The Story of Movement You

Movement You is a balance and movement course specialized for individuals with movement disorders.  In many ways, it began in 2002 when I witness a Tai Chi master perform a full form flawlessly, despite his Parkinson's disease.  It became more personal -- and urgent -- for me after my mother was diagnosed with Parkinson's several years ago and began looking for physical therapy classes. 

Witnessing Tai Chi & Parkinson's Disease

In the fall of 2002 I was attending a martial arts camp in northern New York state.  It was there that I had the chance to witness a spectacular display of calm control as a Tai Chi master demonstrated his full form without any visible tremor or stiffness, despite being visibly advanced in his Parkinson's condition when not performing Tai Chi. Being inquisitive, I've been thinking about how such a difference could be possible between his stable and calm "on" movements during Tai Chi and his tremor impacted"off" movements during daily life.  

The story of Movement You is the story of trying to find an answer this question!

A Personal Piece of Parkinson's Disease

Several years back, my mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, and continues to live-around it today! Though she lives with tremors during her "off" activities, her "on" activities remain a source of controlled and calm movement as she continues her knitting!

When talking about her physical therapy, I was often struck at the similarities between the goals of her exercises/class and the goals of Aikido, the martial art I study. I also found joy and value in working with her to address balance and movement challenges that I wouldn't have thought of, such as ways to move around an opening car door or how to open a drawer while maintaining balance. 

In working with my mother to provide options and solutions for her movement and balance situations, I immediately saw how the basic stances movement exercises, and balance drills of Aikido applied to her daily life! 

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