"Smovey Rings" are a general health and wellness tool that combine exercise and vibration, which have particular beneficial applications for Parkinson's Disease. Indeed, these hand held "rings" were invented by Johann Salzwimmer, an Austrian Tennis player and a person with Parkinson’s, who actually initially designed them specifically to help himself. So it is not hard to understand why these are proving beneficial now with many other people who also have neurological conditions.
They consist, at the most basic level, of corrugated plastic tubes with some steel balls inside. As one swings the rings, the balls move up and down in the tube, causing significant vibrations that travel up the arms into the brain and body. While the idea is simple, the care and attention with which they have been designed is rather interesting: the color, weight, hand grip material, frequency of vibration, etc., are all supposed to be optimal.
One of the benefits of my Out-Thinking Parkinson's work, for myself, is that I'm often offered trials of products which may benefit people with PD. This was the case with Smovey's, and back in October 2016, Irene Treacy of Smoveyhealth donated a pair of the rings to the Out-Thinking project. I have been using them almost daily ever since, and have been exploring their use in my own "Curiosity and Play" movement recovery programmes. Below I've included a carousel of short films from my video diary, in which my set of rings feature. I hope these speak for themselves, and demonstrate how beneficial I have found these versatile tools?
Recently, I was visited by my friend David Spry of Parkinson's Disease Fighter's United, a fellow person with PD. I showed David my set of Smovey's and after playing with them, he did seem to feel they could be beneficial too - I even got him walking with them in such a way that he could swing his arms while he was in an "off" state. So I am now satisified that the benefits I've personally found will translate to other people with PD.
Co-incidently, a week later I was visited by Irene herself, who showed me how I could more optimally use the rings for my Parkinson's symptom relief, especially the concept of keeping the vibrations going by swinging the arms in such ways that the balls don't collide with the tube ends. However, the most important use that Irene demonstrated to me, which I was, until then, totally oblivious to, is the fact that these also make amazingly therapeutic massage tools. By rocking them back and forth and moving them across the surface of the body, the vibrations are incredibly soothing!
I have asked Irene to contribute some full length articles to this website, demonstarting more directly the benefits for other people with PD too. I will include links to these contributions here as we publish them.