Meditation and the Brain

Dear Robert,

The reason for my letter this morning is the topic of meditation and the brain. From Sarah McLean’s book Soul-Centered, I learned that it changes the brain. She cites a journal named Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, Jan. 2011. After just 8 weeks of meditation, 27 minutes a day, they could see beneficial changes in the brains of a group of meditators, and the changes remained after the meditation period. Among those changes was a ‘taming’ of the amygdala, which would mean less anxiety. (And I think those changes are possible even if we have our usual daily upsets, which we could deal with  mindfully.) The people who partook of the experiment were most likely healthy. I guess the best way to find out if it’s helpful for us with PD, is to start a practice. I find it hard to get started, though. It’s somehow easier to do something, like exercise, than to sit down and do nothing. I need reassurance.

Stresses are not just about the daily ups and downs. I find that during a perfectly easy day, I can be made to tremor by just somebody looking at me in a certain way. Deeply embedded memories of a teacher looking for the right answer or your mother asking you where you’ve been could be the culprits. Nothing I can prepare for – it just happens out of the blue.

I also wanted to point to a seemingly good program, The Healing Journey. The person, who developed it, is a Canadian, Alastair Cunningham, OC, PhD, C Psych. Unfortunately for us, it is written for people with cancer. It is offered in many cancer support groups throughout Canada. It has withstood the test of time – 20 years or so. In the introduction, the author maintains that the program could be used by anyone with a  chronic illness. Part of the reason we get sick is a high allostatic load (stress) and a way to soften the impact of that is, among other things, to meditate. You can download the program without cost. If you as much as look at part one, I think you’d be excited. It might even help you not to have too many days of doubt you mentioned yesterday. Mind-Body ‘medicine’ works. I emailed dr. Cunningham some time ago, and his secretary was kind enough to reply. In a nutshell, she thinks the program would be beneficial for us with PD, but that it would need to be rewritten for our needs, and that would involve money. I might bring it up with our local support group. Meanwhile, I’d better get started meditating!

I enjoyed your show yesterday, as usual. I was a little unnerved by the Mirapex  and heart problems, as I haven’t heard about that before. Also, the Tetanus shot – what to do about it?

Best of luck with your new book. I will most definitely order a  copy.

Thanks for all you do,

Canadian Fan



What a fantastic overview that explains the benefits of meditation and offers a rich resource for people to access for free. Yea!

I worked with author Nancy Welch to create an amazing book which explains how people can find a meditation practice that works for them. Through my collaboration with her and interviews with all the experts on meditation, I learned a great deal about its beneficial impact. Nancy wrote a book titled Medicine and Meditation which has a focus on meditation for persons with chronic illnesses.

As for what to do about lingering effects of tetanus inoculations … keep in mind this may not be an issue for you, though several independent resources have found it to be problematic for a surprisingly large proportion of persons – perhaps as high as 25% to 30%.  There are two options as I see it. The first requires that you work diligently to strengthen your immune system so that your body can address the issue naturally. The second is to use sound or light frequencies to invite the little critters to depart your body.

Three presenters at the Parkinsons Recovery Summit in Santa Fe in February will discuss cutting edge approaches that offer the promise of facilitating the removal of harmful bacteria naturally. Kristen Harper from Perfect Health Consulting Services will discuss how nutritional balancing can get the immune system back on track.   Sharry Edwards from Sound Health Options uses antidote sound frequencies to facilitate the removal of the harmful bacteria from the body. Lexie will discuss how low dose naltrexone has helped her and others with Parkinson’s symptoms. It also boosts the body’s natural defense system.

Of course there are many other approaches which can be also effective. Know that there are alternatives out there that are helping people reverse the neurological symptoms that they  currently experience that have been caused by a wide spectrum of factors.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery


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