VERNON, CT (WFSB) – In Vernon, a class dedicated to helping those with movement disorders was finally able to start up again.

Hartford HealthCare’s wellness classes have been put on hold because of COVID-19, but they started back up on Wednesday, and participants were eager to get back in the class again.

For many, Tai Chi is a great way to stretch and build strength, but for those in the class, it’s a lot more.

The wellness class is designed to help people with movement disorders.

“Some of the exercises help with our symptoms, either by exercise or even talking to someone else here who’s having problems,” said Timothy Fagan.

“They suggested I take this as a means of exercise,” said Joe Panicello, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease back in April.

The disorder impacts the central nervous system.

“There’s got to be some level of stability with Parkinson, because right now I have trouble, I’m losing my balance and it’s tough, so hoping to get something out of this class,” he said.

Panicello wasn’t able to take the class after his diagnosis because for the past year and a half they’ve been canceled due to COVID.

But on Tuesday he got the call to sign up.

“It’s really time to really get back in the swing of things, and we’re just glad to have this variety of wellness classes,” said Dr. Sue Kanchana, a neurologist with Hartford HealthCare.

She said the classes are a necessary component for dealing with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders.

“It’s a place where people can get their physical work done in a safe, comfortable environment. They can meet other people of same interest, sharing same life experience so it’s a very nice setting,” Kanchana said.

Because of COVID, class sizes are limited to six participants.

It’s not just Tai Chi either, the other classes include yoga, boxing, and dance.

People can register to take classes on Hartford HealthCare’s website.

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