Yoga and occupational therapy may boost mood and mobility and encourage social activity in people with Parkinson’s disease, a major study has revealed.
The research, published in peer-reviewed journal Complementary Therapy in Clinical Practice, says participants perceived improvements in several areas of their life after undertaking eight weeks of therapy.
Around 145,000 people live with Parkinson’s disease in the UK. The lifelong condition gets worse over time, significantly impacting mobility as a result of involuntary shaking of parts of the body, slow movement and stiff and inflexible muscles.
People with Parkinson’s disease also report poor levels of mental wellbeing, with many experiencing anxiety and depression.
However, this latest study shows that yoga and occupational therapy programmes may benefit people living with the condition by strengthening the core muscles and improving balance, leading to fewer accidents in the home.
Participants who underwent the eight-week yoga and occupational therapy programme reported feeling more mobile, less pain, and less body discomfort, as well as feeling more sociable.
One participant, for example, reported improvements in walking speed.
“In my walking, it took me about an hour to do 6 blocks. I now go over 22 blocks in an hour,” they said.
While promising, the authors said more research is needed to demonstrate positive results over a longer period of time.