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.

“Exercise That’s Tailored and Routine Can Help Patients at All Disease Stages”, Therapist Says…

Michael Braitsch, a kinesiology professor and board-licensed doctor of physical therapy, states that:

Parkinson’s motor symptoms mimic normal aging in many ways — only they’re sped up and intensified.  Because each patient experiences Parkinson’s uniquely, tailored and one-on-one routines are best. Still, he said, group programs with skilled leaders are also worthwhile, fostering consistency, motivation, performance, community, camaraderie, support and idea sharing.

“Depression and isolation  starts a negative feedback loop. So, that’s where a tribe helps,” said Braitsch. …Strength in numbers means we all do better together.”

In a GREAT online post from Parkinson’s News Today, the gist of the entire article mirrors what our Parkinson’s Fitness philosophy has stated and reinforced since we began in 2013! We encourage you to click this link and read the article. You will find many similarities to what we consistently emphasize and encourage! Click below for the article:



Our September 29th “Living Well with Parkinson’s” symposium was attended by 150 people, over 20 supporting information vendors, and highlighted by four great guest speakers!

(left to right: Dr. Terry Ellis, Director, BU Center for Neurorehabilitation – Linda Nikolakopoulos, Registered Dietician and Licensed Nutritionist – Pamela Quinn, PD Dance & Coach, PD Movement Lab, New York – Dr. Albert Hung, Movement Specialist, MA General Hospital)

The printed word cannot possibly portray what became a visible energy field sparking the space provided at the Danvers Community YMCA! Included in the 4-hour program were 2 short but dynamic movement and exercise “samplers” led by Parkinson Fitness Balance and Movement instructor, Dianna Daly, and Strength, Conditioning, Boxing instructor, Kim Crowley. As they do in all their weekly classes, both women had participants willingly joining in “waking up” their bodies and minds in five minutes or less!

Drs. Hung and Ellis emphasized how to optimize time allotted during office visits and physical therapy appointments, as well as the importance of exercise in helping to maintain control over difficult body and cognitive challenges. Linda Nikolakopoulos provided insights into the role diet and nutrition play in remaining healthy and staying strong. Pamela Quinn, diagnosed with PD over 20 years ago, travelled from her own PD Movement Lab in New York (https://pdmovementlab.com/about) to demonstrate strategies for moving and living in “real-life” scenarios. Pam’s vocal exercises to strengthen communication, augmented by hand and arm movements, were a high point for everyone!

Special thanks to everyone involved in making this event an incredible opportunity for learning and participating, with special shout-outs to Lucas Michaud, our photographer from Endicott College in Beverly, to Linda Hall’s friends Sandra Moores and Mary Orne for their assistance with credit card payments, to Suzanne Malach, YMCA liaison, the vendors who supported us financially and provided valuable community information, to the team of Parkinson’s Fitness volunteers who assisted as greeters, registrars, and table helpers…and to Linda Hall, whose tireless efforts built yet another opportunity for motivating people on the North Shore to live well, in spite of their Parkinson’s diagnosis!


When we lose more water than we take in, dehydration sets in. And too many of us just don’t think much about how serious dehydration can become. Why not drink some water RIGHT NOW while clicking here to read some very important facts about the risks of dehydration on our bodies and abilities to think and respond clearly and safely.


The August/September issue of Brain & Life magazine offers an important article about dentist visits for people with neurologic conditions. For this and a great variety of other articles, click on the following link: https://www.brainandlife.org/the-magazine/article/app/14/4/23/dental-visits-made-easier-for-many-people-with-neurologic-conditions

For instance, when scheduling dental visits, time appointments for when medications are the most effective. Because Parkinson’s is progressive, consider replacing old fillings, crowns and bridges during the early stages following diagnosis. Being proactive in managing life care should include telling the dentist if you are taking monoamine oxidase B inhibitors such as rasagiline (Azilect) and selegiline (Emsam) drugs used to treat symptoms such as fatigue, because they can interact with anesthesia and cause adverse reactions.

Brushing and flossing twice a day and avoiding decay-producing foods helps prevent pain, tooth loss, infections, and in extreme cases, death due to abscesses if ignored too long. Hard to hold onto a toothbrush? Try this: make a small slit in a tennis ball and slide the toothbrush handle into it. The ball provides a larger hand grip that many people need, which may encourage more frequent brushing!


Let’s say you’ve noticed recently that your hands have developed an unexplained tremor. You may start prematurely worrying and begin asking yourself or others, “Could I have Parkinson’s disease?” For some, the answer may be yes and should be addressed by a doctor. But for others, hand tremor can be caused by medications prescribed for conditions completely unrelated to Parkinson’s.

An August 9th medical article by Dr. Sharon Orrange, an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, provides this insight about how drug-induced tremors differ from Parkinson’s symptoms.


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