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Department of Internal Medicine

Quillen College of Medicine

Inside Internal Medicine - Volume 2 Article 1

Rock Steady Boxing: Fighting Back Against Parkinson's

Rock Steady Boxing - a unique exercise program, based on training used by boxing pros and adapted to people with Parkinson’s disease, will now be available in the Johnson City area. The program involves regular exercises, such as stretching, bicycling, running, jump-roping, push-ups, balancing and lots of non-contact boxing, led by experienced trainers/coaches. Rock Steady Boxing serves both men and women of all ages and levels of ability.

Rock Steady Boxing, Inc., a non-profit organization, was founded in Indianapolis in 2006 with six participants. Participation has steadily increased to more than 400 affiliate locations today, including men and women ranging in age from 35 to 90 and has even gone international. Classes are geared to people at all stages of Parkinson’s disease. Multiple volunteers contribute their time and talents to assist with the classes.

Dr. Rebecca Copeland, Internist with ETSU Physicians has observed several classes and recommends this form of exercise for patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Rock Steady is Unique for Parkinson's Disease:
• Rock Steady Boxing is the first non-contact boxing gym of its kind in the country dedicated to people with    PD
• Its mission is to maximize the mental, emotional, and physical potential of people with PD through       intensive and rigorous regimen and plan of exercise delivered in a welcoming, professional and supportive environment
• Estimates place the number of people with PD in the United States at approximately 1-1.5 million
• Clients are men and women, ranging in age from their late 30's with early onset to those in their 90's
• For those with advanced stages of the disease, caregivers work hand-in-hand with trainers during the                workout
• Results have been astonishing... attracting the attention of medical experts and national news media

"My name is Lisa Whitfield, and I have been a Certified Personal Trainer in JC for 14 years. It is through the relationship with one of my clients who has Parkinson’s Disease (PD) that I first learned of Rock Steady Boxing (RSB). As a Physical Therapist my client was curious about the benefits of the program and eventually became certified to facilitate the program. Because of her passion and the obvious benefits of the program my client and I both felt the need to bring this service to Johnson City. My client has recently moved away, but I became certified in May of 2016 and my husband has recently been certified as program coach. We are happy to partner with Olson’s Martial Arts and launch Rock Steady Boxing in their new facility in October of last year." - Lisa Whitfield, Certified RSB Coach

For additional information about Rock Steady Boxing Johnson City, LLC, visit our facebook page at Rock Steady Boxing Johnson City. Additional information about Rock Steady Boxing Inc. and Parkinson’s disease is available at

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