Living in Excellent Health #7 — Push-up Challenge and Weaning off Meds Update!

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I was hoping to resume my push-ups challenge this week, but my rib injury hasn’t yet healed sufficiently for me to do push-ups.

Given that I haven’t done any push-ups for two weeks I will definitely be repeating phase 2 [100 push-ups a day for seven days], before moving on to phase 3 [140 per day].

In the meantime, I am coming up with other goal setting things I can do to stimulate the natural release of dopamine. For example, I have been giving myself the goal of walking with a full stride all the way home on the return half of my daily walk. It has been quite helpful.

I’ve also put on temporary hold, reducing my meds. At present, I am taking 3 1/4 tabs per day … 2 tabs in the morning and 1 1/4 tabs in the afternoon. This is down from the 4 1/2 tabs I was taking when I started this whole thing.

It seems this rib injury has triggered some emotional healing … actually, it’s more likely that the rib injury occured because of the need for emotional healing. It feels like an emotional healing crisis because the PD symptoms I am experiencing are quite intense all of a sudden and because this rib injury doesn’t seem to want to heal … actually, the pain has moved down into my abdomen.

In addition to reducing my meds and completing the push-ups challenge, I’ve also been working on ‘changing my personality’ … which Dr Joe Dispenza advocates [which I will be blogging about soon] … as well as changing my beliefs … which Bruce Lipton advocates … in order to facililate my living in excellent health … and it seems that this has triggered the emotional healing crisis I find myself in the midst of.

So for the time being, I must be patient and let my body heal on its own time. It’s not as if I’m going anywhere!

Wishing you loving compassion! May your beliefs be beneficial!

Living in Excellent Health #6 — Push-up Challenge and Weaning off Meds Update!

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I had planned to start Phase 3 of my push-ups challenge yesterday, but I’ve had to put it temporarily on hold. Unfortunately, last Thursday, I tripped over some firewood I was splitting and landed rather hard on the left side of my ribcage. It’s been too painful to do push-ups.

I did manage to achieve a few daily goals last week, including doing 60 push-ups in an hour by doing one push-up a minute for 60 minutes. It actually was a little more difficult than I thought it would be, but I got it done.

Depending on how long it takes me to recover, I may repeat Phase 2, which was 100 push-ups a day for seven days, before tackling Phase 3 [140 push-ups a day for seven days].

As for weaning off Sinemet, last week I decided to increase my afternoon dosage by a 1/4 tablet. I increased my dosage, because I found that reducing my dosage by a half tablet two weeks in a row to be too much. A couple of days after increasing my dosage, I started to feel better, but then the combined stress of a dental appointment last Wednesday [I thought I was going to have a tooth filled or pulled] and the rib injury on Thursday caused a significant worsening of my symptoms [freezing, unsteadiness and anxiousness], so I decided not to reduce my dosage this week. I’ll see how I’m feeling by Sunday before deciding whether to lower my dosage next week. I am currently taking 3 1/4 tabs a day, which I’m thrilled about considering I started out taking six tabs a day two years ago.

To sum it up, both my push-ups challenge and meds wean-off initiatives are on hold for the time being, but I’m hoping to resume by Sunday! In the meantime, I’m doing other goal setting activities to stimulate the release of dopamine. For example, today I’m going to do eight sets of ten dumbell presses. [Doing dumbell presses doesn’t aggrevate my ribcage.]

May you live in harmony with the flow of life!

Living in Excellent Health #5 — Push-up Challenge and Weaning off Meds Update!

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Yesterday, I completed phase 2 of my push-ups challenge. I did 100 push-ups a day, for seven days, for a total of 700 push-ups, and it went well. By Saturday, I was feeling a little soreness in my shoulders, but otherwise, I felt great! To the best of my recollection, it’s the most push-ups I’ve ever done in one week!

This week, I’m taking a break during which I will do some daily challenges. One day, I plan to see if I can do 60 push-ups in an hour [by doing one push-up every minute for 60 minutes]. Another day, I’m going write 1,000 words in my new book. On Friday, I plan to do 150 push-ups in preparation for Phase 3 of my push-ups challenge which will begin next Monday. My goal will be 140 push-ups a day for seven days [160 push-ups on day seven] for a total of 1,000 push-ups.

As a reminder, the purpose of my push-ups challenge is twofold. Firstly, to give myself a meaningful goal to achieve in order to stimulate the release of dopamine and serotonin. Secondly, to support my endeavor to wean off Sinemet.

Last week was also week 4 of my weaning off Sinemet endeavor. During the first three weeks, I weaned off my evening dosage [1 tab]. Overall, these first three weeks went well. I did experience a little more unsteadiness on my feet and more freezing than normal. On the positive side, during the last three nights, my symptoms improved just before bedtime [which should normally happen because the fight-flight response is designed to shut down before sleep in order to ensure a good rest], I slept through the night, and I woke up in the morning with no back or side pain and no leg cramps. This was very exciting and encouraging.

This past week, I started reducing my afternoon dosage and I regret to report that it didn’t go so well. Given how well it went weaning off my evening dosage, I decided to begin reducing my afternoon dosage by a 1/2 tab. I knew this was risky because it would mean that in an 8-day period, I would be reducing my daily dosage by a full tablet. The first night went well. I experienced no withdrawal symptoms. On the evening of the second day, I started to feel out of sorts. I woke up the next morning [day 3], feeling very out of sorts, including significant trembling, freezing and unsteadiness. These symptoms got progressively worse each day, so I decided yesterday [day 8], to increase my dosage by a 1/4 tablet.

This morning I awoke feeling worse. I was experiencing extreme freezing and unsteadiness on my feet. I felt much better after taking my morning dosage [2 tabs], so I will see how I’m feeling this afternoon after my morning dosage wears off before deciding whether to increase my afternoon dosage back up to 1 & 1/2 tabs or leave it at 1 & 1/4.

In retrospect, I should have waited two or three weeks before reducing my afternoon dosage in order to give my brain and body more time to adjust to the eliminated evening dosage. At least, now I know because I couldn’t find any documentation on peoples’ experience/recommendations regarding weaning off Sinemet. I feel a bit like a space-explorer on this endeavor.

If you’d like to join in on the push-ups challenge next week, you are more than welcome. Just pick a daily target you are comfortable with. Remember, the goal is to stimulate the release of dopamine by moving towards and celebrating the achievement of a meaningful goal.

In the meantime, have an awesome week and good luck with whatever goals you set out to achieve!

May you be healthy and content!

Living in Excellent Health #4 — Push-up Challenge Update and Weaning off Meds!

Today, I am starting phase 2 of my push-ups challenge. I am planning to do 100 push-ups a day, for seven days, for a total of 700 push-ups. This past Friday, I did 100 push-ups as a warm-up, and had no difficulty.

The purpose of my push-ups challenge is twofold. Firstly, to give myself a meaningful goal to achieve in order to stimulate the release of dopamine and serotonin. Secondly, to support my endeavor to wean off Sinemet.

Over the last three weeks, I have completely weaned off my evening dosage of Sinemet. In weeks 1 & 2, I dropped 1/4 tab. In week 3, I eliminated the last 1/2 tab. Overall, the weaning off process went fine. I did experience a little more unsteadiness on my feet and more freezing than normal. On the positive side, over the past three nights, my symptoms improved just before bedtime [which should normally happen because the fight-flight response is designed to shut down before sleep in order to ensure a good rest], I slept through the night, and I woke up in the morning with no back or side pain and no leg cramps. This is very exciting and encouraging.

As of yesterday [Apr 11], I began weaning off my afternoon meds. I reduced my dosage by 1/2 tab [from 1 1/2 to 1 tab]. I am doing this to see if I can tolerate a 1/2 tab reduction. If I have any difficulties, I can always go back up a 1/4 tab.

It’s not too late to join the push-ups challenge. Just pick a daily target you are comfortable with … a target that will excite you and that will stimulate the release of dopamine. Also, choose a target you can sustain for seven days!

Yeehaw!

May you be healthy and content!

Living in Excellent Health #3 — Push-up Challenge Update and Weaning off Meds!

I finished week #1 of my push-ups challenge and I must say, it went well. I did 70 push-ups a day for one week … 80 on the last day … for a total of 500.

I am pleased that at least four people joined in on the challenge … not quite the twenty thousand who participated in Dave Goggins 4x4x48 running challenge … running four miles every four hours, for 48 hours … but then it wasn’t a competition!

So I’m taking a week off to rest my arms a bit and focus on daily goals, and then next week, I’m going to do 100 push-ups a day for 7 days! One of my daily goals this week will be to do 200 jumping jacks. Another will be to complete 20 stair runs. Another will be to write 1000 words in my new book, which I’m calling The Pond.

I’m doing the weekly push-ups challenge for two reasons. First, to give myself a meaningful goal to achieve in order to stimulate the release of dopamine, as I move towards and complete the goal. Second, to help me wean off Sinemet. I want to wean-off Sinemet because experiencing the twice daily wear-off rebound effect is very debilitating, and also so I can focus on stimulating the release of dopamine, naturally, through goal setting.

I am now in my third week of weaning off meds. The first two weeks, I reduced my evening dosage by a quarter tablet per week, and it went fine. This week, I’m reducing my evening dosage by a half tablet, so I will no longer be taking any Sinemet in the evening. I want to see if I can handle reducing my dosage by a half a tab.

It’s not too late to join in on the push-ups challenge. You can do some this week to catch up, or wait until next week when the challenge resumes. Just choose a meaningful amount that you are comfortable with. Remember, the primary objective is to stimulate the release of dopamine.

May you live in peace, love, joy, abundance and bliss!

Living in Excellent Health #2 — Push-up Challenge!

This week, starting tomorrow, I am challenging myself to do 500 pushups … 70 per day for seven days … 80 on the last day.

The purpose of this challenge is twofold: first, to stimulate the release of dopamine by setting, moving towards and achieving a goal. Neuroscientist, Andrew Huberman, says the brain releases dopamine from the excitement of moving towards and acccomplishing a goal.

The second reason for this challenge is to take my mind off the fact that I’m weaning off Sinemet. I started last week and I’m weaning off at a rate of one quarter tablet a week [I was taking 4.5 tabs a day]. As I’m sure anyone who has weaned off meds knows, it’s as much a mental challenge as it is physical, so I’m hoping this push-up test will help.

If all goes well this week, in two weeks following, I’m going to go for 700 push-ups, and if that goes well, I will go for 1,000 push-ups two weeks hence.

I won’t do all 70 daily push-ups at once. I’ll do them in sets of ten over a two hour period.

I’m not going to make this weekly goal setting an ongoing thing because that would become routine, and routine has a tendency to kill excitement. I plan to mix it up with different challenges over different time frames.

Anyone who would like to join me in this challenge is more than welcome. You don’t have to do 500 push-ups. Do whatever you are comfortable with. I do push-ups every day, so I’m comfortable with this number.

Wishing you an awesome day! May you be healthy and content!

Living in Excellent Health #1 — Excitement is the key to stimulating dopamine!

During the time I have been searching for answers to resolve the health issues I have been experiencing [that is to say, the symptoms of PD], I’ve had many insights which I hoped might be the key to full recovery. Each time, I would feel better for a few days with an improvement in my symptoms, but each time, the symptoms would return full on. Today I realized why this is the case!

In my last few posts I have written about the work of neuroscientist and Stanford University professor, Andrew Huberman, particularly as it relates to the behavioral techniques he recommends for stimulating the release of dopamine, serotonin and other neurotransmitters and hormones, whose deficiencies are at the root of the symptoms of PD … especially dopamine, the neurotransmitter involved in movement.

Huberman says dopamine is also associated with motivation, reward, excitement and celebration. He says dopamine gets released when we experience the excitement of moving towards and achieving a goal.

The reason I felt better and enjoyed an improvement in my symptoms in the past has to do with the excitement I felt resulting from the insights I received, as well as the excitement I felt thinking that this was the catalyst I needed to fully recover. Each time it happened, though, the excitement would wear off and the symptoms would return.

Today, as a result of the excitement of this insight, I enjoyed a similar improvement in symptoms. For example, when I went for my daily walk, I walked almost normally. This is very encouraging!

The most exciting aspect of the insight is that it demonstrates that under the right circumstances … that is to say, when I’m in the right frame of mind … my brain has the ability to produce dopamine on its own. I have proof through firsthand experience!

It reaffirms that the key to training my brain to produce dopamine on its own, is sustained, genuine excitement. It has to feel real, especially in my body! Huberman suggests that we extend the period of dopamine release for as long as possible by extending the period of time in which we express excitement during the pursuit and accomplishment of a goal.

So what are the things I can focus on to create the type of sustained excitement I need? For starters, I can really get excited about living in excellent health … and I am excited … because I am so close to it! I can also get really excited about being able to drive myself to visit my children and grandchildren! I can also get really excited about being able to play the guitar and mandolin again!

I will also continue to set mini goals for myself, such as, walking across the room with a full stride, placing my foot down, heel-to-toe, or learning a new word or phrase in Estonian. I will celebrate each goal as I am moving towards them and upon completion.

I realize that I don’t want to be in an excited state all of the time, so I will also have periods where I will express gratitude to stimulate serotonin in order to feel happy and satisfied, and I will also meditate, spend time in nature and focus on my breath to stimulate GABA in order to enjoy periods of calm.

I will also be vigilant about my thoughts, particularly those that put me in a state of stress, because stress has a detrimental effect on the symptoms I experience.

So, as I said, I have direct experiential proof that genuine excitement leads to an immediate improvement in the symptoms I experience. Now I just need to continue to put this into constant practice in order to bring about full recovery.

May you be healthy and content!

Healing Parkinson’s Disease Naturally – A Journey of Love #86 … Attitude and Viewpoint!

victory

In my experience, attitude is the single most important factor in our intention to live in good health. The attitude that recovery is possible and that this is as much a spiritual journey as it is a journey of healing, are two attitudes that have served me well.

