Music and Parkinson’s


I have a little experience with music therapy. Last Winter, I happened to meet someone who studies music therapy, and he believed that it can help any condition. I did a little search on this and found that lively music is good for people with Parkinson’s.  This particular article said not to expect results right away.

I found a radio station that had lively music most of the time and listened in the car for a few months. That was a start but not a very satisfactory one because I didn’t enjoy the music. Then, someone gave me a CD of dulcimers and string band, which I liked and found delightful. Much of it is “toe-tapping”, so I would want to tap my foot, my left foot, which is my affected side, drawing forth a response.
I believe that the tapping got better over time because it was uncomfortable at first, and then it gradually became more fun. My neurologist had given me an article about music and Parkinson’s. It made one point: that the responses to music are spontaneous, and that the “letting go” response is different from the attempt at conscious effort. People with Parkinson’s can get up and dance when asked (if they like dancing), whereas the same people might have difficulty doing many things.

I did some conscious toe-tapping in the car to the dulcimer music, but it was better when it “just happened,” giving that automatic response some exercise. One of my neurologist’s tests is lifting the (left) heel off the floor rapidly. I did that better for him on my last visit, and we both noticed that I did it more strongly and more easily. Thanks for always empasizing symptoms instead of a disease.

I received encouragement today on my walking. For the last two times going out, I noticed some “going back” of my left arm as well as the little bit forward. The back swing was new. Today, some REAL forward motion, that I did not produce, kicked in.
I so appreciate the doors that you have opened to me.

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