Medication aside, there are many ways people living with Parkinson’s disease can improve their health and well-being, preserve physical function, ease symptoms and enhance quality of life. Chief among these are getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated and getting an adequate amount of sleep.

But what about nontraditional therapy? Integrative therapies, such as yoga, massage, dietary supplements and various movement techniques, have prompted research over the years to determine if they have a role to play in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Although the jury is mostly still out on some of them, there is still quite a bit of promise to many nonmedical approaches to care.

Here are six integrative therapies to consider:

Open palm with nutritional supplements

Nutritional Supplements

You may have heard that the antioxidant coenzyme Q10, or Co-Q10, may improve Parkinson’s disease. However, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke halted a study in 2011 investigating the effectiveness of Co-Q10 when it became clear that the purported protective benefits didn’t differ from a placebo.

For this and other reasons, it’s wise to ask your doctor if you’re thinking of trying a supplement — and you should never stop taking your medication.

One supplement that may have benefits for people with Parkinson’s disease is calcium, largely because so many calcium-rich foods (such as dairy products) are also high in protein, which may interfere with the absorption of your medications. 

Three women enjoying Tai Chi class.

Tai Chi

This form of exercise promotes balance and coordination, so it stands to reason that it would be beneficial for patients with Parkinson’s disease. A 2012 study of three forms of exercise — resistance training, stretching and tai chi — found that tai chi offered measurable improvement in balance and stability in people who had moderate Parkinson’s disease. 

Senior adults practicing yoga.

Next Page

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: