Health Benefits of Spinning Poi: Part 2 – Poi Heath Benefits
In this second part we’ll focus on the research that proves the poi health benefits empirically. Dr. Riegle van West’s study focused on senior citizens and was an overall success. “Dr. Reigle van West conducted trials at two aged care facilities in New Zealand. Residents across all levels of care (independent living, rest home, hospital, and dementia) participated in poi sessions twice a week for one month.
Feedback from residents and staff was very positive, and this preliminary research has set the stage for the adoption of poi programs in aged care facilities across the globe.” Most who participated in the study enjoyed it and 93% said they would like to do poi again! The top themes were reported to be “relaxed”, “enjoying the challenge of learning a new skill” and “happy”.
2020 Study on Poi & Parkinson’s Disease
After the first study, more recently in 2020 another study was conducted on Parkinson’s Disease (a disease characterized by tremors, stiffness slowness of movement, and impaired balance and coordination) once again heeding outstanding results. “Especially in Parkinson’s patients, it is sometimes unbelievable to observe how their stiffness dissolves during poi play. How their focus is directed toward the poi and how accompanied symptoms — such as trembling in the hands or restlessness in the legs — steadily decrease or simply fade away. I’ve also noticed how the mood of the patients improves through the movement to the music, which in turn leads to stabilization of the general condition.”
There is an expression that comes to mind here. “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” and “Never slow down, never grow old.” It is clear that poi flow arts is an ease to keeping ourselves well, even under more severe circumstances! The study continues to exclaim that poi is fun, adaptable, cost effective, creative, astounding poi health benefits, it’s sociable, and even an opportune to broaden our cultural awareness.
Why isn’t everyone practicing flow arts?? My best guess, it simply has not gone big enough yet to be known as a common activity. Or a deconstructive mindset that is self-conscious of trying new things and making mistakes (“humility”). What do you think? What can we do to greater integrate poi into the mainstream? (Constructive comments please.)
Soon to come! A video interview with Dr. Kate Riegle van West herself that we will be adding to the Sacred Flow Art YouTube channel
Yours in flow,