Body One Collaborates to Knock Out Parkinson’s

rocksteadyBody One participates in a community collaboration to knock out Parkinson’s Disease

The first time I walked into the Rock Steady Boxing gym I was wide-eyed and jaw-dropped at what I saw.  Understand, I am coming from the calm and quite place of a typical outpatient physical therapy clinic where people with Parkinson’s disease quietly work on balance and walking with the safety of a gait belt and their PT.  We offer advice and guidance all while soft-office music is playing in the background…it is nice and peaceful.

What I saw in the gym was anything but that.  There was music blasting and people with Parkinson’s age 45-85 hitting speed bags and heavy bags, doing “quick feet” agility drills, yelling encouragement to one another, and jumping rope.  Trainers were pushing exercise intensity and yelling encouragement and the boxers were yelling encouragement to one another.  Ding! End of the round, 60 seconds to catch your breath before starting again at the next station for 3 minutes.  Repeat for the next 30-40 minutes, then cool down.

This was my first experience with Rock Steady in 2010, a community intensely fighting a common foe together.  I had been asked to be on the Board of Directors and before committing I wanted to see what I was getting into.  Needless to say, after about 10 minutes of seeing what was happening there, I was in.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurologic disorder which causes deterioration in balance, speech, fine motor skills, and gait and can make many daily tasks difficult, if not impossible.  Rock Steady Boxing was established in Indianapolis in 2006 to give people with Parkinson’s disease hope by improving their quality of life through a non-contact boxing based fitness curriculum to fight back against their Parkinson’s.   The curriculum includes using high-intensity training to address several components of the disease including balance, core strength, gait and agility, vocalization, coordination, and endurance to name a few.  Did I mention the exercise curriculum is high intensity, check out these videos (Hyper link to vids).

Body One Physical Therapy, being locally owned and integrated in the greater Indianapolis community since 2002, has a goal of using our expertise in serving people throughout our community.  To this end, we have collaborated with Rock Steady to offer physical therapy screening to any participant of the program.

As you would expect with any athlete who trains with this intensity, injuries could be an unwanted hurdle to participation.  Once a month, physical therapists from Body One come to Rock Steady on a Saturday morning to screen participants for injury and give recommendation on how to care for these injuries.  In many cases, the recommendation is some stretching and activity modification.  Occasionally there is a need for further medical services which the PTs coordinate.

Our goal of the screening is to treat these athletes for current injury and prevent future injuries to allow for continued participation in this unique exercise program.  This community integration and service continues to help Body One form relationships and offer our expertise to the greater Indianapolis community while keeping the athletes at Rock Steady healthy and in their fight against Parkinson’s disease.

Ryan Cotton, PT

Partner, Body One

Board of Directors, Rock Steady Boxing