- Sleep "prescriptions"
- BIG exercises for Parkinson's. After my PD diagnosis four years ago, my neurologist recommended the four-week "BIG" exercise training program designed for people with Parkinson’s by the same organization – Lee Silverman Voice Treatment – that developed the "LOUD" speech therapy for PWPs. The BIG program incorporates some features of the voice program, like shouting out exercise counts. I've stuck with this program because it works for me. Want to see how this 84-year-old klutz does these exercises? Click here.
- Core muscle strengthening. For the past two years, lower back pain has caused more trouble for me than PD or aging. It all started when I crashed my car and fractured a vertebra. The injury healed, but the pain persisted. In vain, I tried acupuncture, steroid shots, even reike. Then my neurologist prescribed a refresher course in the BIG exercise program. My world-class therapist decided instead to begin exercises designed to strengthen my core muscles, which she thought would alleviate my discomfort. We focused on two exercises that I could easily do at home: the "belt-tightener" and the "bridge" (descriptions here). I felt some progress, but the pain didn't go away. I continued taking pain pills. I did the BIG and core muscle exercises but not much else.
I was amazed: I spent four hours happily wandering around. I was essentially pain-free on this long walk, and without pharmaceutical help. OK, I probably spent more time sitting in cafes or relaxing on park benches than walking. . But I walked more that day than I had since the car crash two years before.
No Lourdes miracle necessary. What I experienced that day was simply the culmination of the slow, steady improvements I've felt since starting the core muscle exercises.