Knock Out Parkinson’s
When you are treating Parkinson’s with physical and occupational therapy, there are 4 rules I live by: intensity, emotion, cognition and focus. Boxing therapy incorporates all 4 of these plus other benefits, which is why Florida Movement Therapy Centers integrates it into its daily treatment routine.
i. Intensity: Boxing is a form of exercise that adds a new level of intensity to a workout. Intense exercise also causes your body to release endorphins, chemicals that interact with the receptors in your brain and trigger positive feelings.
ii. Emotion: Boxing is full of vocalizations, allowing patients to yell, scream, and release any frustrations, pent up anxieties and depression. This emotional release is a positive benefit to people with Parkinson’s but also causes patients to become passionate about their boxing therapy.
iii. Cognition: Boxing constantly challenges people’s thinking patterns by stimulating their brain cells. This form of exercise enforces sequencing techniques that encourages people to engage their memory and improve their cognition. Repeated changes to the sequences causes them to think harder.
iv. Focus: Boxing forces people to remain focused on their specific movements they are instructed to do. This intense focus teaches them how to remain focused in their everyday movements, such as going from a chair in the living room to the bedroom. Increased focus is extremely beneficial to patients in their daily functions.
Boxing isn’t just limited to improving these four areas. It teaches patients to increase their reaction time. How will you physically adjust if someone bumps you in public? Are you able to move your foot from the gas to the brakes without having to think about it? People who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s tend to experience slowed thought processing skills and boxing teaches them to increase their reaction time and train for daily activities.
Coordination is another major component to boxing. The sequences of using your arms and legs simultaneously helps improve gross motor control, visual acuity and posture. Boxing intensely perfects hand-eye coordination while throwing strong punches and taking steps for balance practice.
Florida Movement Therapy Centers has two Rock Steady Boxing trainers as part of their team with classes available in all three locations. Visit the Classes page to check out the times and locations most convenient to you!
– Ed Gray, Director of Therapy