I was also recently reminded that my viewpoint and where I place my attention is equally important.

What I mean by viewpoint, is how I see myself and how I view this condition. For example, I never say, ‘my PD’ or ‘my symptoms,’ … because this viewpoint implies ownership … and the last thing I want to do is own this condition. Similarly, I never say, “I’m battling with” or “I’m fighting with” or “I’m suffering from,” this disease, because I’m not fighting with or suffering from anything. Instead, I refer to myself as, ‘a person living with the symptoms of PD.’

But I realized that even expressing it this way, I have been focusing all of my attention on not wanting to experience this disease or have these symptoms. I reminded myself that even using this ‘non-ownership’ terminology has been working against me because in so doing, I have been focusing on the symptoms I experience and thus creating resistance and giving my power over to the condition. It has also been putting me in a state of victimhood which potentially impairs neuroplasticity and my chances of recovery. And quite frankly, I don’t want to have anything to do with victimhood. I’ve spent too much of my life feeling like a victim.

This is why I don’t accept the notion that this disease is incurable. It would make matters worse because it would severely impact my mental well-being. I suspect a lot of people experience depression because they believe they can’t get better … because some well-meaninged doctor told them they had an incurable disease.

Even seeing myself as a person recovering my health, I feel, works against me because it implies there is something wrong with me and thus, ‘fixing’ myself becomes the focus of my attention.

Avoiding the trap of thinking of myself as a person with PD who needs to be healed … and not focusing all of my attention not wanting to have these symptoms … is tricky business. The reality is, I have been medically diagnosed and I do experience the symptoms.

What do I do?

Before I answer this question, let me tell you about a friend of mine. In 2005, he developed a life threatening health condition that was eventually diagnosed as, amyloidosis, a rare disease that occurs when an abnormal protein, called amyloid, which originates in the bone marrow, builds up in your organs and interferes with their normal function. There is no cure. In 2008, my friend and I had a conversation during which he admitted that he would not likely be alive in two years. As it turns out, thirteen years later, he’s still alive. How can this be? The answer is simple! He lives as if there is nothing wrong with him! He rarely talks about himself or his health. He spends zero time on the computer or the Internet doing research. He does not converse or mix with others who have been diagnosed with the disease. He spends much of his time outdoors doing odd jobs, yard work, cutting and stacking firewood, fishing, hunting and socializing. Yes, he does take medication. He has to. But the thing is, that is his only association with the disease. He doesn’t think of himself as being ill or disabled in any way. There is definitely a lesson here!

So, getting back to my question, what do I do, the simple solution for me is to stop seeing myself as a person experiencing certain symptoms, and instead, see myself as a person whose intention is to live a healthy lifestyle. And I do! I eat healthy foods, exercise every day, meditate, practice qigong and spend time in the forest. I don’t eat junk food and I don’t drink alcohol or eat sugar anymore.

I live a very healthy life!

It’s a subtle difference … living healthy for the sake of it, rather than because I want to recover my health!

So, going forward, this is what I am choosing to do!

The fact that I’m experiencing the symptoms of PD is readily apparent and not something I need to talk about or dwell on. I am better served to place my attention elsewhere.

Be assured, this isn’t about playing with words or deluding myself into believing something that isn’t true. This is about empowering myself by placing my attention on my intention … good health! It’s akin to what Mother Teresa said when she was invited to participate in an antiwar rally. She reportedly responded by saying, “I won’t attend an antiwar rally, but I’ll gladly attend a pro-peace rally!”

With this in mind, the language I use is really important! I do my best to eliminate all references to Parkinson’s disease [afterall, this just a label the medical community has given it] or restoring my health. Instead, I place my attention on making the present moment as loving, joyful, peaceful and healthy as possible.

Regretfully, this also means I’m going to back off from all of the PD Facebook groups in which I am a member. As much as I like sharing what I’ve learned with others, I no longer wish to dwell on or be reminded that I am living with this health condition.

I will still be posting blogs because I enjoy doing so, but the emphasis will be on healthy living.

Today, may you be healthy and content!

Healing Parkinson’s Disease Naturally – A Journey of Love #86 … Dopamine Release Protocol!

Lately I have been focusing on the work of neuroscientist and Stanford University professor, Dr. Andrew Huberman. He has developed effective techniques intended to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, while stimulating the release of dopamine, serotonin and other neurotransmitters and hormones through natural methods and specific behaviors. I recently posted blogs/videos, explaining the 5-step program I have developed in order to de-stress and release dopamine and serotonin. Subsequent to these postings I have discovered more of Huberman’s work, as well, as rediscovering the work of Dr Joe Dispenza.

I am covering a lot of stuff in this blog post and there are three things in particular that I would like to emphasize:

  1. In addition to the small goals I’m giving myself throughout the day in order to stimulate the release of dopamine … such as, giving myself a goal of walking across the room with authority, and with a full stride, placing my foot down heel-to-toe, then celebrating my accomplishment … I’m also giving myself daily goals to achieve and bigger lifetime goals.
  2. I have expanded my dopamine release protocol to include the stimulation of acetylcholine and epinephrine.
  3. I have added specific dialogue and visualization techniques intended to support and enhance the behavioral techniques.

The intention of this program is to change my brain chemistry. This is called neuroplasticity. This is why we take medications…to change our brain chemistry. The difference is, I’m doing it naturally.

My living in good health program is a fusion of what I’ve learned from the teachings of Huberman and Dispenza, as well as, Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer and Ester and Jerry Hicks.

From Andrew Huberman, I learned about how to de-stress, activate the parasympathetic nervous system and stimulate the release of certain neurotransmitters and hormones, including, dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, epinephrine, GABA, oxytocin, endorphins and melatonin.

From Joe Dispenza, I learned that it is possible to heal ourselves … as he did … using thought and visualization to connect to our inner wisdom. I was also reminded that in order to change my experience, I need to change who I am.

From Eckhart Tolle’s teachings, I learned about acceptance … that I may not want to have this health condition, and I may not want to experience all of these symptoms, like trembling and freezing, but I accept that I do and … I don’t mind that I do.

From Wayne Dyer’s book, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life, Living the Wisdom of the Tao, I learned the true meaning and importance of letting go and trusting that I don’t need to control everything, including, outcomes. I just need to do what I can, then step back and let my innerintelligence do its thing.

From Ester and Jerry Hicks book, Ask and It Is Given, I was reminded that the only thing stopping us from healing is the belief that we can heal, and moreover, that our thoughts, beliefs and emotions must be in vibrational harmony with our desire to heal. Also, how we ask for healing is critically important … we must ask as if it has already been given.

The program I have created includes the following key elements:

  1. Overall intention/goal
  2. Morning protocol
  3. De-stressing
  4. Dopamine stimulation
  5. Serotonin stimulation
  6. Acetylcholine/epinephrine stimulation
  7. GABA stimulation
  8. Oxytocin stimulation
  9. Endorphins stimulation
  10. Melatonin stimulation
  11. Self-talk and Visualization
  12. Healing request
  13. Bedtime protocol

Key Neurotransmitters and Hormones:

In order to understand the protocol I have developed, it is helpful to understand the key neurotransmitters and hormones that are involved.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter produced in the substantia nigra section of the midbrain. It is associated with movement, motivation, excitement, reward and celebration. It is dopamine release that motivates us to move towards a goal, and it is further released when the goal is achieved. It makes us feel excited and wanting more.

Serotonin is produced in the raphe nuclei which are located in the midline of the brainstem. It is associated with happiness.

Acetylcholine is produced in several places in the brain and brainstem. It is associated with focus.

Epinephrine is produced in an area of the brainstem. It is associated with energy, alertness and stress. When released in the adrenal glands, this neurochemical is called adrenalin.

Oxytocin is produced in the pituitary gland in the brain. It is associated with love. It is released when we hug our kids or our significant other.

Endorphins are produced in the pituitary gland in the brain. They are associated with ecstacy and euphoria. They are triggered by exercise, accomplishments and sex.

GABA is actually an amino acid that behaves like a neurotransmitter. It is synthesized in the brain from the amino acid, glutamate. It is associated with calm and expansive thinking.

Melatonin is produced in the pineal gland in the brain. It is associated with sleep. It is triggered by darkness.

Acetylcholine and epinephrine when released together, combines and enhances focus and alertness, and according to Huberman, ensures that neuroplasticity will take place, so long as acetylcholine is released from both the forebrain and the brainstem. Whatever you want to change will change as long this simultaneous release of epinephrine and the duel release of acetylcholine occurs. So if you want to train your brain to release dopamine by moving towards and achieving a goal, stimulating this release of acetylcholine and epinephrine at the same time virtually guarantees it because you will be more focused and alert.

Each of the neurotransmitter/hormone release elements outlined below includes both a behavioral technique, as well as, a self-talk/visualization script.

Overall Intention/Goal:

My overall intention is to live in excellent health. Jerry and Ester Hicks suggest that we state this intention/desire in the form of … Wouldn’t it be nice if … rather than … I want to. When we state a desire in the form of … I want … we are acknowledging the absence of what we desire and this creates a form of resistance to receiving it. Whereas, when we state our desire in the form of … Wouldn’t it be nice if … we are activating a vibration that is less resistant in nature.

My overall intention statement:

Wouldn’t it be nice if I lived in excellent health because wouldn’t it be nice if I could drive myself anywhere I want to go, anytime I want to go there. And wouldn’t it be nice if I could visit my children anytime I want to. And wouldn’t it be nice if I could swim, play my guitar, play my mandolin, play golf, write and go for long bike rides, anytime I want and for as long as I want to.

My plan is to recite my intention statement every day, before getting out of bed.

Morning routine:

In addition to reciting my intention statement before getting out of bed, I also recite the following:

  1. 23rd Psalm [spiritual version]
  2. Love affirmation

Also before getting out of bed, I ask myself two questions [this is taken from the teachings of Joe Dispenza]:

  1. What is the greatest ideal of myself that I can be today?
  2. What is the predominant thought I want to think today?

After I get out of bed and before I eat breakfast, I do the following:

  1. Speed exercises
  2. karate exercises [strikes and kicks]
  3. balance exercise
  4. knee raises
  5. short qigong practice
  6. meditation or yoga nidra [approximately ten minutes]

About a half an hour before breakfast, I take my first round of meds [2 100mg Sinemet tabs]. After breakfast, I usual spend some time writing blogs, running errands, etc, while the meds are still in effect. After the meds wear-off, I switch my focus to de-stressing and neurotransmitter stimulation.

De-stressing:

I outlined a 3-part process for de-stressing in a previous video and blog post. It involves: Calming the brain, Resting the Brain and Cleansing the Brain.

Stimulating Dopamine Release:

I outlined my dopamine release protocol in a previous video and blog post.

My dopamine release regimen is based on setting goals and tasks for myself to complete and then working/moving towards completing them. According to Huberman, when we complete a goal/task, there is an immediate release of dopamine, especially when we celebrate what we just accomplished. I give myself three levels of goals. [1] Moment-by-moment goals: For example, I’m going to walk across the room with authority, taking a full stride, while placing my feet down, heel-to-toe. [2] Daily goals: For example: today I’m going to shovel half the driveway, or today I’m going to post a blog, or today I’m going to write one chapter of the new book I’m writing. [3] Life goals: One of my goals is to live in excellent health. A second goal is for one million people to read the books I’m writing.

Stimulating Serotonin Release:

I outlined my serotonin release protocol in the same video and blog where I discussed how to stimulate dopamine release. The most effective technique for stimulating serotonin release is expressing gratitude and appreciation.

Stimulating Acetylcholine/Epinephrine Release:

According to Huberman, acetylcholine and epinephrine are the key neuro-chemicals involved in neuroplasticity. Acetylcholine is connected to focus, while epinephrine is involved in alertness, energy and stress. Huberman says this combination when released together in the brain drives changes in our brain chemistry [neuroplasticity].

Huberman says that mental focus follows visual focus because the eyes are actually part of the brain. The technique he has developed to stimulate the release of these two neurotransmitters is quite simple. You pick a small object closeby and focus on it [ideally, without blinking] for 60 to 120 seconds. Focusing on the object triggers acetylcholine, and doing it without blinking puts us in a mild state of stress, thus triggering epinephrine. Huberman says neurolasticity is enhanced by a moderate level of stress.

Practicing this technique in combination with the dopamine and serotonin release techniques heightens the effectiveness of these techniques.

Stimulating GABA Release:

GABA is associated with calm. It is directly related to de-stressing.

There is a simple qigong technique for stimulating GABA, which is to jump up-and-down three times while vigorously shaking the hands. Do this three times and then do a full-body shiver. Repeat this as many times as you please.

Doing this technique sends a signal to the brain that the stressful event [danger] has passed, we are safe and we can relax.

Stimulate Oxytocin Release:

Oxytocin is associated with love. To stimulate oxytocin release, hug someone, send a message to your kids, call your kids or spend time with your grandchildren, etc.

I also list things I love. For example, I love watching eagles soaring high in the sky. And I love a clear blue sky. And I love sitting by the lake, etc.

Stimulate Endorphins Release:

A simple way to stimulate endorphins release is to do any joyful exercise and celebrate any accomplishment.

Stimulate Melatonin Release:

Melatonin, of course, is involved in sleep. It is triggered naturally by darkness, so keeping lights low after dark, especially towards bedtime, is really important.

Huberman also says getting exposed to early morning sunlight, as soon as possible after sunrise [without looking directly into the sun], is important. He says that morning exposure stimulates cortisol release, which activates our circadian clock [our 24 hour clock], so that melatonin will begin being secreted approximately sixteen hours later.

It is also helpful to get exposure to late evening and sunset light.

Self-talk and Visualization:

To enhance the effectiveness of the physical behavioral techniques described above, I am also doing self-talk and visualization techniques. This is where Dr Joe Dispenza comes in. Dispenza is a neuroscientist, chiropractor and author of several books including, You are the Placebo. He healed a severely broken back himself after a devasting cycling accident in 1986 when he was struck by a vehicle doing 55 miles per hour. He didn’t like the extensive surgery protocol that was recommended to him. Instead he decided he could heal himself by tapping in to the body’s innate ability to heal itself. I believe it is possible for me to do the same thing.

Inner Dialogue:

The following is the inner-dialogue script I have created for myself. Feel free to copy it, or write your own. The emphasis of the script is on expressing immense gratitude and appreciation to my body for providing me with a physical vessel in which to complete this journey:

Thank you inner-self for guiding me on this journey of living in good health. I really appreciate it. I know excellent health is possible. I also know that this is what my inner-self wants. I am ready to be healed and I am ready to live in excellent health.

Thank you for helping me to live in an emotional state of love, joy, gratitude, acceptance and trust.

Thank you for reminding me that on a soul level, I chose this journey and therefore, I am in charge.

Thank you for providing me with guidance in regards to the emotional traumas that need to be identified and healed in order to facilitate my living in good health.

Thank you inner-self for balancing all of my neurotransmitters and hormones in order to facilitate my living in excellent health. Thank you also for activating my parasympathetic nervous system in order to facilitate my living in good health. In particular, thank you to my substantia nigra for producing the dopamine that is necessary to living in good health. Similarly, thank you to the raphe nuclei in my brainstem for producing the serotonin necessary to live in good health. Similarly, thank you to my brain and brainstem for producing the acetylcholine and epinephrine that are necessary for me to live in good health. Similarly, thank you to my brain for producing the GABA necessary to live in good health. I really appreciate you helping me in all aspects of this endeavor!

I suggest reading this script at least a couple times a day. While I am reciting the script, I visualize each body part releasing the neurotransmitter or hormone. To strengthen the effect of the visualization … and to have a little fun with it, I picture each neurotransmitter and hormone as a Seven Dwarfs type character [Doper, Serry, Ace, Eppie, Oxy, Gabby, Dorphy and Mello], each with an important function to fulfill.

To support my protocol, I repeat the affirmation I described earlier:

Wouldn’t it be so nice for me to live in excellent health, because wouldn’t be so nice for me to be able to drive myself anywhere I decide to go, anytime I decide to go there, and wouldn’t it be nice for me to visit my children anytime I decide to. And wouldn’t it be nice for me to be able to swim, play the guitar and mandolin, write, blog, play golf and do many other things any time I decide to and for as long as I want to. I AM READY TO BE HEALTHY and I AM READY TO DO ALL THESE THINGS.

In addition to my neurotransmitter protocol, I am also continuing to do my daily regimen, which includes walking and other exercises, stretches, qigong, meditation, spending time in nature, energetic and emotional healing, affirmations, writing, learning to speak Estonian and bodywork.

Also throughout the day, if I find myself struggling with something, I say to myself, I may be having difficulty with this task but I don’t mind that I am. It is only temporary and I accept it for what it is.

Healing Request:

My recovery regimen also includes emotional healing. I do this every day. I use a healing stone that I found in the forest to facilitate my healing. Holding the healing stone between the palms of my hands, I repeat the following:

I call upon my inner-self and the four archangels [Raphael, Michael, Gabrael and Urael] to assist me in giving over to this healing stone, all of the low-frequency vibrational energy that is being held within my energy field, so that it can be alchemized into love, particularly that which is connected to the beliefs, thoughts and emotions that are not in vibrational harmony and alignment with my intention to be healthy in all aspects of my life, and I thank you so much for this healing.

Bedtime Protocol:

My bedtime protocol focuses mainly on expressing gratitude and appreciation. I also repeat my Thank you for the Light [see below] affirmation. Before going to bed, I also do a short qigong routine.

I realize that this program is quite extensive. There is a lot to it. I have been developing and evolving it over many years. It might be easier for you to tackle one section at a time, in which case, I would suggest starting with the dopamine and serotonin stimulation techniques.

Now, I will admit that this program is unproven, at this point. I am sharing it with you now in the hopes that you will join me on this journey. If it resonates with you, great! Perhaps if we have enough people participating we will create an energy that will benefit us all!

May you be healthy and content!

Thank you for the Light:

Thank you for the light that shines on me immersing me in divine goodness and compassion, forgiveness and gratitude, understanding and abundance, patience and trust and aceeptance and faith, and physical, mental and emotional tranquility. And thank you for bringing me a good nights sleep.

Healing Parkinson’s Disease Naturally – A Journey of Love #85 … Responsible Health Care for PD!

Where do we draw the line between responsible and irresponsible healthcare when it comes to managing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease? I’m talking specifically here about the administration of medication, which the neurologist I used to see admitted, was all he was trained to do.

Is one medication okay? How about two? Or three? Or even four?

Does it depend on the patient and situation?

