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WELLNESS WORKS Program and Support Groups

Back to Parkinson's Disease Center homepage 

The Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center is proud to be on the leading edge not only in diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson's and similar illnesses, but in the study of new ways to help patients manage their disease.

Some research suggests that many patients with movement disorders benefit greatly from practicing what is so difficult for them — movement. Over the past five years, we have developed specialized classes with instructors trained in the needs of PD to bring high-level exercise programs to both patients and their partners.

We have piloted a number of modified fitness programs to help keep our patients active and lead a healthy lifestyle, including:

While it is still unclear to what extent these activities impact patients, there is evidence they can stabilize the effects of the disease, slowing the degree to which everyday movement becomes difficult.

Current Programs

Daytime Tai Chi

Our Tai Chi program teaches traditional, gentle movements and mind-body exercises. The instructor teaches many specific movements focused on improving Parkinson's disease symptoms. Participants must be able to stand for the entire 60 minute class.

When: Mondays: 10:50 - 11:50 AM, January 22nd to March 19th at the Tanger BeWell Center, Lower Lobby of the BIDMC Shapiro Center.

Contact Information: Space is limited & registration is required. Please contact Jamasb Sayadi at sayadi@bidmc.harvard.edu.

Learn the Ropes

Join us for an orientation session to learn about the broad range of services and programs offered through BIDMC’s PD Center of Excellence. Open to patients and care-partners new to our center as well as anyone else interested in learning more. Sessions are run by Lissa Kapust, LICSW, our Social Work Coordinator and Wellness Works Program Coordinator.

When/Where: Thursday, March 8th from 4 - 5:30 PM, Kirstein Living Room, BIDMC East Campus.

Cost: Free of charge, but registration is required. Contact Jamasb Sayadi at jsayadi@bidmc.harvard.edu.

Evening Tai Chi 

Our Tai Chi program teaches traditional, gentle movements and mind-body exercises. The instructor teaches many specific movements focused on improving Parkinson's disease symptoms. Participants must be able to stand for the entire 60 minute class.

When: Tuesdays: 7:00 - 8:00 p.m., Sep. 26th to Dec. 12th, 2017

Space is limited & registration is required. Please contact the Osher Clinical Center at 617-732-9700.

Rock Steady Boxing

For more information about the Newton classes as well as other RSB programs in the Boston area, please contact Jamasb Sayadi at jsayadi@bidmc.harvard.edu and view our Rock Steady Boxing page.

PD Boot Camp

Spring into fitness with our newest Wellness Works program! This class will focus on the four components of fitness: cardio, strength, flexibility and balance. Exercises will specifically be designed to gradually improve your overall fitness level and improve the symptoms of PD. Each participant can go at their own pace and modifications will be offered for each exercise. The program will be hosted by Josie Gardiner, who has been an outstanding instructor with the Wellness Works program for many years.

Winter Dates: Wednesdays, Nov. 29th - Feb. 20th, 2018 from 2:15 - 3:15 PM, Tanger BeWell Center, Lower Lobby of BIDMC Shapiro Center.

PD Golf: Putting and Driving

This three-session series of classes offers individualized attention for golfers with Parkinson’s and an opportunity to improve basic golf strokes and get out on the course.

When/Where: Fall 2018

Cost: $75/3 weekly classes

Yoga

Our yoga classes are taught by a certified Yoga Instructor with special training in PD. There are many benefits of yoga, which include a balanced relationship between body and mind and increased vitality, positivity, and peace. This Hatha yoga class can improve balance, strength, and flexibility. All levels of Yoga experience are welcome.

When: Wednesdays from 10:30 - 11:45 AM, February 7th - May 16th at the Tanger BeWell Center, Lower Lobby of the BIDMC Shapiro Center.

Additional BIDMC Programs

Other PD programs offered at BIDMC include:

  • Women's Coffee and Conversation
  • Early Onset Conversation

Other Programs

Edmund J. Safra National Parkinson’s Wellness Initiative

The JCC and the Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center are teaming up to provide these programs to the community. The offerings are part of the Edmond J. Safra National Parkinson’s Wellness Initiative, launched to improve the lives of people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Learn more at BostonJCC.org »

Watch a video about this collaborative effort >>

Support Groups

American Parkinson Disease Association

The Massachusetts Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDAMA) offers comprehensive listings of local support groups and resources as well as related events taking place across the state.

Visit the APDAMA website »

Contact Information

Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders
Department of Neurology
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue, Boston MA 02215
Information: 617-667-9885
Appointments: 617-667-0519

Donate to the Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorder Center

Help maintain our center's excellence in quality care, research and patient education by supporting our center.


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Benefits of Dance

Dr. Daniel Tarsy, Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and past Director of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center at BIDMC, was quoted in a recent Harvard Gazette article, "Strength in movement: Researchers see potential role for dance in treating neurodegenerative disorders"

Rock Steady Boxing on ABC

Our Rock Steady Boxing program has been featured on ABC News