I am experiencing what the medical community calls Parkinson’s Disease. I was diagnosed several years ago and since receiving this diagnosis, I have held firm to the belief that Parkinson’s, like all health conditions, can be overcome. In fact, there are documented cases of people who have completely recovered from this supposedly incurable condition.
Although I have not yet overcome it myself, I would like to share with you my journey in the hopes that you too can recover from Parkinson’s or any other condition you are experiencing, because the protocol I am using has universal application.
On a side note, because I get asked a lot, I do not take meds, nor do I intend to.
I encourage you to read this entire article, but in the event that you don’t, please know this, if you are experiencing a ‘disease,’ it can be healed. Your body’s natural tendency is to be in homeostasis [perfect health], and it will do whatever it can to be in this state. It just needs help getting there. The four most important things you can do to help your body achieve homeostasis are:
- Eat healthy, natural, organic foods
- Create happiness and calm in all aspects of your life [eliminate stress/fear]
There are many documented cases of people who have overcome life threatening illnesses doing these four [check out ericiswinning.com] and you can too. You just need to have a good attitude and a healthy amount of discipline. You can do it! You wouldn’t be reading this article if you didn’t believe you could!
I would really appreciate knowing if this article has been helpful to you or if you didn’t find what you were looking for, so please leave a comment at the end. Please also check out my Journey with Parkinson’s posts for information on specific topics relating to Parkinson’s and health in general.
Also, I have posted, separately, my recovery protocol. It includes everything I am doing to recover my health!
In this article I will cover the following:
- My story
- My symptoms
- My healing philosophy
- My healing protocol/program
- Results to date
Before beginning my story, I would like to urge you to take Parkinson’s very seriously. I didn’t initially. Not until I started experiencing symptoms that I had no idea were connected to this condition [I thought PD just involved trembling]. Learn all you can and do all you can to slow the progression of the symptoms until your body has a chance to begin recovering. Knowledge and a positive attitude are your best weapons, so keep researching and keep smiling. Good luck and Godspeed on your journey!
In 2006, the index finger of my left hand suddenly started to tremble. It happened one night while I was teaching karate…which still puzzles me because I love teaching karate! Over the next few months the trembling progressed to my hand and arm, but still only occurred at karate. Then eventually my arm and hand began trembling outside of karate as well. Two and a half years later, in October 2008, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s (PD).
When I received the diagnosis, I learned that the first symptoms actually started in 2003 when I began experiencing a loss of control in my left leg and foot while running. This condition came and went during my runs, but got progressively worse, forcing me to give up running in 2007. I then took up cycling, but it wasn’t long before I started experiencing the same thing. I still ride my bike, but only to run short errands.
Actually, my health issues (headaches, food sensitivities and brain fog) started way back in 1976 when I was in university, At the time, I was drinking excessively, eating poorly and in a state of extreme stress. It was also not long after two severe head injuries and several very emotionally traumatic experiences. I believe this combination of things messed up my brain chemistry, triggering my health issues at that time and set me on a course to develop Parkinson’s.
Over the next 17 years, the headaches, food sensitivities and brain fog got progressively worse, to the point where in 1993 I was getting three to four migraine headaches a week and could only eat brown rice, steamed chicken and fish and vegetables because I was sensitive to everything else.
This heightened sensitivity to various foods got really bad shortly after a 1990 car crash in which we were rear-ended by a vehicle doing over 80 kilometers an hour. The crash left me with an intense headache and a severe case of whiplash. Shortly after the crash I had a bad reaction to chocolate cake (I was sick for three days), after which I started reacting to just about everything!
It seems likely that physical trauma from the crash also played a role in the eventual onset of PD.
In 1993, in an effort to restore my health, I started doing massage therapy, which then led me to One Brain Therapy. The focus of OBT is healing the emotional pain at the root of an illness and over the next several years I was able to overcome the headaches and get the food sensitivities mostly under control.
Then in 2002, four years prior to the initial trembling, I realized that I had lost my sense of taste and smell (which is common with PD). This realization came to me one spring day when I was doing my annual post-winter doggy-doo clean up in the backyard. I couldn’t smell the doggy-doo. It occurred to me then that I couldn’t taste anything either, but the loss of taste and smell happened so gradually that I hadn’t noticed the change.
In the 12 months leading up to the onset of the trembling I had three significant stressful experiences. I was downsized from the company I had worked with for 23 years (although I was happy to leave), I had the most stressful year of my life coaching hockey and my marriage of 25 years ended. I mention these because I suspect they helped trigger the condition, particularly as it relates to the unhappiness I felt in the last few years of my job and marriage.
At the clinic where I was diagnosed, I was told that PD is a progressive, degenerative condition of the central nervous system that is thought to be the result of a deficiency of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, which is produced in the dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the midbrain, the substantia nigra and the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. The dopamine deficiency is thought to be the result of genetics, heavy metal toxins, dietary deficiencies and/or trauma to the body, but it seems medical science is uncertain about the exact cause.
PD typically occurs in people over the age of 60 and I was on the young side, because I was under 50 when the first symptoms started. The type I have is where trembling occurs when the muscles are inactive. I was told that there was no known cure for PD and the only way to manage the condition and minimize the trembling was through medication. I was also told that exercise and meditation had proven effective in slowing its progress.
I informed the neurologist at the clinic that I am opposed to using medications of any sort, so that wasn’t an option. On the other hand, I am a martial arts instructor and my weekly exercise routine far exceeded anything the clinic had to offer, so that was good news.
As a result of my positive experience with OBT (I believe that the root cause of all physical disease is unresolved emotional pain) I informed the neurologist that that was what I wanted to focus on. I told him that I intended to heal the condition. He reluctantly agreed to my approach and asked me to come back to the clinic every six months so he could monitor my progress.
