Martial arts and PD

Has anyone found the martial arts - karate and other forms - to be of any help with PD? I've found benefits from boxing and from tai chi and qi gong. The tai chi is good for balance but I've been wondering if we PWP might also benefit from the sped-up version. For instance, karate has those explosive moves that are said to be so therapeutic In boxing.

Anyone doing this?

12 Replies

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  • Hi Motal. Yes, Boxing, where there is nobody hitting you and Karate, with nobody hitting you and Tai Chi are all good for Pd, but they do nothing to reverse the Pd symptoms. Dancing is good for Pd as well. People with Pd can take part in anything in which they have to use their conscious brain to control what they are doing. When we walk we have a problem with Pd because we don't have to think about what we are doing while we walk. We don't think about what our legs and arms are doing when we walk, our subconscious brain does that all for us. But it is that part of our brain that gives us a problem with Pd. We don't think what we are doing when we write or bring food to our mouths, in fact we don't have to think about most things we do on a regular basis.

    There is one thing we can do to help reverse many of the movement symptoms we have and that is FAST WALKING. I have been doing fast walking since 1994 and since 2002, I have not needed to take any Pd medication at all and I have lived a 'normal' life since then.

    Last Saturday, at the age of 82, I took part in a Parkrun cross country race, together with 328 other people. I was the oldest person in the race and I beat 90 of those people, who mostly ran, while I only walked. How was that?

    If you would like to read more about my story then go to my website - reverseparkinsons.net.

  • Yo Pepper... Unless and until you earn yourself some medical credentials, you really need to stifle your insipid, incessant, and UNQUALIFIED preaching about what people should and should not be doing for the management of their particular set of symptoms. This may come as a shock, but this is a community of thinking adults - most of whom have been managing their lives and making their own decisions quite well without some self-righteous guru wanna-be regularly popping up to assert that anything beyond fast-walking (buy my book! buy my book!) is invalid. Time to put a lid on it...

  • John.

    Just to clarify, I was inquiring about martial arts, not marching arts.

    I am very familiar with walking for PD; both as a practitioner - it's one facet of my exercise regimen - and also as a reader of HU - having read your many replies to a diverse range of topics raised by others.

    I asked the question about martial arts in the hope that those with experience in that particular form of exercise might use this particular thread to discuss it. I remain hopeful.

    Motal

  • Hi Motal. I thought I had answered your question. They are all good for people with Pd. It gives them confidence and pleasure.

    I have not come across anybody, who only does boxing or Tai chi who has been able to reverse their Pd symptoms yet. Maybe it can still happen. It took me 8 years with the walking.

  • John,

    I held back on replying right away b/c I really was curious about whether martial arts could be added to the PD tool box and this sub-thread is not on topic.

    But since you have chosen to use my query about karate to again promote walking, I would like to take the opportunity to ask some questions. These queries have arisen over the past year and a half of reading your many HealthUnlocked entries promoting walking, and also from having read the chapter in the N.Doidge book.

    For starters, I am curious about the word, “reverse” as used In “reverse their PD symptoms” or “Reverse many of the motor symptoms” or "reverseparkinsons" (see just above)

    1. How do you define “reverse”?

    2. How long does one have to do fast walking to achieve this state of reversal?

    3. Does the reversal itself ever reverse, i.e. do you become symptomatic again if you don’t keep to your regimen? What span of time without fast walking passes before your symptoms return?

    4. Does fast walking reverse all of the non-motor symptoms that are part of the Parkinson's package as well?

    5. Is there a peer-reviewed study that reaches the conclusion that fast walking - and fast walking alone - is the only proven way to tackle PD? How current is it? Would you please link to it?

    6. Which type of PD do you have? Tremor? Postural imbalance/Gait disorder, aka non-tremor dominant? Which motor symptom do you find fast walking alleviates the most?

    I will stop there for now because, for the sake of other readers, I'm trying to be succinct. If you would answer my questions in that same spirit, I, and, I suspect, others, would greatly appreciate it.

    Regards,

    Motal

  • Hi Motal. Point taken. Let me answer your questions as they are asked.

    Reverse is a direction, not a goal. When symptoms are being reversed they are getting better.

    How long do we have to do fast walking before we reach a state of reversal? Pd is constantly damaging our Glial cells. Fast walking is repairing those same Glial cells, I think. Hopefully we repair more cells than are being damaged, in which case the symptoms should be getting better, or else they are getting worse.

