My Journey with Parkinson’s … A Natural Approach: Post 190 … The importance of exercise!

cheetah runningPeople are now beginning to understand the importance of exercise in restoring health, particularly as it relates to neurological conditions, like parkinson’s. Indeed, exercise benefits us in many ways. Not only does it strengthen muscles and vitalize cardiovascular health, it stimulates and strengthens all of the internal body systems, including the immune system.

Continue reading

My Journey with Parkinson’s … A Natural Approach: Post 158 … Book Review: Revolution

revolutionI just finished reading Revolution by Russell Brand. It is loaded with amusing anecdotes and bemusing metaphors, confirming what most of us familiar with the brilliant British comedian suspected. He is on a far different vibrational frequency than the rest of the planet.

Continue reading

My Journey with Parkinson’s … A Natural Approach: Post 9 … Why I Chose to Heal This Naturally

pillsThe moment I found out I had Parkinson’s I made the decision to heal it naturally. Initially, I thought I could heal myself simply by addressing the underlying emotional root cause. Why not, I healed migraine headaches that were afflicting me at a rate of three to four times a week. I have since learned that this is not enough. Fixing the physical body is also an important part of the process with Parkinson’s.

Continue reading

My Journey with Parkinson’s … A Natural Approach: Post 6 … The Higher Purpose of Disease!

james parkinsonParkinson’s Disease was first identified in 1817 by English physician James Parkinson. That was almost 200 years ago!

200 Years!

In 200 years, despite billions of dollars in research, we haven’t figured out what causes Parkinson’s or how to cure it. How can that possibly be? In the last 200 years, we have invented the automobile, the telephone and the airplane. We’ve traveled to the moon and back. We invented radio and television. We created this thing called the Internet that allows us to connect and communicate instantaneously with people all over the world. And we’ve created a mind-boggling assortment of inventive ways to kill people.

Continue reading

My Journey with Parkinson’s … A Natural Approach: Post 4 … Living in the Present Moment

birds in flightIn order for the body to return to homeostasis (in order for it to heal itself of any health condition or imbalance), the body must be in a slightly alkaline state and the immune system must be functioning normally.  In order for these two things to happen, you need to do five things:

Continue reading

Brett Lawrie’s Controversial Strikeout — What’s Really Important

I watched two things on TV a a couple of days ago which tell a striking (no pun intended) story of life here on the planet. The first was an item on CBC News. The second occurred during the Toronto Blue Jays baseball game.

In the ballgame, Toronto was trailing 4-3 to the Tampa Bay Rays in the bottom of the ninth inning. Brett Lawrie was at bat with a 3-1 count (3 balls & 1 strike). There were two out. The next pitch was well outside the strike zone. Lawrie dropped his bat and headed down to first base. Hold on a second. The umpire called ‘strike two.’ Lawrie returned to the batter’s box, clearly upset with the call. The next pitch was even further outside the strike zone. Again, Lawrie dropped his bat and headed to first base.

“Strike three.”

What! Everybody went ballistic. Especially, Lawrie. He slammed his helmet into the artificial turf and it bounced up and struck the ump (again, no pun intended). Game over. The Jays lost!

A travesty of justice! A tragic end to the ballgame! A fan even threw a beer at the ump (who by the way, was surrounded by the police). Nobody ever said Toronto fans were discrete.

Ball fans all over North America have been talking about this and will be for days to come. TV and radio sports shows have been discussing it at length. Clearly the ump blew the first call and clearly he made the second call personal after Lawrie had shown him up with his premature trot to first base. Yes, an injustice well worth our attention!

Now, let’s get back to the first item. As I said, I caught it on CBC News. Something about a report concluding that the human race is gobbling up resources (water, air, fish, forests, minerals, arable land, etc) at a much faster rate than the planet can replace them. This report estimates that by 2030, we will need two planets in order to sustain our present use of resources. I suspect the conclusions of this study are based on best case scenario and likely underestimate the severity of the situation.

