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Parkinson’s Awareness Month: Innovative Boxing Program to “Punch Out Parkinson’s”

Parkinson’s disease is the fastest growing neurological disorder in the world — with especially high prevalence in Florida, which has at least 64 000 people living with Parkinson's disease and is second only to California. Worldwide, cases of Parkinson’s doubled from 1990 to 2016, and that number is expected to double again over the next 20 years to nearly 13 million people.


St. Augustine physical therapist Dr. Melanie Lomaglio is helping people fight back against Parkinson’s disease with a groundbreaking program called “Punch Out Parkinson’s” — a non-contact neuro fitness boxing class led by highly trained physical therapists. Punch Out Parkinson’s is offered for free or at a reduced cost year-round through the Rebloom Center, a nonprofit organization which operates out of STARS Rehab. The Florida Physical Therapy Association’s Catherine E. Patla Community Awareness Grant, which Dr. Lomaglio won especially for Punch Out Parkinson’s, helps to keep the program free or affordable for people living with the disease.


Punch Out Parkinson’s is unique in many ways — largely because the classes are designed to meet people living with the disease where they are in the progression of the condition. Patients are first assessed by Dr. Lomaglio or another highly qualified physical therapist to determine which class they need. Classes range from wheelchair-based therapy all the way up to high intensity circuit training and everything in between to serve all ages and stages of Parkinson’s.


The weekly, 45-minute Punch Out Parkinson’s classes take place year-round at STARS Rehab’s Parkinson’s Neurologic Health Center, which is currently located at 4320 A1A South Suite 3 in St. Augustine. (The location will be moving to 1711 Lakeside Ave, Suite 5 as of April 27).


In addition to Punch Out Parkinson’s, the Rebloom Center at STARS Rehab offers even more services and education to people living with Parkinson’s and their families. This includes speech therapy, yoga, singing, functional movement training classes. The Rebloom Center also features events with medical experts to discuss the latest in research and treatment. Throughout the year, about 500 classes are offered, servicing hundreds of Floridians. The Rebloom Center offers many classes for free, and — like Punch Out Parkinson’s — classes which are low-cost are offered for free to anyone who can’t afford to pay.


To build more community support and awareness, the Rebloom Center is hosting its second-annual Pints for Parkinson’s event at Dog Rose Brewing Company on April 25th. Join us for beer, live music, and food trucks to raise awareness about Parkinson’s disease and Rebloom Center programs like Punch Out Parkinson’s.


To learn more about the Rebloom Center and see Punch Out Parkinson’s in action, visit

1 Comment

My spouse was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. His symptoms included excruciating calf pain, muscular aches, tremors, slurred speech, frequent falls, loss of balance, and trouble standing up from a seated posture. After six months on Senemet, Siferol was given to him in place of the Senemet. It was also at this period that he was diagnosed with dementia. He began seeing hallucinations and became detached from reality. With the doctor's approval, we stopped giving him Siferol and chose to try the Ability Health Center PD-5 protocol, which we had previously investigated. After three months of therapy, he has made significant progress. The illness has been completely contained. There are no symptoms of persistent twitching, weakness, tremors, hallucinations, or muscle soreness.…

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