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Tai Chi and Parkinson’s – the challenge is on

May 16, 2013

I have read for years that the slow controlled muscular movement along with the concentration and focus needed to perform this type of exercise was very beneficial to someone with Parkinson’s.

In my classes at the senior centers no-one to date has mentioned that they had the affliction in particular, although I have noticed some the “shakes” would could potentially be from any number of afflictions.

I know have a gentleman with Parkinson’s who is specifically coming to class to see if it will help him. And you know what… I am fascinated watching him go through the exercises.

Seeing what I view as trigger points, where the shaking starts and stops, is very interesting. With the coordination of patterns and the timing I definitely get a good look at how he is moving, and where things start to change.   I have observed:

  • The arms and hands during  lifting  have very little shake
  • The lowering is stable until halfway down at which point some hand and forearm shaking starts.
  • Side to side (in and out) movements have a subtle  little shake of the hands but stable forearms going out, and hand shake coming in.

This was his second week. He has a great attitude and liked his first week enough that he brought his wife with him this time. I now have him, his wife and sister-in-law in class. Meaning he has his support team learning along with him. We are all very curious to see how the exercises effect him over the next few weeks. I was hoping for a test case of sorts.  I am grateful for the opportunity to see if I can assist this man.

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