Part 2 Introduction

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Part 2 Introduction: Intervention Concepts

In the 2+ years it took me to write this book, I figured out a couple of things:

  • There’s no way I can put everything I need to say into words.
  • Because I’m constantly researching and learning more ways to help people with PD, I’d never actually FINISH writing the book if I don’t stop adding information.

In light of these realizations, I knew I needed to create a place where I can add content and where the reader can continue to learn.

Enter – The Book Support Website

Whether you purchased the hard copy, eBook, or audio book, the support website is a place you’ll want to visit often. I mentioned this website at the beginning of the book, but now I will explain its importance.

This website is designed to accomplish a few goals:

  • As we go through intervention concepts, assessments, strategies, techniques, movements, and exercises, it’s much more beneficial for the reader to watch video demonstrations.
  • I’ll put everything into words to the best of my ability but will be referencing the support website dozens of times throughout the rest of the book as it contains countless video. demonstrations along with other resources.
  • The site is a place for community, networking, learning and sharing amongst members.
  • Membership is FREE and comes with the purchase of this book.
  • As mentioned earlier, the website is a place for me to continue to add content beyond completion of this book.
  • To create your membership on the website, go to Appendix A near the end of this book where you will find user friendly instructions.

What You Can Expect to Learn

We know that Parkinson’s Disease can be debilitating. Fortunately, there is plenty of compelling data to show that exercise and retraining the brain are among the most effective methods of managing symptoms and slowing disease progression. Studies show that regular exercise & cognitive training can improve dual tasking abilities, gait, grip, balance, stability, strength, cognitive function, motor control, and more.

In addition, this improvement in movement and mobility helps to reduce falls, injuries, and various other complications of movement disorders.

In subsequent chapters, you will learn and gain an in depth understanding of:

  • How to likely slow disease progression through specific types of exercise
  • Strategies and techniques to manage disease symptoms and reduce or eliminate falls and injury
  • What caregivers, fitness professionals, physical therapists, home health aides, and others do to help the person living with PD
  • Learn how the brain can be retrained to improve and help restore neuromuscular communication, cognitive function, and dual tasking abilities
  • Learn about specialized tools and optimal concepts and exercises that will help to improve:
    • Stability
    • Balance
    • Agility
    • Cognitive function
    • Foundational Movement Patterns
    • Rolling patterns
    • Getting back to safety in the event of a fall
    • Foundational Breathing Patterns
    • Strength
    • Cardiovascular conditioning
    • Flexibility
    • Grip
    • Fine motor skills
    • Gait
    • Multi-tasking abilities
    • Posture
    • Mobility and Movement
    • Overall Functionality

Also learn:

  • Advanced neurological gait and fall risk assessments
  • Advanced techniques to WAKE-UP the central nervous system and brain
  • Benefits of vibration therapy
  • Retrain the brain to develop new neural firing patterns to help improve movement and reduce falls and fall risk
  • Advanced cognitive training, dual task training, problem solving training techniques to improve movement, mobility, overall functionality, and reduce falls
  • Benefits of cross body movements and exercises
  • Advanced techniques to assess, reset, and activate visual, nervous, & vestibular systems
  • How your emotional and mental states can make your movement or break your movement
  • Benefits of group fitness training
  • Learn effective group fitness training games & techniques
  • The power of music during exercise
  • Benefits of color therapy
  • Voice training techniques

There’s an old saying; “The things you did yesterday have brought you to the life you have today. If you want something different, you have to do something different today to create a different life tomorrow. There’s no other way to get there.” (Hamm, 2017)

This applies to everyone. It can be said for the exercises we select, the foods we decide to eat, and all the actions we choose to take on a daily basis. This can also be said about the trainers, physical therapists, or movement specialists we work with. While there are many amazing people in these industries who are always learning and expanding their knowledge and skillset, many tend to stay in their comfort zone, using the same training and PT strategies they’ve used for their entire career. I know this for two reasons:

  • I travel globally and extensively, and I see it often
  • I used to BE one of these trainers during my first year in the business, but deep down inside, I knew I HAD to get out of my comfort zone, so I did!