When does a neurologist become “pill happy” to the detriment of his or her patient?

The reason I ask these questions is because I recently became aware of yet another person who is experiencing significant difficulties, in all likelihood, the result of the cocktail of medications this individual is taking!

There are a lot of medications used in the treatment of PD: carbidopa/levodopa, dopamine agonists, off-time medications, medications to counter dyskinesia, medications for anxiety and medications for depression. The potential for a lethal cocktail is enormous!

But it’s understandable, and here’s why!

So, you are seeing a neurologist for the first time. He or she tells you, you have Parkinson’s. Then you are told the cause of the disease is unknown and that it’s degenerative, progressive and incurable! Next you are told the only treatment option is medication and these meds can have some very unpleasant side-effects.

My goodness!

At this point, you might be feeling backed into a corner, that you’ve been given a life sentence and that your options are extremely limited because you’ve got this neurologist you just met telling you that you have Parkinson’s and that it’s incurable and that you need to go on meds. It’s like holy crap, what do I do? You feel overwhelmed and powerless!

For most, the situation is extremely frightening, and so, the answer is simple … risk the side-effects and take the meds! But at the risk of sounding melodramatic, when this decision is made, you have just given up control of your life, because the meds are going to take it over! I can tell you this from firsthand experience.

I would love to be able to talk to every newly diagnosed person to say to them, “You don’t have to take meds right away … and you don’t have to believe PD is incurable. There are lots of things you can do to effectively manage the symptoms of PD while working towards full recovery. This is your life and your health and you can decide what is best for you.

Once you start down the road of medication, there is little or no turning back. Side-effects aside, these medications are extremely difficult to wean off of.

I managed to go 16 years without medication and if I had understood what the combined effects of Bowen therapy and chronic worrying were doing to me, I might still be meds-free. Instead, in late 2018, after six weeks of daily panic attacks [triggered by Bowen Therapy and excessive worrying], I found myself at our local hospital desparate for relief. The ER doctor prescribed an anti-anxiety medication [Lorazepam] which only worsened the situation because the next day I was taken back to the hospital completely immobile. I was prescribed a different anxiety medication [sertraline] and also talked into going on levodopa. My response to the combined meds was pretty remarkable because a week later, I walked out of the hospital and went home and shoveled snow.

At first, I was quite happy with the levodopa [I was able to wean off sertraline after a couple of months]. I was taking it three times a day and it was in effect all day and there was an improvement with all my symptoms. Unfortunately, the doctor who convinced me to go on meds, neglected to inform me about the wear-off effect [which kicked in after about ten months] or the very debilitating wear-off rebound effect [which started about ten months after that]. So, now I take the levodopa three times a day, but each dosage only lasts about two and a half hours before it wears off, and when it does, my symptoms are even worse than normal.

I haven’t been able to find any research on this, but I think two things are happening. First, when the levodopa wears off, dopamine levels actually fall below baseline or normal [whatever that normal happens to be]. Second, the dopamine wears off rapidly which sends a signal to the brain that I am entering a state of extreme stress, which results in a massive release of cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone produced in the adrenal glands and when it’s active [as I’m sure you’ve experienced], PD symptoms are worse.

Trust me when I tell you this situation I’m in really sucks! It’s very debilitating and if I had known about the wear-off rebound effect, I would have taken a different approach.

My situation is likely the exact same situation the person I referred to at the start of this post found themselves in when they were advised to add more medications. But I’m not taking that route because I know where it leads to and I’m drawing a line in the sand right here!

I’m sure the medical community is well-meaning but they have no first hand experience taking medication and therefore, they have no bloody idea what it’s like dealing with the side-effects. What is more, they’ve been treating the symptoms of PD with the same protocol since the beginning and they haven’t cured one person … nor would it appear are they any closer to a solution. Perhaps it’s time for a new approach.

Perhaps it’s time the medical community stopped ignoring the cases of those who have recovered and take the time to examine how they did it. Perhaps it’s time for researchers, doctors and neurologists to join the league of PWPs who are exercising, eating healthy foods, meditating, practicing qigong, spending time in nature, practicing gratitude, doing bodywork and emotional healing, taking supplements and cbd oil and practicing natural behaviors that are intended to stimulate dopamine release. Maybe then, we might actually start healing people!

Unfortunately, as a society, we’ve been conditioned to look for the easy solution and to let others fix our problems rather than taking responsibility and committing to doing the hard work to heal ourselves. My philosophy is, it has taken me a lifetime to reach the stage I’m at and the damage can’t be undone overnight by popping pills. It’s just not the best way to deal with this disease.

Thank you for listening!

A note of caution: What I am expressing here is my own personal viewpoint based on my observations and experience. We each must decide what is best for ourselves!

May you be healthy and content!