Kick off the 2019 New Year with a program of recovery that will lead to a successful journey down the road to recovery.
Robert Rodgers PhD
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease
Kick off the 2019 New Year with a program of recovery that will lead to a successful journey down the road to recovery.
Robert Rodgers PhD
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease
How about the title to this post – why do people die? It was inspired by my interview today posted above on Parkinsons Recovery Radio with Willem Visser, a craniosacral therapist. Now, a big part of his presentation was to explain more about what craniosacral therapy is and why it helps with symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Some of you who receive regular craniosacral treatments may well conclude that you do not need to take 30 minutes out of your day to listen to this particular Parkinsons Recovery interview that I hosted today.
Well, might I encourage you to listen anyway. Why? Willem summarizes the work of Aubrey de Grey, an engineer, who is now focused on answering the question posted in the title above. Now, the interesting twist to Aubrey de Grey’s work is that he argues it is possible to live very long lives – up to 200 to 300 years. How could that be possible?
Listen to the interview. Your interest will be tickled too. (hint: it all has to do with cellular death).
Robert Rodgers PhD
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease
I released the 2018 Update of Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease only two months ago … https://www.parkinsonsdisease.me which covered various new options including:
But so much has happened since then.
My discussion today provides an update about some of the new and exciting therapies I covered in my 2018 book and other developments as well. What follows are the notes for the program today:
Still Experiencing Some Symptoms?
Listen to my radio show interview with Bill McAnalley PhD to discover the surprising reason why and what you can do about it!
The replay of this interview also includes the teaching notes provided by Dr. McAnalley.
Answer to: What is the difference between the Isolate CBD Oil and the Herbal CBD Oil?
Which concentration is the best buy?
What has been the re-order rate?
Vielight Neuro Gama Device
Customers have a 6 month opportunity to try it out. If it does not offer the relief they were seeking, the company gives an 80% refund if returned within 6 months after purchase.
Number ordered using the Parkinsons Recovery coupon code healing4me
Announcement of a new https://www.Vielight.com device X-Plus
The main idea is to position a powerful diode where the cerebellum is.
This new device comes with a 633 nm intranasal applicator and 810 nm transcranial diode.
Retails for $749
(Coupon code of healing4me will give a 10% discount)
Will be available in a month
More Ways to Fight Parkinson’s Disease
How Natural Medicines Help Parkinson’s Disease. Barbara Frank uses Folk Medicine and Nature’s Medicines To Help Parkinson’s Patients. barbarafrank222.com
Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease three years ago. Don McCammon developed his own compound to treat his symptoms with considerable success. Don wrote an article describing his discovery. The name of the compound he developed is Syncolein. It is a natural product that does not require a medical prescription.
The primary ingredient in his formulation is Mannitol. For further information and to get your questions answered, email Don at: email@example.com
Trainer bottles still available
They have added an offering of a set of four bottles which includes a ketone meter and strips.
Here are answers to 3 questions that have been asked about the BEMER:
Why does a magnetic field permeate the human body?
How does the Bemer signal go through my body?
Low-frequency pulsating magnetic fields used in magnetic field therapy diffuse at the speed of light and have wavelengths of thousands of kilometers in length. Due to these very long wavelengths they permeate all matter, including the human body. However, an electromagnetic field weakens very quickly with increased distance, losing its intensity.
Does Bemer Therapy work with my prescriptions and supplements?
Can I still using my prescription drug while on Bemer Therapy?
As a preventative measure, BEMER serves to strengthen the body and improve its innate self-regulating mechanisms. It never replaces a conventional medicinal therapy prescribed by a doctor, but in optimal cases could lead to a reduction in the dosage of prescribed medication.
Are there any side effects of using Bemer Therapy?
Is there any harm to use the Bemer long-term?
Side effects are understood to be undesirable accompanying effects such as allergies, bleeding, etc. To date, no dangerous side effects have been detected with long-term application.
On Parkinsons Recovery Radio today. Fred Phillips offered his insights into how he gets immediate relief from a variety of his Parkinson’s symptoms. His solutions for Parkinson’s symptoms are novel and profound. Do you ever have difficulty when walking with:
If so, I strongly recommend that You listen to my interview with Fred today. Click the arrow below to hear the replay. Fred has discovered some powerful, yet simple solutions to these
symptoms that have helped him enormously.
One of now over 70 pioneers of recovery I have hosted on Parkinsons Recovery radio, Fred also previews his 10 step protocol for recovery.
Robert Rodgers PhD
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease
Q&A With Robert Rodgers PhD
The following are some of the questions submitted by listeners that I answered during my program this week.
What follows is an article written specifically on Parkinson’s that was written by Dr. Daniel Newman, M.D., N.D., M.S.O.M. and presented to a Parkinson’s support group in Portland, Oregon in October, 2009. For those who are attentive to initials that appear after people’s names, you may have already observed that Daniel Newman is a medical doctor, a naturopath doctor and an expert in Chinese medicine. What a powerful combination that is!
I aired an interview with Dr. Newman next month on the Parkinsons Recovery radio show.
visit Dr. Newman on Treating Parkinson’s to hear the recording of the program
Dr. Newman has a wealth of experience working with persons who have the symptoms of Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions. Dr. Newman reports evidence of recovery during the interview. He has a clinic in Vancouver, Washington where he sees Parkinson’s patients in addition to individuals with other chronic conditions.
This is an insightful and exciting article. I encourage everyone with the symptoms of Parkinson’s to take the time to read it through to the end.
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
It is estimated that Parkinson’s Disease affects 1.5 million people in the United States, and about 1% of all Americans over age 60. While a small percentage of Parkinson’s Disease can be considered hereditary, in the vast majority of cases, the cause is deemed ‘idiopathic,’ or unknown. Nevertheless, there is increasing evidence that environmental toxins play a role in the destruction of the substantia nigra, the nest of dopamine producing neurons in the midbrain whose loss is the defining anatomical feature in Parkinson’s Disease.
Toxins implicated in the development of Parkinson’s Disease include: recreational drugs (such as cocaine and amphetamines); pharmaceutical drugs (e.g., phenothiazines and metoclopramide); pesticides (such as β-hexachlorocyclohexane or B-HCH and rotenone); solvents (e.g., toluene, hexane, and trichloroethylene or TCE); and metals (such as mercury, lead, copper, and manganese).
Parkinson’s Disease can present as a spectrum of symptoms, from mild to severe. Aside from the characteristic tremor, patients with Parkinson’s Disease may manifest problems with: movement (slow arm swing, small handwriting, accelerating small steps when walking, rigidity, freezing, and decreased facial expression); balance (instability and the tendency to fall backwards); speech (slurred or muffled); diminished reflexes (including blinking and swallowing); sleep disturbance; mood disorders (anxiety or depression); difficulty thinking (cognitive dysfunction or dementia); constipation; and skin problems (either dry or oily).
Because of this broad spectrum of symptom type and severity, the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease patients must be individualized. The treatment program for a patient with simply a mild hand tremor should not be the same as for a patient with long-term, severe, incapacitating symptoms.
Treatment should accomplish three goals:
- 1. Symptom management – control of symptoms that have already manifested.
- 2. Neuro-protection – slow or prevent the further loss of dopaminergic neurons by providing the body with compounds that facilitate protection of nerve cells.
- 3. Detoxification – lower the burden of toxic chemicals in the body to prevent further destruction of dopaminergic neurons.
An Integrative Approach to Treatment
My approach to the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease combines conventional treatment, naturopathic medicine, and Chinese medicine. I believe that each of these approaches has something unique to offer. Conventional treatment, in particular pharmaceuticals, can be helpful in managing the symptoms of advanced Parkinson’s Disease. However, conventional medicine has little to offer in the realms of neuro-protection or detoxification.
Naturopathic medicine has a breadth of modalities that can be useful in addressing neuro-protection and detoxification, and can be helpful in symptom management, but may not be able to blunt the symptoms of late stage disease without pharmaceutical support.
Chinese medicine utilizes a different paradigm than Western medicine (either allopathic or naturopoathic), looking at the body energetically. It may therefore be helpful in all 3 arenas of treatment, particularly when two of the primary treatment modalities, acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas, are combined.
