Italian doctor finds cure for Parkinson's disease in Irish dancing

Keit

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I couldn't find a thread dedicated to Parkinson's, so posting it as a seperate one.

Pretty fascinating! Who would have thought that there will be a healing modality called "Irish set dance therapy (ISDT)" :-):dance:


Dr. Volpe made an important observation. For many with Parkinson's, posterior-anterior advancement of the lower limb during the swing phase of the gait's cycle is compromised. Yet, the Reel Step enabled a dancer with Parkinson's to override the neurological impediments that affect the gait.

As he thought about the Reel Step, he noted that Irish Set Dance is patterned, but steps are not overly repetitious. Execution of the pattern requires the dancer to change direction frequently. Directional change plus the need to maintain reasonably consistent step lengths require the dancer to be in a state of constantly transferring weight from one leg to the other. The overall effect is a remarkable improvement.
 
Last edited:

JEEP

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Amazing - that would be great if this is a breakthrough for the many that suffer from that terrible disease. Can't help but think of Linda Ronstadt and losing her capability to sing.


Interestingly enough, way back in the early 80s, I was living in a rather rural part of West Virginia that only had a weekly newspaper (of sorts). I remember reading in it that someone had figured out some sort of dance-like routine that cured dyslexia. It was the only place or time that I ever encountered that info, but I always remembered reading it. Since it was so long ago, details have faded away, but the fact that a series of physical movements brought about a change in a neurological condition was really quite astounding. Since I never heard anything about it ever again, I wondered if it was valid or not. Considering this latest discovery, perhaps it was.
 

Breo

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
What a wonderful and meaninful discovery. Besides that I really enjoy listening to Irish Traditionals, when watching Irish dancers I sometimes wondered about the healing effect of the step patterns for the brain...as a kind of brain gym.
Thanks for posting, Keit! :dance:
 

Metrist

Jedi Council Member
We have a local gym that advertises, that is geared towards elderly people with health problems: diabetes, heart attack recovery, ect. And they showcase a training exercise for people with Parkinsons, and it involves boxing.

I thought it ironic and funny, but it looks to be just the sparring aspect - where you throw punches and duck, and shadow box.

So, that is probably the same treatment with a different sport.
 

Agron

Jedi Council Member
I couldn't find a thread dedicated to Parkinson's, so posting it as a seperate one.

Pretty fascinating! Who would have thought that there will be a healing modality called "Irish set dance therapy (ISDT)" :-):dance:

Awesome finding!
It seems that engaging the gravity center of a person with parkinsons allows their brain to re-boot or re-generate neuron connections. Makes me think of limb/body movement that helps connect right and left brain hemispheres.
Now pair that with a GAPS diet and you will be called a miracle worker 😉
 

Ant22

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
After mrtn mentioned the connection between the strength of leg muscles and cognitive abilities in another thread I did a little research into this topic. I found a few studies and articles about this. I'll cross post what I found here:



Since Irish dancing involves quite intense leg muscle workout I'm not surprised to read that it has such positive impact! Coincidentally, I've been wanting to join Irish dance classes for a while and it turned out there is an Irish dancing school not far from where I live. Looking forward to my cognitive superpowers! Or at least reduced neurodegeneration ;-)
 

Kisito

Jedi Council Member
I'm going to share your article with my partner. In France there is a lot of research on this subject. My partner Svetlana Panova, dancer therapist at the Salpêtrière hospital in Paris, takes care of people with PD. She danced in the Russian state troupe in traditional dance, then she trained at the Sorbonne in dance therapy with the psychoanalyst France Shott Billmann. Their fairly recognized method advocates ancestral, traditional and rhythmic dances. Svetlana is a sort of ambassador for this method in France. Many traditional dances are said to be therapies. There would be links with shamanism. "When dance heals" France Shott Billmann ..
 

Oxajil

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Thanks for sharing, Keit! A couple of years ago, I attended Irish dance lessons and I enjoyed it a lot. Sadly, the teacher stopped teaching at some point. The individual dances as well as the dances you do as a group are very interesting. When I asked her how she remembers all the moves to a certain dance routine, she said it's similar to remembering how a song goes. Besides moving/situating your legs and feet, I can imagine that learning and remembering an Irish dance routine/pattern likely causes positive brain changes too!
 
Top Bottom