Click the arrow below to hear my interview with Chris Hageseth MD:
This Parkinsons Recovery interview about shifting Parkinson’s disease mindsets is with Chris Hageseth MD who dates his first non-motor symptoms to 2004 when his sense of smell disappeared. In 2008 he developed severe constipation which he has had ever since. In 2011 he saw the emergence of a tremor in his right hand which progressed over the following year to involve his entire right side.
It went on to include stooped posture, shuffling gait, and problems with balance. A neurologist confirmed his diagnosis in 2012. He tried three different medications over the next four months but discontinued each one due to side effects or lack of efficacy.
His neurologist gave him one piece of advice: EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE.
A year later many of his symptoms had regressed. He attributed his improvement to the intensity of his exercise and taking up yoga. He established his first website: Sweating Out Parkinson’s
Disease. He intended to encourage other PWPs to follow his example.
By 2014 he was doing so well that he had a DAT scan to confirm the diagnosis of PD. It was positive.
Over the last year and a half, he explored why more people aren’t doing better with PD. It was then that he started to examine how the mind may influence the course of PD. Exercise is the key to living a full life with PD, But if the mind does not believe the degree of improvement that exercise can achieve. Then improvement will only go so far.
Because of the problem of dyskinesia developing after five years on levodopa, he thinks newly diagnosed should pursue a program of great intensity and focus and manage their minds, so they realize they can live with PD and not require levodopa.
Chris offered marvelous insights into how he has been able to improve his gait significantly. Mindful walking has been a key to his recovery success which encompasses:
- Standing straight
- Pulling shoulders back
- Pitching chest out
- Directing eyes straight ahead (not down)
- Walk swiftly always insuring safely
- Focus on making the backward arm swing more vigorous (when arm swing is an issue).
- Place your heels first
- No scuffing shoes on the ground
Robert Rodgers PhD
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons DIsease