Peter Strick, chair of neurobiology and scientific director of the University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute, and other scientists hypothesize there is a brain circuit in Parkinson’s patients that can be switched on and off to control movement.
Strick’s collaborators are focusing on two circuits in the brain that are hypothesized to control movement. One circuit is damaged by Parkinson’s which results in manifesting symptoms associated with a Parkinsons diagnosis such as tremor, freezing, and poor balance and coordination.
Strick believes there is a second control mechanism that is fully functional. When accessed, symptoms are quieted. Strick’s hypothesizes the fully functional circuit is switched on by strong emotions activated by positive experiences. More simply put, the endless joy of doing something that feeds our soul activates the circuit that facilitates effortless mobility.
The bottom line? The most effective “medicine” is to embrace activities that give you the greatest joy. Acknowledge the profound relief of symptoms that is associated when you “follow your bliss.”
I am wondering about how to deal with slow movement. I never hear this question addressed. Are there any ways to overcome this? It is my worst symptom. People tell me I move very gingerly.
Thank you for your help.
The big picture is the reprogram your neural networks. It appears that your movements are being controlled by neural pathways that are a bit rusty.
There is no reason for panic! The brain has an incredible capacity to reconfigure pathways. You just have to begin moving a bit differently to configure the new pathways which will make walking easier and require less effort on your part.
First, I suggest that you listen to my interview with Professional Dancer Pamela Quinn from New York City. Pamela offers a number of suggestions you should find helpful. You can find her program from last week by visiting the Parkinsons Recovery Radio Network page below:
Second, I suggest that you add a little music (with a nice hefty beat) when you walk. Use an MP3 player or IPODÂ or something portable. Find some music you like to listen to which has a marching type of beat. Music with a strong beat does wonders for movements that are slow and cumbersome. Michael Jackson recorded some great songs with incredible beats you can dance to.
Third, there are a number of brain challenge exercises and programs which provide great ways to forge newÂ neural pathways. You might try out a few. They always have free ones to try out on the websites. I posted information on one such program on this blog September 30th from Posit Science which is backed by sound research.
Fourth, inside of thinking of walking from point A to point B, think to yourself that you will dance from Point A to Point B. You may be surprised by the difference created by the different in thought forms.
Many people believe that the solution to mobility challenges is found in finding the right medications or supplements or herbs to take, not with mobility exercises. After an exciting decade of research into the question of what helps people regain excellent mobility, I have drawn the conclusion that medications or supplements or herbs do not offer a long term solution. Something else – something you would have never guessed – does.
I have concluded that practicing the ability to perform more than one task at a time offers welcome benefits to anyone who currently experiences issues with maintaining good balance and also anyone who fears the prospect of falling when walking. Watch my video below to discover mobility exercises that are fun and simple to do.
For information about the Walk with Ease and Confidence program, visit:
Are you having difficulty with maintaining good balance?
Have you fallen in the past or fear you may fall in the future?
I have exciting news for you.
A new, easily accessible resource that addresses these concernsÂ is – at long last – now available. Â The Parkinsons Recovery Walk with Ease and Confidence membership documents the strategies, “steps”and programs Â you can pursue that improve balance andÂ prevent falls. The ideas are presented in the forms of text,Â clips of interviews from
Parkinsons Recovery radio shows, videos taken at the various Parkinsons RecoveryÂ Summits and YouTube videos.
Why Did I Create This New Resource?
I have hosted hundreds of radio show guests onÂ Parkinsons Recovery radio shows over the past 10 years. My guests have discussedÂ amazing strategies and fascinating programs to improve balanceÂ and prevent falls.Â These suggestions and ideas have always been (and will continue to be) accessible for free.
I realized recently that most people with mobility issuesÂ do not know about these solutions. How could this be so?Â The suggestions and strategiesÂ I have meticulously Â documented over the past decade are, practically speaking, inaccessible. There is so much information scattered all over the place itÂ would take months to locate the information you need.
I have dedicated my time this year to extractÂ audio clipsÂ from radio shows, edit videos from Parkinsons Recovery Summits andÂ select posts from my blog that have offered solutions for improving balance and preventing falls.Â The content is now organized in one place forÂ easy access – the new Walk with Balance and Confidence membership.
