Loss 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.
Since January, I have been undertaking my recovery protocol and daily regimen with renewed vigour and enthusiasm. I have also been focusing heavily on meditation and qigong, and I have added breathing and body language exercises.
I learned two breathing exercises that are primarily meant to raise our vibrational frequency and stimulate the production of serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine to help overcome anxiety.
We use a woodstove to heat our home during the winter. It’s the most pleasant form of heat [somebody once described it to me as like, walking into your house and receiving a big, warm hug] and also, the most cost-effective.
Call me crazy, but I quite enjoy shoveling snow! I love the fresh air, the exercise and I even enjoy the snow; white and fluffy as it is! Of course, if I had my choice, I’d be lounging about on a beach somewhere in the South Pacific! Unfortunately, that is not an option at the moment, so best to make the most of our Canadian winters!
A few years ago I discovered that I could overcome shuffle-walking by counting my steps. I had to count continuously, but as long as I did, my walking improved. I also figured out that when I found myself shuffle-walking, if I stopped, reset my stride, relaxed my hands and told myself to take a big step, I could walk normally; even if only for a few strides. I still do this!
I took up martial arts in 1989 after being inspired by a motivational speaker at a company conference. In 1996, after receiving my black belt, I opened my own karate club along with two partners. In 2007, I started teaching on my own. Martial arts has been a big part of my life for the past 28 years. and now that I am retired, I still practice every day.
In the four months leading up to the end of April, with everything going on in my life, I did much less exercising, particularly push-ups, stomach crunches and wall sits. The result has been a significant deterioration in my abdominal muscles, to the point where they are folding up underneath my rib cage. I have also been experiencing lower back pain, particularly when performing tasks.
By now, you’ve probably seen the ABC News piece on how cycling can help people with parkinson’s. It is very encouraging and inspiring! Experts don’t seem to know why people who have such a difficult time walking can easily ride a bike. I think it’s all about muscle memory and doing something that puts you in a state of joy! Think about when we were kids and the exhilaration we felt while riding a bicycle! It can’t help but be a good thing!