Boxing for Parkinson's disease

Posted at 8:19 AM, Jan 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-03 08:19:53-05

If you want a ringside seat to watch folks fight for their lives, you can spend a morning at Angie Moran's Rock Steady Boxing Class at Fyzical Fitness.

It isn't just any boxing class, every move in the class is calculated to throw a punch at Parkinson's Disease.

Fitness Instructor Angie Moran says Parkinson disease doesn't just affect the nervous system causing tremors in the body. 

"In Parkinson's disease everything becomes diminished, smaller movements, softer voice, everything folds in."

Moran says studies have shown Rock Steady Boxing helps stop the progression of the disease and bring out each person's personality a little more.

"It's big," Moran said. "Big movements, lots of fun. It makes everybody here lift their knees up a little higher, walk a little prouder, and just hold themselves better."

While boxing can't cure Parkinson's disease, Dr. Chris Mulvey says the sport is used as a form of treatment.

"This helps to improve trunk rotation and work on tremors through coordination and speed bags," Mulvey said. "As well as working on balance through footwork and drills."

The group work on drills focusing on mobility, agility, and speed to help people like Deb Tubergen sucker punch core issues of the disease.

"I don't think it will cure my Parkinson but I do think it will stop the progression," Tubergen said. "I feel like I have hope. Boxing is my life line."

A life line for some, but a reward for others.

"It has to be one of the most rewarding classes I've ever taught," Boxing class instructor, Angie Moran said. "It's just fabulous when someone comes up to me and says, 'Look, I'm turning in a circle without shuffling, I'm stepping in a circle now.' That is a big achievement when you have Parkinson's."