Category Archives: Trauma and Parkinsons

Tremor Treatments, Best Parkinson’s Diet and More

Here is a short list of questions I answered during the program today on tremor treatments and more:

  • What are the best techniques to reverse Parkinson’s?
  • Are probiotics and prebiotics helpful?
  • What about juicing to remove heavy metals like lead?
  • How about taking mucuna for tremors?
  • Is there anything that will stop my tremors?
  • Where does one start when deciding to travel down the road to recovery?
  • What about taking lots of supplements to address the symptoms?
  • I am doing all of the therapies that people say will calm tremors but they continue to increase. Can you recommend a tremor treatment that will help?
  • Is  ketogenic diet useful to address Parkinson’s symptoms or are there other diets that are better? I am confused. There are so many opinions out there!

Additional Parkinsons Recovery Resources Discussed During the Program

The second Jump Start to Recovery Course convenes August 1st for 8 consecutive Tuesdays.
2017 Updated Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons Recovery Memberships: https://www.parkinsonsrecovery.com/parkinsons-recovery-membership
Treatments for Tremors
Seven Secrets to Healing

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Heavy Metals and Parkinson’s Disease

Naturopath Doctor John Coleman ND from Australia discusses the connection between heavy metals and Parkinson’s disease symptoms.  While heavy metals can be a factor, John emphasizes the initiating connection of symptoms to trauma (whether physical, emotional or mental).

The Parkinsons Recovery Jump Start to Recovery course introduces ways of identifying the causes of Parkinson;s symptoms and therapies that offer ways to release trauma and stress that continually “feed” the symptoms.

http://www.jumpstart.parkinsonsrecovery.com

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Stress and Trauma

I just want you to know that I had previously started to recover from Parkinson’s because of the work I have been doing about letting go of the stress and trauma in my body by using Louise L Hay method. I’m following her book” You Can Heal Your Body“.

I have noticed quite a significant reduction in my symptoms already. They’re not completely gone but they are reducing and I am definitely on the road to recovery. I am sure your program will help even more. I just know that I will be symptom-free! I have no doubt about it.

So thank you for your jump start to Recovery program.

My vision that I hold in my thoughts are having you interview me on your radio show and I am sharing on how I  recovered from Parkinsons.. And the other vision I have is me telling my neurologist I no longer have Parkinson’s and him giving me a score of 0 on the Parkinson’s scale.

Regards,

Gail

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Trauma

Early on, when I listened to one of your shows which I think was called….the Four Foundations of Recovery…. and # 1 was healing the trauma…I knew I was in the right place!!

You see, I have experienced trauma and abuse in my childhood…even pre-verbal.
Have PTSD. I have had challenges, mostly emotional, Though I’ve had a wonderful career as a songwriter, these last years, my stress, anxiety, and terror have made me drop to my knees and surrender to the Universal forces that are smarter than me and my ego. Now this past year these symptoms just validated this perfect storm of so many reasons why this has come to be…and you are one of the few who is actually addressing all this. By the way, I’m a young 67.

Marsha

 

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Trauma and Parkinson’s

Jaclyn Gisburne, Ph.D. from Colorado and I have been corresponding now for four years on the connection between trauma and Parkinson’s symptoms. The focus of her work is solidly centered on helping people with Parkinson’s reverse their symptoms. Dr. Gisburne considers Parkinsons to be a condition of extreme overwhelm of the central nervous system caused by traumatic events and belief systems that were set in place in a person’s life at an early age. The connection between trauma and Parkinson’s is profound.

She and her colleagues have identified three specific early traumas that occur prior to the onset of symptoms of Parkinson’s and a final trauma with the delivery of the diagnosis. These traumatic events result in brain wave distortions that ensure the survival of the person until resolution can be achieved. However, if that resolution is not found, the distortions continue to run through the body, denying access to dopamine reserves. The body becomes exhausted by the stress and continues to decline.

Jaclyn Gisburne will present her research findings about Parkinson’s at the Parkinsons
Recovery Summit in Santa Fe February. She and her colleague will also offer private neurofeedback sessions (at a 50% discounted rate) to a limited number of persons. If you are interested in securing an appointment with her or her colleague I recommend that you do so in advance of the Summit. Her contact information is on the Summit website.

http://www.summit.parkinsonsrecovery.com

 

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery
http://www.parkinsonsrecovery.com

 

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Toxins and Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 4 years ago, aged 40. Since diagnosis I decided to take a holistic approach and have not been on medication.

A recent hair tissue mineral test showed very high levels of lead, copper as well as elevated levels of aluminum and tin. I’m now working with a naturopath who has put me on a detox/chelation programme for 6 – 8 months.  Two months into it, I’m feeling quite well energetically with clearer brain, however, the tremor has increased significantly.

I’m wondering if you have met anyone on a similar journey that have experienced worsening Parkinson’s symptoms while detoxing.

Antonia

Response

Sounds like you are on the right track with your detox protocol. Congratulations. Symptoms can often get quite a bit worse before they lift. The road to recovery is seldom smooth sailing.

You might talk with your naturopath doctor about slowing down the intensity of your detox program if symptoms are too bothersome. It is possible the current pace is a little too much for your body right now.

It is likely your body is sending you a strong signal you need to release trauma that is likely nested deep within your cells. There is a strong connection between toxins and trauma as I discuss in my book, Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease.  It is important to address both – i.e., work on releasing both the toxins and the trauma.

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

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Questions About Parkinson’s Disease

Dear Dr. Rodgers:

First I want to thank you for sending your book, Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease, by mail.  My husband really enjoys reading it.

Then my husband wants to ask you the following question:

I have been having parkinsons for more than five years.  My main symptoms  are tremor, slowness and difficulty of per forming certain tasks involving the upper body.  I have difficult time putting on a shirt,  fastening a seat belt ect.  My legs are  fine.

I walk for 3-5 miles every day and do weights 3-5 times a week. Surprisingly – when I was in Cyprus the last month my tremor was twice as less.  Is it sun or staying away from technological gadgets?

Right now I am not taking any medication for pd. I go to  Hyppocrates center once a year.  I see chiropractor once a month, acupuncturist every other week and take the following supplements:

vit e , coq10 1200, alpha lipoic acid, magnesium, selenium, holy basil, plus by mannatech. frozen algae and omegas 3-6-9 veg based.  I eat mostly vegeterian drink weat grass juice and green drinks.

1.  What you can add or change in my protocol?

2. Can you help to find a good physical therapist in Lower or Mid Westchester NY

3. What are the therapies I can benefit more?

Sincerely,

Alex and Yelena

Response:

At the outset, let me be clear that while I am a Dr. – I am not a medical doctor. I am a researcher. The ideas I suggest below are based strictly on the research I have done. Anything I suggest should be bounced off of your doctor.

First, you have a rather interesting experiment to report. When in Cyprus your symptoms were greatly reduced. You ask the question why? It may be the reduced stress. When stressed, the symptoms will flare. Or, it may be exposure to sun. People who experience the symptoms of Parkinsons have a serious deficiency of Vitamin D3. I note that you did not include Vitamin D3 in your list of supplements. Why not add it and see what happens? Exposure to sunshine gives your body Vitamin D3.

Second, you list CoQ10 as a supplement – but do not say where you obtain it. Naturopath doctor Laurie Mischley says that there are only two reliable sources of CoQ10. Be sure to listen to my two radio show interviews with her which aired in June: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/parkinsons-recovery. She explains that most of the CoQ10
that people take does little good because it does not cross the blood brain barrier. She also recommends two reliable sources of CoQ10.

Third, I am wondering if you are getting enough fat in your diet. You might want to hear the radio show I aired with Naturopath Doctor John Briggs in may/June of 2009. Dr. Briggs points out that the myelin sheath which covers the neurons are composed of fatty tissues.

You couldn’t get better help than by going to the Hypocrites Center. I hesitate to even mention this as something to research. Perhaps you could explore this with them. They are the experts on healthy nutrition.

Fourth, are you drinking enough water? Is your body sufficiently hydrated? Are you drinking pure water?

Fifth, you do not mention any body therapies you are using to release trauma. Since your symptoms are manifested in the upper part of your body – I am guessing trauma is probably trapped in the tissues of your trunk, arms and face. The fascia and tissues get entangled and interrupt the natural flow of neural communications.

Consider getting help from a therapy that will help you release the trauma that is trapped at the cellular level. When the tissues get crunched, the neural pathways are obstructed. Cranial sacral therapy is especially useful in this regard as is myofascial release and Bowen therapy.

As for a good physical therapist, Kevin Lockette suggests that you find a physical therapist who is specially trained to treat people with neurological symptoms. You can find a full listing by visiting:

http://www.apta.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_PT

For a specialty – be sure to choose ” neurologic” from the drop down menu. If you need more help in this regard, I would suggest you call Kevin. He is an incredible resource. Click here for his website.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

Resources
Dehydration Therapy: Aquas
Parkinsons Recovery Membership
Parkinsons Eye Problems
Vibroacoustic Therapy
Parkinsons Recovery Chat Room
Symptom Tracker
Parkinson’s Disease News

Books
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease
Pioneers of Recovery
Five Steps to Recovery
Meditations for Parkinsons

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Parkinsons Disease Progression

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 –  is toward recovery, not deterioration. Veronika is clearly on the road to recovery.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

.Dear Robert,

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.

Thank you  again.

Cheers,

Dirk

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Pain and Parkinson’s Disease

Question:

Although this topic may have come up before, we haven’t gotten yet a satisfactory answer.  The question is whether you have found pain to be a significant symptom in people with other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and if so, what they do to find relief.

The second question is whether in people who take L-dopa, it is common for them to feel worse 20-45 min after taking the medication before finding relief.  Any suggestions or information you have on these two related questions would be very much appreciated.

Response:

Pain:

Yes, I have received many reports from people who report pain is a very troubling symptom for them among others. First, from what I have learned, people get relief from pain by meditating. Meditation allows them to override all of the thinking that surrounds the “meaning” of the pain. We all put a head on top of our head, which makes the experience worse. That is one reason I have been motivated to record the weekly series of meditations.

Second, my observation is that there is typically a thought form that is buried beneath the pain. Once that is cleared and released, the pain resolves. I will be interviewing Deborah Russell on the radio program next month who will be explaining how quantum healing is useful in this regard.

Third, a source of the pain is often unreleased trauma. Using one body therapy or another (we use cranio-sacral) helps with releasing trauma. Other therapies are helpful as well. Once the trauma is released, the pain resolves (if trauma is the primary causal factor)

Fourth, I just interviewed Lee Bender this morning who has had a considerble challenge with pain over the years. It is interesting you just happened to write in today! Go to Lee’s website and you will see what he does to get relief from his pain. I will be airing his interview next month.

Timing of Medications

As for the timing of the medications – this  is a tough one. Most people tell me that when they work closely with their doctor, they can adjust their medications so that the down time is minimized. I wonder about the reason for the emergence of pain before the meditations kick in. Perhaps the body is in a suspended state of withdrawal until the  new dose starts to work. Perhaps there is a temporary flare up of inflammation.

I hope others have their own two cents to offer so we can shed some light on this particular challenge.

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Theories of Trauma

Question:

Are you familiar with the work of Janice Walton-Hadlock?  Did you develop your theory of trauma independently from her theory?

Margaret

Response:

Yes, I am very familiar with her excellent work with regard to Parkinson’s. I took all of her arguments into consideration when I developed my own theory of trauma. My theory differs significantly from hers. Her theory of trauma is very specific and targeted.

My theory is much more general and embraces the possibility that many different forms of trauma can cause the symptoms. I am writing up an explanation of my theory of trauma in my forthcoming book, The
Road to Recovery.

Janice asked that I not link to her website from my website because she did not want people to get confused between her theories and mine. I have of course honored her request though I would have preferred to have a link to her work from my websites.

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

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Brain Cell Regeneration

Question:

In several of your articles about Parkinson’s, it is stated as fact that by the time one experiences the first symptoms of Parkinson’s, 60-80% of the brain cells in the Substantia Nigra area of the brain have been destroyed. If this is a medical fact then how does it stand to reason that the body is merely out of balance or suffering from toxins?

I believe that the body can be out of balance but has it suffered the reality of irreversible damage?  It is important to have a positive outlook but I also think it is important to be realistic.

I hope I do not sound overly direct because I appreciate all you are doing and have found much of your information to be thought provoking and helpful.

Thanks,  A.G.

Response:

The estimate that 80% of the dopamine producing cells have been destroyed comes from autopsies of people found to have degradation in the substantia nigra. A startling proportion of persons are misdiagnosed with Parkinson’s – estimates vary from 25% to 33%. It is a tough diagnosis to make and it is easy for doctors to miss the mark on this call.

