Big and Loud

January 01, 2014

For many living with Parkinson’s disease, simply being seen and heard can be a challenge. The progressive nature of the disease impairs speech, limb function, gait and balance, which can lead to embarrassment and social withdrawal.

Enter Big and Loud therapy.

Offered at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers in San Pedro and Torrance, the Big and Loud program empowers Parkinson’s patients to “move big” and “speak loud.”

“Patients with Parkinson’s talk really slowly and softly. And most Parkinson’s patients move very ‘small,’ with small, slow steps, and small arm movements and gestures,” says Shelly Kormondy, physical therapy supervisor for Providence Little Company of Mary San Pedro. “With Big and Loud, they learn how to project with their voices and produce larger movements.”

Initially, these movements and sounds are exaggerated. Over time, Parkinson’s patients learn to tone down the exaggerated techniques to a self-cued sense of normal. “What they originally thought was too big or too loud becomes their normal,” Kormondy says.