For individuals with progressive, incurable conditions like Parkinson's disease, it can be hard to find methods of self healing that are gentle, soothing and simple to practice. Fortunately, yoga may help individuals with Parkinson's ease some of their nervous and muscular symptoms.
More and more yoga studios are offering classes for people with this condition, like one center in Roxborough, Pennsylvania. According to the Roxborough-Manayunk Patch, it is the first in the Philadelphia area to hold classes addressing the disorder itself.
"Because Parkinson's is a movement disorder, the mindfulness of yoga helps the brain re-learn as the dopamine neurotransmitters are dying off," said Theresa Controy, the studio's owner.
Several studies have explored the benefits of stretching, deep breathing and meditation for people with this disease.
One, published in the Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy, suggested yoga as a supplement to traditional physical therapy. Another, this one in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, recommended combining aerobics, yoga, deep breathing and strength training for patients with Parkinson's.
As many as 1 million Americans suffer from the disorder, according to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation.