch “sliders”, musical instruments, rhythm tapping and, of course, singing!

Stian encouraged us to share our expectations for joining this new series, and he stayed after the session to speak personally with whoever had questions. We are certain that he will continue creating an ongoing program over the remaining weeks that will prove to be a wonderful tool for everyone who attends. And if the predicted snow for the upcoming week doesn’t force us to postpone our second session, the space provided for us at the Beverly Council on Aging will once again be alive with music from 2:00 to 3:30 PM!

Curious? Interested in attending? Please click here to email us or phone Linda Hall at Parkinson’s Fitness: 781-572-5918. To learn more about MedRhythms’ concepts, click here to visit their web site.

NEW SHOES THAT ARE MORE THAN A FASHION STATEMENT!

Freezing in place while walking, often to the point of losing balance and falling, is a fairly regular occurrence for many people living with Parkinson’s.

Read this really interesting Dutch research about experimental but promising “laser-light shoes”. Many of us are aware of assistive devices that incorporate laser lights (walkers, for instance) to break freezes. Keep “stepping” up in learning about not only what causes freezing, but what’s being created to lessen the challenge it presents.

https://parkinsonsnewstoday.com/2018/01/04/laser-shoes-help-prevent-parkinsons-patients-from-freezing-in-place-while-walking/?utm_source=PAR+E-mail+List&utm_campaign=71d33b7443-RSS_WEEKLY_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_MONDAY_US&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_62dd4fb5e3-71d33b7443-72137569

WHICH FACE WILL BE OURS IN THE NEW YEAR?

   

Who IS this??

He is Janus, the mythological god of endings and beginnings, of gateways and doorways…a fitting symbol for the first month of a new year, as we say good-bye to 2017 and usher in 2018.

The familiar “Dear Abby” titled her advice in this New Year’s Day local newspaper, “Make the Most of a New Year by Taking One Day at a Time”. Following are brief excerpts from what she wrote, stating that the original and often requested New Year’s Resolutions were adapted from the original Al-Anon credo...wise and inspirational thoughts for all of us. Let us accept this New Year as would Janus…looking back at many lessons learned and forward toward another chance for a new beginning.

Just for today: I will live through THIS DAY ONLY. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow. I will set goals but not try to overcome all of my problems at once.”

Just for today: I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me.”

Just for today: I will improve my mind. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.”

Just for today: I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and I’ll not speak ill of others. I will improve my appearance and refrain from improving anybody but myself.”

Just for today: I will do something positive to improve my health. I will gather the courage to do what is difficult but right, and I will take responsibility for my own actions.”

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