Over the next two years I exercised, meditated and healed emotional woundings connected to the trembling, but the trembling steadily progressed to the point where in 2010, my left arm and hand were trembling constantly and my right wrist had started trembling as well. What is more, my balance went haywire and I started losing strength and control in my left arm, hand and fingers to the point where I started having difficulty playing the guitar. Clearly, something was missing.
In the spring of 2010, I was referred to a Body Stress Relief (BSR) therapist in Newmarket, Ontario. BSR, developed by two South African chiropractors, essentially uses a process of pressure points along the spine to relieve muscle tension in the back thereby allowing nerve impulses to flow more freely.
Over the next few months, through bi-weekly BSR treatments, the trembling in my arms diminished by about two-thirds, which was quite significant, and that’s basically where it has remained.
Then in 2011, I read two books that renewed my belief that I could recover my health naturally. The first was called, A Scientific Approach to Integrative Medicine, by Leonard Wisneski & Lucy Anderson, and the second was The Healing Code, by Alex Lloyd and Ben Johnson. Through these books I learned three important things.
First, I learned that all of our internal systems are interconnected. The central nervous system, endocrine system, immune system and digestive system all operate interactively and all produce the same or complimentary neurotransmitters and hormones. Therefore, if one system is in a state of disorder, the rest are affected.
Second, I learned that the body’s state of health is largely affected by the state of the immune system. If the immune system[IS] is functioning properly, the body doesn’t get sick.
Third, I learned that approximately 80% of the immune system is situated in the gastrointestinal tract in the form of Immunoglobulin A, and therefore, it is compromised by an unhealthy diet. And so, I decided that if I wanted to heal myself, I needed to purify my diet in order to heal my gut and strengthen my IS.
This information also helped me understand why emotional healing and BSR hadn’t healed the trembling. Clearly, in order for me to have become unwell in the first place, my IS had to have broken down (likely back in university when I first started developing health issues) and therefore, part of the recovery process had to involve restoring it. But this wasn’t going to happen without purifying my diet and healing my gut.
My diet was already very good, but based on what I had learned from these two books, in January of 2012 I eliminated alcohol, sugar, wheat, dairy, corn and processed foods, and added coconut oil, cloves, garlic, tumeric, cinnamon, avocado and cashews to my diet. I also found out that Vit D deficiency is thought to play a role in many diseases, including PD, so I started taking a Vit D3 supplement…8,000 IUs per day.
Within three weeks of implementing this new diet, I started to smell things…garlic, coffee (which I don’t drink), etc, and I began tasting things as well … now how awesome is that … so I knew I was on the right track?
Then in the spring, I altered my diet by reducing the amount of carbs I was eating and increasing the amount of fat. Of course, the type of fats I’m referring to are the healthy unsaturated fats and omega-3s, not saturated trans fats and omega-6s. This meant more free-run eggs, organic meat, wild fish, organic avocado, coconut & olive oil and nuts & seeds. It also meant less rice, which was where I was getting a lot of my carbs.
Energetically speaking, my sense is that fat is a more calming food, which I think is particularly important in healing neurological disorders, especially, considering the brain is mostly comprised of fat. Fat also includes cholesterol which I discovered is also essential for brain health.
I also started grounding… walking in bare feet or sitting with bare feet on the ground … having recently read about the healing potential of this very natural activity. When your bare feet are in direct contact with the ground, free electrons from the earth transfer into your body via the soles of your feet. These free electrons are incredibly powerful antioxidants. Studies have shown that free electrons from the earth can cause beneficial changes in heart rate, decrease inflammation, reduce pain, promote healthy sleep and thin the blood.
Parkinson’s, like many diseases, is inflammatory. In this case, the key inflammation to address is in the brain. This is actually quite comforting to me, because it suggests that I must have a brain … a question I was constantly asked growing up!
The idea that grounding has health benefits makes perfect sense to me because last summer, I noticed that my arms didn’t tremble when I was on, in or near water. I believe Mother Earth, being an energetic being, has tremendous healing potential and so being in direct contact with it’s basic elements must be beneficial. It’s also worth noting that in her book, Why Suffer, Ann Wigmore, founder of the Hippocrates Health Institute, recalls how her grandmother would treat patients by having them lie on the ground for hours at a time.
Grounding also lets me feel like a kid!
As an aside, I discovered a couple of years ago that my arms don’t tremble when I’m laying on my back. This was also a marvelous discovery for me, because now I can lie around without feeling guilty.
In the summer of 2012, I started taking Vit B12 and krill oil, and in the fall, I added Vit C and Royal Jelly. I also eliminated non-organic avocado and dandelions because they were making me feel ill.
Because of the worsening loss of balance I was experiencing, I didn’t ride my motorcycle in 2012 and I sold it in 2013.
In the early part of 2013, I started experiencing light-headedness and dizziness, particularly when standing up. This is caused by low blood pressure, also common characteristic of PD.
Despite my healthier diet, BSR treatments, emotional healing, grounding and exercise routine, my symptoms (particularly the loss of balance and loss of dexterity in my left hand) continued to get worse throughout 2012/13 to the point where by the summer of 2013, I could no longer type on the keyboard or fret the strings in order to play my guitar.
Then in September of 2013, I learned about Dr. Robert Morse, a naturopath from Florida and his approach to healing, particularly as it relates to the role of the lymphatic system in the development of disease and the need to detox the lymph system and eliminate inflammation. I was also reminded of the need to alkaline the body. Dr Morse’s detox healing protocol involves primarily a fruit diet (he claims that watermelon and grapes in particular, are great detoxifiers) with certain herbs.
I tried the fruit diet for six weeks, but lost a lot of weight (I was already quite thin) and I was hungry and cold all the time. I also felt terrible which I attributed to detoxing, [but discovered later was due to the high sugar content messing me up], so I switched to a Ketogenic Diet (high fat, low carbs & protein) in order to hopefully accomplish the same thing (detoxify the body and heal the brain), but in a less radical manner … and put on some weight.
