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Dance workshop to bring joy for people with Parkinson’s disease

The Honors College provides interactive workshop to help those living with Parkinson’s disease through dance

Gina Navaroli, Staff Reporter

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The Honors College has set out to use dance to bring joy to those with Parkinson’s disease.

The third Annual Murphy Creative Intersection Event will be led by assistant professor of dance, Ali Woerner. She will be instructing a Parkinson’s disease dance workshop on from 4-5 p.m and 6-8 p.m. on March 13. in 208 Oak View Hall.

Woerner’s workshop will be open for Honors College students and alumni, as well as any others who are interested.

She will be teaching with her assistant, Becky Kowalski, a sophomore dance major.

The workshop will include original dance exercises that Woerner teaches in her classes. After each exercise, she will explain the importance and reason for each. Woerner hopes the workshop will be “extremely upbeat.”

Her goal is to spread knowledge about Parkinson’s; Woerner wants to reach as many people as she can.

“There is always at least one person in the group who knows someone or is related to someone living with PD,” she said. “This is why these sessions and the workshops are so important. Knowledge is power, and the more people know about what is happening within PD, the more people we can reach and get moving and feeling joyful.”

Woerner wants to show that there is more to individuals than just their disease.

“No one ever thinks PD and dance should be in the same sentence, but those living with PD are so much more than their disease,” she said. “They are parents, grandparents, they were track stars in college or painters, they love to read or go to plays. They are people.”

She said the workshop gives hope and brings joy to those battling PD.

“The disease tries to take all of that [joy] from them, but the dancing brings them joy and a reconnection with themselves and their spouse,” she said.

Faculty fellow of the Honors College, Dr. Roberta Michel, said she thinks what Woerner is doing is important.

“I had heard about [Woerner’s] work, and I did not know a lot about her, but I thought this was great she was introducing dance to Parkinson patients,” she said.

A couple years ago, Michel read an article on OU’s website about Woerner’s teaching through the National Parkinson Foundation. Michel’s mother had passed away from Parkinson’s disease, and she became fascinated with Woerney’s work.

“This is her way of offering service into the community,” Michel said. “I am passionate about what we are communicating and supporting. I think her work is interesting, and it’s set really well with this idea of showcasing something new for the Murphy Event.”

Michel wanted Woerner to be the guest of this year’s Murphy Event. She said Parkinson’s is a debilitating disease, and Woerner’s past and present physical therapy has been an alternative therapy in the medical community.

“If you’re [people with Parkinson’s disease] giving up your sense of movement and all the things you had enjoyed about life, it [joy] gets slowly taken away,” Michel said. “The idea that you can even go to this dance program, the joy comes back and [is] reinfused.”

Michel thinks Woerner communicating to “another portion” of the OU community about her therapy is important because “we are all in position to encourage others to seek programs like this.”

5 Comments

5 Responses to “Dance workshop to bring joy for people with Parkinson’s disease”

  1. Bonnie on March 13th, 2017 2:35 am

    I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 37. My father had it, so I don’t know if it’s my luck or heredity. My first problem was fine motor skills, especially writing. After five years of waiting, I saw a neurologist who confirmed my fears. I was immediately started on Sinemet. All of this was 22 years ago. I will be 59 in a few days. I have had good luck with the Sinemet and other meds like Mirapex, but I was extremely tired of it. I have also noticed cognitive decline, but that is also related to a now-removed brain tumor.i had to look for an alternative treatment. I read in a health forum of a herbal clinic in Johannesburg who has a successful treatment to P.D, i immediately contacted the herbal clinic via their website www (dot) Healthherbalclinic (dot) weebly (dot) com and purchased the parkinson’s herbal formula. I received the parkinson’s herbal treatment via courier and immediately commenced usage, i only used the herbal remedy for 7 weeks all my symptoms were unbelievably reversed, i did another series of test i was confirmed free of parkinson’s. Visit www (dot) healthherbalclinic (dot) weebly (dot) com or email healthherbalclinic (at) gmail (dot) com

    [Reply]

  2. Bonnie on March 13th, 2017 2:35 am

    I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 37. My father had it, so I don’t know if it’s my luck or heredity. My first problem was fine motor skills, especially writing. After five years of waiting, I saw a neurologist who confirmed my fears. I was immediately started on Sinemet. All of this was 22 years ago. I will be 59 in a few days. I have had good luck with the Sinemet and other meds like Mirapex, but I was extremely tired of it. I have also noticed cognitive decline, but that is also related to a now-removed brain tumor.i had to look for an alternative treatment. I read in a health forum of a herbal clinic in Johannesburg who has a successful treatment to P.D, i immediately contacted the herbal clinic via their website www . Healthherbalclinic . weebly . com and purchased the parkinson’s herbal formula. I received the parkinson’s herbal treatment via courier and immediately commenced usage, i only used the herbal remedy for 7 weeks all my symptoms were unbelievably reversed, i did another series of test i was confirmed free of parkinson’s. Visit www . healthherbalclinic . weebly . com or email healthherbalclinic @ gmail . com

    [Reply]

  3. roland alvin on April 1st, 2017 11:40 am

    I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 3 year ago at the age of 69. For several months I had noticed tremors in my right hand and the shaking of my right foot when sitting, as the disease progressed i totally lost balance. Neurologist had me walk down the hall and said I didn’t swing my right arm. I had never noticed! I was in denial for a while as there is no history in my family. I used amantadine, Carbidopa/levodopa and physical therapy to strenghten muscles all failed. In 2016 a friend suggested HERBAL CLINIC LAB who have successful heral treatment for Parkinson’s disease, i contacted the heral clinic via their website and purchased the Parkinson’s disease herbal supplement, i used the herbs for 7 weeks and my symptoms were reveresed. Its been 6 months no sign of parkinson’s disease, contact this herbal clinic via their email(herbalcliniclab@ gmail. com)

    [Reply]

  4. Cheryl on April 1st, 2017 10:15 pm

    I am 56 year old who was diagnosed 4 years ago with Parkinson’s. I had severe calf pain, muscle pain, slurred speech, frequent falls, loss of balance, difficulty in getting up from sitting position, i was having a problem accepting my diagnosis, even though I read every thing I could find to read. I was put on Sinemet 3 times daily but it doesn’t seem to be helping. I also had difficulty writing now. Getting in bed, turning over. i have had good luck with the other meds like Mirapex, but I was extremely tired of it. I have also noticed cognitive decline, but that is also related to a now-removed brain tumor.As the disease progressed all medication stopped working, i was introduced to Health herbal clinic in Johannesburg who have successful herbal treatment to Parkinson’s and other lungs diseases. I spoke to few people who used the treatment here in USA and they all gave a positive response, so i immediately purchased the P.D herbal remedy and commenced usage, i used the herbal supplement for only 8 weeks, all symptoms were unbelievably reversed, herbs are truly gift from God. contact this herbal clinic via their email healthherbalclinic @ gmail. com or visit www. healthherbalclinic. weebly. com

    [Reply]

  5. Dorita Diego on April 12th, 2017 7:33 am

    YOU REALLY NEED TO SEE FOR YOURSELF
    As a sign of gratitude for how my husband was saved from Parkinson disease, i decided to reach out to those still suffering from this.
    My husband was diagnosed of Parkinson in 2014 and it was really tough and heartbreaking for me because he was all my and the symptoms were terrible, he always have Joint pain during walking and also having small handwriting , and he always complain of Weakness of the body . we tried various therapies prescribed by our neurologist but none could cure him. I searched for a cure and i saw a testimony by someone who was cured and so many other with similar problem, and he left the contact of the doctor who had the cure to Parkinson disease. I never imagined Parkinson has a natural cure not until i contacted him and he assured me that my husband will be fine. I got the herbal medication he recommended which i receive it through delivery service and it ship straight to the address given to him and my husband used it and in 3 weeks months he was fully okay even up till this moment he is so full of life. Parkinson has a cure and it is a herbal cure and please note that Parkinson disease has a cure by DOCTOR ABUMERE tho i dont know about other people,but i just wanna let you know that with this Africa herbs you have nothing to worry about in anyway,you can as well contact him on his email:(abumereherbalcentre @ gmail . com) www . abumereherbalcentre . simplesite . com

    [Reply]

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