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Empowering Lives Through Dopamine Boxing in Lethbridge

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In Lethbridge, a unique approach to improving the quality of life for individuals with Parkinson’s disease is gaining momentum under the guidance of Christopher Campbell. Dr. John Doan from the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Lethbridge initiated the program in 2017, known as dopamine boxing, aimed at enhancing various aspects of participants’ well-being.

Parkinsonfoundation.org highlights the benefits of dopamine boxing for individuals with the disease, including enhancements in strength, posture, hand-eye coordination, balance, and reaction time. This innovative form of boxing has shown remarkable outcomes in practice, as recounted by Campbell, who has witnessed significant improvements in participants’ daily activities and independence.

Megan Welcer, Alyssa Edwards, Dean Stewart, and Tysun Tallman are among the dedicated volunteer coaches who contribute to the program’s success and impact on the participants. The initiative not only focuses on physical health but also offers practical experience for university students. Dean Stewart, a neuroscience student, emphasizes the importance of seeing individuals beyond their diagnosis, highlighting the social and personal growth opportunities presented by the classes.

The dopamine boxing program serves as a practicum placement for those studying neuroscience, making it a valuable educational experience along with its health benefits. Megan Welcer, a kinesiology graduate involved in the program, notes the significant improvement in her communication skills through working closely with participants. She expresses a desire to continue working with individuals with limited mobility in the future, possibly through physiotherapy.

The classes take place three times a week at the Sik-Ooh-Kotoki Friendship Society, an organization dedicated to creating programs for Indigenous youth. This setting provides a culturally enriched environment for the participants, with Tysun Tallman, a Blackfoot coach, recognizing the connection to his cultural roots that the program offers.

Christopher Campbell aims to expand the reach and impact of dopamine boxing in Lethbridge, hoping to establish a movement disorder center in the fall of 2024. His vision goes beyond personal recognition, as he envisions a sustainable program that outlasts his involvement, emphasizing the long-term benefits it can bring to the community and individuals affected by Parkinson’s disease.

Rachel Adams

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