In fairness to many trainers and therapists; if they’re using strategies that get results, that’s fantastic. Why fix it if it ain’t broke? On the other hand, how many times do you hear of someone (particularly in the USA) going for a package of physical therapy sessions (covered by insurance), but get thrown under the bus when they’re not making measurable progress after “X” number of weeks or sessions? Insurance decides they’re done and won’t pay for anymore sessions.

Well, this could involve a multitude of factors and may not be the fault of the therapist. At the same time, why is it that countless people with PD who’ve been thrown under the bus by insurance come to work with my team, or come to one of our live workshops, and start moving better within minutes. Throughout the remainder of this book, you’ll discover the answers to these questions.

For many of you, what you’re about to read and experience is going to be brand new information and may even be a bit counterintuitive in some ways. However, I can say for certain that every single technique and strategy, optimally implemented, can be a game changer for you or your client/patient. And, when you put all these strategies and techniques together – BOOM, you are likely to realize significant improvements in strength, balance, stability, mobility, cognitive function, movement, and overall quality of life.

A Holistic Approach

The traditional fitness training world generally works on three areas; strength, balance, and cardiovascular health. This is all fine, but isn’t there more? YES! There IS more!

We must dig deeper and take into consideration other systems and parts of the body.

Numerous systems make up the body; central and peripheral nervous systems, brain, muscular, skeletal, digestive, cardiovascular, vestibular system, visual system, auditory system, limbic and lymphatic systems, to name a few. When ANY of these systems are not performing optimally, none of the others will perform optimally, as well. This generally leads to compromised strength and movement.

Let’s look at three particular systems, and how they work together to create movement; the muscular, skeletal, and central nervous system (CNS). If you have a broken bone, but the other two systems are ok, you won’t move well. If you have a torn tendon or muscle, but the CNS and skeletal systems are fine, you won’t move as well. If your skeletal and muscular systems are ok, but your CNS isn’t firing right, you won’t move as well. All three systems must be in good working order to create optimal movement, but it doesn’t end there.

What about the person experiencing depression? Their limbic system is affected, and research shows that strength and movement are usually compromised. How about the vestibular and visual systems? If either of these systems aren’t performing optimally, you won’t move as well as you could and won’t be as strong as you can be.

Let’s look at flexibility. What if I tell you that rather than 20-30 minutes of traditional corrective exercise (foam rolling, stretching, etc.), a two-minute vestibular assessment and reset may greatly improve your flexibility, and with better results? Well, it can, and we will teach how to do this. There’s a time and place for corrective exercise. Sometimes, it is very much needed, but it’s not the only strategy to help improve flexibility and improve muscular length-tension relationships around a joint.

Additionally, for many people with Parkinson’s, rigidity is a factor. Performing a vestibular reset along with corrective exercises can be a great combination to help improve posture; and when our posture improves, we move better, and this helps to reduce falls.

How about the visual system? A visual system assessment and reset can greatly improve hand-eye coordination and help to improve movement.

One of the biggest game changers involves waking up the nervous system and brain. When we increase sensory input to the brain, the brain sends back a more direct message causing us to stabilize better and move better.

The brain has what is called, neuroplasticity. It can be molded, shaped, and retrained. We will share a multitude of techniques to help retrain the brain to improve dual-task and multitasking abilities. Retraining the brain is one of the biggest and most important aspects to our programming (and its FUN)!

Bottom line; we will give you countless strategies and techniques to work towards optimizing movement and reducing falls and fall risk.

In the Parkinson’s Regeneration Training program, we take the approach of treating the body as a whole unit. Research shows that this approach will yield optimal results for anyone who has the goal of gaining strength, moving better, and reducing fall risk.

The order of subject matter in the following chapters follows the approach we generally use with our clients, starting with the initial meeting and assessments, into developing and implementing a program to improve strength, balance, mobility, movement, cognitive function, and to reduce falls and fall risk.

For many physios and trainers, this information and order of events will be something brand new. Just take your time, digest the information, read and re-read as you find necessary, and internalize this information.  Remember, there will be many opportunities for you to get creative. That’s something people love about our workshops. We introduce concepts geared towards achieving specific goals. You get to get creative within these concepts and have FUN working with your clients.

With that said, put on your seatbelts and let’s move forward!