Oklahomans living with Parkinson’s turn to boxing for therapy

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EDMOND, Okla. - Some Oklahomans with Parkinson’s are going head-to-head in the ring, fighting their disorder with boxing.

It’s a therapeutic program sweeping the nation and now in Edmond called Rock Steady Boxing.

Our crews talked with one patient who said in a short amount of time this program has saved his life.

"It's definitely a high, empowers you and makes the symptoms of my disease greatly minimized and feel like a million bucks," said Eddie McCann.

McCann is living with Parkinson's, a neurological disorder, causing motor and non-motor symptoms, like stiffness, tremors and sleepless nights.

While sometimes he has a hard time moving around, surprisingly it's the physical activity at Rock Steady Boxing that is easing some of his pain.

"Just makes you feel like you're not sick anymore," McCann said.

The program is new to the metro.

The mission is to maximize the mental, emotional and physical potential of people living with Parkinson's.
Just like boxing, patients go through high intensity interval training, lasting nine rounds, three minutes each.

"It's applying boxing elements into everyday activity with improving balance, coordination, hand to eye coordination, core work, strength work, endurance," said Sara McCauley, Rock Steady Boxing coach.

Elements the coach hopes her boxers carry over into their daily lives.

For McCann, this is only the beginning.

He plans to exercise from now on, to battle his symptoms and brighten his spirits.

"Makes it a lot of fun to work out, which is very important for somebody like me that hasn't worked out in the past. The more fun you make it, the better it is, the easier it is to do," McCann said.

Since the program is so new to the metro, classes are at max capacity right now.

However, since there’s such a high demand for this type of therapy, there are plans to expand in the spring.

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