Parkinson's Podcast - Matt Zepelin

By Matt Zepelin - Recover Mobility

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Welcome to the Mindful Movement for Parkinson's podcast and audio library. Using the Feldenkrais Method® of movement education, as well as mindfulness techniques such as body scans and guided meditations, Matt Zepelin offers mindful movement lessons designed to help people with Parkinson's Disease increase ease of movement, improve range of movement, and develop skills for the betterment of quality of life.

Episode Date
Mindful Movement for Parkinson's - A Podcast and Audio Library

Welcome to the Mindful Movement for Parkinson's podcast and audio library. In this podcast, I offer mindful movement lessons designed to help people with Parkinson's Disease increase ease of movement, improve range of movement, and develop skills for the betterment of quality of life. The lessons are based on the Feldenkrais Method® of movement education, as well as mindfulness techniques such as body scans and guided meditations.

Many of the installments are recorded directly for the podcast, while others are recorded during live sessions (this is why you may occasionally hear me addressing someone during a recording.)


May 27, 2017
Introduction to the Podcast and Audio Library
This is an introduction to the Mindful Movement for Parkinson's Podcast and Audio Library. It introduces some of the concepts underpinning mindful movement and reasons why it is an effective practice, as well as information about myself and how to use the audio library.
May 26, 2017
Guidelines for Mindful Movement Lessons
In this thirteen-minute installment of the podcast, I give guidelines for doing the mindful movement lessons in a safe and effective manner, including positions and props, addressing issues like tremor and dystonia, and where to direct your attention throughout a lesson. If you are familiar with guidelines from the Feldenkrais Method, you might skip this introduction. Otherwise, please take the time to listen to this so as to maximize the benefit of these lessons.
May 25, 2017
Brief Guided Meditations
A brief guided meditation - awareness of breath and sensations.
Apr 19, 2017
Working with the Eyes
In this 36-minute lesson, we explore soothing the visual cortex (a great sleep-aid), and differentiating the use of the muscles that control eye movement - a great way to lower muscle tone in the neck and elsewhere in the body.
Jun 24, 2016
Interview with Dr. Chris Hageseth
A 38 minutes episode with Dr. Chris Hageseth of Ft. Collins, Colorado, discussing topics in the holistic treatment of Parkinson's disease. Discussion topics include: Dr. Hageseth's use of yoga and intensive exercise to treat his PD, the experience of his PD support group using marijuana for PD symptoms (mostly unsuccessful), the role of meditation and mindfulness for people with PD, reinterpreting PD as a challenge instead of a curse.
Jun 24, 2016
Balance - A Four-Part Series
In this 55-minute lesson, we explore one of the fundamentals of human movement: crawling. After building awareness of the main factors in balance: contact with support surfaces, body position, and gravity, we slowly build up the movements that compose crawling.
Mar 30, 2016
Resting Deeply Quickly
A 25-minute guided meditation focusing on mental rest through awareness of the present moment.
Jan 20, 2016
Feldenkrais for PD Study Results
PALM SPRINGS, California — An exercise program based on the Feldenkrais Method can improve the mood and quality of life among people with Parkinson's disease, a new study shows. By damaging neurologic functioning, Parkinson's disease often diminishes quality of life and leads to depression.  "The Feldenkrais Method uses easy movement and breath control and flexibility and balance to facilitate more control in the whole body," said first author Lavinia Teixeira-Machado, PT, PhD, from the Education in Health Department, Federal University of Sergipe in Sergipe, Brazil. "I use it in cerebral palsy, autism, and Down syndrome." "We reduced the isolation," said Dr Teixeira-Machado told Medscape Medical News. "It's very interesting." She presented the finding here at the American Pain Society (APS) 34th Annual Scientific Meeting. 
Oct 09, 2015
Workshop - October 25th, 2015 in Denver, Colorado

Below are links to four audio recordings, comprising a complete three-hour workshop on "Mindful Movement for Parkinson's" done at "A Living Arts Centre" in Denver, Colorado on October 25th, 2015.

The recordings are given in the order in which we did them, starting with the "Opening meditation" and ending with the "Mindfulness body scan."

The lessons build on each other thematically, and you may hear me make reference to a prior lesson from time to time, but they are also intended to stand alone.

Apologies for occasional microphone static - I was using a new microphone and didn't realize how much sound it would pick up from my clothing!

