Lifestyle Sports Hands-on with Muay Thai for Parkinson Warriors 

Hands-on with Muay Thai for Parkinson Warriors 

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Muay Thai is something new that their centre is offering as it may benefit Parkinson's Warriors

SINGAPORE — The Parkinson Society Singapore has recently partnered with the athletes and fitness enthusiasts from Eminent Gym to conduct basic Muay Thai classes for the Parkinson Warriors at their Parkinson Centre in Bishan. The simple Muay Thai demonstration was conducted by Spencer Tay, the chairman of World Boxing Council Muay Thai Singapore and his team during the official opening of the Parkinson Centre’s new extension at Block 191 in Bishan earlier in the month.

These exercises bode well with those who suffer from Parkinson’s as it targets blood circulation and hand movements. Parkinson’s is a chronic progressive neurodegenerative illness that affects not only the mobility of the person but also the cognitive and psychosocial aspects. However, according to the Parkinson Society Singapore, with good rehabilitative programmes and social support, many Parkinson’s Warriors can continue to enjoy a quality life and integrate back into society.

The Parkinson Society Singapore already has programmes such as kickboxing, taichi, yoga and table tennis available to its members and the community. Muay Thai is something new that their centre is offering. For Tay, this is a good opportunity for the Parkinson Warriors to try their hands at Muay Thai as it might benefit them.

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“They approached us and we thought it might be a very good opportunity for the parkinson warriors to try muay thai because it helps with balance and eye-body coordination, as well as core strength too. It will build up your confidence and mental well-being too. We all have to start somewhere and as you know parkinson is an illness that hardens up your muscles, so the more you do Muay Thai, the more it helps to activate certain core muscles in your body and eventually strengthen it. We will probably conduct it once a month with them,” said Tay, whose passion for  Muay Thai started at 14 years old.

In 2022, following a successful discussion with Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Thailand’s ambassador in Singapore, Tay organised a Muay Thai competition at the Royal Thai embassy. Tay shared that he hopes to continue promoting bilateral interests and Thailand’s rich culture and traditions through the sport by organising more such Muay Thai events in Singapore this year.

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MP Chong with Prof Tan

The official opening of the centre’s extension was attended by Bishan-Toa Payoh member of parliament Chong Kee Hiong, who Prof Louis Tan, the president of Parkinson Society Singapore, warmly welcomed. Prof Louis hopes that the centre, particularly the society, is not only a place for the Parkinson’s Warriors to seek rehabilitation but also a place where the community can come together and support one another whenever possible.

“The extension allows us to have more activity and programmes, with the main target audience being the parkinson’s community, the patients as well their caregivers. They come in once or twice a week to have their activities to help with their movements as well as to have their peer support. We are trying to find ways to link up with the community like the walking clubs. We hope there will be more programmes where the community can continue to be part of our journey so that together they can help to help one another,” shared Prof Louis, a senior consultant, neurologist and director at the National Neuroscience Institute.

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