I first became aware of Jim Kennedy, a fellow traveler and Person with Parkinson's, through his sharing of information about how music is instrumental in diminishing the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease. I recommend anyone interested in Parkinson's Recovery to take a look at Jim's research and follow his journey of self-experimentation. You will find Jim to be very positive and upbeat - no doubt because he has chosen to fill his life with music. You can follow Jim's work via his Facebook Page:
Jim is also very supportive of my own investigations in to combining music and movement to assist in my Parkinson's Recovery. Indeed, when I released my latest video on the subject,
Jim sent me a very nice and informative letter, which he has agreed I could share here:
"Gary, your July 21 posting of your video on mirroring the music video really lit-up the online PD community! It always thrills me to hear of, or see a video a dramatic response such as yours to Neurologic Music Therapy, or NMT. From what I’ve read and communicated with knowledgeable people on this subject, what you did in your recorded session was self-administered NMT, with striking results!
I’ve seen video of similar instances on several other occasions in the past year. It never fails to make my jaw drop and a smile come to my face. There is a body of thought that the more severe the PWP’s symptoms, the more obvious the positive outcomes of NMT. I am a beneficiary of NMT, but my symptoms are comparatively mild and the results, although evident to me, are not as obvious to an onlooker.
I’ve previously mentioned to you Dr.Michael Thaut, probably the world’s leading researcher and clinical practitioner in the field of NMT. In subchapter 6.3 of Dr.Thaut’s book, “Rhythm, Music, and the Brain; Scientific Foundations and Clinical Applications,” NMT is defined as:
“NMT...the therapeutic application of music to cognitive, sensory, and motor dysfunctions due to neurologic disease of the human nervous system.”
It goes on to say:
“NMT is based on a neuroscience model of music perception and production, and the influence of music on functional changes in nonmusical brain and behavior functions…”
I highly recommend Dr. Thaut’s book to you if you wish to get further into the subject of NMT.
I sent Dr. Thaut your posting and he found it very interesting. He told me that should you wish to communicate with him directly or ask him a specific question, he would be happy to respond to you.
I have found the use of the term “NMT” to be helpful in communicating with Dr.Thaut, the allied professionals whom I work with on NMT, and other professionals and PWPs who are just becoming aware of NMT. It kind of keeps us on the same page, so to speak.
If I can help you further on this or any other subject, Gary, please don’t hesitate to ask….and…”Keep moving to the music!”
Jim, has also taken our ideas about using "YoYo Stress Balls" and has really ran with them [quite literally in one of his videos below!] combining this type of exercise with different choices of music and documenting the outcomes. I have included Jim's lovely vignettes on this subject here too.
Our booklet which Jim mentions is now available as a download, which you can find below if you would like further information on these ideas. We are very much looking forward to continuing the collaboration with Jim on NMT concepts.