Healing Parkinson’s Disease Naturally – A Journey of Love #27 … Improving Balance!

balanceLoss of balance continues to be one of the three biggest challenges I face [along with anxiety and freezing]. In the past few months I have placed much more emphasis on balance exercises and it is paying off.

Loss of balance occurs when the mind and body are in a chronic state of stress and fear for an extended period of time. This ongoing fight or flight state results in the continual overproduction of stress hormones and neurotransmitters, particularly adrenaline and cortisol, and the corresponding underproduction [or non-production] of the tranquility-inducing, feel-good, muscle-control neurotransmitters, especially dopamine and serotonin.

Because of this chemical imbalance, communication between the three body-balance detection centers in the body [the soles of the feet, the eyes and the inner ear] and the brain is disrupted. They are no longer able to inform the brain that the body is out of balance. And more importantly, the muscle control centers of the brain lose the ability to send messages to the back and leg muscles so that they can make the appropriate adjustments to ensure proper balance.

In order to correct this condition long-term, I do several things:

  1. Get my mind and body out of the stress and fear induced fight or flight state, so that my body can return to homeostasis [which it naturally wants to], by restoring the proper neurotransmitter and hormone production levels [see my last post on overcoming anxiety].
  2. Take the same short-term ‘reset’ approach to correcting this condition as I have been using to correct my shuffle-walking condition. This involves instructing myself verbally [out loud] to do the following: keep my back straight, keep my head up and eyes up, keep my shoulders square and keep my feet shoulder width apart [the fundamentals of good balance]. I will also instruct myself to do the same thing I do when I reset to begin walking: relax my arms and jaw, take a big step, and lunge forward while counting steps.
  3. Strengthen the core and leg muscles with pushups, stomach crunches, squats, lunges, wall sits and horse stance exercises.
  4. Practice Qigong [my balance is fine when I am practicing Qigong].
  5. Practice balance exercises: (i) stand on one foot, then alternate (ii) stand with eyes closed, feet shoulder width apart (iii) stand with feet together, eyes open (iv) cross one foot in front of the other, then reach down and touch the floor keeping the legs straight, then switch feet (v) walk in a staight line, heal to toe
  6. I also recommend yoga. With its emphasis on stretching, balance and strengthening, yoga is an excellent practice.

I have definitely noticed an improvement in my balance since putting a renewed emphasis on balance exercises, especially when I am in a tranquil state of mind.

Wishing you an awesome day!


Healing Parkinson’s Disease Naturally – A Journey of Love #26 … Overcoming Anxiety – 3-Step Process!

tranquilityI thought this might be a good time to summarize my recent experience and strategy in overcoming anxiety. I’m still in the process, but I have made progress, particularly in my learning and understanding of anxiety and how to overcome it without taking pills [which is always an option].

If you are experiencing anxiety, please know that I understand what you are going through because I am there as well! Anxiety has become my biggest challenge, affecting me both physically and mentally! When I’m in a state of anxiety, the physical symptoms I experience significantly worsen!

In my experience, anxiety is mostly the result of our thoughts [Eckhart Tolle, author of A New Earth, says the same thing] which are primarily influenced by our beliefs, especially our unconscious beliefs!

For me, dissolving anxiety both in the moment and long-term involves three steps: first, change my thoughts. That is to say, stop worrying! I do this consciously by repeating a prayer, an affirmation, a mantra or by practicing and reciting something I am learning, like counting to ten in different languages. Another way to do this, is to practice “loving compassion,” where we express loving compassion towards ourselves and others. Practising loving compassion is an important element of Buddhism!

Second, I bring my attention into the “Observer mind” state, where I place my attention on my breath, my surroundings and or the task I am performing.

These first two steps I have found to be effective, but temporary, which brings me to step three … dissolving the detrimental beliefs that are at the root of the thoughts. This means, letting go of the past. This is a much bigger challenge and may require some professional help to identify the beliefs and the experiences that created the beliefs. I have been doing this for a long time, using the techniques I have learned and I am not completely done with it. As Gabor Mate says, for most people this type of work is a process, not an event, and as Teal Swan says, it is a circular healing process where we may come back to the same issues many times throughout our healing journey, going deeper and deeper each time.

I hope this helps and I also urge you to check out the recent blogs I have posted on the subject of anxiety! As I said, this is a big issue for me but one I must overcome if I’m going to fully recover my health!

Healing Parkinson’s Disease Naturally – A Journey of Love #25 … CBD Oil Update!

marijuanaThis past February, largely at Mari’s urging. I decided to get more active and aggressive with CBD oil as part of my recovery protocol. I had tried it a couple of times previous but had some difficulty identifying the right formula for me and quantifying its effect, so I didn’t stay with it. Also, I hadn’t been able find any research or anyone who had experienced any quantifiable benefits from using CBD oil.

Continue reading

Healing Parkinson’s Disease Naturally – A Journey of Love #24 … Overcoming Anxiety … Observer Mind!

sunlightLately, my attention has been very much focused on overcoming anxiety, for two important reasons. First, it is very challenging, mentally, particularly as it relates to experiencing  panicky feelings. Second, it affects all the other symptoms I experience, significantly. When I am in a state of anxiety, my gait is stiffer, my balance is worse, I’m very unsteady on my feet, my movements are slower, my voice is rhaspy and my driving is less steady.

