Find out how laughter can ease symptoms
PEOPLE with Parkinson's are being offered the chance to try out a range of therapies that could help ease their symptoms.
Tango, drumming, laughter, massage and reflexology are among the therapies that are being offered free of charge as part of the sessions in Fishponds on Saturday.
They have been organised through the Bristol branch of Parkinson's UK using a share of a donation made to the national charity by the Freemasons to benefit people with the neurological condition.
Parkinson's occurs as a result of brain cells dying, leaving people without enough of the chemical dopamine, which can make their movements slower and take longer for them to do things.
Symptoms of Parkinson's include tremor, rigidity and slowness of movement as well as tiredness.
Therapies such as tango, reiki and different forms of massage are believed to help alleviate symptoms.
But as Karen Rose of the Bristol branch's Young Onset group said: "Alternative therapy can be quite expensive because you can't get them on the NHS.
"This is a way of people with finding out whether they like the therapies before they have committed money to it.
"There will be group therapies such as laughter therapies as well as one-to-ones and carers and partners can join in with them.
"I have done the laughter therapy before and it really cheers you up. It is good fun and I often think people with Parkinson's need a bit of a release because the muscles tend to get very tense and tight and this loosens them."
As well as people who are already members of the Parkinson's UK branch, the sessions are being opened up to those with the condition who may not have attended any of their meetings.
Mrs Rose, of Yate, said: "This is also about trying to reach out to people with Parkinson's.
"We are here for anybody with Parkinson's in Bristol and South Gloucestershire of any age and also their partners because they also need support.
"The main support is giving people the chance to talk to other people going through the same things. By talking with someone else with Parkinson's you can compare notes."
The sessions on Saturday are running from 10.30am to 3.30pm at the Vassall Centre in Gill Avenue. Booking is advised.
For more information visit www.parkinsons.org.uk/local-to-you /find-local-branches/south-west/ bristol/bristol---events.aspx.