John Argue’s program is different from most exercise programs because so much of it is aimed at developing a mental ability.
In Parkinson’s, previously automatic actions are no longer reliable, so you need to learn to move and speak consciously.
In his book John Argue points out that calisthenics, aerobics, and weightlifting are all important exercises if you wish to lose weight, put on muscle, keep in shape, or build stamina, but that they don’t focus on the central problem of Parkinson’s. He explains that the overall strategy for coping with whatever Parkinson’s symptoms come along is to develop an artful way of moving and speaking.
An artful action is one that is graceful, mindful, and complete. Participants practice ways to bring these qualities to everyday tasks such as walking, turning, sitting down, standing up, and reaching.
“The John Argue Method is an ARTFUL approach to movement for people with PD that theoretically addresses the underlying motor control deficits associated with PD. Through his background in acting, yoga, and Tai Chi, John Argue has developed an approach that naturally (1) improves body awareness (GRACEFULNESS), (2) increases conscious effort (MINDFULNESS), and (3) eliminates dual tasks (COMPLETENESS). In addition, his use of humor and emotion illustrate the interactive role of the basal ganglia in motor, cognitive, and motivational systems. In Argue’s “Dance with the Dragon”, art and science unite. “
Becky G. Farley, PhD, PT
Dept. Physiology, Univ. of Arizona
John Argue’s book Parkinson’s Disease & the Art of Moving contains a detailed presentation of The John Argue Method. People with PD will find a comprehensive exercise program. There are also numerous helpful suggestions for dealing with specific problems like falling, freezing, or turning. The book can be found or ordered at most local or online bookstores. [LINK]
The Video Companion to the book was released in summer 2003 and can be ordered here.