This means that although the person has symptoms that are like the symptoms of Parkinson’s, they are not being driven by a dopamine deficiency. It may simply be that the myelin sheath coverings around the neurons are clogged by toxins or obstructed by trauma to the tissues. Or, other factors may be at play.

I personally believe that we find ourselves trotting down a dead end alley much too often if the “problem” of Parkinson’s is defined as a dopamine deficiency. The body can always produce sufficient dopamine under the proper conditions. And, the body can always generate new cells and rejuvenate itself. Healing becomes possible when the symptoms are viewed in a broader context of health and wellness rather than death and destruction.

At the most basic level, all healing rests on the foundation of thought forms. When we focus on what is not possible, nothing becomes possible. When we set out intention for change and renewal, anything is possible.

You encourage me to edit my own writing. I think it is a mistake to focus on the cells that have been destroyed in the body. Cells are being born every micro second.  The body can reconstruct anything – cells, neural pathways, tissues – you name it. When we focus on what has been destroyed, we have sunk into the negative thought form trap which leads us into nagging thoughts that recovery is impossible. This is why work at our Parkinsons Center in Olympia now focuses on releasing negative thought forms and why I wrote the Five Steps to Recovery.

Thanks for the reminder. The body can and does rejuvenate itself.

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

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Childhood Trauma and Parkinson’s

The following is a letter I received yesterday. The recording of the teleseminar can be downloaded from this website by looking for the March 10th entry. 
Your last Thursday teleseminar was profound..it made so much sense. I was born in 1950 and besides bottle feeding being in vogue, so was ripping newborns away from  mom and into the nursery — with a bunch of other abandoned  newborns, just soaking up all the collective energy of abandonment and misery! 

hanks much!

A few years  ago I dealt with my being taken away from mom with EFT — boy was there alot  of energy on that!   I just thought of the added trauma of the nursery scene. T

 

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery
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Support for Living Well With Parkinson’s

Question:

Do external interventions (supplements,
massage, cranial sacral therapy, body
work, etc.) undermine the body’s ability
to function?”  

Response

This question hinges on the very essence
of healing. What can we do to support the
body’s natural ability to heal itself and
what are we doing to undermine it? 

The answer is tied to identifying what we
need to  heal. A bare bones answer is: 
nourishment, touching, connection
with others, feeling of safety, sense of
accomplishment and belonging. 

The body needs a well established 
group of vitamins mineral and
nutrients.  Without them our cells
die and our energy depletes. If we are
deficient in any one of the essential
nutrients, our bodies let us know
they are unhappy.  

Vitamin B6. For example, the body
is not designed to manufacture Vitamin
B6 internally. If it has a vitamin B6
deficiency, the body will enthusiastically w
elcome a B6 supplement. B6 supports
the body’s natural ability to balance
hormones.  

Stress. We need to feel safe and secure in
the world. If we are spinning about
in fear all the time, our bodies pump 
out adrenaline continuously which
alters the balance of hormones. 

Any intervention that invites a release
of stress and trauma from the tissues
of the body (e.g:  medication, centered
prayer, energy healing) supports the 
body’s natural capacity to heal. 
Releasing fear and trauma re-establishes
a sense that it is safe to be here on the
earth.

Toxin Removal. Interventions that help
the body release toxins and pathogens
are always welcome. They unclog
obstructions in the neural pathways and
cleanse the waste that has been trapped at
the cellular level and that is lodged in the
digestive track, liver, kidneys and spleen.

Co Q10.The body can become confused
about interventions that override one or more
of its primary responsibilities.  Consider 
one example: Co Q10. The body manufactures
CoQ10 on its own. Research on Parkinson’s has
suggested that some people with Parkinson’s may
have Co Q10 deficiencies. The idea here is to
put Co Q10 directly into the body. 

This may very well be a wonderful and very
smart thing to do. You may feel a lot better
because of it. But a possible and logical
consequence is for the body to ever so 
gradually disassemble its ability to produce
Co q10 on its own steam.

When a manufacturing production line is
closed down, it takes a great deal of effort
to bring it back on line.  Isn’t this also
what happens with skills that we develop?
If we do not use them, we gradually
lose them.

Another way to approach a
Co q10 deficiency is to give
the body Vitamin C. If the body
has sufficient quantities of vitamin C,
it has a much better chance of
being able to produce Co Q10 on
its own – no supplement needed.

Dopamine. Let’s cut to the quick and address
dopamine. Prescription medications have saved
some people’s lives. Sometimes
it is the best choice a person can make.

I do not think the important question
is whether to begin taking prescription
medications or not. Nor is the important
choice whether to take prescription
medications or natural herbal substitutes
for dopamine.  The key question turns on
a commitment to support your body with
the nutrients it needs to heal.
 

Support for Living.

I believe the most important
choice is to do everything necessary
to bring all systems of the body back
on line. The systems need to be readied
for a marathon.  If you have symptoms
that are troublesome it is a sign that
one or more systems in your body
are limping along. 

I believe a plan that works well for the body
is to work on strengthening all of the basic
building blocks of the body by:

  • eating well (which means fresh food) 
  • eliminating toxins
  • eliminating pathogens (including bacteria and viruses)
  • releasing trauma
  • strengthening the immune system 
  • moving lymph out of the body through exercise
  • having fun
  • laughing
  • challenging your mind

It may be the case that to do justice to
everything on the list every day, certain
hormonal deficiencies will need to be
supplemented:  Perhaps dopamine,
perhaps co Q10 or whatever. This of
course is what medical doctors are trained
to help with. 

As long as you focus on bringing
all of the systems and organs in your
body back on line, your body will reach
a point when it will be able to
manufacture most – if not all – of the
essential hormones you need without
any outside intervention. Then again,
sometimes infusions of certain
hormones are needed over the long
term. 

The best intent is to support
the body so that it can do as much
work in producing the hormones
itself as possible. Set a new vision
of the future for yourself. Consider
the possibility that instead of having
to take more and more medication
or supplements in the future, you
will be able to gradually and ever 
so gently be able to maintain or
even reduce the dose of your
current medications.

Why is that? Because all of the organs
systems in your body are now healthy
so there is enough energy and resources
to manufacture the hormones your
body needs. Sure it takes time to bring
every system back on line. Who is in
a big rush here?   

Remember that any changes you
make to the dose and/or timing of
your medications should only be
taken in close consultation with
your doctor.  

I am fully aware than most people
wind up taking more medications
over time. I would like to consider
a different future.  

The body knows how to heal itself.
Give it a chance to heal and be
pleasantly surprised with the outcome.  

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

© 2008 Parkinsons Recovery

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Cranioscral Therapy Relieves Symptoms of Parkinson’s

Question:

Would you please send me information about the Parkinsons Energy Project in Portland, Oregon involving study volunteers who did not take Sinemet and received craniosacral treatment?

I have eschewed Sinemet for four years of my PD. And any other long term non-Sinemet using studies?

Response

Results of the Parkinsons Energy Project were remarkable given the short time frame – only 4 months –
and the limited number of treatments offered. Outcomes were documented quantitatively using well accepted  research instruments and qualitatively using interviews and pre-post videos of motor functions.

I invite you to examine the videos below that show changes in motor functions for several study volunteers that gave us permission to make videos of them public. None of the study participants were on medications so the differences are not due to the effects of prescription medications which can affect how a person feels when they are effective (during the “on” condition) and then they are not
(during the “off” condition).

By any-one’s standards, examination of the videos below shows dramatic improvements in motor functions. There is hope of relief from symptoms!

A video of Mary Before the 6 treatments

[flashvideo filename=videos/m1.flv image=videos/mstill.jpg /]

A Video of Mary After the 6 Treatments

[flashvideo filename=videos/m2.flv image=videos/mstill2.jpg /]

A Video of Steve Before the 6 Treatments

[flashvideo filename=videos/srftb.flv image=videos/srftb.jpg /]

A Video of Steve After the 6 Treatments

[flashvideo filename=videos/srftp.flv image=videos/srftp.jpg /]

A Video of John Before the 6 Treatments

[flashvideo filename=videos/kftb.flv image=videos/kftb.jpg /]

A Video of John After the 6 Treatments

[flashvideo filename=videos/kftp.flv image=videos/kftp.jpg /]

A Video of Bob Before the 6 Treatments

[flashvideo filename=videos/blhtb.flv image=videos/blhtb.jpg /]

A Video of Bob After the 6 Treatments

[flashvideo filename=videos/blhtp.flv image=videos/blhtp.jpg /]

The encouraging results of the Parkinsons Energy Project (PEP) inspired the development of information, resources and programs that you now find on the Parkinsons Recovery web sites.