Management of Parkinson’s Disease symptoms may involve the use of pharmaceuticals, particularly in the later stages of illness. Drugs used for Parkinson’s Disease include those that: boost the amount of dopamine in the brain by offering dopamine precursors (such as Sinemet, Apokyn, and Stalevo); act like dopamine in the brain (e.g., Mirapex, Requip, Permax, and Parlodel); block dopamine’s competing neurotransmitter, acetylcholine (e.g., Artane, Cogentin, Akineton, and Benadryl); and prevent dopamine from being broken down as quickly (Comtan, Tasmar, Eldepryl, and Azilect).
While these medications can be useful in some circumstances, they are not without side effects, sometimes serious ones. Also, they may become less effective over time requiring ‘drug holidays.’ And, there is some suggestion that by overly exciting the remaining dopamine producing neurons in the brain, they may actually accelerate the progression of disease.
In some cases, deep brain stimulation (DBS) may be helpful in lessening the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease where medications fail. However, this is an expensive neurosurgical procedure that carries its own attendant risks. It is not a cure, and though it may reduce motor symptoms by up to 60%, worsening of other symptoms, like cognitive dysfunction, is not uncommon.
Exercise, such as balance work, Tai Ji, and Qi Gong, has been shown in recent studies to be helpful in mitigating the balance issues in Parkinson’s Disease, and should be a part of any treatment program. Other types of exercise to promote general fitness, such as stretching, strengthening and aerobic exercise, can be useful in promoting general health and well being, thereby improving symptoms as well.
Dietary changes and appropriate personalized supplements may be helpful in addressing issues with skin condition, bowel function, sleep disturbance, and mood. A whole foods, organic, anti-inflammatory diet is a basic foundation. Diet should be further individualized based upon food sensitivities and digestive tract issues.
Chinese herbs and acupuncture may also be helpful with symptom management. Two systems of acupuncture, auriculotherapy (the use of needles retained in the ear) and scalp acupuncture (the use of needles retained in the scalp) are particularly useful in treating neurologic conditions like Parkinson’s Disease. Chinese herbs are best administered in synergistic combinations, specifically formulated for each individual based upon their Chinese energetic diagnosis.
Psycho-emotional health is very important in controlling symptoms. Individual counseling, support groups, meditation, and social networks can all be useful in supporting the spirit of the afflicted individual.
Protecting neurons against further damage is an essential part of preventing progression of disease in Parkinson’s Disease. While some nutritional supplements have been studied and show promise in this regard (Coenzyme Q10 and Vitamin E, for example), there are many others for whom more indirect evidence of antioxidant / neuro-protective effects exists. These include: R-lipoic acid, Carnitine, Acetyl-carnitine, Uridine, Alpha-glycerophosphorylcholine (alpha-GPC), Vitamin C, N-acetyl cysteine, Fish oils, Lithium orotate, Zinc, Vitamins B1, B5, B6, B12, Folic acid, and Phosphatidyl serine.
There are also a number of herbs that have shown promise in protecting neurons against damage, and / or improving dopaminergic activity in the brain. These include: Gingko biloba, Mucuna pruriens, Vinpocetine, Withania somniferens (Ashwaganda), Bacopa monniera; Rosemary; and several Chinese herbs (Dan Shen, Ye Jiao Teng, Bai Zi Ren, Huang Qi and Suan Zao Ren, to name a few).
Not all supplements or herbs should be used in all Parkinson’s Disease patients, nor should they be used in the same amounts. The extent of progression of disease, size and age of the individual, use of concurrent medications, and additional medical problems must all be considered in personalizing a safe and effective regimen.
Exercise, as mentioned above, particularly cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise, can increase cerebral blood flow by promoting healthy vasculature, thereby exerting a neuro-protective effect as well.
We live in a toxic world. Unprecedented pollution of our land, water, and air, due to decades of emissions, has reached the far corners of the globe. Radioactive plutonium can be found in remote areas of the arctic. Lead from gasoline banned in the United States 30 years ago can still be found in the atmosphere. Residues of pesticides banned over 40 years ago, such as DDT, can still be detected in our food supply.
Low levels of long-term toxin exposure tend to have an insidious effect on health over many years. Most toxicology studies look at the effects of acute poisoning, that is, a large dose given over a short period of time. Such studies form the primary basis for government recommendations of safe contact levels. However, we are all exposed to low levels of a multitude of toxins over a long period of time. Data on the effects of this real life exposure pattern is scant. However, experiments have demonstrated that even a single contact to legally acceptable levels of tainted air can have a lethal effect on laboratory animals.
Until the point when the sum of cellular damage from toxicity exceeds your body’s ability to compensate, you may feel perfectly well. The moment your body can no longer compensate for the amount of cellular damage you have accumulated, you get sick. It may seem like disease came on suddenly, when in fact you could not sense the accumulation of cellular toxicity until it reached a critical threshold.
The total amount of toxicity we have accumulated during our life-times is referred to as our ‘toxic load.’ This is not a single number, like a blood pressure, for there is no way to calculate the total of all the poisons and damage from toxicity we have experienced in our lifetime. Rather, we can get a general idea based upon our past history of exposure to certain toxins. We can also perform tests to detect certain toxins that we may suspect, or that are highly toxic or ubiquitous, such as heavy metals. We can also test for toxicity indirectly, by looking at chemical end products of oxidation (rusting), or levels of antioxidant protection.
Some people clearly have high toxic loads based upon their history. I have had patients, including those with Parkinson’s Disease, who acted as flaggers for crop dusting planes, dipped their hands in poisonous solvents to clean mechanical parts, chewed on lead rope, or as children, ran behind trucks spraying DDT or played with balls of mercury. Other patients I have attended to may not have had such clear contact, but upon testing had extremely high levels of environmental toxins from unknown exposures.
The first principle of detoxification is not to get toxic in the first place. This means avoiding toxins wherever possible. It is not feasible to avoid toxicity altogether, as there is nowhere on earth that is truly a pristine environment anymore. Nevertheless, there are many specific ways to limit toxic exposure.
The most critical step in toxicity avoidance, however, is to be conscious about it. Educate yourself about what is toxic, what alternatives there are or what protective steps you can take. And, keep toxicity exposure in mind when you decide where to live, what to eat or drink, or what products to use.
Apart from toxicity avoidance, which is preferred and of paramount importance, the second most important principle is to learn how to work with your body to improve your ability to detoxify. In order to do this, it is helpful to know something about the detoxification process.
Detoxification occurs both at the level of the cells and the body as a whole. At the level of the cells, detoxification involves several factors. First, wherever possible, the toxic substance must be removed from the cell and/or neutralized. Anti-oxidants help neutralize chemically reactive toxic substances called ‘free-radicals.’ There are proteins called metallothioneins, which help neutralize and removed toxic heavy metals, such as mercury.
The cell membrane, which is the bag that surrounds our cells, is a complex border where decisions (in effect) are made about what gets in and out of the cell. It is mostly made of fat, and having the right balance of lipids in the cell membrane can effect the removal of toxins from the cell.
With regard to the body as a whole, enhanced circulation such as with exercise can improve blood flow to the cells, facilitating the removal of cellular toxins. Since much of the body’s toxic load is stored in the fat, breaking down fat with proper diet and exercise can also boost detoxification.
Once toxins have been mobilized from cells into the circulation, they must exit the body. They may exit via the urine (kidneys), stool (colon), sweat (skin), or breath (lungs). Elimination may be improved through these organs by various means. However, arguably the most important organ of detoxification is not an organ of direct elimination, but rather the liver.
The liver may be likened here to the sewage processing plant of the body. Chemical toxins (raw sewage) must be metabolized (processed) in order to be safely eliminated (dumped) by the body. Most petrochemical toxins, such as herbicides, pesticides, solvents, cleaning compounds, plastics, and cosmetics are primarily lipid soluble. Lipid solubility means that they dissolve more easily in fat than they do in water. To facilitate their elimination, the liver converts them into compounds that are more soluble in water. The liver also attempts to mitigate their toxicity by converting them into compounds that are less toxic than the original compound. By converting poisons in this way, they can more easily be eliminated, and, while in circulation, are likely to be less toxic.
