Category Archives: How to produce dopamine

Support for Living Well With Parkinson’s

Question:

Do external interventions (supplements,
massage, cranial sacral therapy, body
work, etc.) undermine the body’s ability
to function?”  

Response

This question hinges on the very essence
of healing. What can we do to support the
body’s natural ability to heal itself and
what are we doing to undermine it? 

The answer is tied to identifying what we
need to  heal. A bare bones answer is: 
nourishment, touching, connection
with others, feeling of safety, sense of
accomplishment and belonging. 

The body needs a well established 
group of vitamins mineral and
nutrients.  Without them our cells
die and our energy depletes. If we are
deficient in any one of the essential
nutrients, our bodies let us know
they are unhappy.  

Vitamin B6. For example, the body
is not designed to manufacture Vitamin
B6 internally. If it has a vitamin B6
deficiency, the body will enthusiastically w
elcome a B6 supplement. B6 supports
the body’s natural ability to balance
hormones.  

Stress. We need to feel safe and secure in
the world. If we are spinning about
in fear all the time, our bodies pump 
out adrenaline continuously which
alters the balance of hormones. 

Any intervention that invites a release
of stress and trauma from the tissues
of the body (e.g:  medication, centered
prayer, energy healing) supports the 
body’s natural capacity to heal. 
Releasing fear and trauma re-establishes
a sense that it is safe to be here on the
earth.

Toxin Removal. Interventions that help
the body release toxins and pathogens
are always welcome. They unclog
obstructions in the neural pathways and
cleanse the waste that has been trapped at
the cellular level and that is lodged in the
digestive track, liver, kidneys and spleen.

Co Q10.The body can become confused
about interventions that override one or more
of its primary responsibilities.  Consider 
one example: Co Q10. The body manufactures
CoQ10 on its own. Research on Parkinson’s has
suggested that some people with Parkinson’s may
have Co Q10 deficiencies. The idea here is to
put Co Q10 directly into the body. 

This may very well be a wonderful and very
smart thing to do. You may feel a lot better
because of it. But a possible and logical
consequence is for the body to ever so 
gradually disassemble its ability to produce
Co q10 on its own steam.

When a manufacturing production line is
closed down, it takes a great deal of effort
to bring it back on line.  Isn’t this also
what happens with skills that we develop?
If we do not use them, we gradually
lose them.

Another way to approach a
Co q10 deficiency is to give
the body Vitamin C. If the body
has sufficient quantities of vitamin C,
it has a much better chance of
being able to produce Co Q10 on
its own – no supplement needed.

Dopamine. Let’s cut to the quick and address
dopamine. Prescription medications have saved
some people’s lives. Sometimes
it is the best choice a person can make.

I do not think the important question
is whether to begin taking prescription
medications or not. Nor is the important
choice whether to take prescription
medications or natural herbal substitutes
for dopamine.  The key question turns on
a commitment to support your body with
the nutrients it needs to heal.
 

Support for Living.

I believe the most important
choice is to do everything necessary
to bring all systems of the body back
on line. The systems need to be readied
for a marathon.  If you have symptoms
that are troublesome it is a sign that
one or more systems in your body
are limping along. 

I believe a plan that works well for the body
is to work on strengthening all of the basic
building blocks of the body by:

  • eating well (which means fresh food) 
  • eliminating toxins
  • eliminating pathogens (including bacteria and viruses)
  • releasing trauma
  • strengthening the immune system 
  • moving lymph out of the body through exercise
  • having fun
  • laughing
  • challenging your mind

It may be the case that to do justice to
everything on the list every day, certain
hormonal deficiencies will need to be
supplemented:  Perhaps dopamine,
perhaps co Q10 or whatever. This of
course is what medical doctors are trained
to help with. 

As long as you focus on bringing
all of the systems and organs in your
body back on line, your body will reach
a point when it will be able to
manufacture most – if not all – of the
essential hormones you need without
any outside intervention. Then again,
sometimes infusions of certain
hormones are needed over the long
term. 

The best intent is to support
the body so that it can do as much
work in producing the hormones
itself as possible. Set a new vision
of the future for yourself. Consider
the possibility that instead of having
to take more and more medication
or supplements in the future, you
will be able to gradually and ever 
so gently be able to maintain or
even reduce the dose of your
current medications.

Why is that? Because all of the organs
systems in your body are now healthy
so there is enough energy and resources
to manufacture the hormones your
body needs. Sure it takes time to bring
every system back on line. Who is in
a big rush here?   

Remember that any changes you
make to the dose and/or timing of
your medications should only be
taken in close consultation with
your doctor.  

I am fully aware than most people
wind up taking more medications
over time. I would like to consider
a different future.  

The body knows how to heal itself.
Give it a chance to heal and be
pleasantly surprised with the outcome.  

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

© 2008 Parkinsons Recovery

Drumming Relieves the Symptoms of Parkinsons

Do you like the title of this article? I do. Are
you surprised that drumming helps to relieve
the symptoms of Parkinson’s? 

I am not. I must make a confession before
I tell you more. I have been a drummer
since I was in elementary school. Much of
my time in high school was spent playing in 
bands and orchestras. I still love to drum on
anything – chairs, tables, walls and of course 
drums of all sizes and shapes.