The reason for this renewed focus is because I recently started feeling anxiety again.

Continue reading

Healing Parkinson’s Disease Naturally – A Journey of Love #23 … Overcoming Anxiety … Counting to Ten!

countingAs part of my Recovery Protocol and daily regimen, which are intended to return my body too homeostasis, I am learning to count to 10 in various languages. I am also learning a new language … Estonian [Mari is Estonian, so I have ample motivation].

My primary objective in undertaking this endeavor is to neutralize and dissolve anxiety, which is my biggest challenge these days!

Continue reading

Healing Parkinson’s Disease Naturally – A Journey of Love #22 … Medication Update & Side-effect!

sinemetIt has now been almost nine months since I started taking medication. I started in December, 2018, after experiencing the symptoms of PD medication-free for almost 17 years. I was pretty much forced into this decision after worrying myself into a state of extreme anxiety and immobility and a hospital stay.

Initially, I was put on a combination of Sinemet [6 tablets a day … 100 mg levodopa and 25 mg of carbidopa per tab] and Zoloft [50 mg per day]. Within a week, I regained my mobility and was back home shoveling snow. It was a dramatic change!

Continue reading

Are Canadians really that polite???

hockeyI am writing to tell you that I take great offense in regards to the characterization of Canadians as being extraordinarily modest and polite! It’s a well known stereotype avidly promoted on American talk shows, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert being a fine example! Last year during one of his monologues, Colbert talked about the Canadian government changing some of the wording to the national anthem … because there weren’t enough apologies!

Yes, it seems to be a common held belief that Canadians are extraordinarily nice people! But I ask you, have you been to a hockey arena in Canada … any day of the week?

When it comes to hockey, Canadians are … well … we’re a little nuts!

During the second world War, if they had put an arena over Europe and sent in a bunch of Canadians with hockey sticks, that war would’ve been over in a matter of hours! Same thing with the Alamo! If they had put a hockey rink over it and manned it with a bunch of hockey moms from Medicine Hat, as legendary hockey star, Tiger Williams once said, those other fellas would’ve been done like dinner!

The Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge during the first world War after repeated attempts by British and French forces to take the ridge is another fine example of Canadian tenacity! As I understand it, the soldier leading the charge, was wielding a Sherwood!

Yes, we can be polite, and yes, we are careful about stating our opinion, particularly on matters that don’t pertain to us, but show us a picture of a hockey arena, put a hockey stick in our hands or let us listen to a recording of Foster Hewitt, and our eyes roll back in our heads and we become maniacal!

So the next time someone speaks eloquently of how polite Canadians are, suggest to them that they visit a hockey arena any Saturday morning between October and April, and remind them to take their protective headgear … and their protective cup! We’re not above kicking somebody in the stones!

And if that is insufficient evidence, have them watch replays of Mark Messier’s elbow during the 1987 Canada Cup championship game between Canada and Russia!

Oh, and if I have offended anyone with my take on Canadian disposition, please accept my sincere apologies 🙂

Healing Parkinson’s Disease Naturally – A Journey of Love #21 … The quality of our thoughts!

happinessThe quality of our experience is largely determined by the quality of our thoughts! This is particularly true for anyone experiencing the symptoms of Parkinson’s. Generally speaking, if we have positive thoughts, we will have positive experiences.

But where do our thoughts come from? Where do they originate and what determines their quality?

Continue reading

My fourth book, The History Teacher: Adventure in Estonia, has been published

the history teacher adv

I’m pleased to announce that my fourth book, The History Teacher: Adventure in Estonia, has been published. This is actually the third book in The History Teacher trilogy.

In this third and final instalment of The History Teacher series, John Stevens, the history teacher, takes a trip to Estonia where he is drawn into an extraordinary adventure of hope and intrigue! Intent on changing the course of human history, an international group of do-gooders gathers in this tiny Eastern European country to map out a strategy for change! First, though, they must overcome the power structures and attitudes meant to maintain the global status quo. All too often, people ask what we as individuals can do to contribute to meaningful change, feeling too uninformed and powerless to take direct action! The History Teacher, Adventure in Estonia provides simple guidance on how spiritual consciousness and divine love can overcome this dilemma! It transends country, cultural, racial, religious and gender borders to remind us that we are all in this together, sharing a common source and purpose. The story also examines one of the great challenges of human evolution, the steadfast and sometimes violent resistance to change. Similar to the first two editions of this trilogy, the protagonist receives guidance on his journey through dreams, angel visits and synchronistic encounters, amidst a delightfully informative blend of spirituality, history and rock n’ roll.

Printed copies are available on the FriesenPress website as well as Amazon. ebook versions are available on the publisher’s web site as well as Amazon and iTunes.

All four of my books are exclusively available on Amazon and the publisher’s website, FriesenPress. E-books are also available on iTunes.

Healing Parkinson’s Disease Naturally – A Journey of Love #20 … I can play golf again!

golfAnd the hits just keep on coming!

I have recently discovered that I can swim again and sing again! And now I’ve discovered that I can play golf again, although I say this somewhat tongue-in-cheek because I have been able to play golf all along, just not very well.

Continue reading