Effective detoxification is an ongoing process of avoiding toxins wherever possible, and eliminating those that have accumulated in the body. Elimination involves the mobilization and removal of toxins that have built up in the body. This is most effectively accomplished by a well orchestrated program of facilitating toxin mobilization from the tissues, supporting their removal by the organs of detoxification, and optimizing the function of the body as a whole.
Detoxification is not necessarily an entirely benign process. If toxins are mobilized faster than they can be eliminated from the body, or if the body is not properly supported during detoxification, then people can feel more ill than they did before the process was started.
This may occur due to a phenomenon known as ‘re-distribution,’ in which a toxic molecule residing in a harmless location (let’s say, the fat in your buttock) is mobilized into circulation, but before it can be eliminated from the body it ends up re-depositing in a not so benign location, like the brain.
Thus, while some aspects of detoxification are safe for individuals to self-administer, others are best guided by well-trained physicians. Even in the best of hands, depending upon one’s initial state of health, constitution, and toxic load, it is not uncommon for people to feel initially worse before they get better.
A successful detoxification program is therefore a bit like conducting an orchestra or making a soup: you need the right components or ingredients, in the right amounts, introduced at the right time. Sometimes, small well-placed adjustments can mean the difference between a serenade and cacophony, or delectable versus inedible.
Successful detoxification requires a degree of vigilance for toxicity avoidance: eating clean food, drinking clean water, and generally avoiding chemicals in one’s environment. The remainder of the detoxification process, which should be supervised by a physician skilled in this process, would include diagnostic testing to assess hormone balance, nutritional deficiencies, signs of inflammation, and other disease states. Following this, appropriate supplements and procedures to facilitate toxin elimination would be prescribed.
In summary, an integrative individualized treatment program for Parkinson’s Disease takes into consideration the stage of disease progression, and overall health and age of the patient. There are three main areas of focus: symptom management; neuro-protection; and detoxification. Conventional, naturopathic, and Chinese medicine modalities should be skillfully blended to maximize treatment efficacy.
Daniel I Newman, M.D., N.D., M.S.O.M.
Classical & Modern Medicine
Naturopathic Medicine 8301 NE Hazel Dell Ave.
Acupuncture P.O.B. 65759
Chinese Herbs Vancouver, WA 98665
Internal Medicine Board Certified TEL 360-696-3800
Pain Medicine Board Certified FAX 360-696-09067
The wife of Robin Williams revealed today that he had Parkinson’s disease. The news of a Parkinson’s diagnosis sends most people into a tail spin. Engaging a willingness to live
when confronted with this type of news is a herculean task for most people.
Robin Williams was already prone to depression. He had struggled with drug addiction issues his entire life. Hearing the news that he had Parkinson’s disease may have struck the final blow to his interest in living on this earth.
I have interviewed hundreds and hundreds of persons who have just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Without exception, everyone is devastated. They fear the worst. They foresee no hope of healing. Most people quickly hear that the condition is “degenerative” and prospects for recovery are nill.
No wonder people get so depressed with the news of a Parkinson’s diagnosis! No wonder
such news might well have been the final blow for Robin Williams.
I am immensely saddened if my speculation above is true about the trigger for his Robin
william’s death. Why? My research on Parkinson’s over the past decade reveals that Parkinson’s symptoms are indeed reversible. The condition is not “degenerative” or “progressive.”
This is what most people believe. My research shows it is not true.
The search for a cause is not simple. The pursuit of successful therapies does not promise a simple fix. But, a little patience, a great deal of focus and a clear determination
to heal are the magical combination that helps people reclaim their lives.
The world has lost a talent and a spirit that can never be replaced. To prevent such a tragedy from happening to others, please spread the word that Parkinson’s is not degenerative or progressive. It is only through thinking it is that the expectation becomes true.
The body really does know how to heal itself. I only wish Robin Williams had known this last week.
Robert Rodgers PhD
Is big picture science or little picture science the best strategy to pursue if you are determined to reverse the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s Disease? There are two sides to this curious coin of choices.
I initially began my research career in the gold standard tradition of all academic research. I constructed a narrowly focused program of research – one that only a few other academics were pursing. The strategy worked for me as it does for all other successful academics – I published in the best journals, worked in excellent universities, was promoted and tenured.
There are two sides to every coin. On the one side of this coin of choices, my narrowly focused research program led to success in an academic setting. On the other side of my coin of choices, my research was so narrowly defined that I investigated a tiny piece of a
very complex puzzle. Yes, I was successful but my university funded research
did not have the impact I had envisioned when I went to all the trouble to earn a Ph.D.
Discouraged that the best of my energy and efforts resulted in outcomes of little consequence I quit my academic position a decade ago to pursue big picture science. I did not want to waste my life away studying narrowly constrained questions.
I chose the most difficult of all diseases to research by setting my research
agenda to investigate what causes Parkinson’s symptoms and what people had done to reverse them.
Having opened the opportunity to consider any and every possibility, I have unearthed many exciting discoveries over the past decade which are documented in my radio shows, blog and books. I could not have done this work in a university setting while engage in Little Picture Science.
I believe the reason my research has been far more successful this past decade than was the case before then is that I refused to focus my attention on a tiny piece of the big picture. Tackling the big picture is a strategy that produces the most rewarding
So much for my story. Have you been narrowly focused in your thinking? Have you been chasing after a pill or therapy that will fix everything? Such an approach engages a narrowly focused strategy that, as with my experience, promises a feeble result in most cases.
In this place and at this hour I encourage you to pause and take a step backward for a moment. Ask yourself big picture questions.
By asking yourself big picture science questions like these you will likely discover answers that will help guide you down a steady course to recovery.
Ask big questions.
Get big answers.
There is nothing wrong with the small picture scientific approach, but it promises to produce disappointing results. That has certainly been my experience. I expect the same will be true for you.
Robert Rodgers PhD
Listen to Robert Rodgers, Ph.D., Founder of Parkinsons Recovery, discuss the factors that cause Parkinson’s symptoms and the various therapies that are helping people reverse them on Voice America Radio.
Positive energy is my power over Parkinson’s disease. Some times I want to give up, but when the tremor tries to take over I get the fight back in me.
A Doctor told me to give up my motor cycle. What did I do? I went out n bought a bigger one. Riding my Harley forces my mind to work harder. The tremor slows and my balance improves.
Think positive. I can do this. I have been fighting this for over 13 yrs. I can not stop as long as there is hope.
My guest on this week’s radio show is John Schappi. Diagnosed in September, 2009 at age 80, John blogs about Parkinson’s Disease and aging at http://parkinsonsand5htp.blogspot.com. A Washington, DC resident, he pursues many interests, including gardening, bridge, travel, biking, and internet research. His blog “Aging and Parkinson’s and Me” is designed to be a place for seniors dealing with Parkinson’s and other afflictions to share their experience, strength and hope.
To connect with John during the show which airs at 6 pm eastern this Wednesday, May 4th visit:
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease
Angela Wensley was a guest on my radio show on October 28, 2010. You can listen to the show by visiting http://www.blogtalkradio.com/parkinsons-recovery. Angela wrote a thorough update describing the treatment options she has pursued. Her update is posted below. Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
This update is intended not only for my friends and family, but also for people who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Please feel free to pass this on to anyone that you may know who has a diagnosis of PD as they may find some of the information helpful. I was diagnosed with the symptoms of PD in May 2007, over 3 1/2 years ago at age 59. At the time of diagnosis, I was informed that not only was the cause unknown (“idiopathic”), but also that it was irreversible and progressive. Initially, I questioned the diagnosis but any doubts were resolved when I traveled to Los Angeles in September 2007 for a PET scan that confirmed (in medical-speak) that there was: moderately decreased dopamine accumulation into the posterior putamen on the left side of my brain, consistent with PD. Since then, I have come to accept the diagnosis as my symptoms have become rather “classic”. In particular, I have tremours in my right hand and these have become increasingly worse as the years have progressed.
