What’s Dopamine Got to Do with 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. But while a tremor may be the most well-known sign of Parkinson’s disease, the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement. *

In many ways, Parkinson’s patients are no different than anyone else. They may tend to be more stiff, less flexible and have more balance issues. Less movement leads to loss of health and function.

So what’s the solution? Exercise is THE best medicine. Like a tune up for your car, exercise helps our joints, muscles and bones perform better.  Exercise leads to an increase in the body’s dopamine, a neurotransmitter super power that helps us move and feel better. Dopamine increases positive emotions like pleasure, excitement and enthusiasm. It also improves attention, mood, memory, learning, and sleep quality.

Dopamine helps get your competitive juices flowing and gives you the extra oomph – what we like to call your BRIO.  Any type of exercise, either physically or mentally challenging, helps stimulate dopamine production.

10 New Ways to Stimulate Dopamine

  • Take a cooking class or teach a grandchild to cook.
  • Enroll in a dance or boxing class, specific for Parkinson’s.
  • Play music so loud it wakes us the neighbors.
  • Go for walks in the fresh air.
  • Do yoga, breathing exercises or meditation.
  • Soak up some warm sun.
  • Take up photography or painting.
  • Get a massage.
  • Sing along with your favorite music LOUDLY!
  • Start a stamp collection.

It doesn’t matter what you do to stimulate dopamine, just do something.  Life is short so make it a journey worth living.

Model example of “Living with Parkinsons”

Baudry Therapy Center client Sandra Wright lives with Parkinson’s. We chose the word “lives with” instead of “suffers from” because Sandra is making the most of her condition.  She is living life! Sandra learned firsthand what dopamine has to do with Parkinson’s when she went skating for the first time in decades.  Read how Sandra checked off an item on her bucket list while doing something positive for her health >>>

Learn More About LSVT / BIG program for Parkinson’s Disease

Be an advocate for your own health and your loved ones!  If you or someone you know is living with Parkinson’s and would like to get more out of life – find their BRIO again – contact us today to learn more about the LSVT/ BIG program  at Baudry Therapy Center.

*(Source: Mayo Clinic)

10 Ways to Create Good Luck in Your Life

Creating Good Luck Helps Achieve Goals

Do you believe in luck? Did you know that 7 out of 10 people think they are lucky? What is good luck anyway and how can it help you achieve your goals? 

Rich Baudry recently spoke to the Big Easy /Fleur de lis Parkinson’s group and explained how luck can help Parkinson’s patients cope with the uncertainty in their lives and help them conquer the challenges of their disease.



Luck is the belief in a hope of something good happening. Luck is beating the odds. It is a combination of attitude and expectation.


Good Luck Helps Parkinson’s Patients

“When a Parkinson’s patient has hope, they are more optimistic and less likely to worry. Hope helps them focus on their goals and motivates them to do the necessary work to achieve those goals,” said Rich.

Everyone, especially Parkinson’s patients, can create their own “luck” through their thoughts and emotions. You can decide to focus on your greatest hopes or your greatest fears. The one you spend more time focusing on is the one that will most likely prevail. “Lucky” people  focus on their hopes and dreams, not on fears and worries. 

10 ways to create good luck in your life:

1) Stop worry in its tracks. Studies have shown that 90% of the things we worry about don’t happen and the other 10% we have no control over. Focus on the positive and stop worrying about things you can’t control.

2) Carpe diem – seize the day. Face your biggest challenges head on. Don’t let self doubt, fear, self-pity, anxiety, depression or anything else stop you! Win the day today! 

3) Find your purpose. Everyone has gifts and talents. Find yours and share it with others. It could be as simple as making someone smile.

4) Use power postures/ body language. Two minutes of power posture will reduce cortisol levels (hormone that reduces stress) and increase testosterone (hormone that increases self-esteem, confidence, health, bone density).

5)  Connect with friends and family. Spend time and engage with your loved ones. Take your kids or grandkids to the park. Ask them to exercise with you.  

6) Surround yourself with good people.  Have the right people on your team: family, friends, doctors, therapists, trainers, etc. Find the most positive people you know and hang out with them often. Connect with those who make you smile daily! 

7) Add music to your life. Music makes you smile and improves your rhythm, coordination, and quality of movement. Do a little dancing and tap your feet.

8) Stimulate your brain. If you are a Parkinson’s patient, make sure to take your medicine regularly. Read a good book or do a puzzle. Find ways to challenge yourself mentally.

9) Exercise daily! It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise it is as long as it makes you feel alive. If you don’t enjoy it, you will not keep it up.

10)  Have hope, faith, and love in your life. And live “lucky” every day! 


Do you or a loved one suffer from Parkinson’s Disease?

One of the best things someone with Parkinson’s disease can do is exercise. Baudry Therapy Center therapists provide smart exercise designed specifically to help regain strength, balance, coordination, and your life back. Our LSVT BIG program is a well-researched, structured program which restores the quality of life for those affected by Parkinson’s Disease. Appropriate for any functional level – this program can change your life! We work with each individual to design an approach that meets his/her specific needs. There’s no time like the present. Take control of your situation and maximize your physical ability. Contact Baudry Therapy Center today!

Source: CBS This Morning Show: How to Get Lucky