Tuesday, July 16, 2024
Tuesday, July 16, 2024
HomeEditor PicksYoga And Parkinson's Disease

Yoga And Parkinson’s Disease

Standing Forward Bend Uttanasana

Yoga for Parkinson’s

The standing forward bend will help you develop more control over your muscles. This pose will help you increase your mobility and flexibility. Restricted movement and rigidity that are signature symptoms of Parkinsons, could be reduced by this pose. The standing forward bend will restore your control over your lower back, hip, and leg muscles.

  • Stand straight in a mountain pose.
  • Keep your legs hip length apart, and upper body erect.
  • Now bend your body from your groin region, and bend forward your upper body.
  • Bring your upper body down without bending your knee.
  • Try to touch your forehead to your knees.
  • Try grapping the sides of your knees and support pull your bend. This will help you make up for the lacking muscle strength, and focus on the stretch.
  • Hold your pose for 5 breaths or 10 counts and release.
  • Repeat the pose thrice

It will be easier to bend down in one swift motion, but do not do it. Bend slowly, containing the pressure build up throughout your body. This pressure build up will open up your muscles and stimulate your nerves.

Physical Benefits Of Yoga And Exercise

Exercises neuroprotective benefit on the brain is a current area of research study. Exercise is believed to slow aging at the cellular level and produce regenerative effects on the brain. Cardiovascular exercise increases blood flow to the brain and stimulates the development of growth factors in the brain that encourage the growth of new neurons and synapses.

Because yoga focuses participants on the rhythmic pattern of their breath it can improve respiration and even lower blood pressure.

Yoga therapy has been shown to visibly reduce tremors and improve the steadiness of an individuals gait. Other physical benefits of yoga include: increased flexibility, increased muscle strength and tone, reduced levels of stress hormones, and improved cardio and circulatory health.

Yoga For Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinsons disease is a progressive, disabling, and costly neurodegenerative condition in which motor and non-motor features are currently not being managed sufficiently. As the population continues to age, the prevalence of Parkinsons disease is expected to increase.

On average, one American is diagnosed with Parkinsons disease every nine minutes. Although the pathology of Parkinsons disease is complex, there is increasing evidence of a role of oxidative stress in the disease process.

Exercise programs are often recommended for person with Parkinsons disease to improve motor functions and to manage non-motor aspects of Parkinsons disease. Studies suggest that exercise may reduce oxidative stress. Yoga, a popular exercise modality, uses poses, meditation, and breath-control techniques to help improve physical function and psychosocial wellbeing.

Don’t Miss: How Effective Is Deep Brain Stimulation For Parkinson’s

Yoga Reduces Tremors And Rigidity

Tremors are the most prominent symptoms in Parkinsons, especially the pill-rolling tremors of the hands. And equally prominent are the limb rigidity the cogwheel rigidity of your hands and the lead-pipe rigidity of your legs.

There are neurons in your brain that try to counter the effects of dopamine. However, in a healthy brain, a balance is always maintained with the right levels of dopamine. Naturally, in Parkinsons when this balance is disrupted, it causes tremors and rigidity.

Yoga poses and pranayama will stimulate different parts of your CNS to have an aggregate effect of increased dopamine levels. The increased dopamine levels will restore the balance, reducing the degree and frequency of tremors and rigidity in Parkinsons Disease.

Physical Mental Benefits Of Yoga And Meditation Include Mood Memory Sleep

The Book of Exercise and Yoga for Those with Parkinson

Yoga is credited with providing a variety of physical and mental benefits, such as increased flexibility and stability and reduced stress, improved mood, and better sleep. But how can yoga help Parkinsons disease patients and individuals with other neurodegenerative diseases?

The American Parkinson Disease Association recommends yoga therapy as a means to strengthen muscle, improve posture and stability, loosen tight, painful muscles and relieve muscle spasms.

Benefits of yoga and meditation to an individuals mental and cognitive functions have been explored in a number of recent scientific studies. Research suggests meditation practice can change brain structure and function in areas of the brain impacted by PD and contribute to improved memory, cognition and mood. The hope is that incorporating meditation practices can help support and maintain an individuals brain function for as long as possible as the neurodegenerative disease progresses.

