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Parkinson’s And Dance Therapy

Comparison : Dance Versus Physiotherapy

How Dancing Helps Parkinson’s patients

Irish Dance vs. physiotherapy

Based on one study in this comparison , dancers appeared to have lower severity of disease in the motor examination subscale of the MDS-UPDRS subscale 3 , improved balance as measured by the Berg Balance Scale and better ratings in the Freezing of Gait Questionnaire . However, there were no significant differences in the risks of fall of any cause between groups either during the time of intervention or during the entire study period , as well as the quality of life .

The certainty of evidence is low for all outcomes included in this comparison, due to serious concerns on the risk-of-bias of the included study and imprecision .

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Aspects Of Engagement And Experience

Most participants reported watching the instructor closely during classes, and auditory/rhythmic cues to support movement were engaged through counting, singing and vocalising the movements. Participants also reported using different types of imagery: visual , kinesthetic , and analogy/metaphor .

Perceived benefits of engaging with digital programs are presented in Figure 1. These related to sensorimotor and functional abilities as well as cognitive/affective benefits, and improvements in energy and sleep quality. Very few participants did not report any benefits.

Figure 1. Perceived benefits of home-based dance illustrated by percentage of participants endorsing each outcome. Sensorimotor and functional benefits are indicated by the darker bars, followed by non-motor benefits.

Expert Care Experience: Dance/movement Therapy

This blog is the fifth in a series detailing the roles of each member of a comprehensive care team, covering social work, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and physical therapy. Learn more about the healthcare professionals that are part of a comprehensive care team and how you can put your care team together today.

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Benefits Of Dance For People With Pd

In the past couple of decades, more and more research has been done studying how different forms of dance might be helpful in treating PD. In fact, the Dance for PD website lists 38 scientific research studies on this topic. Research shows that dance can be especially beneficial for those with mild to moderate PD.3,4

Dance appears to be very helpful in improving gait and balance in Parkinson’s patients. It also can provide social stimulation and support, which can be helpful in reducing depression and improving quality of life. Plus, dance stimulates cognitive functioning, an area that PD patients often struggle with.

It should also be noted that dance always involves music. This combination of movement to music can be powerful.

Jaclyn Jamboro Bsc Hons Cda Member Of Cdaac

Movement With Meaning: How Dance Therapy Is Helping Those Living With ...

Jaclyn is a recent graduate from the Communicative Disorders Assistant program at Georgian College where her academic efforts have resulted in a place on the Deanâs List. Previous to this, Jaclyn graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Science. She majored in Psychology and Linguistics.

She has experience working with school-aged children both in person and virtually. Jaclyn has worked extensively on targets pertaining to expressive and receptive language as well as articulation.

Jaclyn also has experience working with the adult population as she previously volunteered with Toronto Rehab, E.W Bickle Centre. Here she assisted the Augmentative and Alternative Communication clinic, providing support for adults with aphasia who require AAC high-tech and/or low-tech devices to communicate.

Jaclyn provides speech threapy services in North York.

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Relationships Between Participation Media Type Elements And Benefits

There was a significant effect of duration of home-based practise on the number of perceived benefits . Respondents using resources for more than 12 months reported more benefits than those participating for 03 months , 36 months or 612 months . There was also a significant effect of frequency of practise on the number of perceived benefits , which was greater among those practising more than twice a week than those practising once a week . However, there was no difference in the number of perceived benefits according to whether or not participants had previously attended in-person classes .

Media type significantly affected the number of perceived benefits : respondents using a combination of live and pre-recorded classes reported more benefits than those only using pre-recorded materials .

As illustrated in Figure 3, greater numbers of benefits were reported by respondents who engaged in visual imagery , kinesthetic imagery , or analogy/metaphor imagery during classes than participants who did not use these elements. Singing during classes was also associated with a greater number of benefits , but there were no significant differences for counting or vocalising .

Ulyana Bila Ba Msc Speech

Ulyana Bila is a registered Speech-Language Pathologist with a Masterâs of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of British Columbia. She also graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree with Distinction from the University of Toronto, specializing in Linguistics and Psychology. Ulyana has provided speech and language services in a variety of clinical settings, including hospital setting, rehabilitation setting and public schools. She has experience treating toddlers , pre-schoolers, school aged students, and adults encompassing a broad range of communication disorders, including but not limited to: early intervention for receptive and expressive language delays, articulation/phonological disorders, motor speech disorders, pragmatic/social skills for autism spectrum and reading/listening comprehension..

Ulyana is a fluent, native speaker of Ukrainian and an intermediate speaker of Russian. Her multicultural background enhances her sensitivity for others and supports her in meeting the diverse communication needs of people she services.

Ulyana provides speech therapy services in Toronto, Etobicoke and Mississauga.

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Rachel Glass Bsc Msc Speech

Rachel Glass is a registered Speech-Language Pathologist who graduated with a Master of Arts in Communicative Disorders and Sci-ences, specialty area: Speech-Language Pathology from the State Uni-versity of New York at Buffalo. She also holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Language Sciences from Brock University. In addi-tion to Ontario, Rachel is registered to practice in the United States, where she spent the first year of her career working with the pediatric population in homes, schools, and other community-based settings. Her clinical experience involves assessing and treating clients of all ages with a variety of communicative goals.

