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The Benefit of Aikido for Parkinson Disease Patients.

It has been for the last 6 months that I started a new program for PD patients and I found that Aikido is extremely beneficial. At this stage, it is easier to teach private classes because each patient has different musculo-skeletal issues associated with PD so the exercises have to be very specific and targeted. My goal is not to cure the degenerative condition but to help patients improve and slowdown the process of PD.

A patient with PD that doesn't exercise and live a sedentary lifestyle will have more issues that someone that is combatting the symptoms.

"Masakatsu Agatsu" ( True Victory is self-victory) I am often mentioning this quote from O' Sensei and I truly believe that sometimes we are our worse ennemie.

"Getting regular exercise is essential to managing Parkinson’s disease (PD). It is well established that exercise promotes aerobic conditioning, strength, balance, flexibility and mobility, which can substantially improve overall quality of life.

Multiple clinical trials have demonstrated that aerobic exercise in particular, can enhance cognitive functioning, such as learning, thinking, remembering and problem solving. Further, a 2019 PD clinical trial called Park-in-Shape, investigating the effectiveness of remotely supervised aerobic exercise (using a stationary bike) resulted in a reduction of PD movement symptoms.

We know brain heath and cardiovascular fitness are connected. What we don’t know is how and where in the brain aerobic exercise is enhancing cognitive functions and reducing motor symptoms for people with PD.

A study recently published in the Annals of Neurology, “Aerobic exercise alters brain function and structure in Parkinson’s disease: A randomized controlled trial” (Johansson et al., 2022) investigated how aerobic exercise may influence PD-related functional and structural changes in the brain. The study also explored the effects of aerobic exercise on the substantia nigra, which helps the brain produce with dopamine." Extract from The Parkinson Foundation-Science News.

Aikido helps in general with breathing, balance, coordination and cardiovascular conditioning. A lot of beginners are usually uncoordinated and overtime they improve. I have found it to be the same with my PD patients. They improve and their symptoms improve as well overtime.

The fresh air and the ocean breeze are complementary to our practice. Nature is the best medicine for depression, a very common symptom among people with PD.

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