My Journey with Parkinson’s … A Natural Approach: Post 126 … Movement

fireworksMovement, I believe, is essential for both managing the day today challenges that come from having a neurotransmitter imbalance [particularly one that involves dopamine] and for recovering from the condition [that is to say, healing].

Fear is at the root of the neurotransmitter imbalance that the medical community calls Parkinson’s Disease. Fear causes the body to both shake [tremble] and become paralyzed [immobile], the two most confounding aspects of the condition. So it would seem, that forced movement would be an effective way to counteract it. And in my experience, it does for two reasons. Firstly, the body is less likely to tremble when it is moving [this has certainly been my experience], and secondly, if fear causes the body to become immobile, then it would seem movement would have a way of neutralizing the fear.

Two very effective movement exercises are knee raises and what I call, exploding hands. Knee raises are straightforward. You simply stand with your feet shoulder width apart and alternatively raise the left and right knees. I will do this when I experience immobility when I am attempting to move or simply as an exercise. Exploding hands is something I came up with myself. I simply throw my arms up in the air and shoot my fingers out as if my hands have exploded. Again, I will do this as an exercise or if I’m having difficulty with my hands. Both exercises are also great stress relievers and can be done sitting down if necessary [although, I find that doing them helps me with my balance].

Sometimes, when I attempt to move or perform a function, my body simply does not respond. For instance, I may be standing at the kitchen counter and when I attempt to turn to the left or right, my feet will refuse to move [my mother often said I would someday pay for my restless behaviour], and it may take me several attempts before I can actually move themAnd yet, I can do knee raises with ease. Similarly, quite often when I’m cutting open an avocado for my morning smoothie I find it difficult to move my hand around the fruit. And yet if I put the knife down and throw my arms up in the air to perform exploding hands, again, I can do it with ease. It also helps me finish cutting the avocado.

In this same vein, I find that big, fast, aggressive movements work really well.  For example, I find it really helpful when I’m getting dressed.  If I attempt to put on my pants normally, I struggle, but if I use big, fast, aggressive movements, I can do it with relative ease.  The same holds true for soaping down in the shower, toweling down after the shower and pretty much any activity or task.  I find that even doing things that require a delicate touch go better if I use big, fast, aggressive movements prior to doing them.  Try it and see what works best for you.

In addition to the ones I’ve already mentioned, there are lots of exercises you can practice:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Swinging your arms in big circles
  • Karate kicks and strikes
  • Sprinting
  • Any sport [baseball, soccer, etc.]
  • Dance

In addition to easing the day to day neurotransmitter imbalance challenges, I believe movement exercises also have the potential to slow the progression of the condition and contribute to recovery from it. Bianca Molle credits her recovery in large part to three hours a day of Qigong, an energy cultivating movement exercise, and the same as possible for anyone. Joyful exercise, combined with a positive attitude, causes the release of calming neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, and if done often enough, should help to restore them to normal levels, eventually leading to full recovery.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post!

Have an awesomely moving day!

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4 comments on “My Journey with Parkinson’s … A Natural Approach: Post 126 … Movement

  1. Hi Fred,
    What I find confusing is that automated movement patterns like walking, which we learned so long ago, gives us trouble, whereas other patterns, like (in my case) boxing moves and kata’s go much better. You would say, if the lack of dopamine is the cause of our bad walking, no movement whatsoever should be possible. Undoubtedly you have seen the movie of the man unable to walk but riding a bicycle.
    Have a great day too Fred!

  2. Hey Fred. I’m off on holiday tomorrow with my 2 girls (30 and 35 but still my girls) and want to wish you a loving time with friends and family, and most importantly, with yourself. We are traveling around the East Cape of the North Island in NZ and it’s very hot here.Check out:
    http://www.gisbornenz.com/touring-guides/sh35-opotiki-to-gisborne/

    I’m busy focusing on having a good time with myself even while I’m with those girls of mine and other friends, I’m concentrating on feeling the little space between. I think it makes my life so much more joyful and playful and deliberate somehow. Your posts have been such pleasant diversions and interesting thoughtful moments for me this year. Thank you very much! Lots of love coming your way Fred. Anne .

    • Hi Anne,

      Thank you so much for your message, the pictures [New Zealand looks stunningly, beautiful] and your support. It helps make writing these blogs so worthwhile. Enjoy your trip and have a very merry Christmas with your daughters.

      Cheers,
      Fred

      PS … My son spent a year in New Zealand a few years ago and he absolutely loved it!

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