Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rock Steady Boxing - Parkinson's Patients

These are my amazing adorable parents who have taught me so much in life!

So Parkinson's is near and dear to my heart as we found out that my dad is dealing with this nasty disease about 5 years ago. He is such an amazing man and just amazes me at how he approaches life. He does it with so much faith, love and power to succeed. He does not give up. Well he has approached Parkinson's with the same intensity. He has tried diet, excercise, medicine, and has researched the implants as well... and the thing that he has found that works the best is excercise. As we all know, getting into a consistent excercise routine can be really challenging, but he is doing it and I am so proud of him! Recently my uncle came across a program called Rock Steady Boxing in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is a boxing program geared specifically towards people with Parkinsons run by a professional woman boxer. It is amazing! I have not seen it in person, but have seen it on you tube and have heard from my dad what an incredible experience it was for him. To give you a brief rundown on Parkinson's, people who have Parkinson's have a decreased production of dopamine in the body. Dopamine can be created through excercise but in order to help reduce the tremors large amounts of dompamine have to be created, which people with Parkinson's have difficulty doing. The idea of Rock Steady Boxing is with boxing (an intense and shocking form of excercise) one can trick the body by participating in intense excercise to create large amounts of dopamine. When you do rigorous excercise it shocks the system and the dopamine production soars in the body. The first person my dad met when he went to the boxing gym said to my dad, " I used to have a tremor and I don't anymore!!" What.... this just doesn't happen with medicine or anything else. I am sooo amazed at this movement and have such a desire to make it available to all people with Parkinson's!! We will see where it goes... but it is so exciting to see someone you love so much who deals with such a nasty disease come across something so amazing!


  1. Thanks for sharing. My uncle was diagnosed with Parkinson's about the same time. I think he has had a much harder time dealing with it though. Your dad sounds a lot like my dad (having lots of faith and a good outlook on things). I will add your dad to our prayers. Your parents looks as beautiful as ever. May God continue to bless them and all of your family.

  2. Liz,
    It is such a difficult diagnosis to deal with because it is so different for each person. He definitely went through a period of depression when he first found out. It took about two years for him to come out of that. It wasnt that he was so down and out, but that he was just down. I think the medication is partly to blame, but that is also a common reaction to such difficult news. I have noticed when he goes on different medications that his mood changes, which is why excercise as a solution is sooo wonderful! It not only increases the dopamine but it also is mood altering. There is also a Pilates for Parkinson program I just learned about today. I was just researching it. Where does your uncle live? The boxing gym in Indy is awesome according to my dad. Hang in there.... it is not an easy one to deal with! I will definitely keep your uncle in our prayers. Love to you all!

  3. I just wrote a response and lost it ... so will be brief. If you are considering a program in the Peoria area, I would love to pass on the info to some friends in that area. Please let me know if you are considering starting a program in Peoria.

    I have participated in Rock Steady Boxing since it started in October, 2006 and am a believer in the benefits of rigorous exercise for people with Parkinson's. Thanks for your kind words about the program.

  4. Dear Anonymous,
    Thank you so much for your post. I actually dont live in the Peoria area anymore, but my parents do. My dad is looking at what it would take to try and get a program started there. If you could send me an email to sweetpeaphotographs@gmail.com with your info I could pass it on to him. Thank you so much. It seems like an AMAZING program. Take care and happy boxing!