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Day #4

Balance… What comes to mind when you hear this word?
Most people think on a physical level relating to Parkinson’s and that’s understandable, but there’s other forms of balance including mental, emotional and spiritual balance that have nothing related to the physical. Seeing as how this is a book about Parkinson’s, I’ll start with the obvious…
Physical Balance amazes me! The very act of walking upright is an engineering marvel in itself. You have so many different parts of the body and brain working together to create a physical symphony of motion and movement. In a healthy person we don’t think about what it takes to orchestrate this interaction. It’s no wonder that it takes a few years for us to learn how to master the art of movement from birth to toddler to child.
The portion of our brain that controls unconscious movement is generally one of the causality’s of Parkinson’s. Many loose the ability to move fluidly and develop a shuffling gait. Not being able to initiate movement is another thing that can happen and the term for that is freezing.
Practicing Tai Chi is a great way to help with Parkinson’s. The movements are slow and steady with emphasis on breathing posture and balance. Many local communities offer free classes and there are excellent resources available on the internet as well. Rock Steady Boxing is a class that combines not only balance but a very good aerobic workout as to boot!
Tomorrow I’ll delve into the non physical aspects of balance…

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