Speech Pathology Graduate Students Host Rock Steady Boxing Class at Sweat Therapy Fitness

A team of first-year graduate Speech Pathology students, led by faculty supervisor Becky Greenhill, provide a weekly fitness program at Sweat Therapy Fitness for those battling Parkinson’s disease (PD). The program, Rock Steady Boxing, features curated exercises that target the symptoms of PD.

The therapy team, known as SOAR (Successful Outcomes in Adult Rehabilitation), assists the participants with exercises and encourages them to use their voice in all aspects of training, furthering the ability for them to maintain this communication outside of the gym. “As they exercise, they might be counting reps and we encourage
them to do that in a loud voice to remind them of the effort that it takes for their speech to be loud and clear, and hopefully better understood by those who communicate with them,” said Greenhill. Kim Bibeau, Sweat Therapy Fitness founder and owner, is extremely grateful to have the assistance of Becky and her students.

Hailey Miller, Sweat Therapy class instructor, said, “As an instructor, it’s hard to balance the aspects of both the speech issues with PD as well as the physical movement aspects, which is what we tend to focus on a bit more.” Kevin Liao and Lauryn Shanks, SCSD graduate student clinicians, seconded this, sharing how these experiences help people in the field with identifying and diagnosing Parkinson’s and gaining hands-on experience with treatment.

“Typically, my team works with adults with neurologic disorders, so working with patients with Parkinson’s Disease is in line with our focus,” shares Greenhill. “The students gain experience on different teams each semester to help them have well-rounded clinical experience before going out into the community for practicum and internship experiences during their second year of the program.”

Participants are grateful for this experience and leave class feeling stronger. The students and clinicians have a great time encouraging these exercises and slowing the progression of PD while learning more about treatment.

For more information on these classes, click here. Watch the full video on the program here: