Dr. Valerie Johnson’s Favorite Resources for PD

Here are some of my favorite resources for Parkinson’s disease. Check it out and keep it handy for when you are looking for new ideas to optimize your life with PD. Add any of your favorite PD resources in the comments!

Special thanks to Susie Baxter for collaborating with me on this list!

Find A PD Professional

Balance Therapy LLC with Dr. Valerie Johnson, PT, DPT www.balancetherapytoday.com

LSVT BIG Physical and Occupational Therapy– LSVT BIG trains people with Parkinson disease (PD) to use their body and move more normally.https://www.lsvtglobal.com/LSVTFindClinicians

LSVT LOUD Speech and Swallowing Therapy– LSVT LOUD trains people with PD to use their voice at a more normal loudness level while speaking at home, work, or in the community. Key to the treatment is helping people “recalibrate” their perceptions so they know how loud or soft they sound to other people and can feel comfortable using a stronger voice at a normal loudness level. https://www.lsvtglobal.com/LSVTFindClinicians

Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery- physical therapy and exercise professionals.

PWR!4Life is a proactive program that allows you to optimize your brain change (neuroplasticity), brain repair, and increase your desire to participate in everyday LIFE. Therefore, it should start at diagnosis and continue “4 Life”!  With early intervention and ongoing programming, you can GET BETTER and STAY BETTER. But better yet, your efforts may trigger positive brain changes (neuroplasticity) that are disease modifying and thereby, contribute to slowing the disease progression. https://www.pwr4life.org/professional-directory/

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Specialist– If you are having trouble with low back pain and/or constipation it may be worth getting an evaluation from a women’s and men’s health physical therapist. They are the experts in the structure and function of the pelvis. Provider directory: https://ptl.womenshealthapta.org/#s=1

Parkinson’s Voice Project- PVP and it’s affiliates offer therapy, community voice and singing classes, events, and education. 90% of people with Parkinson’s are at risk of developing a weak voice that can lead to serious speech and swallowing difficulties. Parkinson Voice Project’s speech therapy program addresses these issues. PVP also has online educational webinars covering various PD topics from experts around the globe. www.parkinsonsvoiceproject.org

Seattle Integrative Health with Laurie Mischley, ND, PhD

Seattle Integrative Medicine is a private integrated health clinic located just west of Northgate in Seattle, Washington. We offer whole person care and consultations for people with acute and chronic illnesses as well as help individuals take an active role in prevention. www.seattleintegrativemedicine.com


Bent: How Yoga Saved my Ass by Anne Clendening

Every Victory Counts by the Davis Phinney Foundation- Essential Information and inspiration for a Lifetime of Wellness with Parkinson’s Disease

Make time to Heal by Bianca Molle’ M.E.d

No Excuses: My Life with Parkinson’s Disease by Dusty Berry

Optimal Health with Parkinson’s Disease A guide to Integrating Lifestyle, Alternative and Conventional Medicine

The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman’s Remarkable Journey with Parkinson’s Disease by Carol Clupny

Facebook Groups

Balance Crowd with Valerie Johnson, PT, DPT from Balance Therapy LLC

Invigorated Community with Sarah King, PT, DPT from Invigorate Physical Therapy and Wellness

Mark Burek FB page and founder of Hope Soars Non-profit

Parkinson’s Women: Offers moral support, encouragement and camaraderie for women who are Parkinson’s Disease patients.

The intent of the site and Facebook page is not to prescribe medical advice about the diagnosis, treatment, or other medical aspects of PD but to provide support and encouragement for women living with this condition. I hope that the research and information noted in this blog will help you with your understanding and management of the disease.

