LSVT Loud and LSVT Big – voice and movement treatments

Recent advances in neuroscience have suggested that exercise-based behavioral treatments may improve function and possibly slow progression of motor symptoms in individuals with Parkinson disease (PD). The LSVT (Lee Silverman Voice Treatment) Programs for individuals with PD have been developed and researched over the past 20 years beginning with a focus on the speech motor system (LSVT LOUD) and more recently have been extended to address limb motor systems (LSVT BIG).

 The unique aspects of the LSVT Programs include the combination of


How Exercise Affects Our Memory

Even a single workout may make our brain’s memory centers, like our muscles, more fit. Read more at NY Times https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/01/well/move/how-exercise-affects-our-memory.html

A single, moderate workout may immediately change how our brains function and how well we recognize common names and similar information, according to a promising new study of exercise, memory and aging. The study adds to growing evidence that exercise can have rapid effects on brain function and also that these effects could accumulate and lead to long-term improvements in how our brains operate and we remember.

Until recently, scientists thought that by adulthood, human brains were relatively fixed in their structure and function, especially compared to malleable tissues, like muscle, that continually grow and shrivel in direct response to how we live our lives. But multiple, newer experiments have shown that adult brains, in fact, can be quite plastic, rewiring and reshaping themselves in various ways, depending on our lifestyles.

Exercise, for instance, is known to affect our brains. In animal experiments, exercise increases the production of neurochemicals and the numbers of newborn neurons in mature brains and improves the animals’ thinking abilities. Similarly, in people, studies show that regular exercise over time increases the volume of the hippocampus, a key part of the brain’s memory networks. It also improves many aspects of people’s thinking.

But substantial questions remain about exercise and the brain, including the time course of any changes and whether they are short-term or, with continued training, become lasting.

Read more at NY Times https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/01/well/move/how-exercise-affects-our-memory.html

How Do I Know If I’m Doing the Right Exercise for Parkinson’s Disease?

Recent literature strongly suggests that exercise has a therapeutic benefit for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). There is evidence of benefits from varied types of exercise such as Tai Chi, treadmill training, boxing, progressive resistance training and adapted tango. It can be confusing to understand which type of exercise is optimal for you and how often you need to be exercising.

Read more



Spikes Trikes 10% off all purchases

Spikes Trikes is offering 10% off all purchases for anyone with Parkinson’s until September 30, 2018. Feel free to contact him on (518) 842-4827. His website is www.spikestrikes.biz. My husband (Bill) and I (Marie Thorne softballmom300@yahoo.com (518) 810-8483) both have trikes and are more than happy to meet up with anyone who would like to try one. Bernie (owner of Spikes Trikes) is also happy to have you try the ones in his shop to see what would best work for you. I am excited to tell you that they are fun to ride and a great way to exercise. You can get auto assist on the trikes which you can ride without the assist, with just some assist and with full assist.
Spike’s Trikes | Where The Fun Begins

Welcome to Spikes Trikes, a Premiere Terra Trike Dealer, where customer service and satisfaction is our top priority.We have been selling and servicing recumbent trikes in the capitol region of New York since 2013. Stop in and see us today.

Mime over matter

Rob Mermin, founder of Circus Smirkus, trained with legendary mime Marcel Marceau before embarking on a 40-year career in the theater and circus world. He will talk about how he adapts basic pantomime and circus techniques to help people with Parkinson’s cope with movement limitations. Mime techniques include visualization, body language, nonverbal communication, articulation of gesture, and creative use of imagery and space. Mime is a valuable method to enhance perception of one’s immediate movement problem, visualize a better result, and overcome the limitation through focused action. Come and put your Mime Over Matter!

Premiere Performance by the PD Players directed by Rob Mermin: The Parkinson’s Performance Troupe in “Mime Over Matter!” At the Unadilla Theater in E. Calais, Vermont – June 17, 2017



Exercise Classes

Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.


Bethlehem YMCA – Pedaling for Parkinson’s Monday 12 Noon, Wednesday 12 Noon, Friday 12 Noon – no fee – Parkinson’s Wellness Class Thursdays 12 N -1:45 Cost $45 for 7 weeks – 600 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY 12054, Phone (518) 439-4394 Contact the Y for more information (Dates and Times verified)

Guilderland YMCA – Pedaling for Parkinson’s – Monday 10:45 AM, Wednesday 10:45 AM, Friday 9:30 AM – Member’s Free, non-members $5.00, Neuromotor Wellness $65 members, $80 non-members – Tuesday 1:45 PM and Thursday 1:45 PM, 250 Winding Brook Drive, Guilderland, NY 12084 Contact Chris Wilson – (518) 456-3634 ext 1140 for more information (Dates and Times verified)

Dance Through Parkinson’s – Classes are every Tuesday from 1:30 to 3:00 PM – $5.00 per class at Rudy A. Ciccotti Recreation Center, 30 Aviation Road, Albany, NY 12205, (518) 867-8920

Schott’s Boxing, 21 Vatrano Road, Albany, NY 12205 (518) 641-9064- Friday’s 10:00 AM -The cost is $10.00 for the initial visit which covers the cost of the hand wraps. Hope Soars is partnering with Schott’s and will pay most of the membership fee which will be determined based on class size. If you have any questions, please contact Mark Burek (518) 428-0056.