    Does the reversal reverse? Yes! If we are damaging more Glial cells than we are repairing, then our symptoms get worse.

    Does fast walking reverse all of the non-motor symptoms? I don't know if it reverses any of the non-motor symptoms for sure. It certainly appears to have improved my balance, concentration, constipation, depression, fatigue, rigidity and speech. I cannot lay my head on a block that they have all improved because of the walking, but as I have done nothing else to achieve that improvement I must assume that it has done just that.

    The only answer to the peer-reviewed study is no! Not that I know of. Controlled studies cost a lot of money and who is going to put up that money if it leads to us not needing to take medication anymore? There have been studies done on walking and I have a whole host of articles on file. I made a note of several websites which gave the evidence you are looking for and here is one of them:

    medicalnewstoday.com/articl...

    Here are other websites which I can no longer access:

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/que...

    tinyurl.com/pd-exercise

    Exercise for Pd – The evidence under scrutiny: spring.parkinsons.org.uk/sp...

    Exercise and Pd – evidence for efficacy from cellular and animal studies:

    spring.parkinsons.org.uk/sp...

    If you would like to go to my website - reverseparkinsons.net and contact me I will email you as many articles as you would care to have.

    In response to the question: which type of Pd do I have? I was diagnosed 25 years ago, and they did not know there were many types of Pd in those days. I list 45 symptoms in my book and I will willingly give them to you if you contact me.

    Which type of Motor symptoms have been alleviated most? Obviously the rigidity is a lot better. I move faster now than I did 25 years ago. I am a lot less clumsy. I count swallowing as a movement disorder and that is now a lot better. My balance is a great deal better. I can manipulate my fingers a well as any other person of my age. I can multi-task better, if that is a motor symptom. I can write better, although I have to do it differently. I can walk on uneven surfaces. I now smile as well as ever. I can speak normally, as long as I am not stressed. I can fasten my buttons, as long as I am not stressed.

    I hope this has helped you. If anybody wants to speak to me personally, on my website or on my email address, whether they have a book or not, I will willingly answer them.

  • Just two questions from Motals list John if I may ask

    3: . ....... What span of time without fast walking passes before your symptoms return?

    6: type of pd - tremor dominant or stiffness dominant pd - these categories apply now no matter when a person was diagnosed

    Thankypu

  • Hi Hikoi. The span varied according to what I had been doing. In between 1994 and 2002, I tried twice to comeoff the Eldepryl. In ach case I felt the clumsiness (Lack of coordination) to be coming back. So in each case I went straight back on the Eldepryl.

    In 2002, when I wrote my book I had been off the Eldepryl for over 6 months. I came off because my blood pressure went up to 260/190, which was very dangerous. I had had not problem with the Pd during those 6 months but when I went back on the Eldepryl after my blood pressure had returned to normal, it started going back up again. So I stopped taking any further Eldepryl. To start off I only started to feel the effect of not taking any Eldepryl within 3 months of stopping. (I had been off the Eldepryl for nearly nine months that 12 month period.)

    In my second edition of my book I listed a whole host of problems I experienced as compared to the time I was both on Eldepryl and the six months I had ben off it. These problems took up 3 pages of the book.

    After more than 6 months, I started to slowly come right and have had no problems since then.

    I hope that answers your question.

    When I was diagnosed I would say that I was tremor dominant. Although I was and still am a fairly rigid person, but now I move quite fast, hence the walking, I am still fairly rigid. I cannot put my own shoes on easily, although I find ways of doing it most times.

  • Thanks John. I actually asked

    3: . ....... What span of time without fast walking passes before your symptoms return?

    So if you stop walking now, how long before symptoms return?

  • Hi Hikoi. I thought I had answered your question in the last post. It was a bit disjointed.

    In the beginning it was around 6 weeks. In 2002 it was just over 6 months. I have not been unable to exercise for a longer period than 5 months since 2005 so I cannot give you a number. While I was on the last speaking tour I could not exercise for nearly 3 months but that had no effect on the symptoms or the fitness levels.

  • Hi Motal, I find benefit in NIA which is not a martial art but has some martial art movements. There is no ready steady boxing in uk, but I also include none contact boxing and balance work in my gym routine. This and two hours of Pilates a week works for me.

  • Jean. Thank you. Sounds like that combo works for you. Will look more into the NIA approach.

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