by John Argue

A proactive Parkinson's Support Group in the Detroit Metro area contacted us for our professional input on the book titled Parkinson's Disease and the Art of Moving, written by John Argue. We also reviewed the companion videos that incorporate the theories found in this text, which assists in the performance of the exercise program.

John Argue is a gifted teacher with a movement/theatre/ drama therapy background who really understands the various challenges of the Parkinson's patient. Most recently, he has focused his talents toward teaching movement and voice classes for people with Parkinson's disease. I was impressed by the book and videos for many reasons. I appreciated the team approach between the family/ caregiver/client with his instructions and insights. Safety is encouraged with step-by-step exercises to be mastered before continuing to the more progressive advanced standing and floor work. The exercises begin with seated warmup activities and progress to motor planning, coordination, functional weight shift, body awareness and mobility training.

The book is helpful not only for caregivers and clients, but also for any therapist working with clients with Parkinson's disease and/or movement challenges. I particularly appreciate the yoga and Tai Chi influence within the program, which stress quality of movement, grace, and promotion of improved quality of life, an increased sense of well being, alignment, and relaxation. His emphasis on timing and rhythm also assists quite well with ambulation. I am now utilizing many of his techniques with my current patients with increased success.

People at all levels can perform many of these exercises. He also encourages caregivers to care for themselves and stay physically fit. This is a great place to begin an exercise program and I highly recommend using the book and/or video in a safe and supervised (if needed) environment. Remember to do something everyday for your health and fitness...and never give up!

The website for these resources and to learn more about John Argue is: www.parkinsonsexercise.com, video@parkinsonsexercise.com or phone 510-985-2645. The book is also available locally at Borders Booksellers.

Note: St. John Health System, in Detroit, recently started a weekly exercise program, in which we are also utilizing his philosophy. It meets every Tuesday at 3:00pm. Feel free to contact us if you have questions or are interested in participating in this exercise group at 313-343-3744. At home, the equipment is minimal to start. All you need is a chair with arms and a tennis ball.

 

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