Yoga Class– Honest Weight Coop, 100 Watervliet Avenue, Albany, NY, Thursday’s 11:45 AM, Free for Parkinson’s Patients and their family/caregivers, for information call Instructor Deb Foss (518) 944-9858 – debfoss319@gmail.com    


Rock Steady Boxing CNY, 209 Oswego Street #12, Liverpool, NY 13088. Classes are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.   Contact Jeannette Riley (315) 622-2332 for assessment appointment and more information. Check Website CNY.rsbaffiliate.com for class information.

Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) at the Centers at St. Camilus, 813 Fay Road, Syracuse, NY 13219, Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:45 – 1:15. Call for information, (315) 488-2112


Troy YMCA – Pedaling for Parkinson’s – Monday 10:30 AM, Wednesday 10:30 AM, Friday 10:30 AM – Members free, non-members $5.00 – 2500 21st Street, Troy, NY 12180, (518) 272-5900 (Dates and Times verified)


Southern Saratoga (Clifton Park YMCA) – Pedaling for Parkinson’s – Monday 5PM, Wednesday 10:45 AM, Friday 1:45 PM- members free, non-members $5.00 Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery Class Thursdays 10:30 – 11:45 Cost $45 for 7 weeks – 1 Wall Street, Clifton Park, NY 12065 – Phone (518) 371-2139 Contact the Y for more information (Dates and Times verified)

Saratoga YMCA – Pedaling for Parkinson’s – Monday 10:45 AM & Friday 4:30 PM – no charge – 290 West Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, (518) 583-9622 (Dates & Times verified)

Boxing for Parkinson’s – Tuesdays 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM or 11 AM – 12 PM – cost $10 for single class, $85 for purchase of 10 classes, $170 for purchase of 25 classes. Custom Fitness, 23 Northern Pines Road, Wilton, NY 12831, (518) 886-1602 customfitgym@gmail.com   http://customfitnessgym.com Instructor Shane Willette, text him on (518) 260-3367 Please register for class- class size is limited to 8 per class!

Dance Through Parkinson’s – Thursday from 1:30 – 2:30 PM at the National Museum of Dance, 99 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, (518) 584-2225 extension 3001- Donations are requested for this class.

Brain Training – 4 PM – 5 PM, Monday – Friday (you can do 1 day a week or 5 days a week) free – PNECC Nolan House (older structure), 24 Circular Street, Saratoga Springs: buzz to get inside – Kathy Johnson (518) 885-2007; pyramidofpotential56@gmail.com Please pre-register with Kathy by calling or emailing her.


Duanesburg/Delanson YMCA – Pedaling for Parkinson’s – Monday 11, Wednesday 11 AM, Friday 11 AM – member’s free, non-members $6.00, 221 Victoria Drive, Delanson, NY12053 (518) 895-9500 (verified 2/23/19)

Glenville YMCA – Pedaling for Parkinson’s – Tuesday 10:45 AM, Wednesday 10:15 AM, Friday 10:15 AM – Members free, non-members $5.00 – Neuromotor Wellness – Glenville YMCA – Monday’s 10 AM – 127 Droms Road, Scotia, NY 12302, (518) 399-8118 (Dates & Times verified)


Parkinson’s Wellness Fundhttp://parkinsonswellnessfund.org/families/general/application/

Parkinson’s Disease Care New York http://www.pdcny.org/  

Podcast: http://wxxinews.org/post/connections-latest-parkinsons-disease-research-and-treatment

Useful Assistive Devices for Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) can make daily living challenging. As the disease progresses, the motor symptoms such as tremor or shaking, stiffness, slow movements, and unsteady balance can make it difficult to accomplish everyday tasks, but there are many assistive devices available to make daily activities easier. Assistive devices can also help improve a person’s safety around the home and reduce the risk of falls.

Read more


Balance Exercises for People with Parkinson’s Disease



Transcribed from video.

Mah Shi Min, a physiotherapist from Sengkang Health introduces herself, as well as Mr Lee and Mr Ong, who have Parkinson’s disease. Mr Ong will perform the simpler, modified exercises.

Living with Parkinson, you may experience some difficulty with balance. Balance re-training should be incorporated into your exercise programme. Balance training three times a week can help to reduce risk of falls as well as improve your balance.

Exercising safely

Before you begin, here are some tips on how to exercise safely:

  • Pick an appropriate time to exercise
  • Make sure you are well rested, and that your symptoms are well-controlled by your medication
  • Exercise at your own pace
  • Always have a stable support (such as a chair or table that does not move) close by, to hold on to, if needed
  • If you experience pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your physiotherapist or doctor

Firstly, we will have Mr Lee demonstrate these standing exercises. These should be done in a safe and comfortable manner.