I wonder how much of our attention this story will get, particularly in light of the impending initial public offering of facebook shares, which is estimated to be valued in the billions of dollars … and we could all use a little extra personal wealth at this time, especially rich folks!

The fuss over Brett Lawrie’s unjust strikeout is akin to the passengers complaining about the quality of the wine … after the Titanic crashed into the iceberg…and quite frankly we don’t have time for such trivial matters. We are facing a crisis that threatens the survival of life on the planet … and I’m not being melodramatic … particularly in light of another CBC News report from last fall of a study that found that the world’s oceans are in far worse shape than previously thought … and yet the vast majority are doing nothing about it.

I think, perhaps, the cause of our apparent apathy is threefold. First, we genuinely don’t see the urgency of our predicament. It’s too far out and we’ve got too many other more urgent matters to deal with, like mortgage payments, the kid’s schooling, opening up the cottage and the aforementioned Lawrie strikeout. Second, we have no idea what to do. Third, it’s just far too big for us to deal with it. We’re overwhelmed by it!

This is understandable. After all, how do you halt population growth? How do you stop development? How do you stop big business from polluting? How do you convince corporate CEOs to put the welfare of society ahead of their bonus cheques? How do you stop biotech companies from creating gmo’s? How do you stop terrorists from suicide bombing? How do you put an end to factory farming? How do you convince Japan to stop killing dolphins? How do you convince Indonesia to stop tearing down the forests that orangutans need to live? How do you convince China to stop killing sharks? More importantly, how do you convince China and North Korea and Cuba and so on and so on, to allow their people to live in freedom? In fact, how do you convince democratic governments to behave like democratic governments?

The situation is daunting indeed. Our apathy, however, is going to lead to our extinction! Again, I’m not being melodramatic. As Paul Rodgers (former lead singer of Free and Bad Company) recently said, “My greatest fear is that there are too many people on this planet and we’re drowning in our own garbage.”

We have to take action. Now! We have no time to waste and it is essential that we do so on both an individual and collective basis.

Perhaps the single most important thing each of us can do, is develop a healthy self image. I believe that if we all felt good about ourselves, we simply wouldn’t treat each other and the planet the way we do. We would be less concerned with money, fame and power and more intent on living with love, compassion and acceptance. We would want peace of mind and joyful living that is derived from spiritual pursuits. If everybody felt good about themselves, we could eliminate all suffering on the planet…overnight!

The second thing we can do is change the way we live on a day to day basis. We can do a lot less consuming … I’m talking about material goods and resources … and a lot more enjoying what we have, including what nature has to offer. Here’s a list of things we can do to get started:

  • grow our own foods
  • eat organic
  • eat dandelions (they’re incredibly nutritious and don’t cost a cent)
  • learn about the things that grow naturally around us that we can eat
  • take fewer trips (use less gas)
  • don’t idle our engine for more than 10 seconds
  • don’t replace things until we absolutely have to
  • minimize the amount of garbage and waste we create
  • don’t use pesticides or herbicides on our lawns
  • turn off the shower when we’re lathering
  • turn off our air conditioners and spend more time outdoors
  • adopt a minimalist way of living…we really don’t need all the things we think we need

If you want to get more radical as it relates to taking a stand on things that don’t serve mankind, take up boycotting. It’s a very powerful negotiating tool. Here are some of things I avoid:

  • fast food joints…they produce toxic, unhealthy foods and an enormous amount of garbage
  • foods that are genetically modified, like corn…they are highly toxic and are contributing to declining bee populations
  • medications, especially prescription medications..again, they are highly toxic, mostly unnecessary and are produced by companies whose only concern is profits

I would also love to boycott gas companies…they are raking in billions & billions of dollars selling a product that pollutes…however, that’s not exactly practical, so I use as little gasoline as necessary (it helps to have a bicycle).