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/parkinsonswomensupport/

Website: www.Parkinsonswomen.com

Start Living Today PD with Heidi Reynolds

Strongher Together: Women fighting Parkinson’s

YOPD Forums-Parkinson’s Support Group

Online Exercise Programs (Cognitive and Physical)

Theracycle- Motor-Assisted Theracycle© Forced-Exercise Bike for Parkinson’s Sufferers. Reduces Rigidity, Tremors & Falls. Improves Balance, Rigidity, Tremor, Strength, Mood & Sleep. www.theracycle.com

Peloton- Live and on-demand Stream Cycling, Running, Bootcamp & Other Workouts Daily. www.onepeloton.com 

PD Warrior-Youtube and online membership coaching and exercises. Finding PD Warrior may be your chance to improve your situation, to move better, think better, look better, build your confidence. https://pdwarrior.com/

Dance for PD- In Dance for PD® classes, participants are empowered to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative. There is an online memberships available for streaming classes. https://danceforparkinsons.org/

Dance Dance Revolution- The premise of Dance Dance Revolution is to move one’s feet to a set pattern. The song selection interface of Dance DanceRevolution is a jukebox-like menu of CDs. Players must step to the beat, matching their beat to the arrows presented to them on screen by stepping on arrows on a dance stage.You may need to search and watch a youtube video to understand how to do this.

Invigorate Physical Therapy and Wellness- 5 week online PD booster program to restore balance, strength, stamina, and self-confidence. https://www.invigoratept.com/

Neurotracker-  a cognitive training program that is designed to improve mental performance. Brain scans reveal that NeuroTracker training sustainably increases brainwave speeds, associated with heightened alertness and learning capacity. Peer reviewed research shows that NeuroTracker training significantly enhances attention, executive function, working memory and processing speed.

Nintendo Wii Fit- Contains more than 40 activities designed to engage the player in physical exercise, which consist of yoga poses, strength training, aerobics, and balance games. Most activities generally focus on maintaining COB and improving posture.

Smovey Vibroswing System- “Smovey Rings” are a general health and wellness tool that combine exercise and vibration, which have particular beneficial applications for Parkinson’s disease. https://www.smoveynorthamerica.com/

Yoga Anytime- An online membership of unlimited yoga classes to start, inspire, & support your home practice. Discover the benefits of a regular yoga practice with the help of our yoga shows and guided meditations. New classes are added weekly. Streaming available on all devices. www.yogaanytime.com

Community Exercise Programs

Dance for PD- Find onsite affiliate classes near you. Dance for PD offers internationally-acclaimed dance classes for people with Parkinson’s disease in Brooklyn, New York and, through their network of partners and associates, in more than 250 other communities in 25 countries. http://danceforparkinsons.org/find-a-class/class-locations

Peddling for Parkinson’s- Participants will ride on a solo stationary bike three times a week. Each one-hour exercise session consists of a 10-minute warm-up, up to a 40-minute main exercise set, and a 10-minute cooldown. Rest breaks will be taken as needed. Check with your local YMCA. https://www.pedalingforparkinsons.org/

Rock Steady Boxing- Non-contact boxing to lessen their symptoms and lead a healthier and happier life. Find a class near you. www.rocksteadyboxing.org

Smart Phone APPS for Cognition, Exercise Classes, and Exergaming

Brain HQ- brain exercises to build your cognitive resilience. 15+ years scientific proof. 40+ Research studies. 100+ peer-reviewed papers. Real-world benefits. Independently validated. Courses: Memory, Attention, Brain Speed, Intelligence, People Skills, Navigation.

PD Warrior- The PD Warrior App is your personal Parkinson’s coach! Challenge your body and mind with this Parkinson’s specific exercise program.

Clock Yourself- Can you think on your feet? CLOCK YOURSELF = Physical Exercise + Cognitive Exercise is great for practicing reactive steps, weight shifts and direction changes.

Peloton- Feel the rush of instructor-led studio classes anytime, anywhere on the Peloton app. You can expect a mix of running, bootcamp, yoga, strength, cycling, and outdoor workouts available at a tap.

Insight Timer- Guided meditations

Calm- guided meditations

Headspace- guided meditations

Wordscapes- cognitive training and practice

Soundbrenner Metronome App- may be used as auditory rhythmic cues for movement and speech

Soundbrenner Pulse Wearable Metronome- Wearable, smart, and powered by vibrations to help develop an inner sense of rhythm speed and accuracy.

