Parkinson’s disease is something that is personally important to me. Both of my grandparents were diagnosed with Parkinson’s years ago. So I have seen the effects this debilitating disease has on people. It is usually a slow progressing disease, but once it has its grip on you, it is terribly life changing.
Someone we all think of when we hear of this disease is Michael J Fox. He has been a major advocate for awareness and support towards research and funding for this. So people now have a face for the fight. We see his head sway, and his tremors, and we think “how inconvenient, that must be annoying”. The thing people don’t often think of is the mechanics these motions have on the body.
The swaying, shaking and tremors, we see people with, are caused by constant contraction of the muscles. Every time the muscle spasms and contracts, it is pulling the person in swaying or jerking motion in the direction of the muscle contraction. Think about those abs machines we see being sold, the ones that wrap around your stomach and send electric shocks to your abdominal muscles to make them contract. Parkinson’s works the same way, however your mind is sending the “electric shocks” (signals) to those muscles to contract. The problem is you never get a break. So people dealing with this day in and out are in a constant state of fatigue and achiness. This can be very draining, as well as making the most simple and minute tasks incredibly difficult, if not impossible. Sleeping is also very difficult as it is hard to have a restful night and find a comfortable position to lie in.
Massage Therapy is almost a god send to people with this disease. No we cannot fix it, however we can provide people with relief. We can sooth those muscles, help calm those contractions, and it has been shown to show serious improvement in daily functioning, as well asa decrease of sleep disturbances.
If you or anyone you know is affected by Parkinson’s, don’t hesitate to give massage therapy a chance. It just may help make the day to say struggle a little easier. Give Adica Massage Clinic a call, we adapt each appointment to the clients specific needs. We are trained in a variety of different massage types including: therapeutic massage, hot stone massage and even pregnancy massage.
Erica Whitman RMT