You also asked about studies for people not on Sinemet. I have been searching the literature, but they are very hard to find. Most control groups receive some form of drug therapy.

I did find one study of a control group not taking Parkinson’s medications. This study found a worsening of symptoms of about 13.5% a year.

Background of Parkinsons Energy Project

Zero Point Healers was asked by a support group in Portland, Oregon in 2005 to conduct a study that evaluated the effects of craniosacral therapy on the symptoms of their members. Members of the support group elected not to take prescription medications for Parkinson’s and were
specially interested in exploring treatments and therapies that might potentially offer relief from symptoms. No member of the support group had any prior experience with craniosacral therapy.

Eleven support group members volunteered to participate in the PEP study. Six 30 minute treatments
were given every two weeks. One study volunteer dropped out at the mid point of the study because
doctors determined his symptoms were caused by Lyme disease.

Treatments were administered by 2 or 3 persons (Deborah Russell, Ann Egerton and Robert Rodgers) who are all certified craniosacral therapists and Brennan Healing Science practitioners (which is a form of energy work that is complementaryto craniosacral work.)

Design of the PEP Study

The study was a pre-post design that used  quantitative and qualitative measures to assess outcomes. The UPDRS (Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale) and the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire 39 (PDQ-39) were used to assess symptoms quantitatively.

Reliability of both instruments is well documented in the research literature on Parkinson’s.  Instruments were completed by participants before treatments began (the baseline), at the mid point, and after all six treatments had been given (the post-test).

Video tapes were also taken of 10 motor functions at the beginning of the study and at the end for purposes of comparison. Results of the videos of motor functions were consistent with the quantitative findings.

I will first explain what craniosacral therapy does and why it applies to Parkinson’s. I will then summarize the findings of the PEP study.

Craniosacral Therapy

One woman with Parkinson’s who found
relief using craniosacral therapy
summarized the nature of the treatments
beautifully:

“It is hard to believe anything is really
happening, but it works.”

The work is very gentle. The person
typically lies down on a comfortable
table such as a massage table.
Craniosacral treatments are not like
a massage. The nature of the touch
is very, very light and gentle.
The person remains fully clothed.

Energy work and craniosacral therapy
facilitate the body’s natural ability to
unwind and release any tension that is
trapped throughout the body. They
help the neural system rest and
rejuvenate.

The intent of craniosacral therapy is
to work with the body so that tension
and trauma trapped at the cellular
level can be released. Therapists
are trained to “follow the body” as
they allow tension and stress to be
released from the muscles and tissues.
The process is best described as one of
unwinding tissues that are tightly
entangled with too much tension.

Trauma to the body is analogous to a
wet wash rag that has been twisted so
many times that all the water has been
squeezed dry.  After the rag is exposed
to the hot sun it dries out and becomes
hardened and inflexible. This is what
happens to tissues that have been
traumatized. Craniosacral therapy
softens and helps hydrate the tissues so
that they can be properly nourished.

Stress and Parkinson’s

After talking with many, many people with
Parkinson’s I have concluded that stress is a
key factor that aggravates symptoms. When
stress can be relieved, symptoms get better.

Person after person in my interviews
tell me the same thing: There is a direct
correlation between stress and their symptoms.

When their symptoms flare up, people
report they are always under more stress.
When they are able to find ways to get
relief from the stress, symptoms become
less troublesome.

Stress creates inflammation throughout
the body which is the basis for many chronic
diseases. Reduction in inflammation is a
key reason for the improvement in symptoms.
Here is the sequence: (1) Craniosacral work
releases stress. (2) Inflammation is reduced.
(3) Symptoms are relieved.

Craniosacral therapy is only one way
to help relieve stress. There are also
other excellent methods that help to
relieve stress, but we zeroed in on
craniosacral work as the intervention
of choice in the PEP study.

Trauma and Parkinson’s

Life experiences can be so traumatic
that they have a long lasting effect on the
body. The source of trauma varies widely,
but can involve the early and untimely
death of a parent, service during wartime,
physical or sexual abuse to a child,
automobile accidents, head injuries – you
name it.

I was discussing trauma this week to a
Parkinson’s support group when one woman
raised her hand.

“I know an example of this. I have a friend
whose son committed suicide.  His symptoms
flared up two months later.”

Regardless of the source, trauma makes the
tissues throughout the body freeze up.
Tissues in many people with Parkinson’s feel
much like concrete after it has hardened.

