Please feel free to cite my experience with the Smart Lounger. I’ve been using it twice a day with Suzanne’s general PD disk and once a day with her Arthritis disk, all since Easter week end. When I go to sleep I plug in to my earbuds the Peter Hubner music – this I’ve been doing since mid March.
To put things in context, I’m 62 and I’ve been diagnosed with PD for nearly seven years and as an index I’ve been on 600mg pd of Levodopa.
First, Hubner’s music is unusual but a positve pleasure to listen to and I’m convinced that it has improved the quality and length of my sleep.
Some of my problems before the Smart Lounge arrived :
I had been apprehensive about the urgency with which I could sometimes have to go to the lavatory , which of course discouraged my liquid intake and undermined one’s general social confidence.
I was liable to drool when tired, prone to back ache when standing in queues, and more conscious of the “off” periods when the medicines were not yet kicked-in, making me move slower . For example manoevering oneself in bed could be difficult and even harder in the bathroom . Then there was the slowness of doing buttons up, the nigh impossibility of getting one’s trousers fully up unaided, and the humiliation of needing my food cut up if I froze at a restaurant.
In the last three weeks I have also joined a local “Spinning” class at the local gym for 2-3 weekly 45 minute fast and challenging pedaling sessions during which one can get the pulse rate up to 120-130pm. This follows my reading of a paper by Jay L Alberts et al of the Cleveland Clinic inJuly 2009’s Neurorehabilitation and Repair.
I realize that this confuses the issue in theory , but in practice whether it’s the Smart Lounger or Spinning – one or more things are really working right and I hope for more improvements. For example I can now again wet shave myself in 3 minutes rather than have to electric shave .
I can pull my trouser up, tie my tie and shoe laces. My gait is improved, and freezing is less likely. My handwriting is “on” for more of the day. At last I really feel progress and I hope for more ….. on the road to recovery
What follows is a fascinating e mail I received from Brad who has given me permission to post it here.
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
I am still “in the closet”, so to speak, that is to say I have not publicly discussed my diagnosis. I am very new to this discovery as I received my diagnosis one year ago (at age 52). Sometimes I get “PD’ed” by strangers who notice my symptoms and ask (or tell) point blank that I “have Parkinson’s”, which I cannot evade. The only purpose for taking the currently available meds is too hide the condition from others during, say, public speaking or other event which might lead to self-consiousness or embarrassment. The meds serve no other purpose, they do not treat any underlying condition whatsoever. I suspect this denial, or hiding from PD symptoms, is very psychologically damaging (Michael J. Fox treats this in depth in his books). It leads to over medicating and adds stress, thereby worsening the condition.
In my case, I was lead to believe that the use of L-Dopa would provide dramatic relief and thereby confirm the diagnosis (remember that PD is a “negative” diagnosis, that is, it is indicated by ruling out all other possible explanations, however, in reality this is impossible to do. So PD is labeled “idiopathic”, or of unknown causation). Instead of relief, absolutely nothing happened, except that I immediately worsened and developed new symptoms in addition to a multitude of side effects. My brain has resisted L-Dopa therapy over these twelve months. L-Dopa is only sporadically effective and is very hard to predict. It takes very high doses to alleviate all symptoms (breifly) and during periods of high stress (particularly social stress) it does not work at all. So I have made a conscious decision to minimize my use of L-Dopa and seek alternatives right from the start. Sometimes I go for days without medicating at all and my symptoms usually stay about the same or sometimes better.
Things I am doing that seem to help:
Continue to ride and race bicycles. I have had to give up certain types of racing that require extremely fine motor skills, but I ride with accomplished groups regularly, at least 5,000 miles per year. Balancing a bicycle utilizes different neural circuits from your center of gravity than balancing on your feet, so I actually cycle better than I stand or walk. Some medication is required to control dystonia and keep my “slow” leg in sync with my “fast” leg, but I have experienced symptom-free rides occasionally.
Continue serious weight training. Since lifting weights does not involve high speed movements, it is largely unaffected by the symptoms. I have always been very strong and have become even stronger with pd symptoms than I was previously.
All other forms of physical activity, such as stretching, hand and finger exercises, table tennis, hiking, walking, basketball, anything that involves motion.
Healthy food, water, and sleep/rest. Avoid all trauma and toxins insofar as possible. Drama-free social life, mental engagement and exercise, healthy spiritual practices. These seem to be so “common sense” that they may be overlooked, but the proof is in disrupting any one of these and the symptoms immediately worsen. Improve them, and they immediately get better. Simple.
“Alternative therapies” that I am trying or considering include mercury detox. This is very dangerous, because disturbing mercury in dental work and/or chelating mercury that has been bound to brain tissues for a long time can worsen matters by “stirring up” heavy metals that may then be reabsorbed or recirculated prior to elimination. A personal decision has to be made balancing the risk/possible benefits of this approach. It is too early to tell what impact this decision will have on me because I have only had mercury-free teeth for less than thirty days after more than thirty years. I do believe eventually mercury will be banned in dental work. There are better alternatives available. My dentist conceded only after agreeing that having already developed pd symptoms, the levels of mercury that may be safe for a normal healthy adult might not be appropriate for me.
Hypnotherapy is showing great promise. If nothing else, achieving relaxed states reduces stress. However, even western medicine recognizes “psychogenic Parkinson’s”, from which full recovery is possible. It distinguishes this from “real” or “organic” Parkinson’s which by definition precludes recovery. So if you recover, it must have been psychogenic and vice-versa, if you don’t recover it’s not psychogenic. This is circular reasoning. Self-observation proves that all PD is at least partially psychogenic. Besides, it is a Western assumption, wholly based on faith, that there is any real difference between the mind/spirit and body at all. There is plenty of evidence, including in Western science, that there is no difference. One cannot exist or be healthy without the other. During hypnotic states (basically that relaxed dreamy state just before falling asleep), observable symptoms abate. What more proof that these symptoms are controlled by mental states (or brain waves, if you will) is needed?
Long held attitudes and “belief systems” are hard to change but they clearly play a role in recovery. There is a website with which you may be familiar, it’s www.pdrecoveryproject.org, I think, that discusses this in depth. It’s chapter 45 of a lengthy treatise. It’s basic theory is that negative self-hypnosis or “accidental” hypnosis is a causitive factor in PD symptoms. At home, we avoid using the term “disease” or even “Parkinson’s”, instead referring to “Mr. P” or “my condition” or “symptoms” because one thing is for sure, if for one minute, you believe that you will not recover, your prophecy will be self-fulfilled. On the other hand, if you believe improvement or recovery is possible (not guaranteed), then that will be true also. Cancer victims refer to “fighting” cancer, PD’ers often talk about “accepting” PD. While “accepting” oneself as one is or accepting the public acknowledgement of your symptoms may be helpful, the will to live (not mere survival, but living well) is the driving force behind recovery from any illness.
On the drawing board: acupuncture. The brain is an electrical system. Western science proves this through DBS. DBS, however, is a crude and intrusive means of maintaining that system. Again, the website mentioned above details how electrical disuptions in other parts of the body (particularly the foot or ankle) may affect the brain. I had such a traumatic injury in which the tibia was fractured and did not “knit” after 99 days in a cast. Subsequently, a “TENS” unit was utilized passing an electrical current, night and day, for several months through the fracture. While this did cause an 80% “healing” of the bone to occur, there may have been electrical side effects unbeknownst to me from this therapy.
I realize that this is rather lengthy, but PD is a vastly complex and mysterious condition. The mere lack of dopamine is neither it’s cause nor solution. I agree with you that the current scientific research will never result in a “cure” because there are a multiplicity of causes and therefore a multiplicity of “cures”.
I appreciate this opportunity to share my thoughts in writing because it has helped me be a little more organized in my own research and thinking. I do not yet know in what way my experience may be used to help others, but I will consider your idea. Thank you for your time and the work that you are doing.
I have been increasing the intensity of my exercising and I am doing incredibly better. I just read a book called Spark by John Rately that talks about what exercising does for the brain. It is worth reading I recommend it highly. After reading the book I started increasing the intensity of my workouts and I think it has made a big impact on my recovery.
We have benefited from reading your news posts. You have so much to share. I want to ask your opinion about the Theracycle. Do you know Parkinson’s sufferers who have benefited from this? Do you have testimonials or contacts or can you give my email to one of these. We are trying many of the suggestions we have heard about in your posts. I would like to get this equipment for my husband.
Thanks so much for your e mail. I am so glad to hear you benefit from my posts. Be sure to catch the radio program too if you have the chance. I interviewed Deborah today on the show!
On the Theracycle:
I do not know anyone specifically who has benefited from the Theracyle product. The principle of forced exercise is discussed in my radio program on April 23, 2009 with Dr. Jay Alberts, an exercise researcher from the Cleveland Clinic. Jay tells me he thinks that forced exercise might be helping to rewire the brain. His early research suggests that it may provide benefits that are equivalent to current Parkinson’s medications.
You can likely get the same benefit from using equipment at the health club that forces the person to go at a faster pace than they can do on their own. I personally think a special approach that accomplishes the same purpose is the old fashioned tandem bike – with two seats. The healthy person peddles on the front as the person with symptoms of Parkinson’s peddles on the back – keeping up so to speak.
It is not 80 RPM that is critical in my personal opinion. It is that the person on the back is being helped to go at a rate a little faster than they can do on their own. Tandem’s give both persons something fun to do together. And, both benefit from the exercise.
My hunch (without having any evidence) is that the Theracyle is probably great for people. I also suspect there are alternatives (like the tandem bikes) that are less costly. Your husband could try out forced exercise at a health club to see how his body reacts to the exercise approach. It doesn’t have to be on a Theracyle.
I do know they are working on some programming for the Theracycle specifically for Parkinson’s. That will certainly prove interesting and promising I would suspect.
Whatever you decide, please let let me know the outcome. As you are well aware, I will spread the word!
All the best,
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Here are some resources to share:
Although the first part is “depressing” to read, the section on “Why Exercise Is So Important” is simple and motivating. There are yet more exercise programs for people with muscular and neurological disorders on this link, but I am not sure of their availability.
I am reading a new book (to me), Train Your MIND, Change Your BRAIN by Sharon Begley, (Ballantine). This is a survey of how the brain adapts to the kind of thinking we do and the feeling modes that we experience.
The Dalai Lama figures in this story with his patient challenge to neurological researchers on the reverse of the belief “the brain creates the mind or the mind is the result of brain activity”–doesn’t the mind affect the way the brain operates? Beliefs in science are hard to confront.
This book is about research on this confrontation. There are stories of experiments in re-training the thinking of people with depression and obsessive/compulsive disorders. As they corrected for their distorted thinking, they experienced relief, even when medication was supposed to give them relief. Re-training our thinking is crucial because our brains respond to the perception of our reality. The experiments related in the book can inspire ideas on working our own programs. Parkinson’s isn’t even mentioned, but strokes are.
The evidence shows that plasticity or brain/neural changing doesn’t occur only in childhood but throughout life. A Tibetan monk, whom the Dalai Lama knew, was imprisoned by the Chinese for 18 years, a time which included torture. When freed, he was found to be the same gentle, mentally sharp man that the Dalai once knew, just like he was before the imprisonment. Was he ever afraid? Yes, he was afraid that he would lose his compassion for the Chinese.
“Because of forgiveness, his bad experience with Chinese not got worse,” said the Dalai Lama.
This anecdote shows that mind is over matter. The book goes on to explore, from the Buddhist perspective, what mind is or does. The link between Buddhist thinking and scientific neurological research is attention and attention training.
Thanks for all that you do!
I received a copy of the e-mail below to John Coleman from Kumar which refers to my interview with John on my radio program which aired July 16, 2009. If you visit Parkinsons Recovery Radio you can scroll back to my interview with John in July and listen. The programs are listed in the order they were aired.
Kumar has given me permission to post his letter which was actually sent to John Coleman, ND. I love to post such letters – whether they are addressed to me or someone else – because it is energizing and motivating to see what other people are doing to get wonderful relief from their symptoms.
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Dear John Coleman, ND:
I just heard the interview with Dr. Rodgers and the questions and answers. It was fascinating. I was happy you gave so much importance to meditation. I have been meditating for the last two decades, praying to the Lord in the form of devotional singing and giving importance to spiritual exercises under capable Masters but yet I was diagnosed to be suffering from PD about three years back. However I have continued all these along with medications which is syndopa plus(Levodopa 100mg + carbidopa 25 mg) 1.5 tablets four times a day and the dopamine agonist Ropark 2 mg three times a day as prescribed by the neuro physician.
I am feeling quite fine. Tremors have reduced significantly. I can walk at a stretch for 30 min with both arms swinging and climb staircases without any support since this was the severe problem I suffered with last month since I was falling backwards while climbing staircases and also while moving horizontally at home and other places. Add to this hallucinations and uneasy feeling on the back of the head which are no longer there.
The present improved condition is due to two weeks of hospitalisation for drug optimisation, physiotherapy done both at home and the hospital for coordination, balancing, muscle strengthening involving cycling, rowing, weight lifting for both arms and lower limbs and exercise on the tread mill for slow walking with longer steps. Beside these I have also been doing exercises prescribed by Dr. Roberts from the Internet which are also helpful. I taught some of these exercises to the physios attending on me.
I am eagerly waiting for the Aquas hydration formula which has not arrived yet even after 24 days after ordering the same. In the mean while I am trying my best to drink 8 glasses of water everyday.
I would like to share a simple technique here which we call evening cleaning. After the day’s work when we are relaxed, we seat ourselves in a comfortable seat erect and at a quiet place, take the thought once only in the beginning that all complexities, negativities, fears, darkness, grossness, disease and recently added toxins are leaving our body from behind in the form of smoke and sit quietly for 30 min using your will power but not meditating. You feel highly refreshed and empty after doing this.
I am in the process of writing my Life history in brief which I will send it to you after I have finished.
Once again, it was wonderful listening to you.
Noel Batten from Australia makes impressive claims with regard to Parkinson’s Disease and has an interesting website: http://info.noelbatten.com/testimonies_and_cases.html
Did you hear about him?
If his claims are right, then I would get an x ray for my wife and let a chiropractor re-align the vertebrae.
I have known about this particular website for several years but have received no feedback from anyone who has used his service. Noel Batten presents case studies on his website of people with a wide variety of diagnoses including carpal tunnel, cancer, MS, autism and Parkinson’s Disease. He shows videos before and after his treatments which reveal improvements. Keep in mind he does not show his videos of people who did not experience improvements.
In my research, we find that any specific therapy or modality will help some, perhaps many, but not everyone. I will invite Noel Bratten to be a guest on my radio program so we can all learn more about his approach. I hope he accepts my invitation.
I examined the testimonials on his website and have a sense that his five day program involves a little in the
way of chiropractic adjustment and a lot in the way of physical exercise. The research is very clear with regard to physical exercise. If a person engages an exercise program for five straight days they are vitually assured of seeing some improvements in their symptoms, particularly those related to mobility. The case studies he
has on the website show people who clearly have inflammation. My hunch is that the exercise and his treatments probably help relieve the inflammation.
I would point out that the video testimonials involve a taping just before the five day treatment program began (showing the person has difficulties of one type or another) and a taping immediately after the end of the treatment (at day four or day five of his treatment program). These results are typical of what we see when people exercise regularly or when they get body work in one form or another (e.g., cranio sacral work, energy healing, etc.).
Of course, you can also see similar improvements that are just as dramatic when medications are “on” or working as opposed to “off” or not working. We do not know how medications might have confounded what we are seeing in the videos.
If the person did not continue with their exercise program, I suspect a video of them a week after their treatment ended would reveal they had reverted back to their baseline (when they were shown as being significantly challenged from a mobility perspective). It would be wonderful news if a five day program resulted in permanent improvement, but we see no evidence of that on the website. Of course, temporary improvement can be a blessing to many people.
What we want to see from a research point of view is sustained improvement over months and years. Speaking intuitively, this is not likely to happen with a few chiropractic adjustments or with five continuous days of exercise. The underlying factors that put the spine out of alignment in the first place need to be identified and addressed.
I should also report that I always ask the persons I interview with Parkinson’s what treatments or therapies have helped them. Chiropractic adjustments are mentioned by a few people, but they certainly do not float to the top as being one of the therapies that helps people the most. Exercise does float to the top as a helpful therapy,
so to the extent that his program includes exercise, it may indeed be helping over the long term if his clients continue with the exercise program.
If anyone has direct experience with his five day program, please let us all know.
A Letter from Neita:
Just started reading all your positive newsletters. Been diagnosed nearly a year, having tremors for 4 or 5 years in my hands. Had been exercising in a gym on treadmill and weight machines for 15 years and taking lots of more than minimum daily requirement vitamins.
I am 72, female, a good bit overweight but found myself slowing down. In November I had a big operation, went home and had to go back to hospital with infection coming from all my stitches in 3 days. Hospital and doctors had given me the big infection in my innards. Had a really hard time for 4 months.
Then, my psychiatrist, who had me on an antiphyscotic meds and was backing me off them because we thought it was causing the tremors, decided it wasn’t the meds so sent me to a neurologist when I had not exercised for 4 months and was still weak and just barely starting exercise again. So, the Parkinsons showed itself. Dr. said I do not blink my eyes as much as a NORMAL person, or have as much facial expression as a NORMAL person. Oh My God, I am not normal anymore, how can I live??Joke,joke! Started taking Azilect right away. Really don’t have any idea how well that is helping as of a month or 2 later.
I heard of a reflexologist in my neighborhood, who had learned it well to help his MS wife 15 years ago. His first treatment was 2 hours. With my first treatment, he gave me my life back. My joints opened up like someone unscrewed them. I could really move my legs again on the treadmill. Also, I got my personality back and could laugh and some things were funny now. I could think faster and to make matters not so good, my mouth started running again non-stop and I was awake when I got up in the morning first thing. I had come alive again.
Reflexology does a lympth drain and works on all the endrocrine glands. I did not know what all that meant until I had a lot of people coming to my home last month and I snapped that I had no DREAD about all I had to do so I snapped that reflexology, in giving me my life back, had dumped DEPRESSION, which I had not realized I had, probably because of all my exercise and it was lowgrade.
I have also found 3 really good hypnosis cd’s that make me feel great after the wonderful deep relaxation for the mind and muscles, and spine and nerves and having the juices flow in the proper amounts from all the right glands. My chiropractor has a new machine called the Pro Adjuster which does great work, not like him just bending your body all around, which never worked for my back for years. I go there twice a month, all Medicare will allow, but maybe can get one more since the Parkinsons diagnosis.
I go to the reflexologist every 3 weeks, because I found out that if I wait 4 weeks, the tremors start a little bit again. Of course, I know that they will act up anyway if I get upset or excited! I have already bought a few books about the first year, and optimal wellness, which with all the vitamin info and saying what exercise will do for PD, I realized why it did not show itself sooner for me. Years ago, before lots of meds and info, my little Grandmother had Pd really bad. My dr says with me starting it so late in years, I won’t ever be as bad as she was.
Dr. also warned me about all those places on the internet who want you to buy stuff. Well, I may not buy all your stuff,unless you have a good hypnosis cd to fight PD, but I love positive information to help. I do not want info about herbs because it will not be good for a chemical imbalance in the brain and I could have more bad episodes now that I am off the drugs. Hopefully , that part of my brain has healed itself as I am doing great in that area. Thank God, now that I have something else big to deal with. Also, thank God, that I am a Pollyana and look for the good. Not in denial, but don’t want to borrow trouble before it comes either.
Thanks for reading this. I am still 72 going on 55, as most people never guess anywhere close to my age. My spine is still straight with wonderful posture and I have almost no wrinkles for an old lady (another joke, as I don’t feel it). And I am married to a young thing. He is all of 69, so that has been my joke for 22 years. Thanks again.
Delay the Disease -Exercise and Parkinson’s Disease – by David Zid – has been recommended to me. I am wondering however how I will know which exercises are the most helpful to me. Wouldn’t this be the sort of
thing a PT (physical therapist) would be needed for?
I have heard reports back from people who tell me David Zid’s book has been helful, as is the work of Kevin Lockette who is a physical therapist, Arieh Breslow who has developed a DVD on Tai Chi and Qi Gong and Kristina Mauak who has created a DVD on Qi Gong.
In my opinion, it is a smart idea to involve a person like David, Kevin, Arieh or Kristina in tailoring an exercise program that suits your current needs. Coaches can help you sort out which exercises will be most helpful today and provide the personal support that can be so helpful. Each of the incredible professionals I listed above develop personalized exercise programs for people with the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
It is also about asking for help, which in itself is healing. You do not want to start with exercises that are too strenuous because you will likely get discouraged and quit. I believe the key is to find a form of exercise that you love to do. If it is a joyous activity, it will become and habit. Your body will love you for taking care of it every day.
© 2009 Parkinsons Recovery
I am an avid listener to your Parkinsons Recovery Blog Talk Radio show and have it programmed to download to my ipod every week. I workout listening to your shows then use music – suggested in your music therapy show (I have a PhD in Music!) – to keep me on track as I walk the treadmill!!
YOU make a difference in my life!!!
People with Parkinson’s can be trapped into a vicious cycle of escalating symptoms. Here is how the process unfolds.
Symptoms tend to creep up gradually. Little signs pop up here and there – a twitch here or a muscle cramp there. Signs are ignored or dismissed as being minor annoyances. Symptoms gradually become more persistent.
A search is launched for therapies that have the potential to provide relief. The search for relief in itself is stressful. Stress from the search inflames symptoms further. A diagnosis is made which hammers away at the idea that recovery is no longer possible.
The person begins to believe that recovery will never be possible. Since our thoughts affect our health, the next step is obvious.
Other more troubling symptoms emerge. Movement becomes more challenging. Exercise becomes painful. Movement becomes more limited. Without physical exercise symptoms are destined to get worse.
Every day tasks become much more challenging . Hope of recovery begins to hang on a very thin thread.
The problem I have thus been working on is this: How can this vicious cycle be reversed? My answer is simple.
If you can’t exercise your body, you can always exercise your mind. Why not build new neural networks without lifting a finger?
Simply put, you do not have to exercise your body to get the benefits of exercise. Research suggests that you can actually get two thirds of the benefits of physical exercise by exercising your mind (without lifting a finger).
Isn’t that a cool idea? I think so.
We can exercise our mind through memory exercises and guided visualizations. This forms new neural networks. Memory exercises facilitate the body’s ability to make dopamine. As the symptoms subside, physical exercise becomes a viable option.
Presto. You are back on the road to recovery.
I call this approach recovery “Mindwork.” Memory exercises and guided visualizations are being posted on the Parkinsons Recovery member website every week now. I am asking everyone who is participating in the Mindwork exercises to track their symptoms so we can all get an idea of how the recovery process unfolds when the mind is used as a form of exercise.
The good news is that Mindwork is fun, non intrusive and safe. The only side effects are improved health on some level.
© 2009 Parkinsons Recovery
Whit Deschner, author of the award winning book,
Travels With A kayak talks about his experience with Parkinson’s and his formula for remaining healthy, strong and active. Whit also explains the rules for the Salt Lick Contest. The contest is open for entries, though the salt licks must be sculptured by animals (not humans).
I have a heads up on the most fascinating interview you
will hear on my radio program Thursday (June 18th). Leif
Ogard has had Parkinsons for 21 years. What is so special
Leif feels great – not just good – but great. Most “well”
people can’t say this!. He has incredible energy and owns
his own business which he started after his diagnosis.
By the way, his business is thriving. Leif considers
himself healthy in every respect.
This is a remarkable interview for reasons you will better
understand when you hear the program Thursday. Leif offers
genuinely helpful insights and suggestions. His comments
will be especially helpful for anyone who has been
I interviewed Leif because he has just published his new
book, “I have Parkinsons But Parkinsons Does Not Have me.”
Believe me when I tell you that his life is true to the title
of his book.
If you are in a place in your life where you could use a
motivational boast and a strong dose of hope, join me Thursday
for this live event. If you can’t join us live, you can always
download the recording of the program here:
It is an amazing interview. You can connect to the radio
program through the website from anywhere in the world or
you can call the following phone number to hear the
program: 347-945-5358 (USA).
I am on the air live every Thursday morning at 11:00 am
pacific time.You can always hear the programs from your
computer no matter where you live in the world by visiting
my radio show website page.
Or, you can always hear my internet radio programs by calling
this phone number 347-945-5358. The number is always the
same from week to week.
I hope you can join us. You will not be disappointed.
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Dr. Jay Alberts, Ph.D., from the Center for Neurological Restoration at the Cleveland Clinic will be my special guest on the Parkinsons Recovery Radio Program at 11:00 am pacific time on Thursday, April 23rd. Dr. Alberts and I will also be talking with Scott Luikart who is participating in the Race Across America this summer to raise money for research on Parkinsons.
Listen to the program over phone by calling 347-945-5358 at 11:00 am pacific time – Thursday, April 23rd or listen in here. I hope you can join us.
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
The Race Across America (RAAM), is a solo, 12 day, 3,021 mile bike race. It touches 15 states and climbs more than 100,000 feet. Once the clock starts on the west coast, it doesn’t stop until the racer reaches the finish line on the east coast. Scott Luikart, a 2009 RAAM participant, has chosen to use the RAAM as an avenue to raise much needed funds for cutting edge Parksinson’s disease (PD) research going on at the LRI.
What motivates someone to push their body to the extreme? Ask Scott that question and his answer comes without hesitation. His twin brother Mark was Scott’s inspiration to begin cycling four years ago. Mark was recently diagnosed with PD.
While watching MSNBC one night, Scott heard about the exciting work of Jay Alberts, Ph.D. of the Center for Neurological Restoration at the Cleveland Clinic. About 200 miles into a week long “Pedaling for Parkinson’s” awareness ride on a tandem bicycle, Dr. Alberts noticed the Parkinson’s symptoms disappearing from the patient who was riding with him.
From this experience, Dr. Alberts asked: Could exercise — be therapeutic for PD patients? Initial research is telling us “yes.” Donations raised through the RAAM will go to support this cutting edge work leading to more answers which we feel will have a direct impact on the lives of those living with PD.
Two Questions from Anne:
Is it better to exercise when ‘on’ or when ‘off?’ I am wondering about body’s capacity to remember movements, cadences etc.
I have not seen any studies that have examined the differences of exercise when the medication is fully functional (the “on” state) and when the medication has worn off and symptoms are more evident (the “off” state).
I can report that many people tell me when their symptoms are bothersome (whether they take medication or not), exercise makes a huge difference in alleviating them.
Stress is highly correlated with symptoms. When stressed, symptoms will be worse. Exercise plays a huge role in releasing stress that is carried in the body. So, when symptoms are bothersome, try exercising and see what happens.
The more often you exercise the better you will feel. People tell me that it is far more effective in helping them get sustained relief from symptoms that virtually most of the medications they have tried.
Think of exercise as a medicine. The best part is that it is free and can be fun as well.
Are instructions for using aquas anywhere on the web site?
Aquas were designed to be a homeopathic remedy for dehydration. They are recommended by John Coleman, ND, who recovered from parkinsons. You will find an explanation about the Aquas and instructions for their use at www.aquas.us.
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
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Thanks again for the email newsletters- I find them very positive and helpful.
I went to a cranio-sacral therapist yesterday here in Myrtle Beach (where we are for 2 months) and it was very relaxing and calming for me. I have gone up in Canada a few times.
I have joined a fitness club and am working out 3 times a week and on the other 2 days swimming in the pool. My question is should I be concerned with the water in the pool ? ( toxins etc) I am going to check with them what they put in to it but it does taste a little salty to me when I have some on my face.
I would be interested in your broadcasts but I use a computer at the hotel on the premises and am not sure how to get in to them.
Thanks again for your services and keep up the good work.
I am so glad you find the newsletters helpful. Praise is all I need to keep writing and researching.
On Chlorine in swimming pools …
Your question about chlorine in swimming pools is a tough question to answer. I personally stopped swimming for the past few years in a swimming pool because of the chlorine. However, I recently decided to begin swimming again because it is such great exercise.
I have concluded that if we apply strict and uncompromising rules about toxic exposure, we rule out every imaginable activity in life. We might as well live in a bubble and allow ourselves no contact with humans or the physical world.
I see no way around being exposed to toxins every day. The pillows we put our heads on are toxic for most people because current laws required that they be dowsed with flame retardant which is very, very toxic.
Most food in grocery stores and restaurants these days is toxic. Even when we breathe (even in Florida) we ingest toxins. The list of exposure opportunities is endless.
I have concluded that a healthy way to approach the challenge of toxins is to eliminate the big ones and to make it a routine to do detoxes two or three times a year. I even change the detox program I use to cover all the bases. In other words, I just accept the fact I am being bombarded with toxins and do my best to detox myself on a regular basis. I make it routine.
Had you asked me this two years ago – I probably would have said – stop swimming in chlorine. The answer is different today, given I plan on returning to swimming in a chlorine pool myself this month.
Life is a trade off and this is one perfect example. I strongly suspect that the benefits of the exercise outweigh the costs of the toxins.
Question about broadcasts:
I sponsor a weekly broadcast myself and sponsor other famous guests regularly. My teleseminars are Thursdays at 11:00 am pacific time. Times for other teleseminars are always announced in the free Parkinsons Recovery newsletter and on the blog.
You can always listen in on the telephone or connect through a computer. All of the teleseminars are recorded,
so you can listen to the telesemianrs after the event. Times and the events are always posted on the blog here (www.blog.parkinsonsrecovery.com) for at least a week after the event, so you can download the broadcasts
to your computer (they are MP3 files) and listen later using an IPOD or listen through your computer.
It is great to hear all about your exercise program. It will make a different to be sure!
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
I thought you could be interested
in seeing a short segment of my
interview with Mary (not her
real name) who offers high
praise for the benefits of exercise.
“Swimming and exercising makes
me feel great. And after I take
glutathione I can walk. I’ll
go through weeks were I walk
everyday at the park and I swim
and then I’ll go through a week
where I do nothing.
“I read on your site, I think it was
one of your newsletters, that
tandem bicycling was great for
the Parkinson’s patients. So, we
go to the park almost everyday
and rent one of those side by side
tandems. My caregiver drives it
and I pedal along. I walk much
better after that.”
“I do that everyday that I can. Many
times we go down to the beach
and rent the three-wheelers. The
three-wheelers are helpful.”
Robert: “How much time every day
do you spend on your exercise program?”
Mary: “Like an hour a day. I had a
yoga person tell me that yoga
Robert: “You definitely notice a
difference? When you exercise
you feel better and when you
don’t exercise you feel worse?
Mary: “Exactly. Definitely.”
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
© 2008 Parkinsons Recovery
I’m a man (57- diagnosed 5 years ago-medicated
since 8 months ago) living in The Hague (Holland).
I really enjoy your Parkinsons Recovery daily letters
and I look forward to receiving them.
I enjoyed your letter about drumming. Last Friday
I ended a course of salsa-dancing for PWP. It was
organised by a dancing-school in The Hague.
The lessons were given at a beach-restaurant.
It was funny for the regular costumers to hear
swinging music and to see people dance with
slow movements.It was great fun to do it. I cross the streets singing a rhythmic song loudly.
I learned that from a chapter in Olivier Sack’s
latest book Musicophilia.
Thank you and go on like this.
Hans de Rijke
John Coleman, ND, has exercises for those who
have limited mobility and for those who are a bit
mobile. He has about 15 pages of exercises in his
book Stop Parkin’ and Start Livin’.
Which ones are suitable for a mobile person and
how many or how long should a mobile person
I asked Dr. John Coleman this question. Here is
“Mobile people need to exercise to the extent of
their ability without causing exhaustion. All the
exercises in the book are suitable, plus walking,
swimming, cycling, Pilates, Yoga, light weights,
NIA (dance exercise), etc. She needs to set
goals with regard to her strength and flexibility,
and see an improvement each month. If not,
she can up the ante and increase her exercise.”
“If she finds any particular movement difficult,
then that is the one to practice the most. The
harder it is, the more we practice it.”
“You may want to check out
and see if this is your cup of tea.”
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
© 2008 Parkinsons Recovery