MUSIC AND MOTION equal INCREASED MOBILITY IN PARKINSON’S.We all have very different symptoms, some that many individuals outside an inner circle would not recognise.
For me recently over the busy Christmas and Sale period stopping in motion whilst negotiating Guildford High Street has been common practice but I have learnt that whilst you are being studied from top to toe like a specimen in an exhibit, standing helplessly in the middle of the pavement, it is quite easy to identify a friendly face showing signs of intrigue and with the words, “Can you help me for two seconds please” you are seldom told no. How I have moved on with accepting my condition, this is something that I would never have considered a few months ago.
However, normally when people are not so determined to reach the desired sale item before you and the race to gain the advantage doesn’t necessitate the need for keen shoppers to constantly cross left or right in front of you to reach the doors of House of Fraser’s first, I adopt another technique. Bringing a song into my head and tapping out the beat with my better behaved left side I regain my momentum and I am able to complete my journey unaccompanied.
But what is it that tells the brain that my right leg is no longer glued to the spot? In truth, I am unsure and I do not believe that there is a correct medical phrasing for this illustration, but the distraction definitely helps me conquer my rigidity and with sideways glances from onlookers within seconds I regain my ability to move on.
So I ask myself, what if we were to practice music and dance regularly? Would this eliminate the freezing that I describe? Of course, we wish this could be 100% successful, but this is unlikely, but it would certainly help and therefore, the classes recently commissioned by the English National Ballet are to me a breakthrough in holistic treatments of the Parkinson’s condition.
Like many small girls across the Country in my childhood and youth I studied ballet and when I feel stiff I often loosen my tightening limbs with a simple ballet warm up but not because I read of the English National Ballet’s great work with fellow sufferers but because familiar with the benefits of the suppleness that these movements bring I know it helps me.
The English National Ballet’s programme is currently not available in Surrey but whilst I would welcome this initiative rolling out into the south-east by this prestigious Company in the meantime, I am investigating the possibility of a few dance class trials which will promote flexibility through carefully planned routines, devised with experts to be suitable for everyone at every stage of our condition. I can assure you that I do not suggest we commence with Zumba, as attempts of this have left me half a dozen moves behind the leaders with no hope of catching up or finishing the routine successfully along with my able-bodied or able-minded classmates, but a mix of ballet and a little salsa would I believe, bring additional dimension to the exercises that we currently and safely undertake.
Interested? If so, please email me and express your participation in a couple of pilot classes around the Guildford area as I would gladly give my time even if just a few of us enjoy the experience and reap benefits.