My plan was to stay on the Keto Diet until June ’14 and if I didn’t experience any results, revert back to the fruit diet.
In December ’13, I learned about a couple people [Americans Howard Shifke and Bianca Molle] who overcame PD primarily through the practice of Qigong, an exercise program intended to strengthen your ‘chi,’ (life force energy) which is essential for healing. I had dabbled in Qigong for a few years and start doing it more vigorously, although, I have to admit, I wasn’t convinced that it was the primary protocol for me, nor did I feel that I could dedicate two to three hours of Qigong practice a day like they had. Oh, if I had only known then what I know now.
The primary emotional pain I had been resolving for the previous two years, was anger. I have been loaded with anger much of my life and I believe it has a lot to do with why I developed PD (Deepak Chopra says anger is an inflammatory emotion … PD is an inflammatory condition). In January ’14, I had an insight that the anger I was feeling had to do with growing up feeling like a coward, so I focused my emotional healing efforts on this.
Delving into such intense emotions as those related to cowardice may have been an ominous foreshadowing of what was to come in 2014 because the year turned out to be an intense roller-coaster ride of emotions, symptoms, learning’s and spiritual growth.
In January, February and March I continued to do a lot of healing around various issues related to anger, believing that once I resolved all the anger I was holding onto I would begin to recover. In January, I also transitioned from the ketogenic diet [although it wasn’t a strict ketogenic diet] to more of a fruit-fat diet. I did so because I found the Keto diet to far too bland. After the switch, I continued to feel unwell [foggy, jittery, irritable and anxious], which I attributed to the effects of detoxification. [I was to learn later that it was actually the sugar in fruit that was causing me to feel this way.]
In February, I learned that being cold is really bad for my symptoms. I was downhill skiing and towards the end of the day I got very cold and could barely make my way down the hill on the last run. It was like I had no control over my body. I was trembling like crazy and had very impaired mobility. It was actually rather scary!
On a positive note, that same month, I discovered speech recognition software. At the time, I was having great difficulty typing, so this was a godsend [although I have to admit, sometimes using speech recognition software can be incredibly frustrating … sometimes I want to strangle my computer … oops, there’s that anger again]!
Despite everything I was doing [releasing anger, eating mostly organic, natural healthy foods, exercising and trying to stay positive] my symptoms continued to worsen. I was losing mobility, feeling more constriction in my throat and losing control and dexterity in my left hand. I was beginning to develop feelings of helplessness. Then on March 27, my life took a dramatic turn for the worse when I had a panic attack for the first time. I was in the middle of my daily stretching routine, having difficulty transitioning from one stretch to another, when I had the thought, “What if I become completely immobile.” That set off a wave of panic like I’ve never experienced in my life. I had to get up and go look out the window. After focusing on my breath for a few minutes the panic subsided. A week later I had another panic attack at bedtime. The following day, I felt anxious all day, although not panicky. Then on Friday April 4, I had an all day panic attack. It was the most difficult day of my life, but thanks to Mari, Facebook and Dr. Morse, the naturopathic doctor from Florida, I was able to get through it. At one point, I considered asking Mari to take me to the hospital, but then I started repeating one of my healing prayers and it helped me calm down.
Mari gave me Valerian Root [a natural calming herbal remedy] as well as a vitamin B/C supplement which helped enormously. Dr. Morse told me that adrenal fatigue is at the root of anxiety and panic, and suggested that I get an adrenal support supplement. I also took some Rescue Remedy [a Bach flower essence] which a Facebook friend reminded me about.
The next day, still feeling quite anxious, I went to a health food store and bought AOR Ortho Adapt Vegan, an adrenal support. I started to feel better after taking this supplement. Then the next day, I went to another Health Food store and bought Natural Factors Stress Relax Remedy Formula and within 15 minutes of taking it I felt much better. I also bought a Magnesium supplement to help against stress and constipation, and I continue to take it today.
A few days later, I spoke to an acquaintance who had experienced many panic attacks in her life and she explained that anxiety and panic are just fear wanting to leave the body. This was when I realized that fear is at the root of Parkinson’s. I came to this conclusion, because I realized that when you’re in a state of constant fear [a constant state of fight of flight], eventually it messes up your neurochemistry.
The day after speaking with this acquaintance, I went to see my neurologist. I made the appointment because of the panic attacks and because I was extremely concerned about the constriction in my throat. I was afraid that I was eventually going to require feeding tubes in order to eat. This was actually the primary fear that was at the root of the panic attacks I had experienced. The neurologist assured me that I would not have to use feeding tubes, which gave me enormous relief.
A few days after this, I had an insight: fear is not real. Fear is just our thoughts and if we can create fear with our thoughts, then we can uncreate it. Thankfully, I haven’t had a panic attack since, although I have had moments of anxiousness.
People ask me what it’s like to have a panic attack. For me, it felt like I was losing my mind. It is the scariest experience imaginable because when you’re in the middle of it, you feel like there is no way out. You feel helpless! Since gaining a better understanding of the role of fear and addressing my weak adrenal glands I have been feeling much better.
For the past two years I had been focusing on letting go of anger, thinking that once I got to the bottom of it, I would begin to recover. Little did I know, that it was simply meant to get me to what was really at the root of Parkinson’s, and that is fear. So letting go of fear became my new focus.
Through this experience, I also gained a new perspective on what Parkinson’s really is. I don’t think it is so much a disease, but rather a neurological condition [a neurotransmitter imbalance involving far more than just dopamine] caused by the body being in a constant state of fear, a constant state of stress.
The notion that fear is at the root of the condition I’m experiencing makes sense to me because I was raised in a culture of fear, and growing up, I lived in constant fear. I was afraid of getting into trouble. I was afraid of getting spanked. I was afraid of being beaten up. I was afraid of disappointing my father. I was afraid of being yelled at. I was afraid nobody would like me. I was afraid of being embarrassed. I was afraid of being alone. And so on. Mostly, I was afraid that people would find out how scared I was.
I continue to live in a great deal of fear even today as of this writing. I’m afraid of what people think of me. I’m afraid of being without money. I’m afraid of failure. I am afraid of not getting a good night’s sleep. I am afraid of rejection. And so on! And I can see how this puts me in a constant state of stress and how it continues to affect my neurology.
In May and June, three things happened [aside from learning about fear] that changed the way I was feeling and more importantly, my outlook towards my condition. First, I learned about John Coleman, a naturopath from Australia who completely recovered from Parkinson’s doing pretty much the same thing I was doing. Secondly, I learned about muscle memory, and thirdly, I stopped eating fruit and adopted a strict ketogenic diet.
Not only did I learn about John Coleman and his book, Stop Parkin’ and Start Livin’ [which I’ve read], I also learned about Robert Rodgers’ book, Road to Recovery from Parkinson’s Disease. Rodgers profiles a number of people, including John Coleman and Howard Shifke [who I had learned about a few months earlier] who have recovered from Parkinson’s. More importantly, Rodgers book explains the physiology behind how fear affects the body. It does so, by causing the body to be a state of chronic stress [fight or flight], which means that it [especially the adrenal glands] is constantly producing stress hormones and neurotransmitters, such as adrenaline and cortisol, while the part of the brain that produces feel good neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, shuts down. For me, this made perfect sense. [this theory is corroborated by the website pdrecovery.org.]
Up until this point, I believed that I could recover from Parkinson’s, but I had no proof that it was possible. Now I had proof! What is more, Rodger’s and Coleman’s approach to healing was identical to mine. This was a huge boost to my confidence.
Around the same time, I had a chance conversation with an acquaintance who told me about an interview she had seen with Michael J Fox where he spoke about muscle memory. Fox said that when he was playing hockey, he had no Parkinson’s symptoms. The hockey season was over at the time, so I decided to give baseball a try, since I used to play it as well. I grabbed my old baseball glove and a rubber ball and went across the street to a local school where I began bouncing the ball off the wall and catching it like I was shagging grounders. To my amazement, I was able to do it as if I was normal. This boosted my confidence enormously, particularly after I also learned about neural pathways [more on this later].
In May, at Mari’s urging, I stopped eating fruits and adopted a dedicated ketogenic diet [high fat, low carb]. I immediately felt better and after a little bit of experimentation, came to the conclusion that fruit [and its high sugar content] was bad for my neurological condition [although, I must admit that I don’t know why]. When I ate even a small amount of fruit, it really messed me up! Before, as I mentioned earlier, I thought I was feeling poorly because I was detoxing. So much for that theory!
Around this time, I also discovered that if I count while walking and focus my attention on each step, I don’t shuffle walk. I can’t explain how it works, but it does and it makes walking more enjoyable!
Then towards the end of June, while driving home one night after teaching karate, I noticed that I was driving better. At first I was wasn’t sure if I was just imagining it, but over the next few days, I realized that I was in fact driving better and was feeling better overall. There was a general improvement in the symptoms I was experiencing. I was very excited!
Then in July, Mari and I took a trip to Estonia [Mari is a native Estonian]. Prior to the trip, I had been feeling some apprehension about two things: whether I would be able to handle the trip [given my recent experience with panic attacks], and how painful the landings would be for my inner ears. In September of the previous year, I had driven out west with my son, then flew back to Toronto. The landing proved to be very painful on my inner ears. I’ve had bad sinuses for years and it has always affected me during landings, but I learned to overcome it by blowing my nose. Since developing Parkinson’s, I’ve not been able to blow my nose properly, so the landing on my arrival in Toronto was very painful. Hence my apprehension about the trip to Estonia, where I would have to endure four landings.
The trip turned out to be fine. I had no issues with anxiety and only the first landing was painful. The rest were manageable.
However, the day we left Estonia was a difficult one for different reasons. I woke up that morning with the worst case of acid reflux in my life and the worse case of diarrhea I’ve ever experienced. The trip home was very uncomfortable and this gastrointestinal condition lasted four days. Not pleasant! But after it was over, there was a marked improvement in my symptoms to the point where I could type almost normally and I could play the guitar again. I was amazed!
This improved state of health only lasted a few days before my symptoms started worsening again, which I attributed to returning to my regular life of stress [and fear].
I had many amazing moments on my trip to Estonia including a trip to an ashram. At the ashram [a spiritual retreat], I had an insight that I need to let go of victimhood and I need to be more forgiving.
Prior to leaving for Estonia, I had decided to write a series of blogs when I returned home about how to recover from Parkinson’s. Even though I hadn’t fully recovered, I felt it was the right thing to do, because I was certain that I knew what needed to be done and I didn’t want to wait. I figured the sooner I told people the sooner they could begin to recover themselves. The sudden improvement in my symptoms upon returning from our trip and the subsequent reversal, didn’t deter me. I still felt like I was on the right track and wanted people to know. If you would like to check these blogs out, go to the “How to recover from Parkinson’s” menu on this blog.
Between July and December, I continued to focus on the things I believed I needed to do in order to recover. Namely:
- Having a good attitude
- Reducing [and ideally, eliminating] stress
- Letting go of emotional pain [particularly fear and anger]
- Eating healthy foods [sticking to the ketogenic diet]
- Exercising [walking, karate, Qigong and movement exercises]
- Bodywork [body stress relief]
- Strengthening the adrenal glands [with supplements]
- Spiritual practice [living in conscious presence]
During this period, I was reading A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle [the best book ever written in my estimation] and between the book, my visits to a labyrinth and divine epiphanies, I received many insights. The first was that I didn’t need to let go of anger and fear because it is not me holding onto it. Rather, it is ego, or my egoic mind, as Tolle describes it. The second is that I don’t need to dissolve ego in order to let go of fear and anger. I just need to be aware of it and remind myself when I’m in negative thoughts or feeling anger and fear that it is just ego creating it. It’s not real. I also had an insight that anger comes from having a victim mentality, reminding me that I need to let go of victimhood, also through awareness.
