Conventional Ways to Confront Parkinson’s Symptoms
Perhaps one of the most recognizable symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is impaired mobility. Joints that used to be flexible and muscles that could easily lift heavy weights become stiff and no longer function properly. Mundane actions such as walking or turning over in bed are difficult to initiate and are performed particularly slowly, and an unsteady balance makes it difficult to stand up and walk while looking forward.
Conventional treatments for Parkinson’s disease usually involve medication, surgery, or experimental trials. But there are also numerous alternative therapies out there which involve exercise and are directly aimed at maintaining physical strength, flexibility and mobility. Indeed, the ability to move as well as the confidence to do so can be improved by practicing movement.
More than Working Out
Physical activity in its most basic form is a great part of everyday life. Routine activities include housework and gardening, driving a car, taking care of one’s children, running errands, and more — all of which require energy and mobility. For Parkinson’s patients, maintaining such daily routines, even on a basic level, requires practice movement and flexibility. Exercise helps not only improve bodily functions, but also sustain the energy and vitality needed to stay actively immersed in the everyday.
Types of Exercise
The most commonly known form of exercise for patients struggling with mobility issues is physiotherapy. However, for Parkinson’s patients, activities that are aerobic and learning-based seems to be the most efficient. Exercise that challenges the individual to constantly keep track of and change tempo, activity and direction has numerous benefits. It enhances heart and lungs function, promotes good posture, and trunk rotation. For this any kind of rhythmic and symmetrical movements, such as different dance forms, are highly beneficial. Other activities, such as Yoga and Tai Chi, can also prove helpful, with their potential for increasing flexibility, strengthening core and periphery muscles, and improving balance. Because positions are shifted frequently, concentration and an ability to adapt are required, and are improved as progress is made. Finally, such activities can be very easily adapted to the pace and level of the person exercising, including Parkinson’s disease patients.
The Wonders of Dance
The effect that dancing has on delaying and coping with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are remarkable. Those who discovered this form of treatment, such as Rafi Eldor, follow it with dedication and report incredible improvements in their mental state and ability to function on a daily basis. Since dancing is performed to music and is a sociable activity, it does not only help facilitate and cue movement, but offers pure fun. It can dramatically improve gait and balance, which helps Parkinson’s patients decrease incidents of falling and increase confidence in walking while looking straight ahead. Since the condition can make people struggle with doing two things at once or shifting positions, dancing provides them with the opportunity to practice adjustments of mind and body as well as reciprocal movements — especially given the wide range of genres to be explored, from Tango to Waltz to Cha Cha, which require the coordination of a vast variety of movements.
Finally, dancing has not only physical but also psychological benefits. The joy of movement, the lively music, the elegance of the gestures, and the social contact with the other dancers, all play a role in reviving those who feel Parkinson’s disease has drained their emotional and physical energy.