Static standing balance

Stand upright facing a chair or a table.

Standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold for 30 seconds.

Stand with your feet together. Keep your body up upright. Hold for 30 seconds.

Tandem standing

Now, Stand with one foot in front of the other, so your heel and toe are in line, keep your body upright and maintain your balance. Try to look straight ahead. Hold for 30 seconds.

Repeat with the other foot in front.

You can progress this exercise into a dynamic one.

Tandem walk

Choose a spot ahead of you and focus on it to keep you steady as you walk by placing your heel just in front of the toe of your other foot.

Repeat for 20 steps.

Single leg stand

Raise one leg so you are balancing on your opposite side. Hold for 10 seconds.

Repeat with the other leg. As you feel steadier, you can balance for a longer time.

For patients whose balance are more severely affected, you may follow the modified version which Mr Ong is demonstrating, using a step board.

Now, we will move on to a series of dynamic balance exercises that involve maintaining your balance whilst moving your body.

Lateral weight shift

Stand with feet shoulder width apart.

Slowly shift your weight to the right as far as possible, without taking a step.

Return to starting position. Then repeat to the left side.

Hold each position for 3 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

Wall leans

Stand with your back against the wall with your feet some distance away.

Pull your body away from the wall using your leg strength, until your body is upright.

Slowly move your hips backwards until it touches the wall again then move your upper body to touch the wall. Your toes should lift up slightly during movement.

Repeat 10 times.

Now, we move onto a series of dynamic balance exercises that involve maintaining your balance whilst moving your feet.

Side stepping

Take a step sideways with one leg, followed by the other leg.

Continue walking sideways for 10 steps.

Repeat in other direction.

Mr Ong is demonstrating a modified version of the exercise.

Backwards walking

Step back leading with your toes, followed by your heel. Repeat on the other leg.

Continue for 10 steps.

Mr Ong is demonstrating a modified version of the exercise.

Alternate stepping

Stand close to a stable support. Place one foot on step and then place it back on the ground.

Repeat with the other leg.

Continue for 10 steps while alternating between legs.

Mr Ong is demonstrating a modified version of the exercise.

Next, we will practice taking a quick saving step, which is what needs to happen automatically if you trip or overbalance. For example, if you trip forward, you need to take a quick step forward to prevent falling over.

Saving steps

Slowly shift your weight as far forwards or sideways as possible, then take a quick step forward.

Hold balance in this position for 3 seconds, then return to start position.

Repeat 5 times.

In this instance, Mr Ong is performing a forward saving step, whereas Mr Lee is performing a side saving step.

Now we will move onto the final series of challenging dynamic balance exercises. These should only be attempted if you can do all the previous exercises without difficulty.

Figure of 8 walking

Place 2 objects about 2m apart on the floor. Walk in a figure of eight pattern and maintain your balance.

Repeat 10 times.

Dual tasking

Practice walking for 2 minutes while performing one of the following tasks:

  1. Motor tasks, such as holding a cup of water
  2. Cognitive tasks, such as:
    – Subtracting a random number by 3.
    – Naming objects e.g. animals, colours.
    – Holding a conversation with another person.

For dual tasking, primary attention should be on balancing and walking, with all other activities as secondary tasks.

Stop if balance or gait pattern is affected.

If you have Parkinson’s disease and have not been referred to a neurological physiotherapist for rehabilitation, you can obtain a referral from your neurologist.

You can find neurological physiotherapists in all acute hospitals.

Remember, it is never too late to start exercising. Begin today and enjoy its benefits! If you have already been exercising daily, keep up the great work!

