Challenge Your Parkinson's Symptoms

Focus your attention and consciously control your habitual activities.

Check out these pages for more information:

Override Your Automatic Brain Pathways!


Difficult? Yes it is. So focus your attention on those habits that impact your safety and independence. For example, learn to walk safely, talk clearly, breathe deeply, and take care of your own daily needs as if you were living alone.

This part can be tiring, so don't let yourself get exhausted. Practice endurance slowly.

  • Make performing your daily activities your training times.
  • You may find that controlling movements is mentally fatiguing.
  • Train your brain like you train your muscles. Start with short periods of work.
  • You can improve with practice.
  • External cues from coaches alert you to pay attention.
  • A stumble, as you move, is a warning to focus.
  • Eventually, you may alert yourself whenever you start to move.
  • Capato, T.T., Tornai, J., Ávila, P., Barbosa, E.R., and Piemonte, M. (2015).
  • Randomized controlled trial protocol: balance training with rhythmical cues to improve and maintain balance control in Parkinson’s disease.
  • BMC neurology [electronic resource].
  • 15:162. doi: 10.1186/s12883-015-0418-x.
  • [PubMed]
  • McDonald, L.M., Griffin, H.J., Angeli, A., Torkamani, M., Georgiev, D., and Jahanshahi, M. (2015).
  • Motivational Modulation of Self-Initiated and Externally Triggered Movement Speed Induced by Threat of Shock: Experimental Evidence for Paradoxical Kinesis in Parkinson's Disease.
  • PloS one [electronic resource].
  • 10(8):e0135149. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135149.
  • [PubMed]
  • Conscious effort is forced effort.
  • Slow, controlled movement is forced exercise.
  • Dancing, marching, swimming, tai chi, yoga are good examples.
  • Walking slightly faster, synchronizing your arms' swing, saying "I love you" in American Sign Language, all constitute forced exercise.
  • Excessive speed or heavy weight training is forced, but can be harmful. It is NOT necessary.
  • Finding the motivation to exercise is itself "forced" emotional training.
  • Beall, E.B., Lowe, M.J., Alberts, J.L., Frankemolle, A.M., Thota, A.K., Shah C, et al. (2013).
  • The effect of forced-exercise therapy for Parkinson's disease on motor cortex functional connectivity.
  • Brain Connectivity.
  • 3(2):190-8.
  • [PubMed]

A Little Advice [x]

Control Exercises For Older Adults

  • Walk carefully over unstable or obstacle-filled ground;
  • Speak clearly, slowly, when asked;
  • Write normally (i.e. slowly, clearly, and large) when you focus;
  • Rise from bed, chair, or floor safely and under control;
  • Correct your posture whenever you notice you are slumping forward.
  • Moving arms in opposition to maintain balance while walking;
  • Coordinating the movement of arms and legs;
  • Dance uses balanced synchronous movements, also Tai Chi, boxing, yoga;
  • In-phase: both sides making the same move, e.g. pushing or pulling with both arms (as in weight training);
  • Anti-phase: one side moves opposite the other e.g. open arms then close arms, yoga;
  • Out of phase: Each side making a non-matching move, e.g. Tai Chi, boxing, catching or throwing a ball;
  • Activities that used to be automatic may become less so over time, unless you practice conscious control. Examples: beating a drum rhythmically, strumming a guitar, writing, and adding a column of numbers.

Parkinson's Specific Control Exercises

  • At first, habitual activities may not have changed much;
  • The changes come on gradually;
  • Now is the time to practice controlling habitual activities;
  • Habits are changeable;
  • Be aware of those activities that threaten your lifestyle.
  • Especially in the morning when the dopamine level may be low;
  • When you notice that you are "going off" your medications;
  • Walking may feel like you are moving through knee-deep water;
  • Ignoring the symptoms is not a viable option.
  • Take advantage of every opportunity to multi-task;
  • Attend movement classes that are attention-demanding;
  • Socializing is especially important;
  • Discuss the impact for you of controlling your movements.
  • Understand that overriding your habits is your lifestyle;
  • Your independence depends on your safety;
  • Keep yourself safe by controlling your risky movements;
  • Learn how you can enhance your resilience to your lifestyle changes.
  • Your long-term :

  • safety (balance, fall-prevention, forceful cough)
    • Blandy, L. M., Beevers, W. A., Fitzmaurice, K., and Morris, M. E. (2015).
    • Therapeutic Argentine tango dancing for people with mild Parkinson’s disease: a feasibility study.
    • Frontiers in Neurology [electronic resource].
    • doi: 10.3389/fneur.2015.00122.
    • [PubMed]
  • health-related quality of life (heart, strength, aerobic)
    • Lirani-Silva, C., Mourão, L.F., and Gobbi, L.T. (2015).
    • Dysarthria and Quality of Life in neurologically healthy elderly and patients with Parkinson's disease.
    • CoDs Jornal da Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia ISSN 2179-6491.
    • 27(3):248-54. doi: 10.1590/2317-1782/20152014083.
    • [PubMed]
  • independence (activities of daily living)
    • Macleod, A.D., Grieve, J.W., and Counsell, C.E. (2016).
    • A systematic review of loss of independence in Parkinson's disease.
    • Journal of Neurology.
    • 263(1):1-10. doi: 10.1007/s00415-015-7847-8.
    • [PubMed] (though studies are inconclusive),
  • relationships (socialization, entertainment, education)
    • Šumec, R., Filip, P., Sheardová, K., and Bareš, M. (2015).
    • Psychological Benefits of Nonpharmacological Methods Aimed for Improving Balance in Parkinson's Disease: A Systematic Review.
    • Behavioural Neurology.
    • 2015:620674. doi: 10.1155/2015/620674.
    • [PubMed]

Get started training your conscious control.

Difficult? Certainly! Impossible? NO!