Category Archives: Nanaimo Parkinson Support Group

Dancing and Parkinson’s

Susan brought the following article from the Parkinson Post to my attention:

You should be dancing

Makes you want to start dancing again!

There is a Rhythm and Moves class that has been offered from time to time for Nanaimo area Parkies. There is no class at present because not enough people signed up but if enough interest materializes the instructors will reconsider the cancellation. If you are interested add a comment to this post or send us a message through the Contact page.




Our new drumming class appears to be a success. We had 22 drummers in the third week up from 12 in week one. One thing that makes the class interesting is that it is not just about drumming. There’s hand-clapping, knee-slapping, foot-stomping and even singing.

The song that Dave has been teaching us is called Fanga (though it is often pronounced and written ‘funga‘) and is worth saying more about.

Fanga is an African greeting song. In our version, each line is sung first by the instructor and then echoed back by everyone else. The lyrics that we learned are:

Fanga alafia, ashe ashe

Fanga alafia, ashe ashe

Ashe ashe

Ashe ashe

Fanga alafia, ashe ashe.

Note that ‘ashe’ is pronounced ‘a-shay’. The song Fanga was written by Babatunde Olatunji, a Nigerian born who spent much of his life introducing African music to America. The words are from the Yoruba language of Nigeria while the melody is taken from the American song ‘Li’l Liza Jane‘. See the Wikipedia link for Fanga song for more historical information.

But fanga is not just a song – it is also a rhythm and a dance. Here are some audio and video links for Fanga that are worth checking out:

Now if we could just get our dancers, drummers and singers together maybe we could put on quite a show.


Cognition, Memory & Yoga

Laura Frey, who runs the Nanaimo Yoga class for persons with PD, recently forwarded the following link to me: Cognition and Memory in Parkinson’s Disease and Yoga: An Interview with Richard Rosen.

Richard Rosen is a California Yoga teacher who has adapted his program as a result of his PD diagnosis. The interviewer starts by asking:

What has been your personal experience with how yoga can affect cognitive function and memory?

Richard’s answer begins:

As soon as you’re diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD), if you’re not already a yoga student, get yourself to a yoga class…

That’s pretty powerful. Read the whole interview – there’s lots more interesting insight and several links at the end of the interview for those wanting to dig deeper. And underneath the interview window is a whole new blog, Yoga for Healthy Aging, to explore.

Research on Dancing and Parkinson’s

On January 23, CBC had an interesting article on Dancing and it’s effects on people with Parkinson’s Disease. The article, Dancing with Parkinson’s research, is worth a read. If you’re interested in trying a little dancing, Symphony Neuro-Rehab will run a Dance with Parkinsons class if enough people sign up.


February 2017 Carepartners Workshop

A Carepartners Workshop is being held on Saturday, February 25, 2017 at the Burnaby Executive Suites at 4201 Lougheed Hwy in Burnaby. It runs from 10:00 am until 2:30 pm. Anyone wishing to travel same-day will have to catch the 06:30 am ferry out of Departure Bay in Nanaimo in order to arrive in time for registration which opens at 9:30.

Here is the link for registration details and to register (open the section on Regional Conferences and Seminars).

We’re looking into whether or not there will be special rates for workshop attendees who wish to spend the night at the hotel.

If anyone is interested in going and would like to carpool, leave a comment on this post or send us a message via the Contact Us Page and we will try to find you a ride or a rider.

Here is a Google Map showing the proposed route from the church where we hold monthly meetings to the Burnaby hotel.

Welcome to the Nanaimo Parkinson Support Group Web Site & Blog

We are proud to launch our website for the Nanaimo Parkinson Support Group (NPSG).

Until now, the group, which has existed for several years, has been communicating via email, phone and monthly meetings. One of our members, John Watt, has been tirelessly keeping the information flowing even as the support group membership has grown and the amount of information being distributed has increased.

At the October 18, 2016 Monthly Meeting a presentation was given of the highlights from the recent WPC 2016 conference that was held in Portland Oregon. A promise was made to make the presentation slides and other related information available after the meeting. Distributing the large files by email was not feasible and the idea of a website with links for downloading and viewing the files was the result.


We hope that you find the site useful and welcome your comments and suggestions about how to make the site better.

Kevin Hood

Nanaimo, BC

November 14, 2016