Brain Training

Welcome to Brain Training
With Kathy Johnson
Monday through Friday
3:45 – 4:45; please come a little early
PNECC Nolan House (the older structure); buzz to get inside
Open to all! All ages, created to improve memory and attention
  • Come as often as you can; you cannot change the brain by only working on it once in a while; practice at home in between sessions
  • Easy activities do not change the brain; neither do activities that are frustrating. We work at a challenging level. Remember, hard is good!
  • The most important part of brain training is the two physical exercises, Starfish and Slow Angels. Read more about them on the next page
  • Bring a water bottle daily to training. When you yawn or start to do worse, drink
  • When you find an activity that is especially challenging, cross walk – march while touching opposite hand to opposite knee
  • Other things that improve memory and attention:
    • Aerobic exercise like walking and running
    •  Social activities
    • Reducing and eliminating sugar – it inflames the brain.
    • Stress reducing activities like yoga, meditation, walking in nature, etc.
  •  Do these daily
  •   Have Fun!! The brain finds engaging activities much more motivating than those that are boring or too difficult. Feel free to ask Kathy how to modify any activity to work for YOU
Starfish Exercise to integrate the Moro Reflex
May help with:
Visual problems, Light or auditory hypersensitivity, Anxiety, mood swings, Difficulty accepting criticism, Dislike of change, Emotionally sensitive
1.     Lie back on a chair, bean bag or sofa with pillow under back 
2.     Tilt head back, arms up and out, legs out wide
3.     While breathing out, to the count of 5:
a.     Bring arms in and crossed, right over left
b.     Bring legs in at the same time, right over left
4.     While breathing in, to the count of 5, bring arms and legs back out
5.     While breathing out, to the count of five
a.     Bring arms in and crossed, LEFT over Right
b.     Bring legs in at the same time, LEFT over Right
6.     Repeat step #4
7.     Repeat entire cycle, steps 3 – 6, 2 more times
Slow Angels to integrate the Spinal Galant Reflex
May help with:
Bladder control, Poor concentration, Poor short term memory, Auditory processing difficulties, Near focusing problems 
1.     Lie on back with legs closed and hands at the side.
2.     Very slowly do the movements of a snow angel, by bringing the arms up and opening the legs as wide as possible. Arms stay on the floor as much as possible. 
3.     Now, for 30 seconds, close the legs and bring the arms to the starting position.
4.     Every 15 seconds, take a second to readjust the arms and legs. This is a difficult exercise because the arms move over twice as fast as the legs.
5.     Repeat 2 more times.   

Saratoga Dance Through Parkinson’s

Dance Through Parkinson’s

Thursdays, beginning January 11th 1:30 am – 2:30 pm

Classes will be held in the Swyer Studios located directly behind the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga. (directions)

We are thrilled to announce this innovative weekly class for people living with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners. Inspired by the internationally-acclaimed program Dance for PD®, founded in 2001 by the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson’s Group, this class will explore movement through different types of rhythmic music in ways that are joyful, safe, and stimulating. Dance Through Parkinson’s has been proven to enhance strength, balance, flexibility, awareness, and confidence in its participants.Dance Through Parkinson’s will be taught by Rachelle Smith-Stallman, a Board-Certified Dance Movement Therapist and New York State Licensed Creative Arts Therapist.

Classes are free of charge and no experience is necessary for participation. For more information please contact the Museum at 518-584-2225 ext. 3001.


Cleveland InMotion

I wish we had something like this in Albany

InMotion, a nonprofit health and wellness resource center for those living with Parkinson’s disease, has been recognized around the country for its no-cost Parkinson’s disease support and outreach.

Rossi said InMotion offers various programs for those living with Parkinson’s, with classes that are specific to their symptoms and needs. It offers classes in cycling, yoga, tai chi, boxing, dance and a program called Better Every Day, which is a unique fitness program designed for those living with Parkinson’s disease

Read more..


Dance class brings joy, confidence to people with Parkinson’s

Video from WNYT Benita Zahn story about Parkinson’s Dance at Ciccotti Center

Click on photo to start video

http://wnyt.com/health/dance-c lass-for-people-with-parkinson s-disease-ciccotti-center- colonie-albany-county/4672954/

November 16, 2017 06:14 PM

COLONIE – Parkinson’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that causes loss of muscle control. It affects about a million Americans.

Increasingly, those affected are turning to dance as therapy.

About five months ago, a local dance teacher started a class for people with Parkinson’s. Then, she learned about “Dance for Parkinson’s,” a program that got its start in 2001 in Brooklyn and has gone global.

She was invited to take the training class. Now, there’s a whole lot of happy feet.

Once a week, a group of people living with Parkinson’s Disease toss care to the wind and give themselves over to music and motion. It’s the “Dance for Parkinson’s” class at the Ciccotti Center in Colonie.

As the disease slowly robs them of their ability to move, the dance moves work on balance and coordination, cognition and personal confidence.

“It is a very bright spot in the week. Just that dancing and having fun and throwing your arms around and stuff. So I like that a lot,” explained Patricia Clock, a Parkinson’s patient.

The class incorporates movement from modern, ballet, tap, folk and social dancing – along with yoga.

“My wife has been trying to get me to dance ever since we were married and I’m really a horrible dancer,” admitted Jud Eson.

He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease five years ago. He and his wife, Nancy, learned about “Dance for Parkinson’s” a few years ago when they spent time in Brooklyn where the program was born. So they were thrilled when longtime dance teacher, Rachelle Smith-Stallman, who’d started a Parkinson’s dance class in June, embraced the concept, undergoing training from “Dance for Parkinson’s.” The training helped hone specific moves to share with her classes bringing the most benefit to participants.

“I get the whole body going. I certainly work every single muscle possible. I use a lot of rhythm,” explained Smith-Stallman. “It really gives spirit. It gives joy,” she noted.

That joy may be at the heart of the class. That and the sense of community, because too often, as the disease progresses, the world shrinks. Here, there are no boundaries.

“‘Cause exercise is the best medicine for Parkinson’s disease,” pointed out Eson.