Many adults (myself included) have held
the belief that if we are able to function in
the world as adults by educating ourselves,
getting good jobs, and making a contribution
in our respective fields, we have overcome
any and all traumas we experienced as a child.

I  personally convinced myself for
5o years that I could “will” traumas
from my own childhood to vanish into
thin air. Speaking from personal
experience, I must confess this
plan was a big flop.

What I now know to be true is
that traumas from childhood
(and traumas we experience as
adults) have a permanence about
them.  Traumas reside inside our
cells as we age. They get stuck in
our tissues and settle in for the
long haul. This is why our issues
are in our tissues.

When a threshold level of trauma and
stress is reached the body becomes less
and less able to tolerate it. The good news
is that it takes time for the hormones in
the body to become seriously imbalanced.
It should thus come as little surprise that it
also takes time for hormones to come back into
balance.

Findings of the PEP Study

Findings of our study showed that craniosacral
work did help to relieve symptoms.  Quality
of life of study volunteers did show
impressive improvements.

Study volunteers were able to do things that
they had previously been unable to do. Here
are some examples:

  • Cook Thanksgiving dinner
  • Take weekly nature hikes
  • Go out on a date
  • Travel
  • Be assertive
  • Take off a coat without assistance
  • Stand up to brush teeth
  • Attend business meetings
  • Swing arms freely
  • Blink eyes
  • Hang out with friends
  • Drive without anxiety
  • Handle stress better

We observed other positive changes from
one treatment session to the next including:

  • More flexibility getting on and off the treatment table
  • Better posture
  • Greater ease walking
  • Enhanced mental clarity and expressiveness
  • Greater flexibility
  • More smiling, better skin color and overall vibrancy
  • More vitality and youthfulness

Craniosacral therapy clearly had a positive impact
on the overall health and well being of Study
Volunteers.

Unified Parkinsons Disease Rating Scale
(UPDRS).
The quantitative research instruments
confirmed reports from study participants,
images from videos and our own observations.
One standard instrument that is used in
Parkinson’s research to evaluate the
progress of Parkinson’s is the Unified
Parkinsons Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS).

The UPDRS was administered before the study
began and at the conclusion of the study six
months later.  The average baseline score for
the PEP study group was 40.3. The average
score dropped to 38.7 at the conclusion of the
study.

The higher the score, the worse the condition.
That is to say, study participants got better
on average. Some experienced significant
improvements. Further analysis of the data
showed that study volunteers improved on
all three sub-scales of the UPDRS
(Activities of Daily Living, Mental, and Motor).

Most people believe that the symptoms of
people with Parkinson’s are “destined” to
progressively “deteriorate” over time. Results
of the PEP study refute this widely held belief
and show it to be false.

The improvement was remarkable in that the
intervention was very modest, involving only
6 treatments lasting 20-30 minutes each.

Changes in Symptoms. We also asked
Study Volunteers to report on 62 symptoms
before the study began, at midterm and at
post test. Analysis of the data indicated
that there was an improvement or no change
in 75% of the symptoms we tracked.

In the figures below, the center point is
the place where the person is symptom free.
The farther out from the center of each spoke of
the wheel, the worse the person is feeling.

The points marked in red reflect the
averaged baseline symptoms for study
volunteers before we began the study.
The green points are the averaged mid
term report of symptoms taken after three
treatments. The blue points are the
averaged post-test report of symptoms
taken after 6 treatments.

For many of the symptoms, the color of the
dot that is furthest from the center (reflecting
a worse condition) is red. Note that the plot
point in blue that represents the symptoms
at the end of the study are usually closer to
the center than the baseline in red. This
indicates an improvement in symptoms.

Change in Physical Symptoms

Parkinsons Disease Questionnaire 39.
We also administered a third instrument –
the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire 39.
Among the sub-scales analyzed from the
data reported on this questionnaire,
improvement was seen in two categories,
no change was seen in four categories and
Study Volunteers were slightly worse in
two categories. Again, these findings refute
the conventional expectation that most
persons with Parkinson’s always get worse.

Summary

All sources of evidence including
quantitative data and qualitative
observations showed the same
result.  It is possible to find relief
from the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Parkinsons Energy Project (PEP)
study results suggest that craniosacral
therapy can be useful in helping to
relieve the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
These results suggest releasing
stress does make a difference.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

© 2008 Parkinsons Recovery

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