You May Like: Does Sugar Affect Parkinson Disease

You May Like: Strength Training Exercises For Parkinson’s

Parkinsons Disease And The Research On The Efficacy Of Yoga

Parkinsons disease is a progressive neurological disorder that is characterized by tremors, stiffness, or slow movement, although symptoms may vary greatly in patients. Symptoms may begin on one side of the body and worsen on that side, even when the symptoms are bilateral. Risk factors for the disease include exposure to certain environmental toxins, old age and having a relative with PD. In fact, researchers have identified specific genetic mutations that cause PD, but these are uncommon except in the rare cases of family members affected by the disease. Nearly one million Americans will be living with PD by 2020, and men are 1.5 times more likely to have PD than women. In PD, certain neurons in the brain gradually break down or die and many symptoms are due to the loss of those neurons, which are responsible for the production of a chemical messenger called dopamine. Clumps of microscopic substances within brain cells called Lewy bodies are also an important marker of the disease. Conventional pharmacotherapy treatment is symptomatic and either increases or substitutes for dopamine. Although medications help patients manage their problems with movement and control the tremors, the efficacy of the drugs diminish over time, and side effects include hallucinations, swelling, impaired urination, and compulsive behaviors.

Yoga Remedies Urinary And Bowel Irregularities

Although, not a signature symptom of Parkinsons, yet patients of PD do suffer urinary and bowel disorders. Now, this is primarily because your bowel and urinary movements are automated by your nerves.

Thus, with most fundamental nervous disorders our urinary and bowel systems take a hit. Yoga poses will help your nerves to establish proper movement in your abdominal tracts, organs, and muscles.

You will find yoga poses that work specifically on the abdominal region. And you will find yoga poses that primarily stimulate your CNS, but indirectly benefits your gut surroundings.

Don’t Miss: How Is Parkinson’s Detected

Know Everything About Parkinson’s

Parkinsons disorder is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system that affects the motor system of the body. A substance in the brain called dopamine is responsible for smooth and coordinated muscle movements and when the level of dopamine gets reduced in the body to around 60% the patient starts showing symptoms. Symptoms of the disease start developing gradually, Parkinsons disease causes slowness of movement. The symptoms of the disease get worse over time making the patient very weak and almost handicapped.

Parkinsons disease cant be cured completely and doctors usually perform surgery to reduce the symptoms and provide some relief to the patient. Along with the treatment try some yoga for Parkinsons disease. these exercises are very beneficial for the patient.

Causes and Symptoms of Parkinsons disorder


Parkinsons disease is caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors. The exact cause of Parkinsons disease is not known yet but there are a number of factors that are said to cause Parkinsons disease such as:

  • Low levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the body have been linked with Parkinsons disease.
  • Genetics- the presence of certain genes is said to increase the risk of Parkinsons disease in some individuals and it could run in families for a long period of time.
  • Exposure to certain viruses can also cause Parkinsons disease.
  • The presence of abnormal proteins called Lewy bodies in the body is also a causing factor.
  • What Happens In Parkinsons Disease

    Functional Yoga for People with Parkinsons Disease

    Parkinsons is a disorder of the Central Nervous System, which causes progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain, leading to altered motor movements.

    Your movement is controlled by your nervous system, which functions due to the electrical transmission between nerve cells. These electrical transmissions take place by the exchange of neurotransmitters between two nerve cells, or neurons.

    Different neurotransmitters carry different messages. One such neurotransmitter is dopamine. Dopamine is responsible mostly for reward-motivated behavior, which includes a whole range of executive and motor functions.

    In Parkinsons disease the nerve cells that produce dopamine, die progressively. And unfortunately, the existing number of these cells are already pretty low. The human brain has only, around 400,000 dopamine-producing neurons.

    Yoga cannot help you stop the degeneration of neurons, but it can surely help you slow down the process and manage the symptoms of PD. As a matter of fact, that is precisely what any other traditional medication or therapies attempt.

