Simple activities like putting on a coat were becoming a challenge for Assunta Scaini as she struggled with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease such as constant tremors, stiffness, fatigue, poor balance and frequent falls.
Assunta started practicing Taoist Tai Chi in Toronto 30 years ago. Within just a few weeks she started to feel good again for the first time in many years.
“My tendons and ligaments became longer. My muscles became soft and relaxed, and yet strong … With my medication and Taoist Tai Chi, the symptoms of my condition lost their grip on me, became less severe, even with ageing. This makes living with Parkinson’s more manageable to this day.”
Assunta says when she is focused and practises Tai Chi daily she feels stronger and better physically and emotionally.
“I had forgotten how it felt to just feel good, because for five years I had watched helplessly as my condition deteriorated.”
– Assunta Scaini, Toronto.
Tai Chi as a therapy for Parkinson’s from a medical perspective
Tai chi is increasingly being considered by medical authorities as a therapy for Parkinson’s. A study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine (2012) found that tai chi training appears to reduce balance impairments in patients with mild-to-moderate Parkinson’s disease, with additional benefits of improved functional capacity and reduced falls. Read New England Journal of Medicine Article >
Since the appearance of the New England Journal of Medicine study, tai chi classes specifically for Parkinson’s disease patients have sprung up across the country, and the benefits of tai chi for Parkinson’s disease have been endorsed by the National Parkinson’s Foundation. Read article on the Harvard Health Blog >
A personal video story about Parkinson’s recovery
Betty Schmidt from Canada was able to help herself deal with problems of balance, coördination, stiffness and rigidity caused by Parkinson’s disease.