Dear Doctors,

I have a new prescription for you. It’s called improvisation via Yes, And…eXercise! (YAX!). You may have heard of improvisation, but you most likely haven’t tried it. And, even if you did try it or see it somewhere, it was probably in a performance-based form – which is sort of an off-label version of this more pure variety. YAX! was recently clinically tested in an Interdisciplinary Health Sciences PhD program. The results showed increases in confidence, creativity and communication for people with Parkinson’s disease.

A New Prescription - For Doctors! &Raquo; File 17

You may be asking, “Why do I need a prescription? I’m a doctor.” Yes, and…(note that phrase)…some of the people you serve find this prescription quite helpful with anxiety, stress, depression, isolation, mood and communication issues. There are no side effects and, though insurance doesn’t cover it (yet), the suggested donation of $20 to the 501(c)3 nonprofit that runs it is extremely reasonable. Yes, you could “just” prescribe it if this sounds good enough to you. You could also read the research at , However, if you choose to actually try it, you’ll know why and how it works, and reap the personal benefits for yourself.

We get together for one hour via Zoom and connect by playing games that range from very simple to challenging. Sometimes we fail…big…even on purpose. Those moments of failure are the best because that’s where we recognize something new and we strengthen our ability to be resilient. Just like any exercise, knowing how it is done doesn’t give you the skill or the results. That’s why we call the program Yes, And…eXercise! The key to what we do is connection through play. We listen with great intent, laugh a lot and joy is a major outcome. Laughter makes some people think there must be jokes or performance – but there is no need for either. Instead, we listen to each other. By focusing on each other, we find the fun by sharing our truths.

One of the reasons this is so good is it serves as a “sneaky support group”. You probably direct people to support groups currently to help with psychosocial concerns. Where some support groups fall short by presenting or focusing only the worst elements of PD and struggling to grow or maintain people because of the negative stigma, we thrive. Don’t get me wrong – we’re not pollyanna. We tell people to “come as they are”. We play with all of it – the highs and lows, ups and downs, on and off times. It all gets “Yes, Anded” as an exercise.

Yes, for our purposes, is acceptance of the truth. Like accepting having a PD diagnosis. That’s not “good” or “fun”, but accepting it (or any other truth) allows us to get to “and” – that’s where the fun begins. The “and” is autonomy. The “and” is power. The “and” is where self-efficacy lives.

Please take this prescription seriously. People with and affected by PD are looking for ways to connect, laugh and live better now. This non-invasive, non-addictive, low cost, high-impact prescription will deliver positive results. You can sign up to play by clicking here.

My best to you,

Robert Cochrane, PhD

CEO & Founder, Yes, And…eXercise!

Originally Published on

Robert Cochrane, PhD Yes, And...eXercise!

Dr. Robert Cochrane is a graduate of UNLV's Integrated Health Sciences department. He's researching the effect of improvisation and storytelling on Parkinson’s disease. He received grants from the Parkinson's Foundation and support from the Davis Phinney Foundation along the way. He is a popular, unique and high energy Keynote speaker, bringing joy, optimism and practical tools for people in the PD community to thrive today.

He has a background in filmmaking, with the Artisan Entertainment release, The Playaz Court, and two Stephen King-based short films among his credits. His father, Dan, was diagnosed with PD in 2001, which shifted Robert’s artistic lens to health. He made his first documentary, the award-winning Boys of Summer in 2004. There are two follow up films in the series with the fourth film coming in 2023.

He moved his family back to Walnut Creek, CA, where he grew up. He lives there with his beautiful wife, two teenagers who are, indeed, "all that" and is a proud care partner for his amazing parents.

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