Dance for Parkinon’s: IRISH

So, we’ve talked about TANGO, and about BALLET … but now, IRISH!


Researchers at both the St. Raffaele Arcangelo Hospital in Venice, Italy and University of Limerick  are finding that following 8-weeks of twice weekly Irish dance classes, persons with Parkinson’s fell less often and were more mobile. They speculate the benefits are attributed to the exercise, strong rhythm of Irish music and the sociability of group dances.

The steady rhythm provided by the music (in this case, Irish Folk) acts as an “acoustic cue”, bypassing the basal ganglia, affected by  Parkinson’s, and helping patients reroute movement cues.

Parkinson’s dancers performed at the 26th Annual International Traditional Music Festival in Feakle, August 5th-7th.

… more evidence to dust off those dancing shoes, and find your rhythm! much love.


More news links:–to-present-research-on-Irish-set-dancing-as-remedy-for-Parkinsons-216564571.html

Dance for Parkinson’s: TANGO

Tango includes both single-time steps, or steps on the beat, and double-time steps, or steps between two beats … and dancing to this beat may benefit people with Parkinson’s disease.

Since 2007, Dr Madeline E. Hackney PhD has been demonstrating the benefits of tango dance on balance, ability to complete spatial tasks, mood, coordination and endurance improvements in people with Parkinson’s disease (Hackney 2007; Hackney 2009; Hackney 2010).

And new research is demonstrating that:

community-based adapted tango for Parkinson’s disease  can be safely delivered with high participant satisfaction/retention and potential for improving balance (link HERE).

Another reason to put on your dancing shoes, grab a partner and hit the dance floor! Do you tango? much love.

the power of music in Parkinson’s

i love music. i love finding new songs, bands, genres, instruments, etc. I wasn’t blessed with natural musical talent, like a greater part of my family, but i still have the passion and ear for it. music has the powerful to lift my spirits and inspire, and i love sharing this with others.

my first attempt at music, piano recital (1990)

my brother Jesse, the guitarist (1989)

aunt jen, grampy and dad playing tunes (1996)

music is used as a form of therapy and self-expression in a variety of medical conditions. music therapy has demonstrated significant improvements in persons with PD, especially for bradykinesia (stiffness), daily activities such as eating and dressing, falls, emotional well-being and quality of life.

music is also shown to improve rhythmic limb movements, walking and freezing in PD; and combined with physical therapy can have improved effects. music can act like a rhythmic cue or timekeeper that can stabilize the internal rhythm formation process and sequencing, such as initiation, execution and cadence. also, music can evoke strong emotional and motivational responses.

watch this video of a person’s with PD who is very stiff and rigid, with a shuffling gait at the beginning, and once the music turns on is able to “boogie”! pretty incredible!

Dr. Oliver Sacks is an author, physician, and professor of neurology/psychiatry
who was involved in the first administration of Levodopa for people with post-encephaletic Parkinson’s. enjoy this clip of him speaking on the power of music for PD…

if you are interested in learning more, here’s a selection of articles to check out…

so, crank the tunes and enjoy the beat! much love.