Some people say drumming relieves the
symptoms of Parkinsons so I drum at every
 Jump Start to Wellness event. The purpose
of drumming is to have fun and feel better. 
Drumming fulfills both aspirations effortlessly.  
Everyone becomes young again.  

The drum is a powerful force in healing.
It:

  • Releases stress
  • Energizes the spirit
  • Heals troubling emotions
  • Releases anger
  • Creates euphoria 

It is hard to beat this list, eh? The body’s
ability to heal is boundless. Drumming is
a fundamental way to support this ability. 

Dr. Connie Tomaino has found that listening
to drumming gives people with Parkinson’s
better control over their movements and
helps to improve their gait in stressful
situations. Dr. Tomaino, DA, MT-BC, uses
drumming in her work with persons with 
Parkinson’s.  Here is her report:

“I once worked with a young person
with Parkinson’s disease who had
trouble initiating movement. I
explored different rhythm patterns
with him. We then made a cassette
of different kinds of African drumming
that he seemed to find very stimulating
and helped him get moving.”

“Anytime he had to walk across a street,
whereas in the past he may freeze, he
would put on his headphones and listen
to African rhythms to get to the other
side without freezing in the middle of
rush hour traffic.”

http://www.remo.com/portal/pages/health_rhythms/library_article9.html

What is Drumming?

You do not have to just listen to drumming.
You can drum yourself. Drumming is stress
free and fun by design.

No musical ability is necessary. No talent
is required. No sense of rhythm is necessary. 
No musical training is a prerequisite. 

The only requirement is to have a body.
Everyone meets this requirement. Right?
The only agenda is to have fun. Everyone
is qualified to participate. 

Any type of drum will do. Bongos, bass
drums, snare drums without the snare, 
tympani, hand drums, African drums –
you name it. If it sounds like a drum it
is a drum no matter what it looks like or
how it is made. 

You can drum alone or in groups. If you
drum with others, someone in the group can
volunteer to maintain a steady beat – often
like the beat of a human heart. Everyone  
else in the group then beats away on their
drum to their hearts content with whatever
beat calls to them.

Some people make simple beats that are
meditative. Others are show offs. It is not
the beat per se that matters. Whatever way
you drum is the right way for you. The room
rocks.

Let no one convince you otherwise. You
may be one who does not like to “keep the
beat.” Good for you. Go for it.    

When we are in groups it is fun to sit around
in a circle and drum together. Even if you are
not drumming yourself, it is healing to feel the
thump of the airwaves.  The thumbs crawl
under your skin and sit on the lap of your soul.  

What you get in return for having fun
by  just sitting in the group is euphoria.
What other remedy for Parkinson’s can
beat that? You also receive the welcome
benefit of dopamine. Who could use a
little more dopamine today?  

Why Drumming Helps Parkinson’s

There is a marked tendency for persons
with Parkinson’s to be hyper-vigilant.
Mental activity is usually turned up to the 
top notch.

Hyper-vigilance is a good trait. It is one
reason why people with Parkinson’s  
succeed in whatever they choose to do.
But hyper-vigilance also takes a heavy
toll on the human body which has a
foundational need for rest and relaxation. 

The body was not designed to pump out
adrenaline 24-7 without registering loud
complaints.  You know the story. People
who are always working and never playing 
have health problems. 

People who are hyper-vigilant also
have a much greater chance of having 
no alfa brainwaves. Zero.  Drumming
helps to jump start this deficiency by
inducing alfa brainwaves at 8-12 cycles
per second.

The alfa state is that delicious, relaxed
place that ever so gently nudges the
body into a state of pure relaxation, the
place where dopamine is manufactured.  
 The hyper-vigilant person has difficulty
producing dopamine because they 
rarely experience this state.  

I suspect that what happens in
transcendental meditation is similar
to what happens with drumming. 
Twenty minutes (or so) of a 30
minute transcendental meditation
are spent floating in the alfa state. 

Stress and trauma are embodied by a
disconnection from the earth. One good 
way to survive stressful circumstances and
trauma (especially when we are young) is to
disassociate from ourselves and from our
surroundings. We yank our roots up from 
the earth and let them flop about in thin air.

Drumming helps to connect you back to
the earth. Drumming calls you back to
the embrace of mother earth where it is
safe and exciting to be alive. Drumming
helps you accept everything and everyone –
including ourselves – just as you are.

Drumming invites the body to relax and
unwind. Results happen when you start. 
You do not have to wait weeks or
months for the “therapy” to take effect.
Pretty neat, eh?  

Testimonials tell us that drumming
helps people with Parkinson’s. We have
no formal research to indicate that it
helps but I say why even bother. 

Why not give it a try and find a drum
today? You can often find great drums
at garage sales for a few dollars. 

   It certainly cannot hurt you.  
   It is bound to be fun. 
   You may laugh while doing it.
   When you have fun and laugh …
       you give yourself the best dose of
       dopamine that exists. It is all natural
       and entirely free.

So be honest with me here. Do you think
this is a silly idea? If you do, please take
this opportunity to laugh at me. That will
do you some good for sure!

As for myself, I am on the lookout for 
drums to use at Jump Start to Wellness.
Euphoria is calling me. 

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

 © 2008 Parkinsons Recovery