The progression of my PD symptoms has not been linear, but instead I experience it in waves with definite peaks and valleys. The symptoms can be pronounced for a number of days interspaced by days of calm where I am almost symptom-free. Over time, however, the general trend has been a gradual progression downward (probably corresponding to dopamine depletion in the part of my brain responsible for motor activities) with the valleys becoming more savage and the peaks becoming shorter. In addition, there can be variations in my tremours during the day. When I am relaxed, I have no tremours. When under stress, or excitement, or cold, the tremours become more pronounced.
The worst situation is “White Coat Syndrome” whenever I visit a medical doctor or a neurologist. On those occasions, my tremours are effectively out of control. Other PD symptoms such as impaired arm swing, problems with gait, problems with balance, and constipation are so far in the mild category. Besides tremour, the other most bothersome PD symptom for me has been “micrographia.” As I can no longer move the fingers on my right hand, my ability to write has decreased to the point where I have ceased keeping a daily journal, something that I had been doing since the 1980s. Also, typing has become difficult and slow. Luckily, Dragon voice-activated software has come to my rescue and I now dictate most of my communications (such as this update).
I plot the progression of my PD every three months using the Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (PDRS) from 0 to 100 on the website www.PatientsLikeMe.com where my patient name is “Dawn Angel”. My current rating is 7. It has been as high as 14. My human tendency is to self-evaluate when I’m feeling good so it is possible that my PDRS is higher at some times.
So far, I have avoided taking any of the Parkinson’s medications (with a brief exception of one month after I was first diagnosed when I took Mirapex, a dopamine agonist that for me had dreadful side effects). To me, the PD medications are a last resort. Since they will only provide a certain number of years of effectiveness it seems reasonable to forestall taking them until it is absolutely necessary, that is, when having the symptoms is no longer preferable to the side effects of the meds. I have been able to work for three years post diagnosis but I’m at the point where it may not be possible to continue working as a freelance consulting engineer. I haven’t had any jobs since June 2010, so it is difficult to say if it is time for me to retire.
I am fortunate to have two outstanding neurologists on my side, Andrew Wolfenden and Jon Stoessl, although I only see them once a year. Stoessl is the director of the Pacific Parkinson’s Research Centre. I see him at the Movement Disorders Clinic at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. With Western medicine offering only drugs that mask the symptoms of PD and unable to otherwise treat the condition, it is inevitable that a person diagnosed with PD will seek out alternative forms of medicine. My naturopath Caleb Ng
is a valuable part of my team. Ideally, a person diagnosed with PD should have a team of practitioners, including at least one neurologist, their GP, a naturopath, a physiotherapist, an herbalist, a massage therapist, a personal trainer, a psychotherapist, and others. The reality, however, is that no “team” really exists. My personal trainer may know my chiropractor, and my naturopath may have met my neurologist, but this is not team behaviour. The cold truth is that each patient is pretty well left to their own devices. So one must be proactive and become better informed, often more so then their practitioners. We are the keepers of the complete story.
There are many very good publications on PD available in book form. Some that I have found to be exceptional are:
1. Jill Marjama-Lyons and Mary J. Shomon, “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Parkinson’s Disease,” Warner Books (2003).
2. Gretchen Garie, Michael J. Church, and Winnifred Conkling, “Living Well With Parkinson’s Disease,” Collins (2007).
3. David A. Grimes, “Parkinson’s: Everything You Need to Know,” Firefly Books (2004).
4. Geoffrey Leader and Lucille Leader, “Parkinson’s Disease: Reducing Symptoms with Nutrition and Drugs,” Denor Press (2009).
5. Laurie K. Mischley, “Natural Therapies for Parkinson’s Disease,” Coffeetown Press (2010).
6. Abraham Lieberman, “100 Questions and Answers about Parkinson’s Disease,” Jones and Bartlett (2003).
7. David H. Anderson, “How to Tame Parkinson’s by Keeping Fit,” Authorhouse (2005).
8. John Ball, “Living Well, Running Hard,” Authorhouse (2005).
9. Arthur W. Curren, “Dumb Bells and Dopamine,” Authorhouse (2006).
Downloadable books from the Internet include:
1. John C. Coleman, “Stop Parkin’ and Start Livin’: Reversing the Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease,” available for a fee from www.returntostillness.com.au
3. Janice Walton-Hadlock, “Recovering from Parkinson’s Disease: Understanding its Cause and Mastering and Effective Treatment,” available for free from www.pdrecovery.org/ (I do not necessarily endorse the concepts or opinions of the author but found it a compelling and worthwhile read; too bad she won’t converse with anyone that has been on PD meds such as Mirapex for a month!)
There are almost unlimited resources available on the Internet. By far the best PD website is www.PatientsLikeMe.com that has over 5000 members with PD.
My “Dawn Angel” profile there has been browsed over 7000 times at the time of writing this update.
PD PREVENTATIVE MEASURES
The various measures I have taken in my attempts to slow the progression of PD are listed below in approximate order of effectiveness (my perception). The regimen I am on is constantly changing but the overall goal remains the same: to feel as good as I can.
3. Neuroprotective supplements
5. Brain therapies
The initial diagnosis of PD scared me so much that I decided I had to get into the best possible physical shape to be able to combat the progression of PD. I also engaged a personal trainer, Julie Beenham, to keep me honest. I have seen Julie since June 2007 and would consider our sessions the single most effective measure I have taken against my PD. Within a few months, I had dropped over 40 pounds through a regimen that included running every morning for 5 miles (running for my life) plus extensive workouts in the gym in the afternoon in addition to my sessions with Julie. While my initial reasoning was correct in terms of my being better prepared to withstand the ravages of the disease, I have since found out that intense physical exercise can also have neuroprotective benefits. All the more reason to keep it up. I counsel other people with PD to start exercising and keep at it even when they don’t feel like it.
My exercise regimen has varied significantly over the years, particularly with the seasons, but exercise still remains the most effective method I have found for relief from the symptoms of PD. I have also had to accommodate changes to my body thanks to Mr. Parkinson. For example, I have nearly-constant pain in my right hip that now prevents me from running or from using certain equipment in the gym. When I find I can no longer do one thing (use an elliptical training machine) I do whatever I can to keep that it. A “toe crest” helped keep the toes on my right foot from curling under; I still use toe sleeves to prevent the formation of corns. When these measures weren’t enough I found something else that I could use: a stationary bicycle. I will continue with this practical approach as long as I am able. Whenever possible, I indulge in two of my favourite sports, tennis and kickboxing. Not bad for someone who’s 63 years old!
Currently, my gym workouts consist of roughly 30 minutes of cardio, 30 minutes of weight training, and 30 minutes of stretching. As mentioned above, the cardio originally was done on an elliptical machine but now I use an upright bicycle. Weights involved a number of machines but also free weights (dumbbells). I have found that stretching is an important component of any exercise regimen and worth the time taken for it.
I see my personal trainer Julie twice a week for one hour each time. In our ever varying routine, she has me attempt a number of balance exercises. I can balance on my left leg very well but balance on my right leg is problematic. Standing on a wobble board is possible but is becoming an increasing challenge for me. We do part of each session with my eyes closed which seems to be helpful. Each session ends with stretching, the best part!
I had given up playing tennis in 2005 after a rotator cuff injury made it impossible for me to raise my right arm (I am right-handed) out to the side and overhead. Little did I know that a “frozen shoulder” is often a sign of PD. In 2008, on the advice of a friend who had seen an amputee play tennis again after switching to his left arm, I resumed playing tennis as a lefty. When my right arm finally came around in 2009, I morphed into an ambidextrous player with both right and left handed forehands. We bought a condo in a tennis community in Delray Beach, Florida that we visit twice a year for a month each time and were I can indulge my tennis habit. Back home in the relatively cold Northwest I see a tennis coach on a weekly basis and play indoors during the winter.
When I play tennis, my PD symptoms also take a vacation although videos show that I am clearly compensating for any impaired movement. Nonetheless, my footwork is good as is my ability to run and make shots from either side of the court. Why this is so is not really clear to me. Perhaps doing something that one really loves is conducive to generating dopamine, the neurotransmitter in short supply in the brains of people with PD. I suspect that it has something to do with the repetitive nature of the game and the delightful sense of vibration when the ball is well struck. For this reason, I prefer “tennis therapy” with a coach feeding me shots, to actually playing a game. I have noticed that on those rare occasions where I summon up extra energy through adrenaline (which consumes dopamine) I pay for it later in terms of a short-lived exacerbation of my PD symptoms. The trick is to learn how to stay relaxed while playing the game.
It was Julie my personal trainer who introduced me to kickboxing. The kickboxing I do is not in the ring (!) but rather with a partner holding pads or in a gym with a kickboxing circuit. In the summer I am able to set up a punching bag outdoors in the carport but most of the time I now go to “30 Minute Hit”, a local kickboxing circuit. There is something about the contact and the vibrations from the punches that help calm the symptoms of PD. Besides, it just feels good to hit someone! There is clearly some adrenaline production involved with kickboxing as my tremours are usually set off for several minutes after I complete the circuit.
Since my diagnosis with PD, I have seen a number of physiotherapists. I am relatively good at following orders and did whatever exercises they recommended, with satisfactory outcomes. Initially, my focus was to regain the use of my right arm. More recently, I have been addressing the progressive effects of PD on my body.
As mentioned above, I had given up playing tennis in 2005 after a rotator cuff injury. After my diagnosis with PD in 2007, I worked very hard on regaining the function of my right shoulder. I underwent two months of prolotherapy from a naturopath where dextrose was injected into my tendons (hurt like hell) to promote improved blood supply and healing. In this regard, the prolotherapy was very effective, although I still had to follow up with more than a year of intense physiotherapy. There is still some residual pain in my right shoulder and a tendency for the femur to sit outside of its socket, but for all intents and purposes I have regained a full range of motion. I continue to receive physiotherapy on my right shoulder.
In 2009, I began to see Dan Sivertson, a physiotherapist who practices “Intramuscular Stimulation” (IMS), a therapy developed in Vancouver BCwww.istop.org/. IMS is a form of “scientific acupuncture” where the needles are inserted into the problem area such as tight or shortened muscles, without application of electric current (I have little time for non-scientific or traditional acupuncture that relies on mythical meridians to determine where the needles should be placed.). The results of IMS have been amazing and muscles that I thought had been irrevocably tightened have loosened up. There has also been a significant reduction in pain, especially in my right hip. IMS must be considered as part of a complete physiotherapy package that includes myofascial release and massage.
Currently, Dan and I are working on improving my posture. One of the progressive features of PD is the gradual tightening of muscles that progressively cause a stooped posture. With weekly sessions of physiotherapy and daily posture exercises we are keeping the ravages of PD to a minimum at least as they affect my posture and mobility.
While some people regard chiropractic as a pseudoscience, my experience has been that it is very effective for treating lower back pain. I have had lower back pain for at least 30 years, well before my diagnosis with PD. Whenever I put my back “out” I see a chiropractor as soon as possible and usually a few adjustments set me right. In the past, I used to go for physiotherapy and it took over a month to get any benefit. Chiropractic is faster and more effective than physiotherapy for relief of lower back pain, in my opinion. In addition to chiropractic, exercises to strengthen my “core” help me to recover quickly from recurring back injuries.
Deep tissue massage is another form of physiotherapy that I have found to be beneficial for PD. In 2010, I had a package of 10 sessions of Hellerwork. Over a couple of months, my Hellerworker Melissa Patton accessed and massaged all accessible fascia of my body. Despite the intensity of the bodywork, the sessions were soothing and felt heavenly.
I am currently experimenting with an inflatable splint of the kind used for retraining of stroke patients by immobilizing spastic limbs. The splint is used to straighten my right arm and eliminate the crook in the elbow. I use it three times a day for 10 minutes at a time. It feels good to have my arm straightened.
Minimal contact therapies
There are a couple of therapies that have reportedly had good effect on people with PD. One of these is Bowen Therapy. I have had several sessions of Bowen and found them very relaxing but did not experience any lasting effects. I did, however, find that osteopathy was effective. I have seen in osteopath in New Zealand on a few occasions when I was working there and found his techniques to be effective in reducing lower back pain as well as being very relaxing. If there was a local osteopath, he or she would be in my “team” of caregivers.
Neuroprotective supplements are also referred to as “anti-aging” supplements or “mitochondrial enhancing agents” and are taken in addition to the conventional antioxidants (such as vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin E, and selenium). Most of these supplements are taken orally; the very powerful antioxidant glutathione must be taken intravenously. While I am normally very skeptical of practices that come across as pseudoscience, I can appreciate the rationale for taking supplements that could protect the brain.
The first neuroprotective supplement I began taking (in 2007) was co-enzyme Q-10 after I read that a small clinical trial had revealed that it slowed the progression of PD. Subsequent, larger, studies have not found any beneficial effect on PD but I was willing to go with at least the chance of a good result. I have since learned that the ubiquinol form of co-enzyme Q-10 is superior to (and more expensive) the ubiquinone form.
In 2008, I chanced upon “The Better Brain Book” by neurologist David Perlmutter http://renegadeneurologist.com. The book contains a chapter on maintaining brain function using antioxidants and other compounds that facilitate the functioning of existing neurotransmitters. The protocol recommended by Perlmutter for PD patients is more extensive than that recommended for normal people who simply wish to improve their brain function.
I am currently taking the following neuroprotective supplements:
– Alpha lipoic acid* (time-release) 1200 mg per day.
– N-acetyl cysteine* 600 mg per day.
– Phosphatidylcholine 420 mg per day.
– Phosphatidylserine* 100 mg per day.
– Acetyl l-carnitine* 500 mg per day.
– Co-enzyme Q-10* (ubiquinol) 600 mg per day.
– NADH 5 mg per day.
– DHA + EPA (omega-3*) 660 mg +330 mg two times per day.
– Glutathione* (intravenous) 2500 mg per week.
* Recommended by David Perlmutter.
The glutathione IVs are administered by my ND, Caleb Ng. The protocol is that recommended by David Perlmutter. By the way, there is a video with David Perlmutter showing the near-miraculous effects of glutathione injections on people with PD http://www.glutathioneexperts.com/benefits-glutathione.html that to me seems to be a startling example of the “placebo effect.” I have never experienced anything even remotely resembling the improvement rapidly shown by the people in the video but again, my PD symptoms are not as advanced as those shown in the video. If glutathione has any effect on my symptoms, I believe that glutathione has produced a small (1-2) decrease in my PDRS.
In addition to the special mitochondrial enhancing supplements, I take vitamin C in both in time-release form and also as mixed ascorbates (total 4800 mg vitamin C per day), vitamin D drops (4000 IU per day), selenium drops (260 mcg per day), and zinc drops (30 mg per day) and others. I have my blood work checked regularly and have near-ideal results (all parameters within reference ranges). For years my cholesterol was chronically high and required meds for regulation; now it is excellent (high HDL and low LDL) without meds. Also, I used to be on meds for high blood pressure; now my blood pressure is close to ideal (typically 110/65) and I no longer take meds.
Although it is difficult to say whether all of these supplements are having any effect on my PD, I figure that at least I am extending my life!
The first alteration to my diet was to eat mostly organic foods to minimize the amount of pesticides that I was incidentally ingesting. Pesticides have been implicated with PD in some cases so I was not about to take the chance that my PD was unrelated to pesticides. I also began eating more fish and less red meat. In 2009, I heard about Donnie Yance, an herbalist in Ashland, Oregon, who had a protocol for treating patients with PD. I read his paper, “Parkinson’s Disease and the Use of Botanical and Nutritional Compounds” and was impressed withhis knowledge. In July, 2009, I traveled to Ashland and saw one of his associates, Jason Miller who has become my herbalist.
Jason provides me with a number of proprietary botanical formulations marketed under the Natura brand from the Centre for Natural Healing in Ashland, Oregon www.centrehealing.com. These contain botanicals that have been known to have a beneficial effect on PD, including:
– Mucuna pruriens (a natural source of levodopa)
– Hyoscyamus niger (henbane)
– Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha)
– Green tea extract
– Piper methysticum (kava kava)
– Panax ginseng
– Bacopa monniera
– Scutellaria lateriflora (skullcap)
Of these botanicals, the first two on the list are perhaps the most potent. Mucuna pruriens is a natural source of levodopa and has been found to be more effective than synthetic levodopa in clinical trials. I have experimented with not taking the Mucuna and not noticed any difference, although perhaps I am not yet at the stage of my PD were levodopa is necessary. I am currently in a trial of titrating in with Hyoscyamus niger that is supposed to be effective against the tremours of Parkinson’s. So far, at 30 drops a day of a 1:10 tincture, it seems to have appreciably mitigated my tremours but it is too early to confirm it as effective at this time. Any beneficial effect is overwhelmed if stress rears its ugly head. Stress trumps hyoscyamus every time in the tremour department.
In addition to the above botanicals I also use products such as Natura “Beyond Whey” and “NanoGreens” that, amongst a host of other ingredients including frozen blueberries, make up a morning smoothie that I make every day. The Centre for Natural Healing also prepares a custom “tonic for me that I take twice a day. The tonic contains ginkgo, gotu kola, milk thistle, orange peel, kava kava, liquorice, skullcap, and other botanicals.
Gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free diet
In 2009, I traveled to Melbourne Australia where I met John Coleman, a naturopath who has recovered from PD. Of course, I was very interested in doing whatever he did to recover. Amongst his recommendations was a change in diet to gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free (and others). I saw John again in 2010 and he said that I was doing well and to stay the course. He said the last of his symptoms to go was the tremour. This gives me some heart as tremour is the most bothersome of my symptoms.
In their book, “Parkinson’s Disease: Reducing Symptoms with Nutrition and Drugs,” Geoffrey and Lucille Leader advocate a gluten-free and dairy-free diet for people with PD. I am not lactose-intolerant nor do I have a gluten intolerance (this has been confirmed by genetic testing with www.23andMe.com) but their reasoning is compelling. It is possible that people with neurological disorders such as PD are much more sensitive to lactose and gluten than are people without those disorders. Luckily for me, we live in an age where it is possible to btain gluten-free and dairy-free foods readily. My favourite gluten-free bread is “Udi” available from Whole Foods in the US (but alas not in Canada). I substitute almond milk for regular milk. Dining out can be a problem; however, I travel a lot in my work and have found that the chefs in hotel and other restaurants are more than willing to meet my dietary requirements.
In early 2010 I had a saliva test to determine my free cortisol rhythm. Samples were taken at 8 AM, noon, 5 PM, and at midnight. My cortisol levels for morning, noon, and afternoon where all markedly depressed (only the midnight sample was normal), indicating (according to the report) marginal HPA (hypothalamuspituitary-adrenal) performance. I purchased an excellent book, “Adrenal Fatigue,” by James Wilson that help to explain the significance of my results. Low cortisol, or hypoadrenia, is normally characterized by fatigue, difficulty rising in the morning, a desire for caffeine, feeling run down and stressed, etc. Other than perhaps a desire for a daily cup of coffee, I have none of these symptoms. Indeed, I seldom experience fatigue and still consider myself as a high-energy person. Yet, people with hypoadrenia have a reduced ability to cope with stress. Interestingly, people with PD report that their symptoms are aggravated in times of stress. There has to be some sort of connection between the symptoms of PD and impairment of HPA performance, but so far discussions with my neurologist and endocrinologist have not revealed any knowledge by them of any connection.
The danger is that people with hypoadrenia are on the borderline of having adrenal fatigue (no cortisol). When cortisol reserves are too low, and a stressful situation occurs, one may not be able to produce enough cortisol to handle it. Adrenal fatigue has been responsible for high-performing individuals “crashing” and becoming effectively bedridden for months or years, too fatigued to do anything. Not wishing to come down with adrenal fatigue, I have begun taking an adrenal support botanical supplement (“Restorative Formulations Adrenal Px LOPB”) and have also tried adrenal cortex extract (“Adrenal Stress End”).
I have tried the Aquas formulas available from John Coleman in Australia. These homeopathic remedies are supposed to enhance cellular hydration. I have a problem with homeopathy. If an infinitely diluted amount is good for me, then not taking it all should even be better! Yet, John Coleman swears by the Aquas and he has recovered from PD, so there may be something to it.
Geoffrey and Lucille Leader recommend elimination of alcohol from the diet. John Coleman, sensible man that he is, recommends 1 to 2 glasses of vintage red wine a day. I am on John’s side. Drinking fine red wine has been a passion of mine since the 1970s and one that I am loath to give up especially since I have a wine cellar containing approximately 2000 bottles! Of course a big part of the enjoyment of red wine is the bouquet. Reportedly, loss of the olfactory sense is a common complaint in people with PD and is liable to occur early in the progression of the disease. I noticed no such impairment (and can still guess in a blind tasting that a bottle of Bordeaux is a fine old Burgundy!). For now, I enjoy each bottle of fine wine as if it were my last. To me, joy = dopamine. Also, there must be some benefit from the resveratrol!
As PD also affects the autonomous nervous system, constipation can be a severe problem. Since my diagnosis with PD I have had some problems in this regard especially when I travel over multiple time zones and upset my daily rhythms. Currently, I have it under control with the simple addition of one or two rehydrated prunes to my morning smoothie plus a level teaspoon of organic psyllium fibre. These seem to be enough to keep me regular.
I stayed strictly on my gluten-free and dairy-free diet for over a year, but recently had the opportunity to travel to France for a combination of business and pleasure. I temporarily abandoned my diet and indulged myself for a full week in French gastronomy, eating foie gras, croissants, baguettes, rich cheeses, and just about everything else that the French are famous for. The consequence was that I had not felt better in over three years! Now, I am not so strict about my diet and allow myself the occasional indulgence.
In 2008, a urine test for heavy metals revealed excessive concentrations of lead and mercury and other metals such as manganese. I have been undergoing chelation off and on since then and currently receive one treatment per week from my ND Caleb Ng. The treatments involve a small IV of EDTA solution. For any benefits to be realized, numerous treatments are necessary. Heavy metal poisoning (especially manganese) has been implicated in PD and welders are one profession that is at higher risk for PD. Since I spent many years working closely with welders and breathing welding fumes, I have no doubt ingested my fair share of iron, manganese and other metals. Interestingly, a CT scan of my brain failed to reveal any abnormal concentration of manganese. Note: the claimed benefits of chelation for PD have yet to be established through rigorous clinical trials.
This section covers a number of therapies that may be useful for maintaining mental functioning and postponing the dementia that may occur as PD progresses.
It is difficult to remain positive when confronted with a disease of no known cause and inevitable progression, yet this is precisely what must be done. Depression is one of the predominant symptoms of PD. If necessary, it may be necessary to take an antidepressant. One that has been recommended to me is duloxetine.
For several years in the 1990s, I had training in Hakomi body-mind psychotherapy arising out of the deep desire to know myself. I still keep in touch with my teacher, Ron Kurtz http://hakomi.com/. I regularly see a therapist,Mahmud Nestman, a Sufi who is familiar with the methods of Hakomi. In our explorations one useful technique is called “taking over”. In one session I had Mahmud take over (literally, with his hand) a tightness I felt around my heart.
When he did so, I was able to go in deeper into my own unconscious and to gain some valuable insights as to why the tightness was there in the first place. I have invariably noticed that during our sessions my tremours at first become almost uncontrollable but then they disappear, leaving me in a most serene and quiet and still place. Stillness is priceless.
The science of happiness
For several years I was an active member of the Ken Keyes community based in Coos Bay, Oregon. Ken was the author of the “Handbook to Higher Consciousness,” “The Power of Unconditional Love,” and many other books. For a number of years, I taught “Living Love” workshops in the US, Canada, and New Zealand. These teachings have served me well, particularly now that I have the symptoms of PD. I take responsibility for my own feelings. Nothing or nobody has ever made me upset are unhappy: I do it to myself. This is good news as the only person I am capable of changing is myself.
