Learn about Linda

Linda has been a licensed massage therapist for 40 years.  She was the Director of the CT Center for Massage Therapy for 20 years, retiring recently to return to her roots and the work that she loves; her massage therapy practice and teaching yoga.  She has also been practicing yoga for 50 years. She was certified by the American Canoe Association as a Stand-up Paddleboard (SUP) instructor in 2014 and became a Yoga Alliance certified instructor in 2015.  She runs the SUP Yoga program on Andover Lake in the summer. Linda has lived in Andover since 2001with her husband Will, who was diagnosed with PD in 2010 and their two dogs. She is the President of the Andover Lake Property Owners Association. 

Why is massage good for PD?

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The benefits of massage therapy have long been recognized by people with Parkinson’s disease. Recent research has shown that regular massage therapy can help patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease improve in their daily functions, sleeping abilities, self-confidence, walking, and well-being, as well as decrease their overall stress levels. 

 

  1. According to a 2002 study conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami, along with staff from the university’s neurology department and Duke University’s pharmacology department, Parkinson’s disease symptoms are reduced by massage therapy. In this study, the group of adults with Parkinson’s disease who received two massages a week for five weeks experienced improved daily functioning, increased quality of sleep and decreased stress-hormone levels. The massage consisted of 15 minutes in the prone position, focusing on the back, buttocks, ribs, thighs, calves and feet; and 15 minutes in the supine position, focusing on the thighs, lower legs, feet, hands, forearms, upper arms, neck, face and head. The study’s authors reported, “These findings suggest that massage therapy enhances functioning in progressive or degenerative central nervous system disorders or conditions.”

  2. A separate study performed in 2005 showed that massage helped boost the self-confidence, well-being, walking abilities and performance of daily living activities in a group of seven patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease who were monitored while receiving eight one-hour, full body massage therapy sessions over the course of eight weeks. These positive results were registered by the researchers performing the study as well as from assessments conducted by the participants of the study themselves. This suggests that while massage leads to measurable biological and chemical improvements in the condition of patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, the patients themselves can actually feel this difference tangibly in their everyday life. 

 

Specific benefits may include (From the National Parkinson’s Foundation):

  • reduction in rigidity and tremor 

  • improvement in sleep 

  • increase in daily stamina 

  • reduction in anxiety 

  • increased feeling of relaxation 

  • certain essential oils (helichrysum and frankincense) have been found to reduce tremors and brain inflammation