Mindbody App- Find and book the best fitness and wellness in your community, and around the world. Yoga, massage, group fitness, barre and more. Find the experiences that you love, and book them instantly on the MINDBODY app.

Zombies, Run! is an immersive running game app in which gamers are tasked with surviving a zombie apocalypse. As gamers jog in real life, they can listen to scary story lines and sound effects of zombies chasing them. In fact, gamers have to speed up whenever a zombie is on their heels. The farther you run, the more supplies you collect to survive. It’s a great outlet for interval training.

Geocoaching- is an outdoor game app in which people use an app or a GPS device to discover hidden containers around the world. Yes, real containers, and some of them even contain small trinkets for trade. It’s likened to a real-life treasure hunt.

SpecTrek is an augmented reality ghost-hunting game in which users must walk or run to various locations to find virtual ghosts and “catch” them on their phone’s camera.

BallStrike- users have to punch or kick a series of balls that appear all around them in their phones’ or tablets’ rear-facing cameras. The idea is for the user to twist and turn to hit each ball, making the ball explode.

The Walk– which was developed by the same team that created Zombies, Run!, the gamer must carry a package that could save the world to a mysterious destination. As the player walks during the day, they get closer and get closer to the destination, while also unlocking immersive audio story clips along the way. The game takes three months to complete, which might be long enough to develop a new fitness habit.

Superhero Workout- was developed by the same creators of Zombies, Run! and The Walk. In the game, the user becomes the pilot of a battle suit tasked with defending the world against alien forces. The game requires the user to complete real-world exercises, from abdominal crunches to arm punches, to defeat the aliens. The app uses motion detection to track the user’s progress.

Jump, Jump Froggy- The game app requires users to physically jump around to help a frog collect flies buzzing around its head to eat.


Michael J. Fox Foundation: Help find a Parkinson’s cure. Give to Parkinson’s research to speed critical breakthroughs. www.michaeljfox.org

Parkinson’s Voice Project: https://www.parkinsonvoiceproject.org

Parkinson’s Foundation- https://www.parkinson.org

Specialties for a complementary healthcare team

Movement Disorder SpecialistNeurologist specializing in movement disorders

Neuro-psychiatrist A psychiatrist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders affecting the brain which cause behavioral, psychological and psychiatric symptoms. The neuropsychiatrist generally completes a 4-year residency in psychiatry and then a one-year fellowship in neuropsychiatry.

Neuro-psychologist a psychologist who specializes in understanding the relationship between the physical brain and behavior. The brain is complex. Disorders within the brain and nervous system can alter behavior and cognitive function.

Neuro-opthomologist Specialty dealing with portions of the nervous system that pertain to the eye and/ or visual system.

Neuro-optometrist Neuro-optometric services are provided to individuals who have vision related problems associated with neurological disease, trauma, metabolic or congenital conditions. When the visual system is disturbed neurologically, it can adversely affect activities of daily living for both children and adults.

Physical Therapist- Big Therapy and PWR!Moves Therapy for PD

Occupational Therapist- Big Therapy and PWR!Moves Therapy for PD

Speech Therapist- LSVT LOUD and Speak Out

Chiropractic care- Performed by a practitioner of the system of integrative medicine based on the diagnosis and manipulative treatment of misalignments of the joints.

Sexologistsexologist is a person who studies sexual relationships and gives advice or makes reports. You can find a practitioner near you at www.psychologytoday.com

Marriage and Family Therapy Couples therapy is a type of psychotherapy in which a therapist with clinical experience working with couples, most often a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), helps two people involved in a romantic relationship gain insight into their relationship, resolve conflict and improve relationship satisfaction 

Nutritionist- A person who studies or is an expert in nutrition.

Posted on: October 21st, 2019

This post was written by Valerie Johnson

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