I have had six sessions of neurofeedback, also referred to as biofeedback from Mike de Jong, a PhD psychologist. During the first session and EEG was done to determine those parts of my brain that had abnormal brainwave patterns. Mike determined that my dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was deficient in theta wave output. Subsequent sessions (one hour each) involved application of a single electrode at the position on my head corresponding to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. I was provided with headphones to listen to the sound of surf while my eyes were closed. Whenever my brain produced Theta waves I could hear the surf; when no theta waves were being produced all I heard was static. At first, I struggled to hear the surf, but later just let my brain do all the work of figuring it out. After six sessions, some progress is being made. If I didn’t think there was some benefit to this I wouldn’t continue. Typically, it takes 20 sessions to realize any permanent benefit, so I have some time to go.
For many years, I was an adept meditator and meditation was the most important part of my day. Since my diagnosis with PD, however, I have found it very difficult to get into a meditative state. Sitting cross-legged is agonizing. Instead of stillness, I have tremours. By re-casting meditation as relaxation, I can derive some of the benefits, primarily reduction in tremours and tension. I have found that electro-cranial stimulation (see below) is a good substitute for meditation.
In electro-cranial stimulation, a small electric current is passed through electrodes attached to my earlobes that produces a mild tingling sensation. Sessions are either 20 minutes or 60 minutes and are very relaxing, almost to the point of putting me to sleep. Tremours also appear to take a nap.
In 2010, I participated in a neuropsychological screening evaluation at the Movement Disorders Clinic at the University of British Columbia. These tests revealed that my cognitive functioning was “broadly average to superior” depending on which test was being administered. I take this as a sign that I have experienced some cognitive impairment as I would have expected all the tests to result in a “superior” rating!
If I had one final piece of advice for anyone who has been diagnosed with PD, it is to defy it. If it is a fight that Mr. Parkinson wants, it is a fight that he will get. The worst thing one can do is to deny it. As long as one remains in a state of denial, the PD will continue to progress. But as soon as you turn to face your tormentor and fight back, the PD will lose its grip over you. Mr. Parkinson may win in the long run but it will be a protracted fight and you will win many of the rounds. And, who knows, you may just beat him!
Afterward I hesitate to call this section “Conclusions” as my protocol is very much a work in progress, and the effectiveness of many of the measures has not yet been verified. I do not have time to wait for the development of a “cure” from conventional Western medicine. I will be dead long before any such treatment has passed through all the hoops and clinical trials necessary for its approval.
Currently, the treatment of last resort for PD is Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) but it is only done when a PD patient is essentially incapacitated with an advanced form of the disease. How humiliating! For people with tremour-dominant PD the option is thalamic surgery, either in the form of thalamic DBS or thalamotomy. Canada’s medical system is unable to cope with the (growing) numbers of PD patients, so in the meantime I will do everything I can to prevent the progression of my PD to the point where surgery is even an option.
I am doing the best that I can to not be a burden on the medical system. What I am doing is also expensive. Canada’s medical system pays for my neurologist visits and little else. The PET scan, physiotherapy visits, naturopath visits, botanicals, and supplements are not covered. Yet if there was ever a time to start spending what I have saved, it is now. I would rather have quality of life than a fat bank account anyway. I’m currently working my way through my “bucket list” and having the time of my life.
It is now near the conclusion of 2009. I have spent the last year interviewing many people who have different backgrounds, different training, different approaches to treatment and different qualifications in the wide spectrum of medical specialties. Here is summary of my discoveries:
Parkinsons Recovery will convene a group of people who are committed to their own recovery on a seven day cruise to Alaska in May. Why not join us? Discover for yourself that there are many people with Parkinson’s Disease who are getting incredible relief from their symptoms. Find out for yourself what they are doing to feel better. You don’t have to wait for me to interview them on my radio program!
Don’t take my word for it. When you hear others on the road to recovery, you will know in your heart and soul that recovery is possible.
Are you thinking a cruise to Alaska would be too expensive? If you sign up for the cruise by December 29th by giving a small down payment, the cost is only $100 a day for seven days. You can’t go on any vacation anywhere for $100 a day. To get the early discount rate, you will need to sign up by December 29th.
I hope you will join us on the cruise. It will be a vacation of healing and transformation for everyone. That is my motivation for arranging the experience. For more information on the cruise, visit:
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
I never saw it coming.
My life’s been rearranged.
So altered, not original,
I’ll never be the same.
The breath I breathe reduced,
The functions that I had,
the limitations place on me,
sometimes, it makes me sad.
I struggle almost every day
to do those basic things.
Can never plan what I’ll do next,
not sure what next, life brings.
My heart still has the want to…
My head might misdirect,
but I get up, keep going.
My feelings I protect.
I’m not the kind to give up.
I’m not the kind to quit.
Sometimes, I’m very mobile.
Sometimes, I have to sit.
So, if your body’s healthy,
your mind is good and strong,
today’s the day, give life your all,
tomorrow, it could be gone.
You do not believe that Parkinson’s is a disease!!!!!
Do you not believe that there is physical damage to the part of the brain that produces Dopamine?
Do you not believe that the damage has been verified by examining brain tissue from deceased Parkinson’s patients?
“The body is not broken. The body is not diseased. It is simply out of balance”
Is the brain not part of the body? Is the brain just “out of balance”?
Thanks so much for your e mail and your question. I know many people think the same way you think.
I am not a medical doctor. I am a researcher. I find that the Road to Recovery involves examining our thinking about “disease.” – any disease. In this case of course it is Parkinson’s Disease. If we focus on the “disease,” we are holding very negative thoughts about what is happening by thinking:
“My body is broken.”
Since thoughts can manifest anything our heart desires, holding this thought will insure that our body will forever remain broken.
What percent of the body is “broken” in the case of Parkinson’s? I assure you that answer varies widely across persons. My hunch is that a tiny proportion of cells are problematic: perhaps 1%; maybe 3% for some people. At least 97% of the cells are working perfectly. I would say that is close enough for me to say that the body is working perfectly. Speaking for myself, I get much more energy by focusing on what is working than what is not working.
You say that damage has been verified by autopsies. This is certainly true, but only in a minority of autopsies. For a majority of autopsies, they find no substantia nigra damage. Don’t take my word for it. Do your own research on the matter. I have been surprised myself to see how low the percent actually is.
My point is that you are holding the belief that cells in your brain are dead. It may be the case that a tiny fraction of cells in your brain are dead, but cells are dying throughout the body all the time. It is the natural process of life and death.
It is also possible you are one of the majority where there is no damage to your substantia nigra. There is no way to tell without an autopsy.
A third of the people who have a diagnosis of Parkinson’s are misdiagnosed. It happens. There is no definitive test for it. Perhaps you are one of the one third who have been misdiagnosed? There are certainly many possible causes for the symptoms. For example – perhaps toxins are the culprit and not cell damage in the substantia nigra.
Let’s say all of these speculations are wrong and that yes, you do have neural damage in the substantia nigra and that yes, you do have Parkinson’s Disease.
New cells can be created anywhere in the body anytime. If you happen to have an overabundance of dead cells in the substantia nigra for the moment, you can set your intention to grow new ones. If the body can make new cells, I would say it is working perfectly.
Here is the rub: If you focus on the dead cells (assuming they even exist) you are assuring that new cells will not be created. Your thoughts are centered in a negative sphere. If you focus on the reality that your body can heal itself, it will heal itself.
This is what I have learned from my research. At the core of all healing are our thought forms. If you think your body is broken I can assure you it will remain “broken” and become more “broken.” If you believe your body can heal itself, new cells will be born, hormones will be balanced, and your body will return to health and wellness.
The most powerful force in the universe are thoughts. When we change how we think, we change the course of our lives. This is what motivated me to write The Five Steps to Recovery which is all about how to transform our thoughts.
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
I surely appreciate all the info I receive from you regarding PD, however, it now has become overwhelming due to emails “everyday” from you. It now has a negative effect because it reminds me “every single day” that I have PD. I need a stretch of days where I can enjoy that time not being reminded constantly that I am living with PD. Don’t get me wrong, you are providing a wonderful site and I am grateful for your dedication but I just need those few days without the reminder.
Thank you & be well.
