Parkinson's Disease is a neurological disease which affects one in every 1,000 people in the U.S. Often overlooked in treating Parkinson's is exploring what the body is capable of, and modifying those capabilities as the disease progresses. Massage therapy does address the body's abilities, and some techniques perform better than others.
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The focus of Swedish massage is to loosen muscles and improve relaxation. For Parkinson's patients, muscle relaxation slows the progressive rigidity of the muscles, facilitating free movement for muscles not so severely affected by the disease.
The Alexander method observes the body's actions when performing basic tasks. By using the Alexander method, Parkinson's patients can observe all of the subtle movements involved in basic actions and determine how to better perform everyday tasks.
The Trager technique centres on relearning movements and discovering new reflexive pathways. By finding new ways of movement, Parkinson's patients can learn how to accomplish basic tasks which become difficult as the disease progresses.
Mentastics is the self-study aspect of Trager, where patients learn the techniques necessary to encourage new reflexive movement patterns. This technique allows Parkinson's patients to continue developing new reflexive movements without the feedback of a therapist. Mentastics is meant to supplement Trager work.
Benefits of Massage
The key benefit of bodywork methods is relaxation and reconnection with the body. In addition to relaxation and reconnection, there are no harmful side-effects to massage.
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