An interview with Nina Mosier M.D. from Power for Parkinson’s on September 13, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.
Please tell me a little about your background and what got you involved with awareness.
I co-founded Power for Parkinson’s a little over 10 years ago. At that time there were very few resources for people with PD to stay active and build on the Big & Loud program. Since that time Power for Parkinson’s has aimed to fill that void making FREE fitness opportunities, social programming, and support groups accessible to as many people with PD and their care givers as possible both locally in Central Texas and globally through our YouTube channel.
What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?
My father had PD and I experienced many of the struggles one can have living with the disease. As a former internist with geriatric background, I was drawn naturally to help others live healthier lifestyles and age well. Now, 10 years of working directly with hundreds if not thousands of people with PD, allows me to help anyone with PD find the best ways to manage their condition and find as much hope and joy as possible until there is a cure.
What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when working with you?
In both our in-person local programming and our global virtual programming, we encourage participants to do their best to follow along in class and to realize they are not alone in this journey. Through many channels including handwritten letters, comments on YouTube and social media and emails, we receive frequent affirmation that our classes are making a difference and people are feeling better and finding joy in movement by participating with us. Once people find us, their goal seems to be to stick with us to help manage their PD.
What effect can your advocacy have on an individual with Parkinson’s?
By providing multiple unique Parkinson’s symptom-focused exercise formats, we give anyone with PD the chance to find classes that work for their situation. Since all our classes are offered for free, we attempt to avoid economic barriers. Our in-person classes in the Austin area are scheduled strategically to help decrease drive time and increase accessibility. Our instructors are well versed in offering seated and standing options all while stimulating neuroplasticity, always connecting the brain and body. Additionally, we offer many ways for individuals and caregivers to connect with one another. This can happen through our live chat feature on YouTube, our virtual and in-person support groups and a variety of events throughout the year. Remarkably, we know many of our virtual participants and have met them on Zoom and communicate regularly through the chat and comment section.
What would you like to see as a future goal for your advocacy?
Our biggest goal is to continue to expand our reach. We just launched an instructor training course called Introduction to Parkinson’s Symptom-Focused Exercise. A full certification course is also in the works.
What events do you participate in?
Our team is always busy trying to raise awareness about PD in Austin. We participate in many health fairs and often offer movement breaks at PD related events in our area. Most recently we attended the WPC and demonstrated both our Brain & Body and Move & Shout® classes in the Renewal Room. Additionally, we host 3-4 events of our own each year.
How does this also assist the caregivers?
Caregivers are included as participants in all our programming. During in-person classes we have a team of volunteers who are available to spot unsteady participants so caregivers can get their own workouts in and not worry about their loved ones. We know PD is a disease that affects the whole family, so we include them all!
How can someone get in touch? What is your website?
If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson community, what would it be?
Exercise is as important as taking your medication in managing your PD. Current recommendations are to exercise at least 120min/week. I encourage you to exercise at least 30 minutes a day and find the activities you enjoy. In addition to walking, running, swimming, or biking, I highly encouraged people to engage in additional exercise that really pushes you to stimulate the brain -body connection and improve neuroplasticity (develop new neural pathways). Our videos can be a great addition to your exercise portfolio to help you accomplish this.