In October, I moved to a quiet, lake front boathouse apartment with a labyrinth up the street. My own private ashram! It is very peaceful and I believe, meant to expedite my healing.
Then in December, two more significant things happened. First, I found out about Shawn Achor. He has written four books about happiness and has a very simple five step process to bring more happiness into your life and therefore, less stress. The five steps include, practicing gratitude, journaling positive events, exercise, meditation and committing random acts of kindness. Happiness, according to Achor, is the key to dissolving fear and his five step process is intended to rewire the brain by creating new neural pathways.
The second thing that happened, was a skype conversation with Bianca Molle, the American women who fully recovered from PD through a very intense [3 hours a day] Qigong practice. After speaking with Bianca, I now have a better understanding and fuller appreciation of the benefits of Qigong, and as a result, I have significantly increased the amount of time practicing it each day [as much as I can, basically].
Although I had many amazing insights during this period, I also experienced a continual worsening [albeit slight] of my symptoms. I wasn’t alarmed or discouraged because I’m still doing much better than I was at the time of the panic attacks and I am convinced that I’m doing the right thing and I’m on the right path. As American pastor, Joel Osteen said, God wants me to be healthy in order to fulfill my destiny!
January 2015 was a fascinating month as I experienced a combination of intense, fear-based symptoms and more learning’s and insights. The intense symptoms were connected to working through more fear and unresolved emotional issues. It was rather intense and relentless, and I have to admit it got to me from time to time. On the other hand, it was another amazing learning month, beginning with Joe Dispensa, the American neuroscientist and chiropractor whose TED Talks presentation on the creation of new neural pathways was extremely important in my understanding of how to use positive thought and positive feelings to create positive beliefs and help dissolve faulty beliefs. I was also reacquainted with spiritual catalyst Teal Swan who teaches about rethinking past experiences and looking at them objectively, considering all experiences to be a success, because they are opportunities to learn. She has many very good videos on youtube.
I also had other amazing insights, the most significant of which was that one of my primary fears is the fear of feeling, anything, because of all of the traumatic experiences I’ve had in the past. I guess I found it easier just to simply shut down and not feel anything!
My journey to recover my health hit warp speed in February. It was another remarkable month of intense symptoms and exciting insights, with each round of symptoms and insights bringing me closer to the final breakthrough when recovery begins. It started with my quest to discover the ‘magic bullet’ for dissolving unresolved emotional pain [acceptance of all unpleasant experiences as part of the flow of life and a necessary part of spiritual growth], which then led to discovering the ‘magic bullet’ for dissolving fear [let fear be our guide to love … so there is actually nothing to dissolve], which then led to discovering the final destination and ‘magic bullet’ [enacting self love!].
March was mostly a month of experiencing symptoms related to fear and anger, quite intense at times, triggered by my dad’s health crisis [he had a heart attack followed by the beginnings of sudden onset dementia] that led to some important insights towards the end of the month, namely, that I needed to experience intense fear in my life in order for me to truly understand love, and that my parents made a sacrifice on a soul level of living their lives in fear, again, in order for me to understand love and empowerment. Clearly, it seems my journey with this neurological condition is about understanding love through experiencing fear.
In April and May, I continued to wrestle with fear. experiencing intense fear-triggered symptoms on almost a daily basis, affecting me physically and mentally. The most pronounced symptoms were loss of balance, impaired mobility, shuffle walk and raspy voice. I also continued to experience the bizarre noose-like feeling around my throat [the sign that I am in the throes of fear]. At the same time, I continued to receive important insights, mostly at the labyrinth, reaffirming my conviction that this is as much a spiritual journey for me as it is one of recovering my health. Perhaps the most important insight was that as long as I spend time in thought, I will continue to be sabotaged by ego and I will continue to find myself in negative, fear-creating thought, and the best solution is to meditate and practice living in the present moment. Another important insight had to do with discovering that detrimental beliefs [particularly the belief that I am bad and that I deserve to suffer and be punished] are sabotaging my healing efforts. I have been using my healing prayer* to dissolve this belief. Many times over the past two months I thought I was losing ground, but then I would wake up feeling better and my confidence would be restored.
* Healing prayer: Thank you spirit and higher self for severing and dissolving the synapses and neural pathways, neutralizing the energetic frequency, healing and releasing from my body and my being, all of the detrimental thoughts that need to be healed and released in order for me to overcome belief that I’m bad and that need to be punished and suffer, and I thank you for this healing and I thank you for increasing effectiveness of this healing by 100 times or more.
If you’re not familiar with the practice of living in the present moment, I highly recommend reading Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now and A New Earth. They have been a godsend for me!
June and July could best be described as a period of intense turmoil! Because of a number of things going on in my life, like preparing for and running our year-end karate tournament, I experienced significant stress, powerful fear on a daily basis and more intense symptoms. I also started experiencing significant physical and mental fatigue and more severe symptoms for a day or two after driving trips of an hour or more, I attribute this to the stress of driving while in a state of chronic fear. Walking and practicing Qigong help me feel better. On a positive note, I received great inspiration from three Joel Osteen sermons, all having to do with coming out of protracted hardship through faith and trust in God. I am also grateful for the knowledge that the severe symptoms I’m experiencing are the result of growing fear, and not the progression of “the disease.” It seems that the closer I’m getting to completely dissolving fear, the more intense it gets. It’s like the tension from stretching and stretching a rubber band just before it is released. It is fascinating to go through it! Having said that, at Mari’s urging, I have decided that I’m going to need help in getting to the root of and overcoming the fear I’m experiencing, so I’m going to pursue NLP [neuro linguistic programming] and hypnosis in order to reprogram the detrimental subconscious beliefs that are at the root of the fear. I will let you know how I make out.
