Unique symptom management option available to those diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease
An estimated 1-1.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement, according to Mayo Clinic. It’s a gradually-developing disease, often starting with just a barely-noticeable tremor in one hand. There is no cure for Parkinson’s but medications and treatments have the ability to vastly improve symptoms.
While the statistics aren’t pleasant ones, PMC’s Wellness Center is determined to help those diagnosed in the area with symptom management thanks to a new, unique exercise program designed with Parkinson’s patients in mind.
“We are fortunate to be able to bring this program to Wayne,” said Heidi Keller, Director of the Providence Wellness Center, who successfully completed the Rock Steady Boxing Training Camp, and is certified to offer Rock Steady Boxing training classes to individuals with Parkinson’s disease who live in the area.
The program involves regular exercises, such as stretching, bicycling, running, jump-roping, push-ups, balancing and lots of non-contact boxing, led by experienced trainers/coaches. Rock Steady Boxing serves both men and women of all ages and levels of ability.
Randy Pedersen, of Wayne, has been battling Parkinsons for some time so when classes started on June 10, he was there to take part. Just a couple months later and it’s like he’s been able to turn the clock back.
“When I started, I couldn’t punch the bag for more than maybe 30 seconds. Now, I’m up to around 2 minutes,” he said. “It gives us so much strength. It’s just amazing how it helps you. And people around you notice your progress. Everyone says ‘you look so good.”
Pedersen said part of the success in the program comes from the support system found in class.
“The camaraderie among the people in it really helps everyone because we’re all in the same boat, paddling upstream against Parkinsons. You get all these people together and it encourages us all to continue and work hard at it.”
Read more about the program and how it has benefitted area residents in our 2017 For Your Health Medical Guide.