The classes are held weekly at the Ciccotti Center. They cost $5 a class. Just call to register.

Dance Through Parkinson’s Testimonials

​​The​re are ​many reasons that I enjoy participating in the Dancing ​Through Parkinson’s program. ​Here is my list:

​The brain can be changed by doing new activities. Dancing requires concentration and coordination, which help​s my brain​ stay sharp​. My neurologist is very pleased with my stable condition and says to keep up the exercise, including D​TP. T​his is just as important as ​​my medications, in ​her opinion.

I enjoy meeting the other ​people with Parkinson’s. D​TP provides a support group atmosphere, even though that was not the original intention of the program.

Rachelle ​brings a sense of joy to the class by playing interesting music and making the class fun and exciting . Th​e class always ​leaves me feeling uplifted.

Jud Eson – Dance Participant

Dance for Parkinson’s was something I didn’t have much interest in, especially since I couldn’t dance before I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) 11 years ago.  Through the cajoling of friends, I hesitantly went perhaps a month after the classes had started.  I was amazed by the positive energy that the instructor exuded and the physical/emotional benefit was measurable.  The class benefits  those who have extreme limitations and to those who have been recently diagnosed.  Since Rachelle’s most recent training in NYC with the Mark Morris Dance Group, the class has seen a higher focus on fine motor skills, gait training, coordination, and balance exercises, which translates into real life benefits of dressing one’s self without help, walking, typing, thinking, and the general well being of individuals who have been inflicted by PD. Beyond the physical benefits, I spoken to a number of people in the class whereby Dance for PD is their only social outlet for the week.
While the class is being partially subsidized by the local PD support group, the weekly cost of $5 may seem at first glance as “affordable”, one must remember that generally speaking, PD patients are older and typically on a fixed income.  In my case, the impact of PD has forced me to stop working, and I too am now on a fixed income. It would be my hope that the making the Dance for PD class free would allow class size to grow with many of these PD dancers being able to experience the benefits of the Ciccotti Center.   Making the PD Dance class free would make it available to more PD patients.
While medical breakthroughs have been limited, exercise in any format has shown to slow down the progression of PD by as much as 30%.

Patrick Klee – Dance Participant

I would like to thank the Ciccotti Center for hosting this class! It is one of the activities I truly look forward to attending on a regular basis.
I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) almost 20 years ago. For me, the best thing is exercise… all different forms of exercise and movement. The variety for me is important.
Besides taking the Dance/Movement class I also take a (non-contact) boxing class and a spin class (stationary bike). The dance class to me is like a PD Support Group. We get together, chat, take the class, and then chat more. This is one of the few places I feel comfortable to make mistakes and not over think about my symptoms. We are a group of like individuals taking the class with
limited opportunities to have the camaraderie of others in public. This class gives that to us. The smiles, laughter, and joy that emit from the room can be amazing. I appreciate this opportunity to let you know how grateful I am of the Cicotti Center’s support.

Bruce Plotsky – Dance Participant

Channeling Dance to Keep Moving with Parkinson’s

“Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, for which there is still no cure. I had but two options, I could live in fear, or I could scare myself healthy. I scared myself healthy, and so can you.”

Exercise is an important part of healthy living for everyone. For people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), exercise is more than healthy — it is a vital component to maintaining balance, mobility and activities of daily living. Exercise and physical activity can improve many PD symptoms. These benefits are supported by research.

Read more

According to a study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience Journal, dancing, especially when followed by a change in choreography, is superior to repetitive physical activities such as walking or cycling.

People who are physically active can slow down their brain’s aging process. Neuroscientists behind this study say that dancing is the most effective physical activity.

In their study, they prove that 2 different types of physical activity, dancing and endurance training  both increase the brain’s area that declines over time as we age. But, only dancing has proved to be effective when it comes to changes in behavior due to the noticeable improvements in balance.
The researchers selected 52 elderly volunteers aged 63-80 years for the purpose of the study. Then, they divided them randomly into two groups, one group was assigned to join dance classes, and the other group joined the sports control group.
The dance group took dance lessons with a constant change of choreography which moves they were asked to memorize. The program for the sports group, on the other hand, consisted of strength training, endurance training, and flexibility training.
The hippocampus area of the brain which is the most susceptible to decline because of the aging processes has increased in both groups. This area of the brain is also responsible for memory, balance, as well as learning.
But, only volunteers in the dance group had an increased volume of other subparts in the left hippocampus. Moreover, only dancing had increased the volume of one part in the right hippocampus called the subiculum.
This study proved that dancing, especially when followed by a change in choreography, is indeed superior to repetitive physical activities such as walking or cycling.

More than 35 peer reviewed scientific research studies conducted at a number of major university research centers around the world including Roehampton University, University of Florida, Queensland University of Technology, York University and the University of Freiburg point to the benefits of dance for people with Parkinson’s. A number of leading neurologists and movement disorder specialists around the world include Dance for PD classes among a shortlist of recommended activities for their patients.

Do you have a testimonial to add?

[ninja_form id=5]

5 steps to loving exercise, or at least not hating it

How do you overcome an exercise aversion? Mercedes Carnethon, Ph.D., associate professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, has some tips to help you incorporate exercise into your life – and maybe even learn to like it.

Read more from the American Heart Association here


Sit to Stand Technique For Parkinson’s Disease

This video demonstrates the “And-Up!” technique I developed for people living with Parkinson’s Disease. This technique, when learned and practices, will help many rise from a chair to a standing position without assistance and without using their arms. Enjoy but proceed with caution. Patrick can be reached at his website: SmartXPD.com or call 323-422-9794 Disclaimer: USE AT YOUR OWN RISK: Patrick LoSasso’s videos are for informational purposes only. Consult a physician before performing this or any exercise program. After consulting with your physician, it is your responsibility to evaluate your own medical and physical condition, and to independently determine whether to perform, use or adapt any of the information contained here. Any exercise program has an inherent risk of injury. By voluntarily undertaking any exercise displayed herein, you assume the risk of any resulting injury


A swell of research is showing how dance can benefit Parkinson’s sufferers

To dance is human; people of all ages and levels of motor ability express movements in response to music.

Professional dancers exert a great deal of creativity and energy toward developing their skills and different styles of dance.

How dancers move in beautiful and sometimes unexpected ways can delight, and the synchrony between dancers moving together can be entrancing.

To us as a neuroscientist and biomechanist (Lena), and a rehabilitation scientist and dancer (Madeleine), understanding the complexities of motor skill in a ballet move, or the physical language of coordination in partner dance, is an inspiring and daunting challenge.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4686924/TANGO-stave-effects-Parkinson-s-disease.html

LSVT BIG – what is it?

Recently principles of LSVT LOUD® were applied to limb movement in people with Parkinson disease (LSVT BIG®) and have been documented to be effective in the short term. Specifically, training increased amplitude of limb and body movement (Bigness) in people with Parkinson disease has documented improvements in amplitude (trunk rotation/gait) that generalized to improved speed (upper/lower limbs), balance, and quality of life. In addition, people were able to maintain these improvements when challenged with a dual task.

LSVT BIG can be delivered by a physical or occupational therapist. Treatment is administered in 16 sessions over a single month (four individual 60 minute sessions per week). This protocol was developed specifically to address the unique movement impairments for people with Parkinson disease. The protocol is both intensive and complex, with many repetitions of core movements that are used in daily living. This type of practice is necessary to optimize learning and carryover of your better movement into everyday life!

Start exercising NOW – as soon as possible. Physicians rarely refer their patients to health and fitness programs at diagnosis because medications are very effective early on at alleviating most of the symptoms, and patients experience little change in function. Yet, according to a recent survey it is at the time of diagnosis that patients often begin to consider lifestyle changes and seek education about conventional and complementary/alternative treatment options. Thus referrals to exercise, wellness programs and physical/occupational therapy would be best initiated at diagnosis, when it may have the most impact on quality of life.

Read more

Building a Healthier You – Neuromotor Wellness – Class at the Glenville YMCA

The class will address muscle issues and, like the  “People with Parkinson’s” and  “Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery” classes, it will also work with balance, speech, manual dexterity, etc. It is open open to anyone with muscular degeneration challenges: Parkinson’s, MS, ALS, stroke recovery, muscle injury. 
Participants should be able to walk and stand unassisted. Participants must have a waiver and medical clearance. The cost will be $45 for Y members, $56 for Community members; free to caretakers.
For more information, you can call the Glenville YMCA, 399 – 8118,  127 Droms Rd, Glenville.

The class will be held on Mondays, from noon to 1:15.

The class will run through the summer of 2017

Please Note: There are still PWP and/or PWR classes going on at other YMCA’s.

  • Southern Saratoga County Y (Clifton Park) holds their class on Thursdays from 10:30 –  11:45.
  • Bethlehem Y is on Thursdays from noon – 1:15.
  • Troy Y’s class is held on Tuesdays from 10:30 – 11:45 – however, I did hear that they might suspend the class for the summer and start up again in the fall.
  • Troy’s class is taught by Sondra who actually works in the East Greenbush Y, so I assume East Greenbush also has a PWP class, but I don’t know when it is given or if it will be suspended for the summer either.
  • Other Y’s  may also give these classes, but I don’t have specific information, so if you are interested, please contact the Y nearest you and inquire! If they don’t have one, and enough people request it, they may have someone trained and start one! 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 – Live from Brooklyn: Dance for PD

For those who haven’t tried the local Dance for PD class which is held weekly at the Ciccotti center off Wolf Rd, this will give you a taste of what the class is like.

