The Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center recently raised $3,640 to support patient scholarships for the Parkinson’s Boxing Program in an initiative known as “10 for 20.” In December of 2016, just in time for the holidays, members of the community purchased 10 guest passes for $20 with all of the proceeds benefiting the program.

Last year, collaboration between The Wellness Center and The Rehabilitation Center of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System resulted in a new clinically supervised boxing program to “fight back” against the deteriorating effects of Parkinson’s disease.

“I love to witness the progression each patient makes in terms of their boxing, overall health and confidence,” said Martin Hubner, boxing coach and personal trainer at The Wellness Center. “In a small way, this program has allowed participants to take their lives back.”

The one-hour program, which is offered four days a week to improve patient mobility, encourages participants to rotate through a variety of clinically modified boxing drills. Between each interval, Hubner provides coaching and explains the “why” behind each exercise.

“Historically, patients with Parkinson’s disease were forced to fend for themselves due to a lack of available support groups,” said Katherine Graham, a physical therapist at The Rehabilitation Center, who also serves as a clinical consultant for the boxing program. “I am very excited that this program recognizes the needs and potential of persons with neurological conditions.”

According to Graham, program participants have noticed significant improvement in the areas of strength, endurance, mobility and psychological health. In addition, she notes that in many instances a closer bond has formed between patients and their spouses as a result of the program.

The Parkinson’s Boxing Program does require a physician referral, which can be granted by your primary care provider or neurologist. The program costs $60 per month for Wellness Center members and $85 per month for non-members.

To learn more about the Parkinson’s Boxing Program or available scholarship opportunities contact the Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center at 828-266-1060 or visit wellness.apprhs.org. For more information about The Rehabilitation Center call 828-268-9043.