Here are a few of the topics that are covered in my new program:
How to Prevent Falling Forward
Two Exercises To loosen Rigidity
Practical Ways to Improve Arm Swing
How to Improve Your Posture
Strategy to Unlock Freezing
Strategies to Avoid Freezing
A Vitamin that Prevents Falls and Improves Overall Balance
How to Hard Wire Your Brain to walk effortlessly
How to make dopamine naturally
How to prevent falls
Mobility Issues Caused by Metal Amalgams, Jewelry and Toxic Exposure
Click on “Improve Balance and Prevent Falls” below Â to learn more about my newÂ membership program.
Can you recommend any techniques to improve my walking? At present I tend to drag my right leg. If I go for a walk I am OK after about half a mile. I tend to drag my leg on short runs and around the house
First, consider doing Tai Chi on a regular basis. It is a good idea to connect with a teacher who is proficient. There are excellent DVDs on Tai Chi that also extremely helpful if accessed on a regular basis.
Arieh Breslow in particular has produced an outstanding DVD – When Less is More – that is mindful of the mobility challenges that confront individuals who currently experience the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Second, I have a suggestion offered by professional dancer Pamela Quinn during my radio show interview with her on September 30, 2010. You can hear the show by visiting the Parkinsons Recovery Radio Show Network Page at:Â http://www.blogtalkradio.com/parkinsons-recovery
The entire show is worthÂ hearing from start to end. Pamela offers a number of suggestions to persons with mobility challenges. She suggested that you practice kicking a soccer ball using the leg that drags. It helps to wake up that lazy leg.
You obviously do not want to kick a soccer ball while going to work or doing errands. Instead – you simply pretend that you are kicking the soccer ball as you walk from one place to the next.Â It works just as well as if you were actually kicking it.
Third, try bouncing a ball as you walk – just as you did when you were a boy.Â Your foot is dragging because your body is navigating through neural pathways that are dysfunctional. When you bounce a ball while you walk – you create new neural networks. This short circuits the old pathways that are presently hindering that lazy leg’s functionality.
Do you have a ball hanging around at home? Why not give it a try? Hans explains that no one takes notice of a man bouncing a ball down the street.Â ItÂ helps make you feel a lot younger than walking down the street with a cane.
The Parkinsons Recovery Jump Start to Recovery program is all about helping you figure out ways you can get sustain relief from your symptoms. Join us in San Diego October 18th-20th.
Last spring I was in the hospital for my half-year visit to my neurologist. In one of the corridors I nearly had a collision with a white-dressed woman who was riding on a scooter. (We call it a step.)
After I stepped aside (she did not even apologize) I had a flash of insight: Thatâ€™s a good way to move along l halls and long corridors of the train stations and the schools where I work.
I contacted a surf shop nearby and they showed me all kinds of scooters (even with a motor on it) and for my 60th birthday I received a beautiful scooter. I am very happy with it and I use him to do some shopping. I go to the railway station by bus and I take the scooter on my back and I use it on the platforms.
Every Tuesday when my wife and I look after my grandson, we go together on the scooter to the public library. Even when I have an unexpected off-period and itâ€™s difficult for me to walk I can use the scooter.
After bouncing the ball, kicking the football …
and walking with Nordic-walking sticks …
Itâ€™s for me a good way to move along.
And tomorrow I am going to my weekly Salsa-lesson in a restaurant near the beach. And Iâ€™m going by scooter!!
I have had Parkinson’sÂ since 2008. I am now taking amantrel-100 2 tab and pramipex-0.5 2 tab daily.
I still have a balance problem, a walking problem. Turning is also a problem – especially to the left, dryness in mouth, problem of pronunciation of some words while talking. excessive sweating at the left side of forehead is remarkable since 2005.Â I also feel pain at neck below head backside of ears.
You have a series of symptoms which is typical of people who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. It is likely that the cause is multi-faceted.
First, there is an Ayurvedic doctor in India, Dr. Paneri from Gujarat, who sees people with Parkinson’s exclusively and is getting remarkable results. His website is: http://www.drpaneri.com
Second, check the side effects of the drugs you are taking. It is likely some of the problems you are experiencing may be simply the side effects of the drugs. You may want to talk with your doctor about adjusting your medications.
Third, I suggest that you focus your attention on finding doctors and health care practitioners who can help you detox the toxins in your body, I am guessing that toxins are a primary cause of your symptoms. You may well have an abundance of heavy metals and pesticides that have accumulated in your body.Once they are removed your symptoms may well subside.