Most recently, she provided family-centred intervention to children age 0-5 with receptive and/or expressive language disorders, as well as with a variety of articulation, pragmatic, and fluency disorders. Rachel is passionate about working closely with teachers, family members, and other allied professionals, so as to maximize generalization of therapy targets in a variety of contexts. She takes pride in working towards goals that are realistic, functional, and above all else, individualized to fit the clientâs specific needs.

Rachel provides speech and language therapy services in St.Catharines, Stoney Creek, and Hamilton.

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The Benefits Of Dance As Therapy

Parkinson’s Disease Exercises: Dance

Research suggests the pain and degeneration that comes with Parkinsons can be alleviated by dance therapy. Dancing builds leg strength and increases balance, which can reduce instances of freezing and make your loved one less likely to fall if he or she begins to trip. In addition, learning new dance steps can strengthen cognitive abilities.

There are many reasons for seniors with Parkinsons to dance, but here are the main ones:

  • Dance provides the physical activity and some of the therapeutic movements needed for pain relief and increased mobility.
  • Dance connects the body and the mind. The deliberate movements used in dance help aging adults adapt and adjust to the depletion of the neurotransmitter called dopamine, which is responsible for bringing the brains messages to the muscles.
  • As therapy, dance aids in relieving the stiffness and discomfort that comes with the disease. It also affords people with Parkinsons the benefit of learning ways to manage motor block and dyskinesia .
  • Dancing therapy can help with many different PD-related issues, including balance and stride length, side-to-side movement, posture, and coordination.

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Dancing To Music Can Curb Parkinsons Disease Progression

âI felt as though I had been hit by a truck. Everything felt like it came to a standstill. My life was altogether changed,â he tells WebMD.

Originally a photojournalist, Tolani was no longer able to travel the world carrying heavy equipment and had to give up the profession he loved, which contributed to his emotional struggle.

Then he discovered dancing, which was recommended by a member of a support group he was attending. He began taking classes with Dance for PD, a specialized dance program for people with Parkinsonâs disease, their families, friends, and care partners.

âI found I could move, and the dancing seemed to provide a replacement for the dopamine I lost in the brain. Dancing motivates me and makes me happy, flexible, and mobile,â Tolani says.

The benefits Tolani receives from dancing have been corroborated by a substantial body of scientific research, most recently a study that showed that patients with mild to moderate Parkinsonâs slowed the progression of their disease by participating in dance training with music for an hour and a quarter per week.

âThe classes were very beneficial for these individuals with PD, and we know that dance activates brain areas, even in people without PD,â senior investigator Joseph DeSouza, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at York University in Toronto, tells WebMD.

How Do I Find A Therapist Or Program

Dance/movement therapists and programs are all over the country. To find one nearest you, go to The American Dance Therapy Associations website at You can find a list of resources and a directory of therapists in your area. The toll-free Parkinsons Foundation Helpline can also help connect you to information and resources: 1-800-4PD-INFO .

Dance/movement therapy is often a wonderful complementary or adjunct therapy for individuals affected by movement disorders. Some dance/movement therapy sessions may be covered by private health insurance, which can make it an affordable and accessible option for treatment of symptoms and maintenance of quality of life.

Erica Hornthal, LCPC, BC-DMT, is CEO of Chicago Dance Therapy. She is a clinical counselor and board-certified dance therapist who specializes in working with individuals living with movement and cognitive disorders. Additionally, Erica works with people of all ages and abilities to connect the mind and body to promote self-awareness, self-expression, healthy attachments, compassion and improved quality of life.

For more insights on this topic, listen to our podcast episode A Western Perspective on PD: Understanding Complementary Medicine.

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My Journey Through Dance

Here is a very early entry from my diary, back in Aprill 2016, when I first discovered Dance and its benefits. Interestingly, in this one I discuss and demonstrate how Dance Therapy is not just important for helping us to move physically again, but also to move our emotions through our system. This is critical too, as people with Parkinsons Disease are just as emotionally frozen as they as physically, see:

Taking Dance A Step Further

Pin on Dance Therapy and Parkinson

Pamela Quinn, a professional dancer and Parkinsonâs coach, tells WebMD that when she was diagnosed with the disease in her 40s, she thought it was the end of dancing.

âBut dance became my savior, not something that needed to be discarded, and the reason is that itâs physical and social and, together with music, has the power to change oneâs mood. And this unusual array of elements is particularly suited to help people with Parkinsonâs,â she says.

When she was first diagnosed, she wanted to have a second child and was âdetermined to find non-chemical ways of improving my gait, balance, and postures.â She began to discover âcues, external prompts that facilitate movement, which are naturally embedded in the dance form.â

When the iPod was developed, it allowed Quinn to âtake dance experience and integrate it into everyday life.â With that, she was not only dancing in a studio whenever she was walking and wearing headphones, she was âreinforcing good movement patterns with music.â

Quinn, who today takes medication and continues to dance, says she is an âoutlierâ in terms of Parkinsonâs disease progression.

âIâve had this disease for over 25 years, and Iâm doing fairly well, which I attribute to the dance background and also integrating these techniques into everyday life so itâs not just once a week in a dance class setting,â she says.

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Does Dance Really Help With Pd Movement And Memory Issues

The answer is a resounding yes! Research supports that lacing up those shoes for dance/movement therapy can help individuals with PD and other movement disorders.

In a 2019 study comparing the effects of dance for early-stage PD patients, researchers found that memory skills, anxiety and depression, and quality of life were significantly improved for participants in the dance group.

Neurology Now, in their 2010 article Finding New Life through Movement, noted in a series on innovative therapies for neurological disease that dance/movement therapy is embraced by healthcare professionals as a supplement to traditional medical treatment.

Although PD dance classes are trendy these days, their benefits for PD arent newly realized. Back in 1989, dancer and psychologist Beth Kaplan Westbrook, PhD, and Dr. Helen McKibben wrote in the American Journal of Dance Therapy about dance/movement therapy participants with PD and other neurological diseases: When they moved, they began to express themselves nonverbally. Its fascinating that a non-verbal approach can make such a difference.

Parkinsons News Today columnist Lori DePorter, who participated in a Dance for PD class, echoed this experience: It was obvious that our Parkinsons didnt matter. It made each one of us unique and that was reflected in our movements and the art we created.

Dance Can Help Slow Progression Of Parkinsons Research Finds

New research is offering hope to at least 6 million people across the globe living with Parkinsons disease, a progressive neurological disorder caused by a lack of dopamine, which is needed to help nerves communicate. There is no cure, but a specific course of music and movement can help slow progression of the disease.

Up until his late 50s, Manny Torrijos wasnt much of a dancer. But in the 13 years since he was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease, dance has become part of his identity. He can be found three times a week at a program called Dance for Parkinsons Disease.

Its not just a dance, Torrijos told CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook. Its spiritual.

The neurological disease can cause tremors, trouble walking and talking and, sometimes, cognitive loss. The dance classes have been just the boost that Torrijos has needed.

More than 10,000 people participate in the classes across 26 countries. The movements are designed to stimulate physical and cognitive ability.

We do try to bring in really tangible, real life activities and gestures, so that when people leave the studio, they have a deeper understanding of how they can function in the world, said David Leventhal, who has been teaching the class at the Mark Morris Dance Group in Brooklyn for 20 years. One of our participants said, Music is like a red carpet that rolls out in front of me and allows me to move in ways I cant otherwise move.’

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Improvements In Parkinsons Disease

Dance typically involves learning sequences of steps and movements in space, in coordination with music. In other words, it requires substantial physical and cognitive engagement and, as such, it should improve not only muscle tone, strength, balance and coordination, but also memory, attention and visuospatial processing.

When comparing relatively long-term dance interventions to conventional fitness training, several studies have found improvements in attention and verbal memory and neuroplasticity in healthy older adults. Researchers also found improvements in memory and cognitive function for older adults with mild cognitive impairment after a 40-week dance program.

In addition, a recent meta-analysis of seven randomized controlled trials comparing the effects of dance therapy to non-dance interventions in Parkinsons disease found that dance was especially beneficial for executive function, the processes that help us plan, organize and regulate our actions.

About Erica Hornthal Lcpc Bc

Dance Helps Parkinson’s Patients Harness Therapeutic Power of Movement

Erica Hornthal, LCPC, BC-DMT, is CEO of Chicago Dance Therapy. She is a clinical counselor and board-certified dance therapist who specializes in working with individuals living with movement and cognitive disorders. Additionally, Erica works with people of all ages and abilities to connect the mind and body to promote self-awareness, self-expression, healthy attachments, compassion and improved quality of life.

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Yes You Can Dance With Parkinsons

Dont let fear of freezing keep you from the dance floor. Learn how dance therapy can help those with Parkinsons.

Putting a little more swing in your step may seem like a daunting task if you have Parkinsons disease. But cue some loud dance music, and you might find it easier to kick up your heels.

Dance classes designed just for those with Parkinsons are becoming a popular option across the country. Science says dancing is a fun and effective way to boost balance, movement and flexibility in those with mild to moderately severe Parkinsons disease.

Tap into your potential for healthier living and learn how a tempting tango, wistful waltz or other dance may help you express yourself and thrive.

Move to the Beat

Parkinsons can make it difficult to multitask while walking. For example, taking a step while remembering your to-do list might be a challenge. Add in tremors and rigid movements, commonly seen in PD, and you might think your dance hall days are a thing of the past.

Not true! So turn up the music and get ready to get your groove back. Research shows that people with PD who take a dance class for at least 12 weeks have easier, smoother movements. They feel better overall and have short-term improvements in balance, mobility and freezing episodes.

Try the Tango

Bonus: Youll get a good workout. A swift tango revs your heartbeat quite a bit .

Waltz this Way

Ballet Just for You

Check out, which offers classes worldwide.


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