I have been perplexed about this issue too recently. When I do not send an e mail out every day, people write and tell me that they miss it. When I do send out emails daily, some people unsubscribe to the e-mails because they are overwhelmed with too much information. In light of your input, I will reduce the sending frequency and see if I can hit a middle point.
[If you are not currently receiving the free Parkinsons Recovery newsletter, you can sign up by entering your e mail address in the field on the right side of this blog at the top.]
I know many other people who are dragged down into a ditch of depression when they connect themselves with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. When this thought form space is visited, it connects you with the belief that recovery is impossible.
My suggestion is to challenge this belief that you probably hold (along with millions of others). Think of the symptoms as messages your body sends about certain imbalances in your body that merit attention. The symptoms are information that can help you figure out what is needed to bring your body back into balance.
At the core of all symptoms are seed thoughts that feed the symptoms. A big part of returning to balance is to release, remove, eject and shield yourself from holding the negative seed thought that you have ” ” disease which means you are destined to get “progressively worse.”
It is not true. When we believe it is true, the thought will manifest. When we hold the belief that recovery is possible, symptoms dissolve in their own way and time.
I wonder when Parkinson’s Disease started? I wonder if it when the industrial revolution began, in the late 18th century, or before that?
The individual who is credited with isolating the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease is James Parkinson who wrote an article entitled “An Essay on the Shaking Palsy” in 1817. Forty years later the symptoms of Parkinson’s were identified as “Parkinson’s Disease” by Jean Martin Charcot. His name is thus now used as the diagnostic term neurological diagnosis of symptoms by medical doctors.
Did the symptoms exist before then? Obviously we do not know for sure, but there is evidence in early writings of neurological problems that existed hundreds and hundreds of years previously. Since Parkinson’s is affected by stress, I suspect that the prevalence of Parkinson’s has been more pronounced during those periods of history which were tumultuous.
The neurological system is very delicate. It does not take much to challenge it. It would seem logical to me to conclude that the symptons were present in one form or another throughout history.
Keep in mind also that there is a very long list of symptoms which overlap with many other “diseases.” It is obvious that many of these symptoms have been present throughout history (e.g.: speech impairments, masked face, depression, constipation, etc.)
Is there any way to mail my father-in-law a newsletter (instead of email) to his home. He does not have email. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and is very eager to learn as much as he can about his condition.
He has no access to computers (he can’t even turn one on). I printed out as much as I can from different sites, but he still wants more. If it is at all possible, he would be so happy and I would be once again his favorite daughter-in-law.
All the best,
I have two possibilities for your father-in-law to consider. First, I have published a print book, Pioneers of Recovery which he (or you) could order. You can order the print book or receive nine CD’s which are recordings of the interviews or even purchase an MP3 player that is loaded with the interviews. The publication company can give your father in law instructions on how to use the fully loaded MP3 player if he is interested in listening while he exercises or takes walks. There is a ton of helpful information in the Pioneers of Recovery interviews.
Information on Pioneers of Recovery is at: http://www.pioneersofrecovery.com
If you decide to order the book or cds or MP3 player, enter the code word “pioneers” in the coupon code field on the shopping cart and you will receive a 25% discount on whatever is ordered.
I will publish my own book Road to Recovery out soon, but it is not currently available in print format.
I will talk with my support company to see if they are willing to mail out the newsletters. Maybe something can be set up. I know there are many other people in the same situation as your father in law.
There are many wonderful therapies that help. I hope he finds what he needs to start feeling a lot better soon.
All the best.
Robert Rodgers, PhD.
What correlation is there between Candida and Parkinson’s Disease?
There is no direct evidence of a connection, but I personally believe there is a significant link. Thought forms have a pronounced influence on symptoms. When we carry consciously or unconsciously many negative thought forms, it will be virtually impossible to recover.
The little, live critters that reside in our bodies from candida are nourished by negative thought forms. Get rid of the candida and it will be a whole lot easier to dump your negative thought forms. There are marvelous gentle detox programs that can help release candida. Why not go for it?
How much do genetics play in a disease such as PD? I was diagnosed with PD two years ago. I lost a son to suicide and a year later had all of my amalgam dental fillings removed and replaced with porcelain fillings? About 6 months after, I began noticing symptoms that concerned me. My father had PD following a fall where he hit his head pretty hard. He had a long fierce battle with PD for 20 years, and I took care of him for much of that time.
Estimates vary, but fro 12-17% of people with Parkinsons’s are found to have a genetic link. Researchers have found over 10 genes that have some link to Parkinsons. There is a lot of interest in one gene in particular.
The question for you is the possibility that you may have taken on the diseases of prior family members out of love. I will be interviewing soon Dee Yoh, a family constellation facilitator, who will explain to everyone how the process of taking on disease out of love works. I hope you can join us for that discussion. If you would like to be a guest for that teleseminar, let me know.
I am so grateful for the information I have come to read about the possibility of full recovery of PD symptoms by getting the body back into balance. I have enjoyed this site immensely and appreciate the wealth of information it contains, and the fact that it is updated continuously.
Thanks for your kind words. That make my day and help to keep my own thoughts positive.
I would like to begin tracking my symptoms so that I can begin the 12 step program and track my progress, however the tracking program is not up and running? Do you know when that will be available?
Oh yes, the tracking program is up and running. Go to http://www.parkinsonsrecovery.com and click on symptom tracker icon. Click register. Enter a username and password. You are good to go.
Thank you so much for all you have done to give those of us HOPE where none was thought possible.
With faith anything is possible!
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
© 2009 Parkinsons Recovery
What follows is truly an amazing story about the power of family systems and the connection between a father and son. It is a testament to the truth that Parkinson’s can inspire and motivate in ways that we could have never imagined or anticipated.
Jeff Meyers wrote the following story to me in an e mail last week. He gave me permission to share it with everyone. Get ready to be inspired. I was.
What’s unique about my story is that my father divorced my mother when I was a very young child and I never saw or heard from him again. I knew nothing about the man.
At age 54 I decided that I wanted to do some volunteering and, being quite familiar with with computers, html, and content editing and writing, I came across an opportunity at the Parkinson’s disease Association of San Diego to update and maintain their website. I continued building the site for 2 years, at which time the executive director offered me a full-time position. Up until I came on the scene, their website had generated a mere $1421 in income. Since being hired 4 years ago, the pdasd.org site, the Tulip Tribute Funds site, and our Annual 5K Parkinson’s Walk & Fun Run site (both of which I created) have generated over $300,000 in income.
I also video taped our Parkinson’s educational seminars and, while viewing a live presentation through the video camera, I noticed that 2 of the presenters made reference to a Dr. Harold Russell Meyers, M.D. during their presentations. After the event I followed up with the two neurosurgeons, one of whom was very familiar with my father’s work. I did some research online and that’s how I found out who my dad was. My father did the pioneering work in the development of Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery (DBS). There was never any mention of him in our family all the years while I was growing up.
Now, isn’t that an incredible story! Who would ever have imagined that I would be “connected” to Parkinson’s–and my father–through this series of events? Life…what a mystery!
When I’d finished the Tulip Tribute Funds website, I told my only sister, who I had just recently heard from in over 40 years since the breakup of the family (her choice) and she revealed to me that she was the only child who maintained any contact with my dad in all the years of separation. Interestingly, she is the only child who ever finished college; in fact she earned 2 doctorates at McGill University in Montreal. She was the one who added the testimonial about Dr. Meyers on the Tulip Tribute Funds site. Hopefully, he’s beaming with pride from somewhere “above.”
It seems that my dad had received 32 honorary doctorate degrees, was a Seniors Olympics Champion sprinter through the age of 84, hung out with the likes of Alan Watts, Buckminster Fuller, S.I. Hayakawa, Alfred Korzybski and many other “high-level” intellectuals of his time. He had achieved many other professional accomplishments throughout his life, but being a father to his 6 children was not one of them. I am very blessed because I have a wonderful son who is so dear to my heart, and we are “best of buds” as the saying goes. Well, such are the possible “hands” one is dealt in life!
At any rate, here is where we are today…all of us together…fighting the “good fight” to find a cure for PD! I absolutely love the people I’m working with, and to add you to the mix…what a blessing!
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.