    Also Check: How Does A Doctor Diagnose Parkinsons Disease

    You May Like: Entacapone Side Effects Parkinson’s

    Yoga Visibly Reduces Tremors And Improves The Steadiness Of Gait

    According to the National Institutes of Health, which evaluates the use of complementary and alternative medicine every five years as part of its National Health Interview Survey , yoga is among the leading alternative therapies in the United States. Thankfully, skiing appeared nowhere on that list. I could never ski, despite growing up in Buffalos notoriously snowy winters. In fact, I never really understood skiing, to venture downhill seemed a ridiculous idea paying to swoosh, slip, oof. Now, living with Parkinsons, why hit the slopes when I can experience a tumble on dry land? No, I cant ski.

    I can, on the other hand, practice yoga. It doesnt require any special equipment, clothing or weather. The yoga mat is a handy accessory, but its not necessary. Warm sunshine is a pleasant bonus, but the weather plays no role. Yoga pants? Yoga studio? Yoga music? All are add-ons. Ive practiced yoga on airplanes, at the kitchen counter, on the back deck in my pajamas while listening to robins sing.

    Supplementing Your Yoga Routine

    Yoga itself is considered an alternative therapy. And there are many other such alternative therapies that help the condition of Parkinsons. One such therapy is music therapy, and combining it with yoga can be an excellent idea.

    A report from Parkinsons Foundation has shown that certain systematically composed music can have a monumental impact on your brain Feel the Rhythm: Music Therapy and Parkinsons Disease . You can incorporate such music in your yoga sessions to enhance the benefits of yoga.

    Apart from this, you will need to be watchful of your food as well. You need to have a balanced diet, to keep your other bodily functions healthy. An overall healthy and energized individual will have more ability to fight the symptoms of Parkinsons.

    Finally, you will have to learn to develop mind-body awareness, which yoga can help you with. This awareness will not only establish better transmission along your neural pathways but also help you realize your condition.

    It is said that no two Parkinsons patients are the same they all have certain uniqueness to their symptoms. This means there have to be subtle differences in treatment as well. Increased awareness will help you manage your condition in a way ideal to your condition.

    Read Also: Can Alcoholism Mimic Parkinson’s

    According To The American Parkinson Disease Association Yoga Therapy Has Been Shown To Visibly Reduce Tremors And Improve Steadiness In Parkinsons Patients

    New Delhi: Parkinsons disease is a nervous system disorder. This disorder affects movement. Symptoms of the disease are tremors, stiffness or slowing of movement. While the symptoms start gradually, they can get serious with time. In the beginning, your face may not show expressions, arms not swing when you walk and your speech may become slurred. With time, these symptoms may get worse.

    This year, World Parkinsons Day is being celebrated on 11th April 2019 to spread awareness about Parkinsons and make it easier for people with Parkinsons to be understood. Living with a disease like Parkinsons can be difficult, and any measures to cope with it can be beneficial. The disease cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be controlled and managed. Yoga is a great way to do so.

    According to the American Parkinson Disease Association , yoga therapy has been shown to visibly reduce tremors and improve steadiness in Parkinsons patients. Another recent study has found that people with Parkinsons disease experience less anxiety and depression if they practise yoga focused on mindfulness and breathing exercises. Here are 4 yoga exercises or poses that patients of Parkinsons can try to manage their symptoms better.

    Breathing: How Yoga Can Help Control Parkinsons Tremors

    Pin auf Infographics

    When it comes down to it, yoga requires one thing only. Breath. If youre reading this, odds are that youre breathing. So, yes, you, too, can do yoga.

    Yoga practice, whether at home or in a class, starts with the breath. One area we can still control in our dopamine-challenged lives lies in our breathing. According to the Parkinsons Research Foundation , Controlling your breath helps in moments of panic such as feet sticking to the floor when walking.

    We can choose to take a deep breath. We can use the breath as a tool to lead us inside and notice what might be going on in there. The PRF adds that, In this form of yoga, the mind is always watchful. When we notice stress from the vantage point of an inner witness, our response can shift from the fear or anxiety of stumbling to choosing to take a deep breath and relax.

    Read Also: What Happens When Parkinson’s Medication Stops Working

    Mindfulness Yoga Makes A Bigger Difference In Your Mental Health And Happiness

    Researchers from the University of Hong Kong just discovered that mindfulness yoga may have some benefits for people with Parkinsons that other forms of exercise dont.

    Their study included 138 people with mild to moderate Parkinsons disease. They had some of these people participate in a mindfulness yoga program for eight weeks and others participate in a stretching and resistance training exercise program for eight weeks. Heres what happened

    Both programs improved motor dysfunction and mobility, but the yoga program made five additional improvements:

  • How much they felt they were suffering
  • How mentally calm and composed they felt
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Now, these are substantial benefits. Because, no matter how well youre doing physically with your disease, if youre not coping well with your disease mentally, your lifes going to be miserable. Period.

    You May Like: Parkinsons Disease Environmental Factors

    Yoga For Parkinsons What You Need To Know

    PFNCA Yoga for Parkinsons instructor, Kim Brooks, answers some of the most asked questions about yoga and Parkinsons.

    Question: Yoga seems hard with its pretzel poses is it really possible for someone with Parkinsons at my age?

    Answer: Yoga is a union of breath and awareness of the moment for example, how does one feel physically? Internally? A Parkinsons client may have problems with floor work or standing poses but there is always something the client can do. There are different types of yoga and the right fit depends on a clients interests, goals and can be tailored to different abilities. Interestingly enough, those who continue with yoga usually feel stronger, more flexible, and can engage in more yogic poses.

    Question: Does yoga help with strength and balance?

    Balance is a very important issue for everyone as we age. It is a critical focus for Parkinsons, given that falling becomes more of a risk with this condition. Seated poses for back and leg strength help Parkinsons clients improve their muscle strength and flexibility so that they move easier and feel more confident. The stronger the muscles which support the skeletal frame, the better they protect bones if one does fall this can prevent serious injury and broken bones.

    Question: What can yoga do for this common Parkinsons challenge: moving from a chair to standing?

    Question: What do your students like best about yoga?

    Also Check: Jefferson Health’s Comprehensive Parkinson’s Disease & Movement Disorder Center

    Yoga Therapy For Parkinsons Management Common Overview

    Diet plays a crucial role few common pointers that help-

  • Eat on time. Chew food properly.
  • Sattvic home-cooked meals
  • Increase the intake of seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables. Include high-fibre foods such as vegetables, cooked peas and beans , whole-grain foods, cereals, rice, and fresh fruit in your diet. Choose foods that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
  • Keep the body well hydrated.
  • Avoid processed and refined foods. Try to avoid nerve stimulants such as tea, coffee, alcohol, dark chocolate.
  • Yoga Pranayama are vitally important as they improve the breathing capacities and help to focus. They bring about mental and stability. The neuromuscular system is immensely benefited, and motor functions are developed. Yogendra Pranayamas are ideally suited and recommended for tackling these symptoms of Parkinsons. Yogendra Pranayama I, II, III and IV should be regularly practised.

    Watch videos for details:

    Yogendra Asanas recommended are Talasana Yastikasana Parvatasana Suptvakrasana and Hastapadangustasana. These are simple yet very effective yoga poses to improve the neuromuscular coordination and improve range of motion.

    Kriyas help in internal cleansing and keep the body free of toxins. Jalaneti and Kapalbhati keep the sinuses clean, and you feel light and relaxed.

    For emotional balance The Yoga Institute pioneered techniques such as Anitya Bhavana& Reflection help improve the memory and Nispandbhava provide emotional calm.

    What Yoga Poses Are Good For Parkinsons

    Yoga Therapy for Parkinsons and Anxiety/Depression

    Yoga asanas performed for Parkinsons disease target strengthening, calming, balancing and coordination.Yoga is accessible to most people, as variations and modifications can be made to poses to ensure safety and accommodate varying levels of mobility and symptoms.

    If you are interested in trying yoga for the first time, talk with your doctor. It may be best to begin with the assistance of a yoga therapist who is trained in effectively applying yoga to address a wide range of structural, physiological and psychological challenges. Yoga International offers a good overview of what poses are good for Parkinsons disease.

    Recommended Reading: How Old Can You Be To Get Parkinson’s Disease


    Popular Articles