August, September and October was a time of transition, where my focus switched from dissolving fear to actualizing my innate spiritual consciousness. I continued to experience intense fear, related to detrimental beliefs pretty much on a daily basis, but I realized that continuing to focus my intention on dissolving fear was akin to a dog chasing its tail…it is a never-ending endeavour. It came to me, that I would be better served and likely more successful in dissolving fear by actually stepping into it, in order to put me in charge and take the fear out of the fear [much like a sailor directing his boat in a raging storm].
I also came to the realization that calming the mind is perhaps the single most important thing that is needed for healing to take place. Also, that I need to retrain my mind because I was raised in an environment where we were taught to see only what was wrong with everything, not what was right. We were taught to be critical, especially of ourselves.
Also during this period, I experienced firsthand, on several occasions, the direct and immediate impact of stress on my symptoms.
All of these experiences served to collectively remind me of the whole purpose of why I am experiencing this neurological condition, which is to let go of fear and actualize spiritual consciousness. So I started doing more meditating [I’m still practicing qigong, but not quite as much]. I also created a list of all the things I wish I had been told as a child relating to spiritual consciousness and I started reciting the list as part of my daily routine. I also made up a list of the things I like about myself and started reciting this list as well. I also started watching a lot more comedy on youtube, especially The Rick Mercer Report and old episodes of Leave It To Beaver and Mary Tyler Moore.
Finally, I came to the conclusion that the ideal way for anyone to recover their health, regardless of the condition, is to get away from the world, go to a sanctuary, a Buddhist temple, whatever. So long as you can find solitude and a peaceful place to calm the mind.
The period from November 2015 to March 2016 was very similar to the prior three months and could best be described as like being in a wrestling match on a roller-coaster. Every day I found myself overcome with fear, characterized by tension in my wrists and hands, a noose like feeling around my throat, a raspy voice and severe loss of balance. The fear was caused by situations and thoughts triggering detrimental unconscious beliefs and they were relentless. But these daily challenges guided me to several spiritual insights, although for each step forward spiritually it seemed like I took a step backwards physically.
Much of what I was experiencing was trepidation and uncertainty due to my decision to sell my karate club, retire from teaching karate and move to Manitoulin Island. I decided to retire and move in order to create a more peaceful existence for myself, one in which I could focus on recovering my health. My biggest concern was how I was going to support myself until age 65 when I planned to begin collecting my pension. I was also dealing with my father’s deteriorating health due to dementia.
The most significant insight I experienced I would describe as realizing that I’m the ‘conscious observer’ [we all are]. By this I mean, that we are not our bodies, nor are we are thoughts, nor are we the emotions that we’re feeling. Rather, we are divine spiritual beings living in oneness with all that is. We are the conscious observers of our experience.
I also gained clarity on the essence of living in the present moment and the need to make each present moment as tranquil and joyful as possible, because the energy of the present moment influences each subsequent present moment, just like a pebble dropped into a pond creates a ripple that flows outward affecting the water as it goes.
During this time, I started reading the book, ‘the brain’s way of healing,’ by Norman Doidge. The book describes various ways in which the brain can be repatterned [healed] using various techniques. Chapter 2 profiles South African, John Pepper who has found a way to neutralize his symptoms from parkinson’s through an exercise program that mainly focuses on conscious walking.
Also during this time, blog reader, David Thompson, from London England, announced that he’d been declared symptom free. You can read about it in a guest blog David wrote.
In November, I tried L – dopa [mucana puriens] without success. In fact, it had an adverse affect on me. What made matters worse, is that I bought the product online from Worldwide Nutrition Supplements and the company triple charged me and refused to reimburse me. I am currently pursuing this matter.
Finally, I posted a blog outlining my ideal daily recovery protocol.
The challenges and insights I experienced during this period of time reaffirmed that this journey I am on is as much, if not more, a spiritual journey as it is an effort to recover my health. What is more, it reaffirmed my belief that it is the purging of fear that is at the root of the intensification of the symptoms I’m experiencing and not the progression of the ‘disease’ per se. Furthermore, the fear is being purged [literally forced out] because I am embracing spiritual consciousness and enacting my innate self love.
April 2016 was the most challenging month yet on this journey with a neurological condition. In addition to dealing with my father’s deteriorating health, I was also preparing to retire, sell my karate club, move to Manitoulin Island and figure out how I was going to support myself until I turn 65 and start collecting my pension. It all came to a head in the last week of the month when my father passed on, I said my goodbyes at the karate club [which included a surprise ceremony attended by over 200 people, which both overwhelmed me and blew me away], inked the deal to sell the karate club, packed up my belongings and headed north to Manitoulin [not before attending a family wake in honor of my father]. By the time we completed the 9 hour trek to my new home, I was exhausted and my symptoms were going through the roof. I started to feel better around the 12th of May and the intensity of my symptoms increased and decreased throughout the month, mostly depending on what I was thinking about [I wasn’t quite in the retirement mode yet].
The spiritual lesson for me throughout this process was about acceptance, trust and faith [acceptance of the uncertainty of the situation, trust that everything was unfolding the way it was meant to and faith that no matter how it turned out I would be okay] and while I knew this, I continually found myself thinking and worrying about everything I had to do and whether I would in fact be okay. In the end, everything did work out and I was able to head north knowing everything was just fine.
By the end of the May, I was settling in comfortably, working on projects around the house, exercising, spending time in quiet solitude, blogging and reviewing The History Teacher 2.0 [my second book which I decided to self-publish for release by the end of the year].
In June, I decided [due to Mari’s insistence] to go back on a strict ketogenic diet for the next three months to see how I feel and to see if it helps improve the symptoms I’m experiencing.
