Parkinson’s disease is a central nervous system and neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement. Different types of occupational and physical therapies provide people with Parkinson’s with a treatment option that strengthens their motor skills, confidence, emotional well-being, and muscles. Each year, new therapeutic processes appear, offering people a wider range of treatments to explore. There’s a wide range of different options of alternative physical therapies for Parkinson’s, like acupuncture, hippotherapy, or movement therapy. Aside from the usual speech and physical therapies, you can find plenty of alternative therapy options for Parkinson’s disease in 2023.
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine. It features thin needles and specific body pressure points. Chinese traditions believe that the body has certain zones that release healing energies, or qi. Practitioners use the thin needles to stimulate these hubs of qi, allowing the body to undergo healing and anti-inflammatory processes.
Acupuncture for Parkinson’s targets points on the nervous system to guide the qi and other healing chemicals from the brain toward that location. The acupuncture therapy process releases muscle tension, decreases pain, and combats feelings of nausea, making it an invaluable therapy for people with Parkinson’s.
Hippotherapy is an alternative form of therapy for Parkinson’s. It’s a therapeutic technique with structured sessions that involves riding horses, which improves core strength, various motor skills, behaviors, and muscle growth. Combining occupational, physical, and speech therapy attributes, hippotherapy provides numerous benefits for people with Parkinson’s. Therapists often incorporate various Parkinson’s therapy equipment to add entertainment to their sessions and offer their clients a form of interactive engagement. People practicing hippotherapy often opt to use simulating equipment instead of actual horses due to accessibility and better safety control.
Movement therapy is a more entertaining form of physical therapy. Most physical therapies use weights to strength muscles and body control, but movement therapy promotes improved motor skills through a diverse range of activities. Depending on a person’s abilities and Parkinson’s symptoms, different movement-based exercises might work better for them than it does for other people. Plus, incorporating entertainment into the practice further improves a person’s mental well-being. Often, people with Parkinson’s can fall into negative emotional cycles by focusing on their hindrances and differences from other people. Engaging in a fun activity provides a pleasant distraction from those feelings of helplessness and increases dopamine production.
Occupational therapy is vital for improving movement with Parkinson’s. There are different forms of it, such as music therapy.
Music therapy uses the act of creating and listening to music to improve various skills. Learning to play instruments provides focused, minimal motor movements, helping people with Parkinson’s gain better control over their hand movements. Many people with Parkinson’s also endure speech impairments, which music therapy caters to with singing. Music therapy not only assists people with Parkinson’s with improving skills but also allows them to find identity through music.
The symptoms of Parkinson’s vary per person. Exploring all the alternative therapy options for Parkinson’s disease in 2023 allows people to find forms of therapy that meet their needs. If one type of therapy isn’t working out, there are other options to try. To learn more about alternative forms of physical therapy for people with Parkinson’s, contact us today or explore our blogs.