Category Archives: About Parkinson’s Disease

Father and Son

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!

Jeff Meyers

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

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Total Recovery from Parkinson’s

Question:

In your travels you have ever met an individual who has “totally recovered from Parkinsons Disease”?

Response:

I am not quite sure what it would mean to be “totally recovered” from Parkinson’s. I do know people who are symptom free.

John Coleman, a naturopath doctor, is symptom free today. He does not describe himself as “fully recovered” and regularly adheres to his own health program. He sees recovery as a life time process which has
no definitive ending point. The process ends when we die.

Nathan is also symptom free after engaging in a very focused two year program of recovery. I have interviewed both individuals. You can hear their interviews on the Parkinsons Recovery member website. Their stories of recovery are both fascinating and very different from one another.

 John Coleman reports on evidence of 5 other people he has worked with who are symptom free today.

Many people I talk with are holding steady (i,e. not getting worse). An impressive body of evidence comes from people who are getting steady relief from their symptoms. In other words, instead of getting worse, they are getting better little by little.

If anyone reading this falls into the category of symptom free, please contact me. I would love to interview you!

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

© 2009 Parkinsons Recovery

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Parkinson’s Medication, Treatment and Recovery

Questions:

I would like to know more about the recovery program.

What products are available though your organization?

Do you recommend Zandopa? What homeopathic products can / should one use? I am considering the membership, but I am not so sure how beneficial it is. Your-e-mails are excellent, I love to read them. I live in Canada BC and I might not have access to any clinic which is similar than yours.

I really believe that my body can heal itself if I give it a chance – right support.

Response:

Thanks for your email inquiring about Parkinsons Recovery. As for membership, I recommend that you visit the website daily for a month and just see if the visits are helpful. 

 Logon to the website here:

 http://www.member.parkinsonsrecovery.com/amember/login.php

username: recover
password: ready

Information is updated daily. The idea is that recovery is a process, so when you visit the website every day, you are setting the intention to get well. 

Parkinsons Recovery products are listed on the member website. Click on the picture of books. I am always adding new products every month. I just released a series of meditations which you can also hear on the member website by clicking on the meditation icons once you land on the member web site.

As for recommendations of medications, I have to roll over dead so to speak. I am not a medical doctor and so am not qualified to speak to that specific question. Rather, I am a researcher and can tell you a lot about what people do to get great relief from their symptoms. 

Be sure to read the side effects of any medications you take. Often what you may think are the symptoms of Parkinsons are actually the side effects of medications you are taking. That news is a relief to many people!

I am so happy to hear you find my newsletters helpful. Be sure to listen to the interviews and the teleseminars this month. Some awesome information is coming through. 

I do know that recovery requires patience and commitment. It happens for people who are determined to make it happen. 

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

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Toxins in the Body or Drug Interactions?

Question:

A good friend is suffering from atypical
Parkinson’s – no more specific diagnosis yet:
Speech almost incomprehensible, weakness,
exhaustion, cramps, falls.

No tremor. Worsening very fast. She is 55
years old. She was on lithium for more than
25 years; Was weaned slowly and off completely
one week ago. Weaned off Depacote June 07.
Took other meds with lithium over the years
for bipolar swings.

She currently is off all meds except vitamin D
and some Bs. Randy Mentzer sounds like he might
have insight into whether and how drugs could
underlie, worsen or improve her condition. To
convince her to get a consult I need more
information about whether he has background
relevant to her specifics.

Please advise re Randy Mentzer or any other resource –
diagnostic or palliative – that might be useful.

Response:

My extensive experience in researching the
factors that produce the symptoms of Parkinsons
lead me to conclude that your friend’s quite
serious complications are caused by possible drug
interactions, drug depletions and/or toxicity.

Taking lithium for 25 years could have led to
chronic (or therapeutic) toxicity. The symptoms
of lithium poisoning are similar to those
that you describe. Drugs can remain in the
tissues of our body long after we stop
taking them.

As you state, she has also taken other medications
which might have exacerbated her symptoms. Thus,
there may be drug-drug interactions at play here.

Taking a medicine for a protracted period can
also induce mineral, vitamin and hormonal depletions.
So, on top of everything else, your friend may be
experiencing the effects of drug depletions.

For clients of ours with such problems, we always
refer them to Randy Menzer who does the research
necessary to figure out what might be causing the
symptoms. Some people give consultations by
talking off the top of their heads. Randy asks
a ton of questions, takes copious notes, researches
each person’s unique situation and prepares an
extensive report which you can take to your doctor
for review and further discussion. Every person’s
situation is unique and Randy treats it as such.

If this were me, I would get a consultation from
Randy. I strongly advise that your friend get a
drug consultation from someone who has expertise
in this area if they are not called to contact Randy.
Perhaps you can find a person in your area who has the
expertise to provide such a consultation.

I personally like Randy because he suggests ways
to address the problems that are created by
drug interactions. I have known him to spend
hours and hours doing research for a single
patient. I trust Randy and that is why I refer
people to him.

You can hear him talk about these issues here:

http://www.parkinsonsrecovery.com/randy.html

I also like the work of Dr. Ivy Faber. She uses
a diagnostic approach and then addresses the
problems that present themselves with
natural treatments that do not overwhelm the
capacity of the body to heal. You can check out
her information here:

http://www.parkinsonsrecovery.com/ivytest.html

In short, the symptoms that are presenting
themselves are clearly serious. They may also
be symptomatic of a drug withdrawal. Symptoms of
Parkinsons typically evolve much more slowly
than what you describe in your letter.

I hope my correspondence encourages your friend
to get a consultation with someone as soon as
possible who is knowledgeable about drug-drug
interactions, toxicity and drug depletions.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
www.Parkinsons Recovery

© 2008 Parkinsons Recovery

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In Search for a Cure: Is there a Holly Grail?

Question:

Are you familiar with the approach to
treating Parkinson’s used by the
Australian natural therapist
Noel Batten, detailed on his website
http://www.parkinsonsdiseasecure.com
and what is your opinion of that method?

Response:

Out of the many people I have talked
with or interviewed, I have not run
across one person who has had any
experience with this particular treatment
modality.

I am familiar with the web site and can
offer my reactions based on my impression
of his website.

It appears to me this man implicitly
offers a “cure” in five days. This is
quite ridiculous. No “cure” exists.

People certainly have recovered and are
symptom free today, but the minimum time
I have heard it takes to recover is two
years. The average time appears to be
3-4 years. 

The sales pitch on the web site involves
before and after videos of people who
received his treatment. What you observe
are marked improvements. This is the norm
for many forms of body therapies.

People often do show marked improvement
after receiving a variety of different
treatments. They often look like
different people.

I have interviewed a number of people who
report seeing a therapists of one type of
another (craniosacral, Bowen, energy healing,
drumming, healing touch, reiki, etc.),
who tell me that for a period of time after
the treatment (4 hours, one day, two days –
the time varies) they were totally symptom
free. After the the brief honeymoon however,
symptoms returned.

The videos on this web site do show the
physical manifestation of trauma to the
physical body. The body becomes contorted
and twisted. Various body therapies
are helpful in releasing the tension that
is held in the body tissues.

The theme of this web site is:

Come to me. I will fix you.

This is not how people recover. The people
who recover wind up figuring out ways to
heal themselves.
 
No one can fix them or cure them. The tone
of the sales pitch on this web site feels
manipulative to me.

My research shows only a combination of
approaches will work. There is no single
answer. There is no holly grail.

There are however two benefits to  a search
for the holly grail if you choose to go on
such a journey. 

First, you exercise your mind. This
creates new neural pathways and is a good
thing. (Of course there are many other ways
to accomplish the same benefit).

Second, if you physically have to move or
travel to find the people who claim they
will fix you, you will receive the benefits
of physical exercise. This also is a good thing.

Does this man’s therapy help? I certainly can not
say.

I am very impressed in general with the
research on alternative therapies. Study
after study shows that one therapy after
another helps relieve symptoms.

I have stacks of studies for one therapy or
another that report positive findings. Many
studies use small samples, so the results
will never show statistical significance
because of the small sample sizes.

The actual effect sizes reported in
many studies are impressive. In some studies 
effects are not large but they nonetheless
reflect improvements. Effects in many of
these studies are also larger than
any effects reported in the drug studies.

My point is that there a many modalities that
provide ways to get symptom relief. The challenge
is to do a little experimentation for yourself
and figure out which ways are most useful
for you.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

© 2008 Parkinsons Recovery

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Can You Archive the Articles?

Question:

I have been subscribed to your newsletter since the end of July this year, and find the articles highly inspiring and helpful. I have not found a newsletter archive on www.parkinsonsrecovery.com, and wonder if you are planning to create one.

Thank you for the wonderful work you are doing.

Response:

My confession is that I have written material that is
scattered all over the place. Some of it appears
here. Much of it is posted on the Parkinsons Recovery
Newsletter.  Other material is posted on other
websites.

I do not have plans to archive the material I have
written for the newsletter. The material posted on
this blog (www.blog.parkinsonsrecovery.com) 
is  automatically archived. I am currently 
assembling all of the material into a book which
I will release soon. 

Thanks for asking. I am so happy to learn the
informaton is helpful. Stay tuned for exciting
news to come!

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

© 2008 Parkinsons Recovery

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What Parkinson’s Disease Treatments Should My Fiancee Try Next?

Question:

Please bear with me as I write this…my fiancee was
diagnosed with Parkinson’s about 3 years ago. To
make a long story short, he’s made many lifestyle
changes (better dietary choices; no chemicals in his
home; takes soil-based organisms; limits stresses…)
and has been to multiple ND’s as well as MD’s for
interventions.

He’s only tried one conventional medicine, Reserp,
which resulted in severe palpitations. He has refused
all other medications because he believes that this
only addresses the symptoms and not the cause.

This is only a brief synopsis of what’s transpired
over the past few years, but I’m hoping I’ve included
enough info for you.

What can we try to help him recover from this disorder?
Neither of us believe that this “disease” is incurable,
but we are at a loss as to what to try next. Any help
you can send my way would be MOST APPRECIATED.

Response:

You have asked a great question. Parkinsons Recovery
is all about identifying a wide variety of alternatives
for people to consider who are committed to feeling
better.

You fiancee clearly is on the road to recovery and he
will get better. Keep in mind two realities. First, recovery 
is a gradual process which takes time and patience. 
You don’t start eating healthy food one week and see
dramatic improvements the next week. It takes the body
time to rejuvenate cells and to heal. 

Second, you do not report whether he is seeing any relief
from symptoms. Is he getting worse? Is he the same? Is
he getting better? My guess is that you and he probably
do not know the answer. I suggest that he begin to
track his symptoms. 

The link to Symptom Tracker is on the main page at
www.parkinsonsrecovery.com. Complete the questionnaire,
get a baseline, then repeat the assessment every month. 
It is free and only takes a few minutes to complete.  
He can see the progress of his improvement over time. 

From the tone of your letter is sounds like you are
both discouraged.  It is very possible that he is
actually improving – but neither of you see it. 

You use the terms “better dietary choices” which is
an interesting use of terms. You do not say “healthy
dietary choices.” I will be doing a teleseminar with
Randy Mentzer in the nest few weeks. Randy is
a certified nutritional counselor. Take this opportunity
to ask Randy about his dietary habits. 

It is possible that while his eating habits are
generally good he may be eating foods he is
allergic to. Keep in mind also that sugar is a
neuro toxin. If he is eating any sugar at all
it will be a challenge to feel better right now. 

You say he has no chemicals in his home. That
is awesome news. He may however have certain
toxins lodged in the tissues of his body. Most people
do. It is just a question of whether the extent of
exposure is too much for his body to process. 

There are some wonderful approaches to
detoxing that you two might evaluate. I will be
doing teleseminars with professionals who approach
detoxing in different ways. Hopefully, you will discover
an approach that feels right to pursue.

You do not mention hydration. When the body is
adequately hydrated it is able to cleanse itself
of toxins more readily.  John Coleman recommends
a homeopathic remedy for dehydration called the
aquas. You can find more information at
www.aquas.us

Finally, I would venture a guess that a factor
that is aggravating his symptoms is a sustained
and persistent level of stress and trauma. You say
he “limits” stress, but the truth is that any stress
can have a profound impact on our immune system
and on the health of our neurological  system. 

So as a final next step to consider, I would recommend
he investigate methods of releasing stress and trauma
that is lodged in the tissues of his body. As long as a
body is in a sustained state of stress. the symptoms
will not and cannot resolve.

There are many awesome approaches for relieving
stress and trauma that is lodged in the tissues of
the body: craniosacral therapy, Bowen therapy,
neuro-linguistic programming, biofeedback
to mention just a few. 

Which approach is right for him? Only he can figure that
answer out through experimenting using his intuition.
Different therapies work for different people. Only he
will know what is right for him.

Stayed tuned. I am gathering information every
week from professionals who are discussing therapies
that provide ways to address persistent stress and
longstanding trauma.

I hope these suggestions are of some use. Keep in
mind that there are dozens and dozens of therapies that
have helped people with Parkinson’s. Your fiance’s job
now is to figure out the ones that are right for him. 

He has set his intention. He has engaged the journey.
He will get better. Just watch. Be sure to celebrate
his progress as the two of you together track the
improvement in his symptoms over time.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery 

© 2008 Parkinsons Recovery

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Support for Healing Parkinson’s

Question:

Hello, I am so happy to have received the link to this website..VERY INSPIRATIONAL!!
I am an Energy Practitioner and Motivational Coach. I am presently working with 2 clients who have been diagnosed with PD.

My 1st client, after 3 years since diagnosed, he has been doing incredible work/ inner work on himself and is transforming and shifting to a higher level of consciousness, awareness and spirituality- which is bringing him much trust, faith and hope in his recovery. His attitude is very Positive and he is feeling GOOD more than not!!! NO DRUGS!!! HE IS RECOVERING!!

On the other hand, my second client , also has been about 3 years since diagnosed.. still very depressed and closed to any new thing that I bring to him to help his attitude to guide him in the right direction of his recovery. I have directed him to this website, the blog etc.. He refuses.. but every week I continue to see him to do energy work, massage and coaching.

There are times that he gets very inspired and makes a couple of steps forward, but the majority of the time, he goes backwards. He is not getting any support or encouragement from his family- and lives in a very stressful household. I am getting frustrated as a practitioner but know only too well that everyone chooses to either heal or not.. It is in their own time and I can not force anything..

Do I continue with my therapy?? I have been working with him now for about 1 1/2 years. He said that he was going to give himself til November 2008, with doing alternative work before he chooses medication.

His family wants him to go on medication, he really does not want to go on medication but does not want to do the work that will get him on the path to recovery. It is a catch 22- He does not feel good, there fore he does not have the energy or motivation to do the work- but not understanding that if he does the work (yes- will be hard at first) but by continuing, he will feel better. He eats well and takes all of the supplements that is suggested but not moving his body and has become VERY STIFF AND SORE- CAN NOT MOVE.