Overall, June and July were very challenging months. I was feeling a lot of fear, and consequently, more intense symptoms. The fear was triggered by two things: first, my decision to publish my second book. It seemed to trigger a lot of unconscious fears around failure, nonacceptance, inadequacy and unworthiness [it seems I believe, unconsciously, that I don’t deserve success]. Second, I was starting to feel a lot of trepidation around being by myself during the winter [dealing with the wood fire, the snow, the waterline and the isolation]. In other words, I was getting way ahead of myself. I wasn’t living in the present moment and I certainly wasn’t being spiritually conscious. This inspired me to write a couple of blogs around fear, which reminded me about the truth of fear [that it’s just a feeling created by a thought triggering an unconscious detrimental belief].
I also started doing inner child healing [because the reality is, it’s not really the conscious adult me who is scared. Rather, it is the little boy inside me … the subconscious me]. I found these inner child healings to be very helpful and by early August, I was starting to feel better [and not so scared of being scared].
To do an inner child healing is quite straightforward. Whenever I find myself in a state of fear, I sit down, close my eyes and call forth the little boy inside of me who is feeling scared. I ask him what he is so scared of. Then I remind him that whatever it is he believes that is causing him to feel so scared, he doesn’t have to believe anymore, because it’s not true. Just like I no longer believe that Santa Claus is real, I can also choose not to believe in whatever is scaring me. I don’t have to be afraid of failure. I don’t have to be afraid of being alone. I remind myself, that I just have to do my best and trust that no matter what happens, I’ll be OK. I also remind myself that whatever challenge I’m facing there’s always, always a solution!
In August, after reading You Are the Placebo, by Joe Dispenza, and The Brain’s Way of Healing, by Norman Doidge [two excellent books for anyone experiencing a neurological condition] my focus shifted to remapping my brain by retraining my body, particularly as it relates to restoring my balance and walking normally. The objective is to restore the body’s ability to function normally. It requires disciplined focus, but I believe it is possible.
I also continued to experience and receive insights relating to fear, particularly the understanding that health challenges and death [which is something I have always been afraid of] are ‘just a part of life.’ They are no different than any other experience!
In September, I started seeing a chiropractor because of my jaw [TMJ] and my back [scoliosis]. The results have been fantastic, validating my belief that bodywork is an essential part of the healing process. My jaw is better and there is less tightness and tension in my neck and throat. I am also gaining flexibility.
I received even more insights about fear leading to a couple of blogs and an amazing insight about self love… that we don’t need to do anything to actualize self love, we just need to acknowledge what is [that we are divine spiritual beings… we are love]. The reason we feel fear and self loathing is because we’re taught it. And this leads to disease.
Self love, like spiritual consciousness and feeling good about myself, is something I have been endeavouring to understand and actualize because this is why I developed a neurological condition [PD]. It is the higher purpose of the experience. So this completes the experiential trinity and what this leads to next is to be discovered… the next part of the adventure.
Throughout Aug/Sept/Oct I continued to experience fluctuating symptoms, leaning more towards the intense side. I am not alarmed though. It’s part of the process and it’s temporary.
In November, the focal point of my symptoms shifted from my throat chakra [the seat of fear] to my heart chakra [the seat of grief]. I don’t know why, but as a result, my voice is much stronger, there is less tightness in my throat and I am no longer feeling the noose-like feeling around my throat. On the other side, I have been feeling a lot of sadness and anger and experiencing intense trembling in my hands. Although I don’t fully understand it, I’m guessing this is part of the healing process. Interestingly enough, I stumbled across a blog I posted a couple of years ago called Sadness in the Heart. I also had an important insight that part of the anger comes from my refusal to accept this journey I’m on, and more importantly, that [on a soul level], I chose this journey.
At the time of this update [December 13, 2016] I’m doing well and feeling very optimistic! I’m focusing intently on continuing to enact the loving, spiritually conscious being that I Am [that we all are]. I am totally focused on feeling true inner love, dissolving ego, living in the present moment, being at peace, experiencing joy and thus raising my vibrational frequency. I’m accomplishing this by continuing to practice Qigong, being happy [I say hallelujah a lot], spending time in silence, being grateful and doing what I love. Soon, I will be free of fear and anger, and on the way to recovery.
I have many of the typical symptoms of PD:
- Trembling … mostly in my left arm & hand and right wrist. Occasional light trembling in the toes of my left foot when I’m driving and sitting at the computer
- Clenching (atrophy)…mostly in my left hand
- Imbalance…standing, sitting and walking. (People must think I’m drunk all the time!)
- Freezing …. started to become an issue in 2015 and has intensified in 2016
- Slowness of movement … generally only an issue when I’m feeling stress/fear
- Loss of strength, mobility, dexterity and coordination in my left arm, hand and fingers (makes guitar playing and typing a challenge.)
- Loss of control in my left leg and foot (Dystonia) … affects me when I run, cycle, roller-blade and walk long distances
- Tightness in my throat … makes swallowing and singing a challenge
- Softening of the voice
- Impaired handwriting
- Shuffle walk
- Low blood pressure
- Slow urination
- Inability to blow my nose normally
- Fatigue … I’m tired all the time
- Sleepiness … I feel sleepy all day
- Weight loss
- Psoriasis on my chest & throat (went away after I went on the fruit diet and didn’t come back after switching to the Keto Diet)
- Pain in my left shoulder
- Tension in my neck & back
- Anxiety … in certain situations
- Brain fog [had it for many years before diagnosis]
It is also worth noting that the trembling I experience is most pronounced when there is pressure on my spine (such as when I’m walking and driving), when my muscles are tense (such as when I’m weight lifting), when I’m nervous or agitated and when I’m cold.
