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Does anyone have any thoughts on LSVT BIG relative to PWR!MOVES? We are getting different messages from local PTs (we are in Chandler/Phoenix) on how important it is to take BIG before PWR!MOVES. The idea of 1/1 training through BIG first to be ready for PWR!MOVES is definitely appealing, but do we need it?


There is a comparison here on the PWR site at http://www.pwr4life.org/about-pwr/ (you need to click on Comparison to see it), but it doesn't really answer the question of if we should do BIG first.


For PWR!MOVES, since we are in Chandler, we have access both through the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center classes (at MountainView Fitness) and at the Banner Neuro Wellness center (which has several PWR classes a day). And happily they are all relatively cheap ($5/class or $30/class). We worry about it being too much to jump into though.


On the BIG side, there are lots of PTs in Phoenix but we haven't found one (yet) that also takes our insurance (Cigna HMO MediCare) and without insurance its pretty expensive ($1500 and $1000 are the two estimates we have received, and even with insurance it would be $500). I'll add, if its worth it we certainly plan to pay it.


We know there is a PWR!RETREAT coming also 5/19, but don't want to wait that long to get things started (and its also pretty expensive :/) - http://www.pwr4life....s/pwr-retreat/.


Some other links if folks I have found if folks are interested:




As background, our PWP (my Dad :) is 76 and recently diagnosed. He is in the initial stages of PD and has no serious physical limitations.




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Both my sister and my husband have PD. Both have been through BIG training and attended the PWR! Retreat. My sister went to the retreat in 2011 and 2012 and my husband attended in 2012. Both are registered for the "TRAIN" event this coming May. While they both had done BIG before starting on the Power moves, I wouldn't consider it a prequisite to getting started with the PWR! Moves classes. My husband goes to a weekly class in Phoenix. The $5 cost is terrific. I appreciate the support from the different PD groups to offer so many classes. My husband also goes to a weekly Tai Chi class for people with PD for the $5 fee too.


You could call Becky Farly in Tucson and ask your questions too. She is super! My husband had gone to Tucson for a one-time consult with her before doing BIG training. She got him started on a good exercise program.


From what I know about my sister and husband's experiences, the BIG training was really important but I think getting started with the PWR! classes would be a great step. You could always do the BIG individualized training down the road. Moving is what is important. My husband was good about exercising but the PD specific exercises in both BIG and PWR! Moves have really made a difference for him.


Another idea since you are having trouble finding PTs that take Cigna coverage is to turn it around and ask Cigna to find you a BIG certified PT. Enlist your Dad's MDS to encourage them to make arrangements for a BIG PT within their network. We've found our insurance has been good about paying for anything that will help keep my husband mobile and prevent falls.


Insurance did not pay for the retreat but I consider it "life-changing" for us and well worth every penny. This year will be even better with a lower ratio of therapists to participants. The experience for caregivers was awesome too. Your Dad is lucky to have you to find opportunities for him! It took us quite awhile to find out about big and Becky Farley in Tucson!

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To clarify, my sister and husband both did "BIG" (includes big movements) training not "LSVT BIG" (includes voice training and big movements). My husband has been through the LSVT training as well as a recent series of "refresher" session with a speech therapist over at the Muhammad Ali Center. It really helped him as his voice had become quite soft.

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Thanks for the great info and insights Golden01!


We are working on switching from his current Neurologist to a MDS at the Ali center. They will probably be more familiar with BIG and our options then. Knowing we don't need BIG before PWR is good info since we can perhaps start it while we wait on the switch to the MDS.


We will keep an eye on the retreat also. I have read nothing but great things about it.


PS, I can't take credit for discovering all of this, I just did the web research :). My parents have a good friend who has PD that has helped us a lot. Through him we found out about BIG, PD Tai Chi, and also the PD 101 classes. Also, our initial Neurologist was the one who told us about the Banner Neuro Wellness center, which is where I found out about PWR!MOVES.

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