Can you offer to me any words of advise or encouragement or support for me. If the only thing that I can do at this time is just to be there for support for him, than that is what I will continue to do, but it is frustrating watching this 36 year old man going down hill when he does not have to be. He wants to see PROOF.. Like I said, I have directed him to this website for proof… but he is not looking…thank you so much for your time in reading my blog…

Response

Warm congratulations to the one client of yours who is feeling so much better. He is clearly on the path of recovery. It is a bumpy ride, so having you there will make all the difference in the world. 

Your deep concern of course lies with your second client who is getting worse. Your question is : how do I help him? Your experience is very similar to my experience. Some people are deeply committed to heal and are willing to experiment until they find what approaches work for them. They do get better. I can assure you and your clients that there are many people on the path to recovery.

The second person would prefer to have someone fix them, to make the symptoms magically vanish.  I don’t blame them one bit.  When I have an ache – I feel the same way.  Of course – no such “cure” exists with Parkinson’s, yet many people prefer to believe it will happen to them.

There are many very deep, unconscious reasons why your second client will not do anything to help himself.  On the most basic level he does not have the energy to do anything but see you. A nutritional IV can help persons in such situations. A nutritional IV is a direct infusion of essential vitamins and minerals directly into the body. It is not a chelation. It is mainstreaming food the body is not getting. Some naturopaths and  some medical doctors specialize in nutritional IV’s. It helps people get back on their feet and  give a much needed burst of energy. 

Second, I would recommend you suggest to him that the reasons for his symptoms may in part lie in the area of toxins. There are many gentle ways to detox the body. It sounds like to me he is not ready to address any of the stress or trauma which sounds like is a key reason for the symptoms from your description. He may be open to doing a little detox work. 

Third, some people – and he may be one of them – take on a condition from another family member out of love. Sometimes it is a parent or a grandparent. Sometimes it is a brother  or sister. It depends. This is an unconscious entrapment into disease (his happens  to be Parkinson’s). This is a larger  family system issue that keeps people sick until they address the issue. He is unlikely to go there now, but maybe later. 

Fourth, when people are stuck like him, there is a very conterintuitive suggestion to make. Give him a mantra to say three times a day for a week. The mantra is

I refuse to get better.  I like my life just the way it is.
                                The answer is no. 

If he can connect that that place within himself  that refuses to heal, he may be able to move out of his stuckness. We all get stuck sometimes.

Why might he not want to heal? There may be negative pleasure in having the debilitating symptoms. This too is unconscious. He is not doing anything about his situation  because having the disease gives him something. The condition defines his role in his family and the roles of all the other family members.   If he gets better, it puts all of that delicate balance out of whack.

The point here is to make explicit his moment to moment choice to feel worse and worse.   You can talk about all the things that will happen like nursing homes and wheel chairs so the truth is spoken out loud. We all make choices in our lives. Maybe the truth of the matter is that his true (though unconscious) choice is to check out of living and die.   

Having said all of this, I think in the end your job is to honor whatever choice he makes. Who is to judge that his choices are not the best for him, whatever they may be? When you ask what you can do for him, I would suggest you now put this back on him.

Ask him what he needs from you. Then give it to him in a loving way – honoring whatever choices he makes.  You can facilitate his journey on whatever path he choices to take. Somethimes the most loving thing to do for a client is to honor their choice to get worse.

Keep up the wonderful work. Know in your heart that you are the perfect healer for him at this time in his life. 

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

© 2008 Parkinsons Recovery

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Live Interview with Dr. John Coleman, ND

I have a confession to make.
I have been very selfish.
How so you ask?

I have genuinely enjoyed
interviewing people who have
Parkinson’s who have found
ways to get relief from their
symptoms. I have also truly
enjoyed asking experts in
various modalities about their
experiences in working with
people with Parkinson’s

My confession is that I have
always asked the questions I
want to ask, so you never 
have the opportunity to ask
the questions you want to ask.
I admit it. I have been selfish
and self serving.

The good news is that I am ready
to make amends. I am doing a
teleseminar this coming
Thursday, September 4, 2008 at
4:00 pm Pacific time (7:00 pm
Eastern time) where you will have
the opportunity to ask questions
of my surprise guest, Dr. John
Coleman, a naturopath doctor from
Melbourne Australia.

John is a friend and a naturopath
doctor from Melbourne, Australia
who had an advanced stage of
Parkinson’s in 1995 but who is
symptom free today.

Click on the link below to get the
details on the interview with John
Coleman. You can listen to the
interview over the phone or connect
through the web on your computer.
Ask any questions you wish today
and I will put them on the list to
ask John Thursday. Or, you can always
ask questions during the interview.

TO ATTEND THIS EVENT, CLICK THIS LINK NOW…

Interview with Dr. John Coleman, ND

I hope you are able to join us.

Again, click on the link below
and get the scoop on the teleseminar
coming up this Thursday.

Interview with Dr. John Coleman, ND

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

© 2008 Parkinsons Recovery
 
 
 

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Are Writing Cramps your Excuse for no longer Writing Creatively?

Question:

My creative writing has come
to a standstill because my
hands and fingers are currently
not flexible enough to type. 
I am trying to find other creative
outlets, but I really love to write.
Any suggestions? 

Response 

The symptoms of Parkinsons
can include cramping. tightness
and weakness in the hands and
fingers, making typing much
more challenging.  It certainly
sounds like you are worried 
your creative writing career
is dead because you are having
such a tough time typing on
a keyboard.  

I have a great suggestion for
you. Actually, it is an awesome
suggestion.

There is another way to write
without having to punch the
keys on a typewriter or computer 
keyboard. You can talk into a
microphone and your e-mails,
letters, articles and books will be
produced automatically using 
speech recognition software.

It is simple. You talk into a
microphone that is connected
to your computer. The words
you speak are automatically
translated into written words
and sentences that magically
appear on your computer
screen. 

Really! If you can talk, you can
write anything to anyone. And I
do mean anything. 

I should be using speech recognition 
software right now to write this blog,
but I am not. Why? I am stuck
in my old habits of using my
fingers to think. My writing would
probably improve if I started
using my mouth to write. I have
always had a big mouth.

There is a big advantage if
I start talking out my blog
entries and newsletters rather
than typing them. Why? I can talk
much faster than I can type. 
My Parkinsons Recovery book
would be written in a few days if
I talked it rather than typed it.  

I need to disclose a little truth
and advertising here. I have not
personally used this software 
but a friend of  mine has. 
He tells me it works beautifully.

My friend does give me one
warning: Do not look at the
computer screen as you talk.
It is totally weird to read what
you have just said as you are
thinking about what to say
next. 

A little work on your part
is required before the software
will work. You have to train
the software program to recognize
the connection between your voice
and the words. The creators of this
software accomplish this by having
you read several pages of a story 
so the software can identify how
you say words. The program can
then correctly connect the dots
between what you say and the
written words you are speaking. 
Once you are set up, you are good
to go. 

The software is called Dragon
Naturally Speaking 9 at
www.nuance.com/talk.
I just watched a video that
demos the software which is
very informative. Apparently
it costs $100.

The other good news is that
the more you exercise your
voice the better your ability
to speak forcefully and clearly
will become.  

Sorry. No more excuses for not
writing to your friends and family.
The world needs to hear from you
so start talking. 

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

© 2008 Parkinsons Recovery

   

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After being Diagnosed with Parkinsons, I have become Very Creative. Why?

Question 

I have experienced the same enhanced creativity
as others. After being diagnosed 10 years ago I
was laid off from my job after 9/11. It was during
this time I began to use my father’s tools he left
me and started building things out of wood.

So far I’ve built two blanket chests, one for
my daughter, another for my wife, a toy chest
for my niece, an outdoor barbecue table and
a kitchen center island. In addition, I completely
tore down our old deck and rebuilt it with 
composite boards, added all new vinyl railings
and topped it off with deck lights.

These things never entered my mind before being
diagnosed. It seems my mind is always dreaming up
things to build. Why is that?

Response 

What a fascinating and very exciting story.
Here is what I suspect might be happening.

I believe everyone has an inherent passion 
to create whether it is a new idea, furniture,
art, comedy – the list is endless.  

If I have been unable to create something
new for even a day, I begin to have an empty
feeling deep inside. It is a familiar feeling, a
sense of sorts that  I am wasting my life. 

When I can write as I am now, my juices 
flow. My energy expands. My steam for
living bursts at the seams.

For many of us, there is too little opportunity for
creativity to have a place in our lives. Jobs,
family or other commitments have a way of
commanding our energy. 

The body will find a way to insist on finding ways
and time to be creative. If we do not allocate the
time and space for our own creativity to surface,
our body will give us a reason to make it so. 

What does our body do? It sends us a 
clear signal to slow down, change our
habits and do things differently out 
of necessity. If the choice were up to
us we would not change but our bodies
demand to be heard.    

The symptoms of Parkinson’s slow 
down the time spent on effort that does not
feed our creative addiction, making it possible
for the creative juices to ferment.  

This in no way implies that we were uncreative
previously, but the focus of the creative activity 
shifts. Let me explain.

Innovation versus Creativity

One form of creativity is to be innovative which
involves generating creative ideas and applying
them to a specific context. With innovation the  
problem is clearly defined and the solution set is
clearly bounded.  

This form of creativity takes a given problem
or challenge and solves it. For example, how
do I invent a car that runs on water? Or,
how do I motivate my secretary to come to
work on time? Or, how do I fix my clothes
washing machine that is so old the part I
need is out of stock? 

When lives are busy and demanding, a 
second form of creativity lies dormant just below
the surface of our consciousness. It waits
for a chance – any chance – to pop out and
claim its birth right to be heard.   

This is the form of raw creativity where something
entirely new pops out of our brains for no
reason whatsoever. There is no pre-defined
problem to solve. There is no deadline to
meet. 

Instead there resides a massive body
of creative urges and ideas deep inside
each of us that are patiently waiting
their time to be acknowledged.   

The Process of Creativity 

What is the process that makes this
happen? Control does not work.  If you try
to order the creative ideas to reveal
themselves they will drill a hole even
deeper into your sub conscious and
cuddle up for the long haul. 

Using brute force to unlodge creative
thoughts does not work. You will have
just as much luck trying to break
through the walls of Fort Knox with a
jack hammer.  Setting a schedule
for creative ideas to be revealed
does not work. Creativity does not
obey a time schedule. 

Enough. How do thoughts that seemingly
have no origin or history find their way
out of our own consciousness?  How will
we know them when we see them?

They are revealed in their own time and
place as we quiet down the mind babble
that controls our lives. They pop out in the
most unexpected ways during the moments
of living when we are at peace with ourselves.  

We become creative when we quiet the chatter
of our minds and allow the part of us we
have stuffed for too many years to emerge.
It is the ultimate calling to become whole again. 

For many people this opportunity comes because
our bodies make us slow down the quick pace of
activity and force us to take in the mysteries
of the world. We appreciate our friends and 
spouses in new ways. We see life differently.

Once the feverish activity of our minds 
slows to a snail’s pace the creative juices
begin to percolate. At long last we recognize 
a good idea when it pops out of our minds 
because we can feel the surge of energy
that bubbles up from inside. 

The same creative ideas may have peeked
around the corner to be noticed by us before,
but we were too busy to notice. The faucet
of adrenaline was wide open and all of the
associated hormones were being manufactured
by our body 24-7. No rest for the restless. 

To summarize, the symptoms of Parkinsons 
slow down the pace of life. An opening is
created for the creative juices to flow and the
fresh ideas to be noticed. We begin to do
things we have always wanted to do in
our lives, but did not know it until now. 
We stuffed the creative urges before because
there was no time. But now, with a little
more space for new things to happen,
we become whole again. 

I am Like My Father  

There is a second part of your story that I also
want to acknowledge. Whether your father is 
still living or not, his presence and energy is 
embodied in the tools you are using. They
were his tools. Now they are your tools. 

As his son, you are connecting with him in the
most profound way. His hands guide your work
and keep you safe. After all, you are his son.
He gave you life. All of his wisdom lives through
you. You carry on the tradition of all the
fathers in the family.  

As men we all need to feel the support of
our fathers. When we genuinely receive 
and accept that support, we come into
our full creative power. We are able to 
manifest our dreams. 

When we take in the support of our father,
we are also receiving the support of all the
fathers who came before him – all our  
grandfathers, great grandfathers, great
great grandfathers that go back in time
generation after generation.    

I have personally noticed a profound
shift in my own energy and attitude
toward life after I fully took in the
support from my own father. I had
resisted his support for years, having
convinced myself I could do everything
on my own. I distanced myself from
him. It is much easier and more truthful
to acknowledge and honor the truth
that I am just like him. 

Anyone else have stories of how their own
creativity has shifted since Parkinson’s? 

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

© 2008 Parkinsons Recovery
     

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Exercise and Diet are Two of the Best Natural Remedies for Parkinson’s

Question

My husband has been diagnosed with
Parkinson’s Disease. What are some
natural exercise and diet remedies
that would help?

Response 

From my extensive review of the
research literature on Parkinson’s 
you have asked the right question.
Diet and exercise have a compelling
influence on how your husband
feels every day. 

Eat healthy food. Exercise. He will
feel better.

Eat junk food. Be a couch potato.
He will feel lousy.  

It is as simple as that. This is not 
rocket science.

The research on exercise and Parkinson’s
is unequivocal. Exercise helps people  
feel better and get relief from their
symptoms.

Exercise

I make it a point to add exercise
books and videos on the resources
resources page of Parkinsons Recovery. 
If anyone knows of exercise books or
videos that have been useful to you,
please reply so that I can add them to
the list of resources. 

I have a very simple, perhaps
mundane suggestion. Move any
way it feels good to him.  Move
as often as he can. 

Some people love to exercise. Other
people hate to exercise.  I talked
with one woman last week who loves
to exercise – so much so that her physical
therapist has limited her exercise routine 
to 90 minutes. She gets significant relief
from her symptoms. 

Other people have never exercised
in their life and are proud of it. Making
a practice of moving every day is an
annoyance. Too bad for them.  

I believe the trick is for your husband
to find a way of moving his body that 
is motivated from a place deep inside
himself. When he discovers a way of
exercising every day that works for
him his body will let him know:

“Yes. This is what I need. Do it
today. Do it every day.” 

What exercise is the right exercise
for your husband? Ask him to remember
what he loved doing when he was a child.
Did he enjoy swimming when he was little? 
Then swim now. Did he love to play 
marbles? Then play marbles now. 
Did he love to play hide and seek?
Then play hide and seek with your
dog Fido now. (My apologies if your
dog is not named Fido). You get the
point.

I have always been a runner, so I run
frequently. I get high when I run.
Running always makes me feel better.
It is the natural remedy that works
for me. 

Some people with Parkinson’s tell me
running on a treadmill is their exercise
of choice. Running itself is clearly not
the best form of exercise for many 
people. 
 
If any one of us (you or your husband or
myself) is told that we must exercise in
a specific way using a specific routine 
for 60 minutes a day, we will not do it
for very long if we do not like doing it.
Period. 

I will stick to a routine I do not like 
for a week – maybe. Perhaps you
are good for a month. Maybe your
husband is more disciplined and will
last four months. 

Eventually, we will all abandon any
type of exercise if it does not give us
intrinsic joy and genuine satisfaction.
The desire to move must, again, be
motivated by a place from deep inside
us.   

Another problem can surface if we 
exercise because we are told we must
do it to feel better – not because we
want to exercise to feel better. Isn’t
that just what I am telling you now? 

If the exercise is forced, we are
likely at some point to stretch and
challenge our muscles incorrectly.
Tares in tissues and serious injuries
can be the consequences. Injuries 
do not happen when exercising
is done mindfully.  

Of course, if you are injured you
can not exercise. Is not this the 
perfect outcome for anyone who
has always hated to exercise? 
The steps are simple to follow:

  1. Force yourself to exercise in a
    way that is not right for you. 
  2. Injure yourself. 
  3. Stop exercising.    
  4. Feel worse.
  5. Conclude it is your body’s fault
    for not working correctly.

If the question you ask yourself
repeatedly when you exercise is:   

“How much longer do I have to endure
this torture?” 

Stop. Consider the possibility there is
another form of exercise that is a
better way of exercising.

You may very well have expected a
different answer to your question
about exercise.  Perhaps you were
looking for an answer like this from
me:

“Everyone with Parkinson’s should
do “Professor Bob’s Zippy 2 Hour 
Daily workout  for Parkinson’s.”
(Just to be clear in case anyone is
wondering – this program does
not exist.)

This is not the response I can give
you because I do not believe that
any single exercise program – even
Professor Bob’s Zippy program – is
right for everyone. Any particular
type of exercise will always work 
for some people, but it will never 
work for all people. Far from it.

What is important is to move. Move.
Move. Move every day. The more
your husband moves the better he 
will feel.

Everyone – people who are healthy and
people who are  not – should move the 
equivalent of 5 miles each day (weekends
included). Total up each of your separate
movements throughout the day to reach
your goal.

For example:  Let’s say a walk from your 
bedroom  to the kitchen in the morning
is .005 miles. A walk from your car to the
store at 9 am is .02 miles. And so forth. 
By the end of the day, the sum total of all
such movements should total 5 miles. 

There are many, many ways to move
your body.  If your husband is not moving
his body every day, I recommend he
investigate the multitude of options
that are available for getting the daily
exercise he needs: Pilate’s, Tia-chi, yoga,
swimming,  daily walks — the list is
endless. There are so many fascinating 
ways to get exercise. 

If he does not move every day, his body
will eventually begin to complain loudly. 
Symptoms will smack him in the face.  

Have you noticed that there is redundancy
in my writing here? This is just was exercise
is all about, going through the same routine
over and over, day after day. So get with it. 

I am working diligently to document ways 
of exercising that people with Parkinson’s
tell me helps them feel better. If your husband
has not found a way of exercising that works
for him, stay tuned. 

There is a way of exercising somewhere out
there in the universe that is perfect for him.
He just needs to discover it.  

There are also physical therapists who are
specifically trained to help persons with
Parkinson’s. They assess your strengths and
weaknesses and recommend specific exercises 
that will help him find relief from his symptoms.  

Good options surround you. Explore the options.
Try them out. An exercise routine is not working
for you if you are not doing it regularly and loving
it. Find another. Try it out. Keep experimenting
until you find a way of moving every day that
gives you joy.

Your body will thank you. And you will thank
yourself. 

I am supposed to talk about diet in this
blog too. Oops. Sorry. No time today. I have
to get my daily run in before it gets too
late. 

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

 © 2008 Parkinsons Recovery

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What Can I Do for Constipation?

Question:

What Can I Do about My Constipation?

Response:

Why should anyone be concerned about gut 
problems when “everyone” knows the challenge
with Parkinson’s involves a neural dysfunction? 
Function of the gut has a huge influence –
I repeat huge – on the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
When the gut is working properly depression lifts, 
constipation is relieved and energy returns.  

Let me be blunt. If your digestive system is
not functioning properly, all of the money
you spend on supplements and healthy food 
goes down the toilet.  

The process is wicked. You spend money on
supplements and healthy food.  You pour the
supplements and healthy food into your body
each day like clockwork.

The following day the supplements and healthy
food from the day before come out the other end
– unaltered. This happens over and over, day in
and day out. Your body is not absorbing the
nutrients.  

To summarize:

  • You pour money down the toilet day in and day out.
  • You do not feel any better. 
  • You convince yourself it is impossible to feel better.  
  • You stop doing the things that help you feel  better.
  • End of story.

The good news is that you can reverse this wicked
cycle. Natural approaches for improving gut function
are widely available. They fall into three categories:
increasing hydration in the body, maintaining a 
proper pH level in the stomach and improving
overall function of the bowel. 

First let’s consider the important role hydration
which, as we age, becomes more and more
problematic.  

Increase Hydration in the Body 

If the body is not hydrated adequately,
waste begins to accumulate in the cells. 
This is the underlying reason why many
people feel sluggish and run out of energy
by the afternoon. The solution is to hydrate
your body.  

John Coleman, a naturopath doctor from
Australia who himself recovered from
Parkinson’s, highly recommends that
people with Parkinson’s take a homeopathic
remedy for dehydration called the Aquas
This therapy involves taking a few drops
of a unique combination of essential oils
and Bach flower essences in the morning
and the evening.

The  mechanism in the body that signals
thirst needs to be recalibrated as we age.  
I was totally unaware until last year
that I had stopped drinking water.
The tissues in my body had become 
chronically dehydrated. It is the type
of problem that creeps up on you so
slowly you do not even notice what
is happening. 

I have taken Aquas for about a year and have
been amazed at their effectiveness. I now
get thirsty when my body needs water. 
If I do not take the Aquas, I do not drink
water because I am never thirsty. 
The Aquas have solved this problem for
me.    

Maintain a pH level of 2 in Your Stomach   

Everyone should maintain a pH level in the 
stomach of 2. The term “pH” is a measure of the
acidity of a solution like a body fluid. The most
acidic of liquids will have a pH as low as −5 (this
is a negative five).  The most alkaline of liquids 
have pH level of +14.

By way of comparison here is a sample of 
pH levels from selected foods: lemon juice
pH = 2.4, coffee pH = 5.0, pure water pH = 7.0,
tomato pH = 4.0, milk pH = 6.5.

A point of confusion for many people is to
conclude that you need to eat more acidic
foods in order to maintain the correct acidic
content in your stomach. This is not true.  
Disease flourishes when the environment
in the body is acidic. 

A high proportion of the food you eat should  
contain a high alkaline content.  Many doctors
recommend that 60% of the foods should be
alkaline. Others suggest 80% of the foods you
eat should have a high alkaline content in cases  
of chronic conditions like Parkinson’s. 

Most people think of the acid-alkaline scale
as linear: i.e., from 2 to 3 = 1 and from 2 to 4 = 2.
It is not. Each individual pH unit is a factor of
10 more than the next higher or lower unit. 
An increase in pH from 2 to 3 represents a
10-fold change. An increase of 2 to 4 represents
a one-hundred (10 × 10) fold change.  

Shifting down from a pH level of 6 (which is very
alkaline) to a pH level of 2 (which is more acidic)
is thus not as easy as it might seem. Given the
tricky nature of pH, is there any wonder that it is
difficult to maintain the proper pH balance in
the stomach?

The pH in the stomach needs to be low because 
acid is needed to break food down. Here is the
key: If there is not sufficient acid in the stomach
(i.e., the stomach is too alkaline), food does not
break down. No. It crawls its way into your gut
and – if you a squeamish do not read further – rots. 

Please note that I said the pH level “in the
stomach” should be around 2. The pH of 
other body fluids such as urine, saliva
and blood vary considerably. For example,
the pH of blood is 7.4. Secretions of the
pancreas have a pH of 8.1.    

In contrast, a fluid in the body that has a
high acidic content in the body is plaque.
Plaque’s pH is low and will dissolve teeth
if it is not removed.

How can you know if the pH level in your
stomach is “2”? After all, having a pH lab
test every day would be very expensive
and time consuming. 

There is an easy way to know. It costs
nothing. It takes a second each day. 

Simply pay attention to the color of your
bowel  movements. OK. I know this is not
exactly a sexy topic, but it is important to
know. 

If your poop is dark brown the pH 
level in your stomach is low enough. You 
are in good shape. If your poop is light
brown, there is not enough hydrochloric acid
in your system. That is to say, the pH level
in your stomach is too high. 

So if the color of the poop is too light 
corrective action  is needed. What do
you do? Take Vitamin C and drink a 
lot of water.

Vitamin C is the body’s anti-oxidant
of choice. If we give our bodies enough
Vitamin C, our bodies are able to
manufacture enough CO-Q10.

There are many vitamin C products on
the market, so be judicious in what you
choose to purchase. I use a Vitamin C product
recommended by Randy Mentzer: Vital
Mixed Ascorbates made by Pharmax which
is loosely packed in a 9 ounce container. 
I mix it with water. 

How much Vitamin C should you take? Your
body will tell you the answer. Just ask it. Muscle
test yourself. You will need to take more and more
Vitamin C until your poop turns to a dark brown
color. 

Most people are unaware that our natural
biology calls for large quantities of vitamin C.
You may be shocked at how much is needed
for your body to come back into balance.

Improve Overall Function of the Bowels  

You are now well hydrated and your pH level is
good to go. Now it is time to focus on getting your
bowels moving. Everyone needs one good bowel
movement every day. Two to three movements
are ideal.

Herbs that can facilitate bowel function are
genian, chamomile, fennel and St Mary’s
thistle. Which herb (or herbs) will do the 
best job for you?

I must sound like a broken record, but just
ask your body. Muscle test yourself. Your
body knows the answer. 

John Coleman’s Home Remedy

John Coleman ND recommends a homemade
cocktail for people suffering from
digestive challenges including constipation.
He suggests you take this cocktail in the
morning and evening 1/2 hour before meals. 
You make this special cocktail yourself.

The recipe:

12 ounces pure water
1/2 – 1 teaspoon Vitamin C powder
1/2 teaspoon magnesium
1 ml (eyedropper) zinc liquid
Aqua drops (1 drop AM in morning; 1 drop PM in evening)
1 drop selenium

Once you get your digestive system back on line, 
nutrients from the healthy food you eat will be 
distributed to the cells that desperately need to be
nourished. 

As always, check out my ideas to improve
your gut function with your doctor before you
decide to do anything. Always treat anything
I say as information that needs to be discussed 
and evaluated with your medical doctor. 

May your constipation resolve with
each passing day.

May your energy rebound as your gut
function improves. 

Your body and your pocketbook will thank you. 

Robert C. Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

 © 2008 Parkinsons Recovery

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A Natural Treatment for Depression and Fatigue

Question:

I am depressed and tired all the time. What can I do about it? 

Response 

More and more scientists and looking at inflammation
as a contributing factor to many chronic conditions. In the
case of Parkinson’s, it makes logical sense to speculate
that neural networks function poorly when the tissues
connected with the neurons are swollen. 

Think about how you feel when you eat too much. 
I personally feel bloated, sluggish, blocked and immobile. 
All I can do until some of the food is digested is to sit up
straight and pray I do not have to move for a while.
Meditation is a choice, but I usually fall asleep. 

This is precisely how neurons feel when they become
swollen. Give your neurons a break. They have feelings
themselves you know. There is not enough room for
the neural networks to function when the tissues are
swollen. Electrical pathways become obstructed.   

The distribution of hormones to your muscles
and tissues also becomes difficult when inflammation
is present. The tissues throughout your your body
are busy handling another emergency.
They have little space to receive the sweetness
of any uninvited hormonal visitations. 

It is like seeing two friends having a huge fight. They are both
furious at one another. As their friend who is witness to the fight
you try to squeeze in a word or two, but your friends ignore you. 
They are too preoccupied with their own fight. In a similar fashion,
hormones have difficult squeezing themselves into tissues that
are inflamed. 

When all of the healthy cells function at their peak levels,
you will feel better and find relief from the symptoms of
Parkinson’s. Conversely, you will certainly feel worse
when the tissues in your body are inflamed. Depression 
creeps in. Fatigue becomes a way of life. 

OK. Inflammation causes problems. What can I do
about it? When I exercise for a long time the tissues
in my body become inflamed. I often take one ibuprofen.
It reduces the inflammation in several hours, but 
taking ibuprofen imposes a potentially life threatening
challenge to the kidneys. So ibuprofen is not a long
term solution. 

Consider another possibility. Perhaps the
tissues in your body have always been inflamed. 
Since you do not know any other way to feel,
you have become used to feeling lousy.
It is the only way you have ever known.

Why then are the tissues in your body always
inflamed? You may be allergic to a certain food
(or foods) that you love to eat.  A hidden source 
of inflammation for most people is allergic 
reactions to something they put into their bodies. 

How do you know if you are allergic to any foods.
And, if you are allergic, how do your figure out which
foods they might be? 

It is very easy to know. Stop eating the foods you
suspect that may be causing the inflammation
for two weeks. See if you feel better. This sounds
easy, but it is anything but easy. Let me explain why.  

Lets consider one food by way of example: ice cream. 
I love eating ice cream myself. Here is my conversation
with myself (and I am not making this up). 

“Maybe the inflammation is being cause by eating 
ice cream. Oh, I think not. After all, when I eat
ice cream I do not get sick. I do not have rashes.
I do not have stomach aches. I do not sweat or
puke or turn purple. It it must not be ice cream.” 

Being the logical person that I am, I continue eating
ice cream. I stop eating turnips instead to see if turnips
might be the problem. They are not. All is well. I still get
to eat the ice cream.

There is a double twist to my logic. My body has
become acclimated to processing and digesting
ice cream. If you also love to eat ice cream, you
have probably liked eating ice cream since you
were a child.  As an incredibly cleaver living entity,
the body quickly learns how to turn on systems
that reduce the allergic reactions to ice cream. 
In other words, the true symptoms are masked when
we eat ice cream regularly.   

You thus conclude “I do not feel that bad when
I eat ice cream.”

In one sense this is true. In another sense you
would be feeling so much better if you stopped
eating ice cream and started eating healthy
substitutes.  

Because you have always eaten ice cream
your entire life, the truth is that you have 
actually always felt lousy. You just did not
know it. It is the only way you have ever 
felt – lousy. 

Ever heard yourself say,

“I seem to be so depressed all the time.”

“I drag every day of the week.” 

There it is.

Because you become acclimated to feeling tired
and depressed, you forget what it is like to feel
good. The only way to know if a food is causing 
fatigue, inducing depression and entangling neural
networks is to stop eating that particular food for
at least two weeks. In my example, the test is to
stop eating ice cream for two weeks. 

Then, eat a lot of ice cream one day. 
Indulge yourself. Reward yourself for doing 
the test. Eat a quart or two of your
favorite ice cream. Make it three. Then see
how you feel. If  you notice a flare up of
fatigue and depression after eating the ice
cream you can almost certainly conclude
that ice cream is causing inflammation
in your body. 

I report this truth with such detachment
as if it has never happened to me. But it
has and it did. My naturopath muscle tested
me for various food items and suspected
that I had allergies to dairy. I love eating
cheese. I love chocolate milkshakes. 

“I am OK when I eat these foods.
I love them. That can not be the problem.”

Did I stop eating milkshakes for two weeks?
Of course not. I convinced myself that I was
actually very healthy and that I deserved
a little pleasure in my life.

After fighting this battle for years, I finally
did the gold standard test for allergies.
I did not drink milk shakes for two weeks straight.
The anticipation of being able to have a milk shake
became more and more intense with each passing
day until day 15 arrived when I ate two milk shakes,
one chocolate and one vanilla. They were
thoroughly yummy as always.

I paid a dear price for those few minutes of bliss. 
I became seriously depressed for several days. The fatigue
was overwhelming. I really just wanted to sleep and
forget about working or playing. I was miserable. 

The truth is that I did not realize how tired and depressed
the ice cream was making me until I gave my body a chance
to detox itself from dairy. After 14 days of not eating ice cream
the inflammation that was literally always present
in my tissues had subsided.

My experiment was a success. When I added back into
my body the dairy, my body told me in no uncertain
terms that it could not tolerate dairy. I now know this is
why I had constant ear aches as a child. 

Of course I did not like the outcome, but excellent
substitutes for dairy do exist.

If you have Parkinson’s you need energy to feel better.  
It is hard to do the things that will make you feel better
if you are depressed or if you are tired all the time. 
It is thus highly probably that a big reason why you feel
bad is because of food that you are eating.  

My problem is dairy. Your problem may be wheat or
corn or soy or whatever.  Give the experiment a try
and see what you can discover for yourself. Most people
are allergic to something. They just do not know it.

The test is free. It requires only determination and
discipline. The end result can have a huge impact on
how you feel. 

Say goodbye to depression and fatigue.
Say hello to life.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

 © 2008 Parkinsons Recovery

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What is a Natural Substitute for Sugar?

Question:

What is a natural substitute for sugar? 

 Response:

What we put into our bodies is the most important
factor in finding relief from the symptoms
of Parkinson’s. It is no secret that sugar is not good for
our bodies, right?

Sugar is a neuro-toxin. You know this.  I know this. 
Everyone knows this.

Do you ever eat sugar? You can not see me now, but
I am raising my hand at the moment.  I eat sugar
sometimes. OK. Sometimes I eat too much sugar. 

Why? I am filling a hole deep inside. I can’t get enough. 
You know the list. Whatever.

No matter how much work I do “on myself” I still
eat sugar. So, if I come to the realization that my
preference for sweets will not abate anytime soon, 
what can I do about it? 

There are alternatives to sugar. Why not investigate
the alternatives that can be used in place of using raw cane
sugar. Then start using an alternative to pure sugar 
that is right for you?  

Know in advance that you may not be able to
tolerate one or more of the alternatives. That is,
the alternative may be worse for you than raw sugar
itself. But why  not celebrate in advance 
how much your body will thank you if you can find
a natural and safe substitute for sugar that your
body can tolerate?  

Three natural alternative substitutes for sugar are
agave, stevia and zylitol.  Here is a sketch of
information about each of the three alternatives.  

Agave syrup is a sweetener commercially produced
in Mexico. Agave syrup is sweeter than honey,
though less viscous. It consists primarily of fructose
and glucose. 

Agave has a fructose content that is higher than is found
in high-fructose corn syrup.  Agave is notable in that its
glycemic index and glycemic load are seemingly lower than
most other natural sweetener alternatives. 

Stevia is native to subtropical and tropical South America
and Central America. Known as sweetleaf, stevia is 
used as a sugar substitute. The taste has a 
longer duration than that of pure sugar. Stevia however
can be associated with a bitter after taste at high
concentrations.

Zylitol sounds like an expensive prescription
medication, but it is not. It is a five-carbon sugar
alcohol that is used as a sugar substitute.

Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener that can
be found in the fibers of fruits and vegetables such as 
berries, corn husks, oats, and even mushrooms. 
It is extracted from corn fibres, birch trees, raspberries,
plums, and even corn.  Xylitol is by all accounts as sweet
as regular sugar.

Zylitol has been around a long time. It is used as
a sweetner for diabetics in some countries and it
is used in various products like gums and toothpaste
to reduce tooth decay. 

Check out the possibilities. Do an extended search on
the internet for more information. Talk with your doctor.
Experiment.

You can buy zylitol, stevia and agave from most
health food stores, food co-ops and even some grocery
stores. 

I think a safe and natural food sweetener is a delightful
choice for people like myself who love to eat a delicious
dessert every now and then. If you are like me, consider
a switch from sugar to a natural substitute.

There is no direct research evidence to indicate that using
alternatives to sugar will help relieve the symptoms of
Parkinson’s. Base on pure logic, it makes sense to me that
using a natural substitute for sugar has the potential to
help unclog neural pathways.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

 © 2008 Parkinsons Recovery

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An Encouraging Report from One Man who Takes Sinemet with Mucuna

What happens if you take Sinemet and Mucuna

 at the same time?  The following account was

written by Max. Max forwarded the following

account to me this week and gave me permission

to make it public. Max has Parkinson’s and

lives in Canada.  

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m  53 years old (or young).  I was diagnosed
with PD back in March 2001. I had a minimal
exposure to PD meds back then, just long
enough (one month on Sinemet) to see an
improvement. That convinced me that I have PD.
Whatever PD is.”

“I started taking lots of vitamins, antioxidants,

eating better, exercising the best I can,

meditating, acupuncture, Ti-Chi, tried PDrecovery,

Chi-Gong, visualizing techniques, energy work,

etc. etc. I’m sure it all helped, but eventually

I needed a walker and could barely take care

of myself.”

 

“By February of 2006, 5 years later, I was having

a hard time using a walker and was looking

into getting a wheelchair. I couldn’t take it any

longer, so I regrettably broke down and decided

to take Sinemet. “

 

“In about a week, Sinemet started to work. And in

about a month, I was a completely different person.

I could walk, got my balance back, started to gain

back my normal weight and I could even ride my

mountain bike again.””

 

“But in only 6 months of taking Sinemet, I found

it was taking longer and longer to kick in, not lasting

as long and sometimes it wouldn’t kick in at all.

Sometimes I would take 1 1/2 tablets of

Sinemet CR 200/50, at a time, with no effect at all.”

 

“Talk about being scared all over again. I knew

getting on Sinemet would be a limited ride,

but I never thought it could be this short for me.”

 

“When I heard about “Mucuna Pruriens” 

(Zandopa also called HP-200), a natural herb from

India, in the fall of 2006, I got very interested.

The first time I tried it, I felt some improvement.

In about two months, I gradually reduced my

Sinemet CR 200/50 from 5 tablets a day to

only 1 tablet a day (break it into 1/3’s) and

I take it with Mucuna. “

 

“I feel like this “Mucuna” (Zandopa) is

REALLY HELPING me a lot. I take it

3 or 4 times a day and can pretty well

function normally when the herbs kick in –

not bad considering that I was ready

for a wheelchair. When the herbs wear off,

my PD symptoms still come back,

but not nearly as bad as before. “

 

“I’ve been taking Mucuna and Sinemet for

the past 1 1/2 years. I’m currently taking

1/2 a tablet of Sinemet (200/50) with

1 tsp of powdered Mucuna (Zandopa)

3 or 4 times a day. In 3 hour intervals.

I also take Ashwaganda & Brahmi. I try

not to take anything in the evening or

before I go to bed. I like to give my body

a break and give it a chance to build up

its own dopamine over night. It seems

to work because I can go for an hour

walk in the morning before I take my herbs.”

  

“I purchase Zandopa directly from India:    

http://mall.coimbatore.com/bnh/zandu/zandopa.htm

 

“From my own personal experience,

if anyone with pd wants to try Mucuna,

I recommend that you take it slowly.

You might want to get some small

measuring spoons, the kind used for

cooking. I’ve started taking a level

1/4 tsp of powered Mucuna (Zandopa)

3 times a day for the first week.

A 1/2 tsp 3 times a day for the second week.

And I worked my way to 3/4 tbsp 4 times a day

by the 4th week. “

 

“I also gradually reduced my Sinemet

from 4 (200/50) tablets per day to only

one pill a day in a couple of months.

I break the Sinemet pill into quarters.

I take the Sinemet at the same time as

the Zandopa 4 times a day.”

 

“It works best if you take it at least

1/2 hour before meals or at least

1 1/2 hours after a meal. I mix the

Zandopa in half a glass of water.

I use a small hand held blender to

mix it, it gets rid of the sludge at the

bottom. Personally I don’t mind the

taste, but I do add some juice to it

(cranberry, etc.)”

 

“I’m doing all this on my own right now,

but you should let your doctor know

what you’re doing.  I keep a record

(date, time of day, amount, when it

kicked in, faded out, and effects

(good or bad) meals time, etc.”

 

“Just take it slowly. If you feel anxious,

hyper, antsy, or have a lot more energy

than normal, you know you’re taking too

much.”

 

“I space the doses by three hour ’till

the next one. I take just enough to be

normal without feeling anxious. It works

extremely well for me; I’m really surprised

more people with pd don’t take it.” 

 

“My pd hasn’t gotten any worse in the past

1 1/2 years of taking Mucuna. If anything

I’ve gotten better in some areas.

 

I no longer have any balance problems,

haven’t been constipated for over a year now.

No longer have any tremors unless I’m stressed.

Can ride a bike, jog, walk normal etc. when

the herbs are in my system. But I did have to

increase my intake of Mucuna. I’m not taking

 level tsp. And 1/2 a tablet of Sinemet (200/500)

3 or 4 times a day.”

 

“I’m not having any negative side effects at all

from taking Mucuna. My body has adapted to it.

I believe the body can repair itself, taking Mucuna

is a natural plant product. It  helps me regain my

strength so I can take care of myself. A great

website on Mucuna is:”

 

http://www.parkinson.org/NETCOMMUNITY/Page.aspx?&pid=459&srcid=379

 

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

 

 © 2008 Parkinsons Recovery

 

 

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Control of Dopamine Systems and Dopamine Levels

Question: 

Has Anyone Improved Enough to Discontinue Sinemet?

Response:

The most encouraging news I have heard comes from John Coleman who is from Australia. He is a naturopath who himself had Parkinson’s in the mid 90’s and has now fully recovered. John has now helped many others do the same.  Here is John Coleman’s answer to the question in his own words. 

“I chose not to take any western medication during my journey. There were a number of reasons for that, mainly around the way doctors treated me. But that was my choice, and I’m glad of it.”

“However, all my clients who have recovered were taking western medication (Sinemet, Madopar, and/or others) until they got better. The first was taking around 1500 mg of levodopa per day, and gradually weaned himself of it over two years. Another was on Sinemet 100/25 three times daily and reduced that to 0 over about 18 months. Another was on Madopar and went cold turkey (I don’t advise that) after three years or so and has stayed well. Others have started on high medication and reduced to very low doses while they still work towards recovery.

“I saw a client this week who just gave up Sinement in January because he didn’t like the way it made him feel. He is a little stiffer without it, but feels better in himself and has more energy to work towards wellness. He is improving in health steadily.”

At Parkinsons Recovery we are hearing more and more stories from people who have successfully reduced the dose of the medications they have been taking under the close supervision of their doctor. I will be posting these reports as they come through.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

 © 2008 Parkinsons Recovery

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How do I figure out the Best Dose and Timing of my Medications for Parkinson’s?

Most people have problems figuring out the best
timing and dose of their Parkinson’s medications. I
am not a medical doctor, so I am not qualified or
trained to be able to help you with this problem.
Clearly, the best thing you can do is to consult with
your doctor when problems emerge.

I do want to comment on the energy behind trying
to figure out the right timing and dose of medications. 
The energy behind this effort is intentional (which is good), 
forceful (which can be good) and controlling (which is bad).
So what is so wrong with the energy behind control? After all,
control is what makes things happen in the world, right?

Most people we work with who have Parkinson’s have
been very successful in their careers and work lives
because they know how to use the energy of control
effectively and efficiently. So again you are probably
wondering why is control in this case “bad”?  

Cntrolling behavior can be bad for people with the
symptoms of Parkinson’s because controlling
behavior  pumps out adrenaline which sustains 
hormonal imbalances in the body. 
If you are trying to control the timing of your medications,
every day (and even making different decisions every
hour about what do to) there is an energy of control
which is continuously present. The hormonal imbalance
in the body is continuously present, making balance an
ever present challenge for the body.   

What do you do about the energy behind control? 
Make it conscious, so that you come to a place where
evaluating your dose and timing become effortless
(as opposed to forced) as you listen to the needs of
your own body. 

In summary, there is a curious tension between
the energy of “control” (which involves doing
something every day to your body) versus being
able to relax and let go. When you try to force
relaxation, it just doesn’t work. The body just
becomes more alert and even more adrenaline
is pumped out.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

 © 2008 Parkinsons Recovery

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How can I know what I need to do for myself to feel better?

Trust that your body knows what it needs to come
back into balance.  I think there is a special skill
involved in being able to communicate with  your
own body. The skill requires the ability to check in 
regularly to see what your body  needs.

I think it helps to think about what you can do
in the moment rather than trying to figure out
one single huge intervention that you can do
(such as visit clinic A or take supplement B or
see doctor C). We work with this skill at 
Jump Start to Wellness.

For example, let’s say you are in a stressful
situation. Your body will probably give out the
usual signals of stress. Symptoms will flare up
(such as more shaking, trembling, greater
rigidity or whatever. . ) Are you noticing?  
This is your stage cue to reduce the stress
in the moment.  

I think a key is first to make conscious the
usual reality that the underlying trigger for the
symptoms involves some combination of fear,
stress and trauma. It thus helps to begin watching
yourself closely and noticing when the stress
flares up. When you can monitor your stress
levels every moment, you can learn how to
get your body out of stress and into a more
balanced mode.

Alternatively, if you have having increased
symptoms, your body may be having problems
processing all the supplements and medications
you may be taking in conjunction with the food
you eat.  You may feel sluggish or depressed.
When everything is combined together, the level
of toxins can begin to overwhelm your immune
system. 

When your body gets overloaded with
substances it can not process (which can
include medications of one type or another, 
toxins, pathogens, etc.) the immune system
crashes. Again, symptoms will get worse.
This is when the toxins begin to take their toll. 
If this happens it would help to investigate 
ways to detox your body.

Your body will tell you what it needs. The
symptoms are important signals. In the end,
it is all a question of inviting your body to
come back into balance moment to moment.  

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

 © 2008 Parkinsons Recovery
 

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