Oct 08, 2015
Interview with Dr. Paul Zeiger
In this 33-minute podcast, I interview Dr. Paul Zeiger - retired professor of engineering, pioneer of yoga for Parkinson's, and avid exerciser at the age of 79. Topics in the interview include: Dr. Zeiger's personal experience being diagnosed with Parkinson's 10 years ago, the use of yoga practice to address symptoms of the disease, teaching yoga for Parkinson's to others, the way the Parkinson's treatment picture has evolved in the past decade, mutual support for Parkinson's patients and their care partners, and Dr. Zeiger's personal walking and exercise regimen today. For more information, please see the website created by Dr. Zeiger and his wife, Dr. Carolyn Allen Zeiger:
Sep 15, 2015
Meditating with Compassion
In this 13-minute meditation, we use breath and posture to settle in the body, then explore the embodied feeling of compassion or connectedness to others and to ourselves.
Sep 02, 2015
Cardinal Spinal Movements
In this 33-minute episode done sitting in a chair, we explore the four cardinal moves of the spine: folding (flexion), arching (extension), side bending, and rotation. These fundamental spinal movements are the basis on which all of our movement is built - standing up, walking, lifting, turning, and so forth. Clarifying the cardinal spinal movements is a great way to make all the movements of daily life easier and more enjoyable.
Sep 02, 2015
The Spinal Chain
Can you sense all 24 of your vertebrae? How much range of movement might you gain if you could? In this classic 20-minute lesson, we explore mobility of the spine, pelvis, and hip joints - essential areas for balance and strength. The lesson is done lying on the back.
Aug 06, 2015
Interview with Dr. Benzi Kluger
In this episode of the podcast, I interview Dr. Benzi Kluger - neurologist, Parkinson's researcher, Director of the Movement Disorders Center at the University of Colorado Hospital, and all-around great guy! Topics include: Dr. Kluger's background working with Parkinson's, advice for people newly diagnosed with the disease, information about the Movement Disorders Center, discussion of the new Palliative Care Clinic for Parkinson's that Dr. Kluger is running (as well as palliative care for Parkinson's more generally), and Dr. Kluger's thoughts on mindfulness as it relates to Parkinson's treatment - for those with the disease, as well as caregivers and health professionals.
Jul 20, 2015
Spinal Rotation
In this 38-minute lesson, done lying on each side and on the back, we explore spinal rotation - the ability of the vertebrae to rotate or twist. We also look at how deep breathing - which involves muscles related both to breathing and spinal posture - can increase the ease and range of spinal rotation. The lesson ends with some walking, exploring how healthy spinal rotation can become a conscious part of walking and swinging the arms.
Jul 13, 2015
Mobility of the Shoulder Blades
In this 40-minute lesson done lying on the back, we explore the range of movements available to the shoulder blades. With gentle movement, we try to "unglue" the musculature that binds the shoulder blades into a fixed position in relation to the spine on so many people, thus hindering movements like reaching, carrying objects, and turning the steering wheel of a car.
Jul 07, 2015
A 30-Minute Guided Meditation
In this guided meditation, we focus on attention to breathing in the present moment - in the low belly, around the solar plexus, and in the upper chest, ultimately seeking spaciousness from the pelvic floor through the crown of the head. We also look at ways of approaching thoughts and sensations - including pain - during meditation. This meditation was taught to people sitting in chairs, but it can also be done sitting on a cushion on the floor.
Jun 30, 2015
Sit to Stand
In this 47-minute lesson, we study a movement done many times a day in everyday life - going from sitting in a chair to standing, and vice-versa. By clarifying the biomechanics and skeletal anatomy of the movement, we learn how to come up from sitting in a balanced and easy way. This lesson requires a chair, preferably one that is flat or at least does not incline backward. You'll need to be able to sit toward the edge of the chair. If your knees are higher than or equal in level to your hips, put a cushion or two on the chair to get your hips higher than your knees. Lastly, for an excellent video demonstration of this lesson, see:
Jun 24, 2015
Crawling #1
This 35-minute lesson begins in walking, then is done mostly lying on the front, with intervals on the back. By slowly recreating the movements involved in crawling, we can reactivate old neural patterns, awaken the hips and ribcage, and find greater flexibility in the spine and neck. Not to mention - it's a lot of fun!
May 19, 2015
Balance #1: Hands, Feet, and Hips
In this 43-minute lesson done lying on the back, we develop the self-image of the feet, seeking a sense of width from spreading the toes and visualizing width in the sole of the foot. By refining our awareness of the bony structure of the hands, the structure of the foot becomes a bit clearer. After simulating walking while lying on the back, we come up to test out the sense of wide feet in walking.
May 12, 2015
Balance #2, Safe and Dynamic Walking - Developing Awareness of Weight Shift and Soles of the Feet
In this forty-three minute lesson, we explore balance in walking through awareness of the soles of the feet and the availability of the ankles, knees, and hip joints to adjust in movement. The lesson is mostly done standing and walking, with interludes sitting in a chair. The ideal set-up for this lesson is a chair (with a back), and enough space to walk around or back and forth in the room.
May 06, 2015
A Limber Spine - Sitting in a Chair
A ten-minute lesson exploring spinal movement while sitting in a chair.
Apr 28, 2015
Exploring the Breath
In this twelve-minute lesson, we practice deep breathing in the low belly, the solar plexus, and the upper reaches of the lungs. A very effective, brief exercise to get more oxygen in your system, calm the nervous system, and deepen your awareness of the breath.
Apr 21, 2015
Parkinson's Disease and Meditation - What is the connection? What are the benefits?
This is a ten-minute explanation of why meditation can be beneficial for people with Parkinson's Disease. In it, I look at broadly recognized benefits of a regular meditation practice, as well as those of particular concern to people with movement disorders like PD. I also address the issue of tremors or other symptoms of PD that might occur during meditation.
Apr 14, 2015
A Mindfulness Body Scan
In this approximately 20-minute long body scan, we lie on the floor and use attention to breath, body, and sensation
Apr 07, 2015
Awareness of Breath and Spine Length
In this 18-minute guided meditation, we develop a non-interfering, present state of mind, we explore awareness of the breath in different parts of the body, and we use the breath to lengthen the spine.
Mar 31, 2015
A Brief Guided Meditation
This is a ten-minute guided meditation, focusing on expanding the breath, deepening body awareness, and resting attention on the present moment.
Mar 24, 2015