Pilates Useful for Those With Parkinson's

Apr 01, 2007

What specialty body-mind-spirit programs, if any, do you or your facility offer to help people with chronic conditions such as arthritis, Parkinson’s disease or fibromyalgia? Alternatively, do you or your facility offer specialty body-mind skills programs for older adults or other special populations to provide support on multiple levels (e.g., social and interpersonal as well as physical)? Share your examples with editor Sandy Todd Webster, websters@ideafit.com.

Regular Pilates practice may help people with Parkinson’s disease to improve rigidity and balance, according to a pilot study conducted at the Parkinson Center of the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon. Following the successful results of this initial study, the center launched a twice-weekly class open to the public. Michael S. Okun, medical director of the National Parkinson’s Foundation, told the Associated Press that while some studies show that exercise can ease the severity of Parkinson’s symptoms, the issue needs much further research. “I tell my patients that exercise is like a drug—if they exercise religiously or stretch religiously, they do great.”

For more information about the Oregon Parkinson Center, see www.ohsu.edu/pco. To learn more about Parkinson’s disease, see www.parkinson.org.

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