It is often referred to as the ‘snowflake disease’ seeing that no two cases are one in the same.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease that affects the nervous system. As a result of this, people living with Parkinson’s often posses attributes like tremors, muscle rigidity and slow movement. In Canada there are nearly 100,000 people affected by Parkinson’s.
Due to the nature of this disease, people living with Parkinson’s often feel isolated and incapable because their ability to perform everyday tasks becomes compromised. A fitness centre located in London called, Femme Force is looking to change just that.
Femme Force is an affiliate company to Rock Steady Boxing which is a non-profit organization in the United States. Rock Steady Boxing aims to offer a better quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s through non-contact boxing classes. Right now, Femme Force is the only place in London to offer this type of resource.
Boxing is meant to alleviate some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s through stretch and strength exercises that are used to improve mobility.
“We have seen lots of improvement in our clients, not only physically but socially as well. We’ve seen a lot of them [clients] who have come in and were barely able to do a push-up and now they can,” said Deirdre O’Connor who is a co-owner of Femme Force.
O’Connor said that they decided to become an affiliate of Rock Steady Boxing after being approached by the Parkinson’s Society of Southwestern Ontario. It has since been two years that she has been running this program at her gym.
“We see so much gratitude from the people who take these classes because they appreciate how they have helped them on a daily basis,” said O’Connor.
Attendee David Lipson says that these classes help with much more than just isolation.
“Support groups for people with Parkinson’s are only available once a month which is not enough. We need something else to keep us busy and moving. Rock Steady Boxing provides us with this,” said Lipson.
It is clear that London is making an effort to make these sorts of resources available. With things like Rock Steady Boxing, people living with Parkinson’s can feel a part of a community and not so alone.
Watch: David Lipson talk about Rock Steady Boxing
For more information visit: Femme Force’s website