Here is information about our local class. – CLASSES MEET EVERY TUESDAY FROM 1:30 TO 3:00 (no class on July 4th) at Rudy A. Ciccotti Family Recreation Center – 30 Aviation Road – Albany, 12205 – (518) 867-8920

Live from Brooklyn:

Dance for PD

Wednesday, June 21

2:15-3:30 PM (US Eastern Time)

Join us as we continue our season of live-streamed Dance for PD® classes from the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn, NY.

No registration required—just click below at the scheduled time.

Class taught by John Heginbotham | Music by William Wade

Can’t make it? Click here to enjoy archived classes.

Exercise resources

It is recommended that you exercise within 55 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate for at least 20 to 30 minutes to get the best results from aerobic exercise. The MHR (roughly calculated as 220 minus your age) is the upper limit of what your cardiovascular system can handle during physical activity.

Target Heart Rate Calculator | ACTIVE

Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale

One way to see how much progress you’re making in your physical activity is to measure the amount of effort it takes to do an activity. Over time, the amount of effort it takes should decrease. Once you’ve reached this point, you can gradually move on to more challenging activities.

The Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale will help you estimate how hard you’re working (your activity intensity). Perceived exertion is how hard you think your body is exercising. Ratings on this scale are related to heart rate (how hard your heart is working to move blood through your body).

How to Use the Scale

  • While you’re doing an activity, think about your overall feelings of physical stress, effort and fatigue. Don’t concern yourself with any single thing, like leg pain or shortness of breath. Try to concentrate on your total, inner feeling of exertion.
  • Find the best description of your level of effort from the examples on the right side of the table.
  • Find the number rating that matches that description. Add a zero to the end of the number rating to get an estimate of your heart rate during activity (also known as training or target heart rate).
  • Typically, RPE ratings for activity in the target heart rate zone will be between 12 and 16. The shaded areas are the moderate activity zones.
  • If your RPE for an activity decreases over time, you’ve improved your fitness level. Congratulations!

Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale

Number Rating Verbal Rating Example
6 No effort at all. Sitting and doing nothing.
7 Very, very light Your effort is just noticeable.
9 Very light Walking slowly at your own pace.
10 Light effort.
11 Fairly light Still feels like you have enough energy to continue exercising.
13 Somewhat hard
14 Strong effort needed.
15 Hard
16 Very strong effort needed.
17 Very hard You can still go on but you really have to push yourself. It feels very heavy and you’re very tired.
19 Very, very hard For most people, this is the most strenuous exercise they have ever done. Almost maximal effort.
20 Absolute maximal effort (highest possible). Exhaustion.

12 Types of Exercise Suitable for Parkinson’s Disease Patients

If you have Parkinson’s disease, there are a lot of health benefits that come along with exercise. Staying active can help you sleep, strengthen your muscles and joints, reduce stress and depression, and improve posture, balance, and gait.

But what sort of exercise should you do? The types of exercise you choose will depend, to some degree, on the severity of your Parkinson’s disease and your overall health. According to the Parkinson’s Disease Clinic and Research Center at the University of California, the exercises should be varied and incorporate changing directions through unplanned movement, cardiovascular exercise, balance, strength training and rhythmical exercises.

How does Parkinson’s disease affect the brain?

Unplanned and Random Movement
The exercises listed require the person to change tempo and direction regularly. These will challenge a person mentally as well as physically as they require concentration to perform.

  • Walking, hiking or jogging
  • Racket sports such as badminton, table tennis, squash
  • Yoga or Tai Chi
  • Outdoor cycling
  • Dancing
  • Aerobic classes
  • Marching with swinging arms
  • Swimming in different strokes

Planned and Repeated Movement
These exercises are generally repeated movements that require balance. They can be performed while doing something that challenges a person mentally, such as watching a quiz show or the news, throwing and catching balls, singing, or problem-solving.

  • Cycling on a static bike
  • Weightlifting using light weights
  • Swimming laps in the same stroke
  • Slow walking on a treadmill

Read more 

Sunnyview’s Adaptive Recreation Experiences program

Introducing the 2017 Summer Adaptive Recreation Experiences … Sunnyview’s Adaptive Recreation Experiences program provides individuals with disabilities the opportunity to return to previously enjoyed activities or to try something new. Sessions are designed to encourage and assist each participant to have fun, and be successful on a variety of levels. All programs are open to those in wheelchairs, as well as ambulatory participants. Experiences are staffed by Sunnyview therapists, volunteers, and experts in that specific activity. Each activity offers a unique opportunity to try our adaptive equipment

More information on printable flyer here

Dancing Might Help Prevent Parkinson’s, Recent Research Points Out

Dancing helps prevent Parkinson’s disease, obesity, dementia, depression and anxiety, says Dr. Patricia Bragg, CEO of organic health company Bragg Live Food Products.“New studies show that dancing increases your memory and helps prevent a wide variety of diseases such as Alzheimer’s,” Bragg said in a press release.

Bragg’s father, Dr. Paul C. Bragg, was the originator of health stores in the United States, in 1912. For both father and daughter, dancing became a way of life.

