Exercise vital, find one you like

By Madeleine Caccianiga

Quality of life through exercise was the focus of a Parkinson’s disease support group meeting this week.

Sixteen Shepparton and District Parkinson’s Support Group members came together to listen to guest speaker Goulburn Valley Health movement disorder nurse Sheree Ambrosini.

Ms Ambrosini spoke about exercise being a vital component of the management of Parkinson’s disease.

‘‘I spoke to the members today about finding an excise they really enjoy; if you’re not doing something you enjoy, we’re less likely to do it,’’ she said.

‘‘It might be physiotherapy, it might be dance, it might be the Argentine tango or it could be tai chi, which we talked about today.’’

Ms Ambrosini shared her love of tai chi with the group and demonstrated some breathing exercises.

‘‘We went through the initial breathing exercise for arthritis, which is a program that we use and discussed how the breathing and slowing down the movements are really good for anxiety and depression which can be a component of Parkinson’s,’’ she said.

Ms Ambrosini is preparing for two conferences, in October and November.

‘‘I will be attending the International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in Hong Kong in October and a seminar for Parkinson’s disease in Shepparton in November, where the theme this year is medication and beyond,’’ she said.

‘‘There is a lot out there that’s available to help people with Parkinson’s. Sometimes people don’t know where to go or who to ask so it’s about coming along regularly to these monthly meetings and letting them know they’re a part of the community and facilities such as tai chi are available.’’

Shepparton and District Parkinson’s Support Group meets every second Tuesday of the month. For information, phone Peter Leahy on 0427326414 or Denice Robertson on 0407848508.