There are many ways to detox – just check around and find an approach that appeals to you. I have been using
zeolite personally with great success – but there are many other excellent methods that are effective as well.
Below is a letter I received from Dirk who describes the exciting progress of recovery of his wife. Please take not that “progression” in this case – as with so many other stories I document here on the Parkinsons Recovery blog -Â is toward recovery, not deterioration. Veronika is clearly on the road to recovery.
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
You are doing a great job. Compared to a year ago, Veronika is doing somewhat better. She has more energy, the lip curling disappeared, her arms are moving better when walking, so we are optimistic and believe that the turnaround – similar to Nathan Zakheim – is forthcoming but might be a year or two away. [Nathans’ story of recovery is documented in Pioneers of Recovery].
Our diet is 70% raw and we bought recently a water ionizer (Kangen Water) that might also help with her osteoporosis.
She is now for one year on Dr. Paneri’s medicine. A friend of ours from Vancouver, who has also PD and is on Dr. Paneri’s medicine, confirmed that it is working. Last winter – because of a postal error – he was for one month without ajurvedic medicine and felt lousy and as soon he got new supplies his condition bettered. He went last summer over to India and spend a few weeks around Dr. Paneri. He told me that he met quite a few patients who were definitely on the road to recovery.
I am doing everything I can to help her and get her body in a condition to heal itself. But there are still some issues from her abusive childhood experiences that might be the root cause of her PD. Earlier this year we were listening in Puerto Vallarta to your interviews
[http://www.blogtalkradio.com/parkinsons-recovery] and I have to dig those ones out again, that were dealing with psychological damage.
It is too bad that – so far – we were not able to attend one of your seminars [Jump Start to Wellness]. But we will make it one of these days.
My Parkinson has been hovering for months now.Â I have rather rapidly had to have help walking.Â Â Â So now my devoted wife Liz has to get me started by the old Army method “hut oneÂ hut two.”
I do have an appointment Feb. 19 with my neurologist.Â He has had the medicines I’ve been taking gradually phased out.Â Then on Feb. 19 he will introduce my system to a new and different drug which has some notable success.
My problem is how do I stand (e.g. survive) till then?Â Sinemet is what I have to rely on till then.Â (A urologist has me on two drugs to confine urology problems.Â So far this seems to be satisfactory)
I will appreciate your suggested road to nirvana.Â My wonderful wife is 81 years old and in July I will catch her.
I have several suggestions for you to consider, though I am not absolutely clear what symptom precisely you want help with. I understand walking is a problem, so let me focus on that symptom.
Suggestion Set One:
Do you have a tennis ball or a rubber ball of any type? When you walk, bounce the ball just likeÂ you did when you were a boy,Â BounceÂ the ball on the ground as youÂ walk. If that doesn’t help – throw it into the air as you walk.Â
There is also a plastic ball which you find at fairs which has a rubbery string or chain that is attached to the ball itself. You put the rubbery string around your hand and throw the ball toward the ground as you walk (though the ball does not touch the ground). It is great fun – and it helps mobility greatly. (This brilliant suggestions is inspired by Hans from Holland.)Â Instead of walking with a cane or walker (where people perceive there is an old person attempting to walk) you are bouncing a ball like a child (so people perceive a youthful energy – and so do you!).Â
Play music while you walk and your mobility will improve. Listen with an ipod. Your wife is helping you with the music of her marching orders,Â but she can’t sing every step you walkÂ (unless she has tireless vocal cords). Listening to music while you walk is also a great help, especially music that has a beat to it.Â
Suggestion Set Two:
Nitendo Wii. Ever heard of it? Young people know about it.Â You play games like tennis which require you to exercise your balance. Buy a wii game and try it out.Â You can always purchase it on a 30 day warranty so if it doesn’t work for you, just return it. Play a game (whatever you are called to play) every day, Have fun. Watch your mobility improve.Â
Suggestion Set Three:
Natural herbs can be a huge benefit for the problem you describe.Â I will be posting an interview with a herbalist next week (Andrew Bentley) which you shouldÂ find intriguing.Â AndrewÂ discusses various natural herbs which are very helpful for the problem you describe. He gets great results helping peopkle with parkinsons using herbs I have never heard about before.Â MembershipÂ costs a token $1 for the first 30 days. Check out the interview to be posted next week. The signup page is: