Boxing gives Parkinson’s patients relief

Parkinson’s disease came into John Thurmond’s life earlier than it usually appears.

An auto mechanic, he stayed on the job until the shaking of his hands caused him to break an expensive part he was installing. “I was 52. It cost me my career,” Thurmond said.

Today, Thurmond is fighting to retain as much control of his body and the disease as he can. He and a growing number of Parkinson’s patients are wrapping their hands and donning boxing gloves in 9Rounds Fitness, a Granbury gym. Boxer-based training routines are increasingly being recognized as a way to slow the progression of Parkinson’s symptoms.

The Parkinson’s fighters repeatedly said they knew boxing was not a cure for the disease. It is just a tool to help strengthen their bodies, slow the progression and give them a place where they can take their mind off the struggles and focus on what they could do.

HITTING BACK: John Thurmond takes a swing at a punching bag in the 9Rounds gym where he and others with Parkinson’s disease are using boxing to improve their quality of life.

Other resources

The Parkinson’s Support Group meets from 12:30   to 3 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at Lakestone Terrace. The address is 916 E. Hwy. 377. The meetings are a place to share ideas for dealing with the struggles associated with living with Parkinson’s  and information on new treatments. For questions, call Annette Bush at 817-430-3555 for more information.


What is Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It develops gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand.

In the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, your face may show little or no expression, or your arms may not swing when you walk. Your speech may become soft or slurred.

Although Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured, medications may markedly improve your symptoms.

Source: Mayo Clinic