Free App Available for Improving Speech Volume
and Clarity!

Being able to communicate effectively obviously affects everyday life quality. Parkinson’s symptoms can include a noticeable drop in speech volume, as well as an effect on the way in which one speaks. (dysarthria: when the muscles in the lips, tongue, vocal cords, and diaphragm do not work together to help one speak clearly – often causing words to run into one another and not be distinctly recognized.)

There is a FREE program available for use at home on an iPad that can help with improving speech volume and clarity! Please note that an iPad iOS 7 or greater is required for this application. Read more here!


“Poor posture is a hallmark feature of Parkinson’s disease. This stooped positioning has been associated with increased muscle rigidity or stiffness. The typical Parkinson’s posture includes: forward head, rounded shoulders, increased thoracic kyphosis, increased flexion of the trunk, and bending of the knees.”

How can poor posture affect you?

  • Difficulty speaking clearly and loudly
  • Difficulty with moving your neck and upper extremities
  • Change your perception of your body’s position in space
  • Can alter balance and lead to falls from having your weight shifted forward
  • Decrease strength of postural muscles
  • Headaches and TMJ pain
  • Difficulty swallowing

(Meredith Defranco, “Parkinson’s Treatment Tips” published March 1, 2012, Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at University of Florida Health)

A May 22, 2019 article in Parkinson’s News Today offers insight into assessment results from a controlled study that utilized a four-week trunk-specific, posture-correcting rehabilitation program: “Forward bending of the spine, known as disease-related forward trunk flexion (FTF), is a common complication observed in patients with Parkinson’s disease. FTF can result in permanent postural imbalance, pain, frequent falls, and irreversible deformities. Early detection and rehabilitation efforts through focused physical therapy can help in reducing pain and delay motor symptoms progression. However, information is limited on FTF rehabilitative efforts in Parkinson’s patients.” – Vijaya Iyer Read more here


If you can relate to others who experience episodes of having your feet “freeze” in place while you’re on your way elsewhere, you likely also have postural instability, meaning your balance is impaired. Quoting from an online article from the Parkinson Foundation, “…these symptoms can cause falling, resulting in a multitude of injuries, a loss of personal freedom, caregiver stress and a reduction in the quality of life (Pirker & Katzenschlager, 2017; Samotus, Parrent, & Jog, 2018). …Current PD medications, therapies or surgical procedures do not effectively address this debilitating unmet need. This lack of options might be changing, due to an intervention called spinal cord stimulation (SCS).”

Information contained in the study is so worth reading and discussing with your movement specialist or neurologist. Don’t pass this by! The results of this study may provide a new gateway to a new “gait way”! READ MORE HERE

100 People with Parkinson’s Collaborate to Write Personal Life Experiences

A Parkinson’s diagnosis creates a challenge to learn as much as possible from expert physicians and therapists. It also fosters emotional worry and curiosity about how to move forward with life without a clear road map to follow.

As Parkinson’s is NOT a one-size-fits-all medical condition, a natural direction most people eventually take is to search for books and articles to read, and many excellent resources are available. Quoting a description of one such book:

The Peripatetic Pursuit of Parkinson Disease by the Parkinson’s Creative Collective provides information and inspiration to improve life with PD. The Parkinson’s Creative Collective compiled this anthology of experiences containing articles by over 100 experts on PD — the patients themselves. They speak with compassion and honesty to those newly diagnosed, as well as to those who have lived with PD for years. Personal narratives help the reader understand the emotions and remember the facts.”

From 45 reviews, one in particular stands out:
Written as a collaborative effort by people who are dealing as PwP’s (People with Parkinson’s), (the book) had enormous credibility for me and lifted me out of my ignorance and serious depression. The one thing that I have found most supportive over the few months since I was diagnosed is not the ‘encouraging words’ and sympathy and love I have received from friends and family…. it is association, face to face, with others who have Parkinson’s, and reading about people dealing effectively and courageously with Parkinson’s. This book really does this…”

Some reviewers advise that this is a collection of inspirational, personal stories to be read in small sections and experienced slowly, and not try to understand and apply all of its wisdom too quickly. “As a person with Parkinson’s, I can relate to the stories and worries and advice given here… there’s a lot here to absorb, so don’t try to gulp it all down at once. Sip it slowly and thoughtfully.”

An online search of all libraries in our north-of-Boston area did not reveal any available copies. We are including the following link to access the book section on Amazon to read more about The Peripatetic Pursuit of Parkinson Disease and 45 positive reader reviews.



We are proud to announce that we are among nationally recognized Parkinson’s organizations and programs in 38 states who were recently awarded 2019 community grants!

Parkinson’s Foundation community grants further the health, wellness and education of people with Parkinson’s disease across the nation. In April 2019, the Foundation distributed $1.5 million throughout 111 community-based grants that fund education and outreach programs, along with local research initiatives, that address unmet needs in the Parkinson’s community. Read more to view our fellow recipients, listed state by state.

Receiving this grant enables us to partially fund our upcoming 8-week Parkinson’s percussion series with MedRhythms Music Therapy of Boston, and offer the program free of charge starting May 1st at the Danvers Community YMCA!

This honor is shared with our wonderful team of caring, creative instructors and with each participant who attends classes with an “I-will-do-as-much-as-I-can” attitude.


We’re so much more than the label “Parkinson’s sufferers” implies. Poignantly quoted on the Voice Aerobics website by organization founder and friend Mary Spremulli, now-deceased blogger Kate Kelsall – herself diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease – described her feelings about being referred to in just medical diagnosis terms.

“When someone describes me only in terms of my medical diagnosis as having Parkinson’s, it doesn’t describe me as a person. The human element is overlooked, and I feel devalued. Too often, disability-related labels are used unnecessarily to describe a person. A disability is NOT the most important descriptor of any individual. Defining a person as though the disability comprises the entirety of the person often segregates and isolates the person and fails to recognize the humanness.”

“Labeling may cause others to overly focus on the visible manifestation of the disease while failing to connect to you, personally.” –Mary Spremulli, Voice Aerobics founder – Products and Programs that Support Voice Use


Quoting information provided in a Michael J. Fox Foundation Foxfeed blog post titled “Ask the MD: Music as Medicine for the Mind”…

“In certain diseases, like Parkinson’s, the brain rhythm in the circuit controlling movement gets off track. …Playing music exercises the mind and body. It provides a route for social interaction. In drawing someone into its rhythm, it can calm a resting tremor, break a freezing spell and bring gait into a more normal pattern. Music can boost memory, lessen depression, and improve the volume and tone of speech.” (https://www.michaeljfox.org/foundation/news-detail.php?music-as-medicine-for-the-mind)

Join our new MedRhythms 8-week neurologic percussion series beginning on Wednesday afternoons from 1-2 PM at the Danvers Community YMCA starting May 1st! Beat a combination of drums, smack a boomwacker, shake maracas…and SO much more! The series is limited to 30 people – take a chance on something new, motivating, beneficial, and fun. Register early by emailing parkinsonsfitness@gmail.com to be part of this pilot opportunity  here in our area! 


Meet Michael Reyes from Salem Fitness Center!

We’re pleased to introduce Michael Reyes, newest owner of the Salem Fitness Center, where we hold regular Thursday and Saturday boxing and conditioning classes! As the most recent instructor to help join the fight against Parkinson’s, Michael is far from new to the wellness field. Here’s a glimpse into his career background…

Michael is an experienced personal trainer with a demonstrated history of working in the health wellness and fitness industry. He is skilled in coaching, wellness coaching, fitness training, athletics, and team building. He is a strong community and social services professional with a BS degree focused in economics and management from Norwich University.

Michael has installed a brand new ring in the boxing area at the center. Think that’s too difficult for you? THINK AGAIN AND POSITIVELY! A few of our members have already successfully climbed in to work “on the ropes” trying new agility techniques and stamina-building routines!

Kim Crowley will continue providing her great strength-building and conditioning workouts in her other class locations. Michael understands that Parkinson’s wants to do whatever it can to challenge you, so visualize it as the opponent it is and punch back as hard as you can! You can DO this and Michael is ready to show you how!


A recent post by the Parkinson’s Foundation explains the risks of using marijuana by people with Parkinson’s. Watch this 4-minute video narrated by Parkinson’s Foundation Chief Scientific Officer, James Beck.


Parkinson’s Fitness is not advocating the use of marijuana. Instead, as always, we provide information that readers should discuss in depth with their team of specialists, and then make choices that are safe, healthy, and correct for their particular challenges with this multi-faceted condition.

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