Exercise and Support
HAPS exercise programs provides individuals with Parkinson's disease and related disorders with over 40 weekly water or land exercise, speech and music therapy sessions, under the supervision of licensed, physical, occupational, speech and neurological music therapists. We also offer yoga, tai chi, dance, singing, tango and non-contact boxing classes in 32 different Houston locations.
Communication is a critical part of everyday life. Studies show 50-89% of people diagnosed with Parkinson's experience speech and voice disorders as a result of the disease. HAPS speech classes offer a group setting which provides a supportive environment within which to practice and carry over communication skills.
Water exercise allows freedom of movement, which promotes improved range of motion and increased functional strength. It provides buoyancy and weightlessness, which creates an environment for fewer falls, less risk of injury and greater opportunity for muscles to relax, lengthen, reduce stiffness and build endurance.
Inspired by the research done at Washington University School of Medicine, which focused on the benefits of tango for individuals with Parkinson's disease, HAPS conducted its own pilot project with a weekly tango class in Fall 2008. The project was so successful that HAPS decided to bring back the tango class as an ongoing HAPS program.
Due to an overwhelming response to a Summer Lecture Series presentation on yoga in 2012, HAPS added its own yoga class in the Houston area. There are many benefits of practicing yoga in relation to Parkinson's disease, including possible improved respiratory functions, posture, muscle mobility, cognitive functions, mood and balance and movement. HAPS yoga classes focus on utilizing breathing techniques with controlled movements to help manage the symptoms of Parkinson's.
For more information on yoga for Parkinson's, call Angelica Rodriguez at 713-313-1652.
Tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and health benefits. It is a noncompetitive, self-paced system of gentle physical exercise and stretching connecting mind and body. Tai chi involves performing a series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner.
In addition to exercise and education, recreation and socialization are important components of full mind-body wellness. With its Parkinson Enrichment Program (PEP), HAPS aims to provide a unique social setting that encourages those with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease to join in a small group of their peers in various therapeutic programs and informational sessions, along with opportunities for fun and meaningful interactions over a period of five consecutive Fridays.
PEP meets quarterly with different agendas and participants at each session to provide enrichment and education throughout the year. Past sessions include tango, Wii, brain games, virtual travel, singing, yoga, group exercise, water coloring, photography and more.
HAPS provides support groups under the supervision of two licensed Master's level social workers designed to help individuals and their caregivers find peer support in dealing with the daily challenges of living with Parkinson's disease. If you or someone you know could benefit from a Parkinson's support group, contact the HAPS office and we will help you find a group appropriate to your needs.