My Healing Philosophy:
I believe that healing conditions of the physical body requires the following approach in order to return the body to homeostasis:
- A positive outlook
- Healing emotional pain … unresolved emotional pain is at the root of all conditions
- Letting go of fear
- Changing our thoughts … they have to be positive
- Releasing physical tension
- Releasing blockages in the energy body … strengthening the ‘chi’
- Strengthen the adrenal glands
- Detoxing the physical body in order to:
- Restore balance in the immune system by healing the gut
- Unclog the lymphatic system
- Eliminate inflammation from the body
- Alkaline the body
My current healing program:
My Recovery Protocol can be read in its entirety in a separate post!
- High fat, low carb diet
- Walk … for one hour, 5 – 6 times per week
- Qigong … 30 minutes to an hour a day
- Laughing, smiling & being happy throughout the day
- Sitting in silence … frequently throughout the day
- Grounding … every day I can for as much time as possible (when it’s warm enough outside)
- Push ups and wall sits … 3 – 5 times a week
- Stretches … 4 – 5 times a week for one half hour
- Emotional healing … daily
- Bodywork … 4 – 6 times a month
- Living in the present moment … I practice this throughout the day (it’s really beneficial)
- Reading spiritual books … daily
Trying to figure the best diet is really difficult because there are so many different ‘expert’ opinions, each supported by lots of convincing facts and studies. I’ve made three major changes to my diet and for now, I’m going with the Ketogenic Diet. Whatever diet you choose, just make sure it’s as natural and organic as possible … low sugar fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, coconut/olive oils, free-run eggs, grass fed beef/pork/chicken and wild caught fish. Also, eliminate dairy, wheat/grains, processed foods, junk food, fast foods, sugar, artificial sweeteners and trans fats like margarine.
My daily menu on the high fat [Ketogenic Diet]:
- Breakfast … fat smoothie (1/2 – 1 avocado, 2 – 4 tbsp coconut oil, brazil nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, shredded coconut, cacao, olive oil, 1-3 raw eggs, 1/2 tspn cinnamon, 1/4 tspn baking soda, water to desired thickness).
- Dinner…sauerkraut, steamed or lightly sauteed veggies, organic avocado, buckwheat/quinoa, small piece of meat/fish and two tbsp of coconut oil.
- After karate meal… half fat smoothie, nuts & seeds, organic olives and or cucumber and humus.
- Snacks…nuts & seeds, organic olives.
- I’m still drinking a lot of spring water
- I also have buckwheat pancakes 3 or 4 times a week
This diet keeps me feeling full and I have put on some weight.
All food is organic where possible.
- Vit D3 … 8,000 IU
- Vit C … 1,000 mg
- Vit B12 … 5,000 mcg
- Adrenal support
- Iodine [for thyroid]
- Royal Jelly … 1,000 mg
My average daily diet from January to September 2013:
- Breakfast…protein drink (3-4 raw eggs, spinach, walnuts,banana, organic avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, cinnamon, hemp or brown rice protein powder & water) as well as 3 cooked eggs with some veggies and fish or brown rice porridge with honey and berries.
- Dinner…organic meat, brown rice or potatoes or sweet potatoes, steamed or lightly cooked veggies and protein drink.
- After karate meal…cucumber with hummus, or stew or soup, protein drink
- Snacks…nuts & seeds, a mixture of sunflower butter, nuts & seeds & raw honey.
I did a lot of stews and I used a lot of basil, cloves and turmeric in them. Both spices have plenty of health benefits. Stews are easy to prepare and I can do 3 or 4 meals in advance. Because I teach in the evenings, I typically have a late breakfast and early dinner, so I eat something light when I get home from karate.
This diet is quite healthy, but I don’t believe it wasn’t doing enough to alkaline my body (due to the amount of protein and starches). If you want to try it, cut back on the eggs, meat, potatoes & rice, and eliminate the protein powder. Replace with more avocado, coconut/olive oil, nuts and seeds, especially brazil nuts and walnuts.
In September 2013, based on some learnings at that time with regards to alkalining the body, declogging the lymph system (the body’s sewer system), detoxifying the kidneys and strengthening the adrenal glands, I made some significant changes to my diet, adding more low-acidifying fruit, as well as quinoa and buckwheat, while reducing or eliminating bananas, honey, brown rice, eggs, meat and protein powder, all of which were acidifying my body more than I realized. I am also no longer cheating with the occasional beer, glass of wine or chunk of cheese. (If you want to know more about why I’m doing this, check out this blog.)
My daily diet looked like this:
- Breakfast … fruit smoothie or fruit salad (Goji berries, 1 – 2 bananas/peach/apple/grapes). or watermelon/honey dew melon (melons are best eaten in isolation).
- Lunch…steamed or lightly sauteed veggies, organic avocado, , two tbsp of coconut oil.
- Dinner…quinoa and or buckwheat with honey, 1 -2 tbsp of coconut oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds
- After karate meal…fruit or veggies or quinoa/buckwheat or cucumber with home made hummus.
- Snacks…nuts & seeds, Gogi berries or veggies.
- I was also drinking a lot of water with fresh squeezed lemon (lemons are great alkaliners)
This might be a good detoxing diet, but I lost a lot of weight (I was already quite thin), I was hungry and cold all the time and I felt terrible, so in May ’14, I switched back to the Ketogenic Diet diet permanently.
I anticipate the healing process to go like this:
- Step 1: detox and alkaline the body (heal the gastrointestinal tract, strengthen the immune system, unclog the lymphatic system and eliminate inflammation
- Step 2: diffuse and release anger and fear
- Step 3: correct the neurotransmitter imbalance
- Step 4: eliminate the symptoms
As I become aware of different healing strategies… whether specific to Parkinson’s or not … and health conditions that are implicated in the development of the disease, I will incorporate them into my program and report on my progress, otherwise, this is my basic program.
I am the proud and jubilant author of three books:
- The History Teacher 2.0
- The History Teacher [temporarily out of distribution]
- The Christmas Choice [soon to be released]