Recreation Therapy

Skip Navigation

Advanced Search

Recreation Therapy


What is Recreation Therapy?

Recreation therapy is the use of leisure activities to treat and reduce the symptoms and associated limitations of chronic diseases. These symptoms may include physical disability, social isolation, depression, and the inability to think and function optimally.


What beneficial activities are offered through the MAPC Recreation Therapy Program?

In order to meet the individual needs of the movement disorder population, a variety of activities are offered through the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center (MAPC). These activities have been specifically adapted for people with movement disorders and are taught by professionals who have significant knowledge and experience in this area.

Exercise for people with Parkinson's disease has been known to be disease modifying, meaning exercise may positively change the course of the disease. Current research in exercise with Parkinson's disease is exploring whether or not exercise may be neuroprotective, slowing or stopping disease progression. The MAPC is involved in such an exercise research study.

All of the exercises in each of the following different classes can be performed at the seated level to meet the abilities of each individual.

View the current class schedules by clicking on the class you are interested in.

  • Exercise/The Art of Moving
    This exercise class is specifically designed for people with Parkinson's disease to increase flexibility, strength, balance and coordination and to also improve communication, voice power and speech clarity. The program is suitable for participants dealing with any of the limitations associated with Parkinson's disease. Learn more...

  • Tai Chi
    Tai Chi is a series of individual dance-like movements linked together in a continuous, smoothly flowing sequence. The easy to learn steps are progressive and choreographed, and they are coordinated with deep breathing exercises. Learn more...

  • Golf Clinic
    Since you were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease has your golf game suffered or have you stopped playing golf all together? If so, then this 4 week golf clinic is for you. Learn more...

  • Expressive Art Workshop: Paint Over Parkinson
    Creativity doesn't cure PD, but it shines new and rewarding light on your path to hlp you enjoy the journey. We invite you to break free from the definitions of PD with paint in hand! You will have fun! No matter the approach, colors or details; to Paint Over Parkinson is what prevails! Learn more...

  • Dancing
    Put on your dancing shoes and head out to the dance floor. The program is modeled, in part, on the Dance for PD program developed by the exemplary Mark Morris Dance Company. In chairs, at a barre or standing, professionally-trained dance instructors will help explore elements of modern dance, ballet, tap, folk and social dancing. Enjoy the movement and music in ways taht are fun, energizing, engaging and creative. Learn more...

  • Tremble Clefs
    Tremble Clefs is a nation-wide singing program for people with Parkinson's disease and their partners. Learn more...

  • Voce Unidas Spanish Singing Group
    This singing group is open for people with Parkinson's disease and their caregivers. Learn more...

  • Comadres/Compadres
    Biweekly group for Hispanics with Parkinson's disease and their caregivers offered in Phoenix and Tempe. Learn more...
  • Pole Walking
    Walking rates high as a great form of exercise; it’s easy, everyone knows how to do it, it can be done most anywhere, and requires little equipment. But what happens if we add walking poles? Learn more...

    Participants will learn how to use high effort, muscle activations for bigger, better posture, balance and everyday FUNction such as walking, turning, rising from a chair, or floor, buttoning, and speaking. Learn more...

  • Yoga for Every Body, Mind, and Soul
    Yoga practice encompasses physical movement, breath development, and mental focus, or mindfulness. Learn more...


Frequently Asked Questions

Which activity is right for you or your loved one?
These classes are intended to suit patients with a wide array of abilities and interests. You may select a particular activity based on personal interests, you may select or be referred to an activity based on anticipated benefits specific to that activity, or the decision may be determined by your level of ability.

How do I participate in a class?
Classes are located at the MAPC and at various locations throughout the valley. To sign up for a class, or for more information about classes or recreation therapy in general, please call the Recreation Coordinator at (602) 406-6903 or Contact Us.

Bottom of Navigation

Legal & Privacy Notices


Payment Assistance

Contact Us

Hospital Accreditation

© 2014 Dignity Health

Barrow Neurological Institute
350 W. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85013
(602) 406-3000