I recently had the insight that there is a very strong link between learning how to use my hands again and my overall recovery from the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease. Indeed, The Out-Thinking Parkinson's methodology is based largely on the scientific proven concepts of Applied Neuroplasticity: by dedicated and persistent practice we can learn - or relearn - to do most things on automatic. The concept of Curiosity and Play is vital for the application of the method to Parkinson's Recovery. In this spirit, I had the intuition that I would be able to play with a pack cards even when I was quite "off" and by practicing manipulating the deck daily, this would significantly improve the dexterity of my hands and hence my overall recovery. I was right.
I find I can shuffle, deal, turn, tidy up, halve and gather the pack of cards. It can be quite stiff and difficult but this seems to be one of those things, like playing with my basketball, which allows me to almost always access some movement, this time for my fingers. Indeed, I find this is giving me more and more knowledge of my hands again.
Applied Neuroplasticity tells us that even if things are hard to start off with, it is worth persisting because, as the neural pathways are strengthened, things will eventually become easier. It also tells us that we need to keep learning new "tricks" for maximal benefit. So I have started learning how to shuffle ambidextrously too.
I recommend people with Parkinson's pick up a pack of cards are start playing with them persistently, re-learning old tricks and learning totally new ones too.