Today, the 87-year-old Bragg sees herself as a crusader, born to carry on her father’s health movement, which pioneered many approaches that today would be considered “‘alternative medicine.”

“I have been dancing all of my life, and it’s not surprising to me that medical science is proving what I’ve known all along,” said Bragg.

Dancing has indeed been shown to help people with Parkinson’s recover balance and muscle control, as well as to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s dementia by 50 percent, which is expected to strike nearly 14 million Americans over the next 30 years.

“Think of the millions who can avoid this trauma simply by dancing,” said Bragg, the author of 10 best-selling “self-health” books.

According to a University of California Berkeley report, dancing has been shown to reduce depression, anxiety and stress and boost self-esteem. The New York Times also recently reported that dancing improves how the brain processes memory. Another study comparing the neurological effects of country dancing with those of walking and other activities suggested there might be something unique about social dancing.
In fact, dancing seems to increase cognitive acuity at all ages in a singular way, since they demand split-second decisions and exercise neuronal synapses. Dancing also helps keep the only neural connection to memory strong and efficient.
“My memories of dancing with Fred Astaire, Lawrence Welk, Arthur Murray and Gene Kelly are crystal-clear and so is my memory of the great time I had dancing last night,” said Bragg.

Knocking out Parkinson’s one punch at a time

Video of local boxing class

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As many as 1 million people live with Parkinson’s disease in America. Now, a new exercise program is energizing patients diagnosed with the movement disorder and renewing hope among patients.

Parkinson’s Patients Could Dance Their Way to Better Health

A recent article in the Harvard Gazette suggests dance as a potential treatment for neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Imaging studies have identified several brain regions involved in the complex, rhythmical, and coordinated movements that constitute dance. The motor cortex is — as with other kinds of voluntary movement — involved in planning, controlling, and executing dance moves.

Read more

Art Therapy and Parkinson’s Disease

Find Pleasure: Art making should be enjoyable. There is no such thing as a “wrong” mark. Every expression is valid.

Experience Control: Art making is an activity in which the artist can experience choice (through color, medium, line, etc.) and control over one’s environment.

Value Individuality: Free creation can encourage spontaneity which can, in turn, improve confidence.

Express Oneself: An experience of slowed speech or flat affect can limit one’s ability to communicate. Art is another language for communication which can be done at the artist’s own pace.

Relax: Art making has been proven to lower blood pressure, reduce perseverative thoughts, and lift depression. 

Improve Flow in Mind/Body Connection: In a relaxed state when focus is on the artistic expression rather than on the physical movement itself, motion can become more fluid. 

Promote Concentration, Memory, Executive Functions, Improve Hand-eye Coordination: Art making increases bilateral activity in the brain. When drawing, one uses both the right and left hemispheres of the brain. This is a wonderful way to take greater advantage of mental resources.

Read more

Exercise Can Be a Boon to People With Parkinson’s Disease – NY Times

“The earlier people begin exercising after a Parkinson’s diagnosis, and the higher the intensity of exercise they achieve, the better they are,” Marilyn Moffat, a physical therapist on the faculty of New York University, said. “Many different activities have been shown to be beneficial, including cycling, boxing, dancing and walking forward and backward on a treadmill. If someone doesn’t like one activity, there are others that can have equally good results.”

Read more

Chair Yoga at St. Sophia’s Tuesday

For seniors with mobility issues, there is a “Chair Yoga” class sponsored by NNORC which meets on Tuesday at 11 a.m. The instructors for all three classes are trained and dedicated professionals.


Monday morning Tai Chi class sponsored by Albany Senior Services which meets at 9:30 a.m.

At St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church 440 Whitehall Road Albany, New York 12208
Tel: (518) 489-4442

(Note: There are no membership fees for this group.)

For health and fitness, there are programs that are free. A Monday morning Tai Chi class sponsored by Albany Senior Services which meets at 9:30 a.m.



Tai Chi class at St. Sophia’s Monday

Monday morning Tai Chi class sponsored by Albany Senior Services which meets at 9:30 a.m.

At St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church 440 Whitehall Road Albany, New York 12208
Tel: (518) 489-4442

(Note: There are no membership fees for this group.)

For health and fitness, there are programs that are free. A Monday morning Tai Chi class sponsored by Albany Senior Services which meets at 9:30 a.m.

And for seniors with mobility issues, there is a “Chair Yoga” class sponsored by NNORC which meets on Tuesday at 11 a.m. The instructors for all three classes are trained and dedicated professionals.


The benefits of Tai Chi

It isn’t every day that an effective new treatment for some Parkinson’s disease symptoms comes along. Especially one that is safe, causes no adverse side effects, and may also benefit the rest of the body and the mind. That’s why I read with excitement and interest a report in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that tai chi may improve balance and prevent falls among people with Parkinson’s disease. Tai chi improves balance and motor control in Parkinson’s disease