Category Archives: symptoms

Process of Recovery from Parkinson’s Symptoms


I interviewed Tom House today on the radio show.  He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease about five years ago. Tom has a unique perspective on the “process” of recovery. Note that I used the word “process” not “outcome”. Tom explains that when athletes focus on the “outcome” they want – i.e., winning the game – their performance sinks and they are more likely to lose.

The outcome is not what matters, but the process. Of course people diagnosed with Parkinson’s want to see all symptoms dissolve. To make that happen however, the focus needs to be on the present moment activities and behaviors that in the end make that outcome possible.

This is why mindfulness programs are so successful for people with Parkinson’s.  They focus on process rather than outcomes.

My Interview with Former Major League Pitcher Tom House

P.S. Have you heard? I  just released the 2017 update to Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease.

Robert Rodgers PhD
Parkinsons Recovery
https://www.parkinsonsrecovery.com

 

 

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Treating Parkinson’s Symptoms Versus Addressing Causes

Today, October 26th at 2:00 pm Pacific time (5 pm eastern) I will discuss two approaches for treating Parkinson’s symptoms: treating symptoms or addressing the causes.
Join me today on the program”:

Attend by Phone:
Guest pin code: 200414#
Primary dial in number: (425) 440-5100
Secondary dial in number: (323) 476-3997

Attend by Web:
http://InstantTeleseminar.com/?eventid=61566276

Robert Rodgers PhD
Parkinsons Recovery
www.parkinsonsrecovery.me
www.parkinsonsrecovery.com
Olympia Washington

 

Are Symptoms of Parkinsons Degenerative?

Results of my Thanksgiving holiday survey that asked about Parkinsons symptoms  far exceeded my expectations. I asked members of my Parkinsons Recovery audience who currently experience the symptoms of Parkinson’s to report how they were doing relative to one year ago. Here is the question:

Since Thanksgiving of last year (2010) have you been feeling better, the same or worse overall?

Thirty-six persons responded over the course of the two days before Thanksgiving holiday.

If you happen to buy  into the untrue belief that Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease, you would expect that Parkinsons symptoms would get worse over time. That is, people who currently experience the symptoms of Parkinson’s should feel worse and worse with each passing year.  They will not feel better.  Moreover, if you actually endorse the belief that Parkinsons is degenerative, you would expect the following result:

Number feeling Better – 0

Number feeling the same 0

Number feeling worse-   36

Only such a result would confirm the false belief that Parkinsons is “degenerative.”  It would say that 100% of the people who currently experience the symptoms of Parkinson’s are worse off this year than last. Only such a result would support the false belief that Parkinson’s is degenerative which many people still underwrite.

This was not – I repeat not – the result of the Parkinsons Recovery survey. Seventy percent (70%) of the respondents reported that they were doing the same or better than a year ago. A mere thirty percent (30%) reported that they were feeling worse overall.

Thirteen (13) persons reported they felt better overall. Twelve (12) persons reported that they felt the same as last year. In total, 25 out of 36 persons (70%) who responded said they were doing as well or better than last year. Isn’t this result exciting news?

I am going to design a followup Holiday Survey with a longer lead time to respond. My followup survey will ask people who do not currently experience the symptoms of Parkinsons as well as people who do to report how they are doing overall this year as compared to last year. What do you suppose a comparison of people with Parkinsons symptoms to people without Parkinsons symptoms will reveal?

I obviously do not know, but just think about the overall health of people you know in general – especially friends and family. How many people without Parkinson’s are feeling worse overall this year than last? Is it 30%?

I will not be surprised to find that 30% of the general population are feeling worse this year as compared to last year. It is thus very likely that people who just happen to currently experience the symptoms of Parkinsons are fairing no better or worse than the general population.

I will put out just such a survey and report the results over the holidays. I can’t wait to analyze the results.

If you have not already done so, please sign up for the newsletter if you would like to add your input to the Parkinsons Recovery Holiday Survey.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Pioneers of Recovery
www.pioneersofrecovery.com

How Do I Manage the Lump in My Throat?

Hello. I have many of the symptoms of Parkinsons and am in the process of getting a diagnosis (MRI, etc). One
symptom I have that I don’t know how to manage is that of the sensation of a lump in my throat. Like all the other symptoms I have, this sensation comes and goes but it seems to be getting worse, what can I do to manage this?

Thanks much

Response:

I have two thoughts for you in response to your question. First, your question asks

What can I do to manage this?”

You do not ask:

“What do you suppose is causing this lump in my throat?”

“How can I get rid of this lump?”

My point is simple: You seem to be resigned that you will be stuck with a lump in your throat for the rest of your life. You appear to have accepted the lump as a part of who you are. The only question of importance that remains is to figure out how to manage it.

Our language has a powerful impact on our recovery. If we believe a symptom is irreversible, it will be irreversible. If we believe our body can heal itself, symptoms such as lump in our throat will be healed.

My second thought centers around what your body might be telling you. Symptoms are information our body gives to us to let us know something is out of balance. I obviously do not know the message your body is sending to you but consider several possibilities by way of explaining my meaning here.

  • Perhaps you are eating something that is very bad  for your body. Your body’s reaction is to shut down your ability to eat. It does that by growing a large lump in your throat. If you stop eating the food that is toxic to your body, the lump will disappear.
  • If your voice is being compromised by the lump, perhaps it is a challenge for you to speak your truth? Perhaps you get all choked up often and lose track of what you want to say to others?
  • Perhaps your body is shutting down your ability to talk fluently so you can listen to your own inner wisdom. Perhaps you do not take action on what you know is in your best and highest good.

Of course, there are many possibilities. I suggest that you begin to listen to what your body is telling you. Recognize the lump as information you need to hear. What is your body telling you with this lump? Once you figure out the answer to this question and take the appropriate action, your lump will disappear.

Why not have a dialogue with your lump? Give your lump a voice. Listen to what she has to say. Have a conversation with your lump just as you might have a conversation with your best friend.

I must apologize for not actually answering your question. I have not speculated on you you can manage your lump because I do not view it as something which should be managed. Instead of being a symptom to be managed, I believe a lump in the throat is something to be heard with the mindful intention of healing.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease
www.parkinsonsdisease.me

Fluctuation of Parkinson’s Symptoms

Do you get frustrated because your symptoms seem to come and go with the wind :

  • Here today
  • Gone tomorrow
  • Back again next week or the next month or two or three or four or …

This video captures a discussion over the wide fluctuation in symptoms that are associated with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease which took place at the  Parkinsons Recovery Summit March 7, 2011.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease

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Question About the Nature of Parkinson’s Symptoms

This video raises an important question about the nature of symptoms associated with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease which was asked at the Parkinsons Recovery Summit March 7, 2011. Return here tomorrow to hear some fascinating answers to this question.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease

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Dopamine Producing Cells

Question:

My husband and I receive your newsletter and listen to many of your radio interviews. I am encouraged by your message of working toward recovery. I do have one question, and it deals with physiology.

Conventional medicine explains the symptoms by stating that the dopamine producing cells in the substantia nigra are dying, and this is irreversible. Do you think the cells are dying but this state is reversible? Or do you question the whole idea of the cells dying? If PD is simply a collection of symptoms, what causes the symptoms?

We are working hard toward recovery, although the path is discouraging right now.

Regards,

Don and Dianne

Response:

You ask if I question the idea that cells are dying. I have no doubt but that cells are dying throughout the body every second of our life. It is the sweet nature of life as it is sustained by the awakening of new cells and the death of cells whose time has come.

Do cells in the Substantia Nigra die? Of course they do, just as the cells in my right big toe. I say,

Out with the old and in with the new.

The process of old cells dying and new cells emerging gives life juice and power. It we hang onto the old, our life force withers away.

You ask if the state of illness is reversible? My answer unequivocally is yes. There are beliefs that typically drag us down into the sewer of depression and illness. Once those beliefs are transformed, recovery becomes possible as long as the physical body is given the support it needs to heal.

You ask what causes the symptoms? I write quite a bit about this subject in my new book I just released this week, Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease. There are a number of interrelated factors that contribute to the symptoms including trauma, stress, toxins, poor nutrition, lack of exercise and a digestive system that has shut down.

Here is what I think. There is no single therapy or approach that can offer the promise of  full recovery. Parkinson’s is one of the most complex conditions that can exist in the body. It takes a multifaceted approach to heal.

A deficiency of dopamine plays a minor role in what is happening within the various systems of the body. I can assure you it is not the central character in this drama. I suggest you step back and begin thinking in a much larger and broader context.

It sounds like you have launched a path on the road to recovery. Take action on whatever therapies or approaches that call to you. A little experimentation will go a long way in helping you figure out what you need to do for yourself to recover.

It is very easy to get discouraged, since the road to recovery tends to have quite a few curves and unexpected twists. When you get discouraged, as is the case today, just acknowledge the thought and whisk it away for it is not serving your best and highest good.

I have a concluding thought for you. You mention you are working “hard” toward recovery.  It certainly does take an unwavering commitment, but if the work is “hard” it may actually be stressful, provoking symptoms. Perhaps the thought form could be transformed by the mantra:

‘We are having fun as we travel down the road to recovery. Every day reveals exciting new discoveries that feed our souls, our bodies and our minds.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

Resources

Parkinsons Recovery Cruise
Jump Start to Wellness
Parkinsons Recovery Weekly Reader
Parkinsons Recovery Chat RoomSymptom Tracker
Parkinsons Recovery Radio Network
Aqua Hydration Formulas

Books

Pioneers of Recovery
Five Steps to Recovery

Meditations for Parkinsons
Stop Parkin’ and Start Livin’

Parkinsons Disease Symptoms

Question:

I wonder why some people can ingest so called toxins and never get Parkinson’s Disease, and other people like myself do.  It can’t be that simplistic. It has to be a combination many other factors.

Annette

Response:

I totally agree with you. There are a complicated set of factors at play which determine which people will experience more troubling symptoms.

We all ingest toxins every day – from the breaths we take to the food we eat to the toxic substances we put on our bodies as cleanses and washes. The body has a limited capacity to eliminate toxins. Only so many toxins can be discharged from our bodies in any given day. When the body gets too clogged with toxins, symptoms will present themselves for anyone.

I believe the symptoms of Parkinsons will present themselves for everyone whose system becomes “clogged up.” Everyone has experienced tremors at one time or another. Most people have felt a deep sense of depression. Everyone has experienced pain. Most people I know have been “frozen” in the sense that they are unable to take positive action. Most people have experienced balance problems at one time or another. Symptoms at any particular time may not be so problematic that a formal diagnosis of “parkinson’s” is offered, but symptoms nonetheless can present themselves for everyone from time to time.

When the body’s immune system, lymph system and elimination organs are healthy, the body releases toxins efficiently and expeditiously. When any of these systems are compromised, symptoms are likely to emerge.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery
www.parkinsonsrecovery.com

Vicious Cycles of Parkinson’s Symptoms

People with Parkinson’s can be trapped into a vicious cycle of escalating symptoms. Here is how the process unfolds.

Symptoms tend to creep up gradually. Little signs pop up here and there – a twitch here or a muscle cramp there. Signs are ignored or dismissed as being minor annoyances. Symptoms gradually become more persistent.

A search is launched for therapies that  have the potential to provide relief. The search for relief in itself is stressful. Stress from the search inflames symptoms further. A diagnosis is made which hammers away at the idea that recovery is no longer possible.

The person begins to believe that recovery will never be possible. Since our thoughts affect our health, the next step is obvious.

Other more troubling symptoms emerge. Movement becomes more challenging. Exercise becomes painful.  Movement becomes more limited. Without physical exercise symptoms are destined to get worse.

Every day tasks become much more challenging . Hope of recovery begins to hang on a very thin thread.

The problem I have thus been working on is this: How can this vicious cycle be reversed? My answer is simple.

If you can’t exercise your body, you can always exercise your mind. Why not build new neural networks without lifting a finger?

Simply put, you do not have to exercise your body to get the benefits of exercise. Research suggests that you can actually get two thirds of the benefits of physical exercise by exercising your mind (without lifting a finger).

Isn’t that a cool idea? I think so.

We can exercise our mind through memory exercises and guided visualizations. This forms new neural networks. Memory exercises facilitate the body’s ability to make dopamine. As the symptoms subside,  physical exercise becomes a viable option.

Presto. You are back on the road to recovery.

I call this approach recovery “Mindwork.”  Memory exercises and guided visualizations are being posted on the Parkinsons Recovery member website every week now.  I am asking everyone who is participating in the Mindwork exercises to track their symptoms so we can all get an idea of how the recovery process unfolds when the mind is used as a form of exercise.

The good news is that Mindwork is fun, non intrusive and safe. The only side effects are improved health on some level.

© 2009 Parkinsons Recovery