These are just a few things, but they’re a start. Most importantly, they get us thinking about taking better care of ourselves and the planet.

Have a strikingly awesome day!

My Journey with Parkinson’s … A Natural Approach: Post 2 … Diet Changes and Grounding

If you read my previous blog on this subject, you will know that I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a few years ago and last fall I embarked on a natural treatment program to heal the condition mainly by purifying my diet in order to strengthen my immune system and in turn, restore the dopamine and other neurotransmitter levels in my brain. If you want to read my full story, click here.

I recently made some more changes to my healing program.

First, I altered my diet by reducing the amount of carbs I’m eating and increasing the amount of fat. Of course, the type of fats I’m referring to are the healthy saturated fats and omega-3s, not unsaturated trans fats and omega-6s. This means more eggs, organic meat, wild fish, avocado, coconut & olive oil and nuts & seeds. It also means less rice, which is 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.

Second, I’m going to be doing a lot of grounding… walking in bare feet or sitting with my bare feet on the ground … having recently read about the healing potential of this rather 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 cause beneficial changes in heart rate, decrease inflammation, reduce pain, promotes healthy sleep, and thin your blood.

Parkinson’s, like all diseases has an inflammatory element. 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 the 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 a marvellous discovery for me, because now I can lie around without feeling guilty.

So, now my meditation, exercise & healing program looks like this:

  • Meditation…5 – 20 mins each morning
  • Walk…for one hour, 5 – 6 times per week
  • Grounding…every day for as much time as possible
  • Chin ups, push ups & high intensity exercises…1 – 3 times a aweek
  • Hot yoga…periodically
  • Stretches…4 – 5 times a week
  • Martial arts…various exercises while teaching, 4 nights a week
  • Emotional healing…daily
  • Body Stress Relief…once a month

And my average daily diet looks like this:

  • Breakfast…protein drink (raw eggs, spinach/kale, walnuts, pepitas, brazil nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, cinnamon, hemp or brown rice protein powder, rice milk & water) as well as 3 cooked eggs with some veggies and fish.
  • 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…it’s awesome.

I do a lot of stews and I use a lot of cloves and turmeric in them. Both spices have plenty of health benefits. Stews 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.

The Parkinson’s symptoms I experience are as follows:

  • Trembling…in my left arm & hand and right wrist
  • Imbalance…standing, sitting and walking. People must think I’m drunk all the time!
  • Loss of strength, mobility, dexterity and coordination in my left arm, hand and fingers … makes guitar playing a challenge.
I anticipate the healing process to go like this:
  • Step 1: heal the gastrointestinal tract
  • Step 2: strengthen the immune system
  • 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.

Have an awesomely healthy day!

A Healthy Immune System: It’s Our Choice

Convincing people to eat a more healthy diet is a considerable challenge. Healthy eating takes willpower. It’s not easy to resist the temptation of a piece of chocolate or a burger loaded with bacon, cheese and ketchup. Nor is it always easy to take the time to prepare and cook nutritious foods when you can reach in the cupboard or pick up the phone and have something on the table in short order and with little effort. However, knowing that a healthy diet is key to having a healthy immune system can inspire us to make better choices at meal time.

Our immune system is vital to our health. In fact, the state of our health is pretty much entirely dependent on the state of our immune system (IS). If our IS is in good working order, it’s almost impossible for us to get sick.

According to The Healing Code, written by Alex Lloyd and Ben Johnson, only one thing compromises our IS, and that is stress. Stress comes primarily in four forms: first, an unhealthy diet; second, day to day stress; third, unresolved emotional pain; and, four, physical trauma to the body. If the stress is mild or short-term, generally our IS can handle. The problem is that we’re overloading our immune system with all forms of stress.

Given that 80% of our IS is situated in our gastrointestinal tract, the single most important thing we can do for it is to eat healthy foods. It’s the surest way to keep from getting colds, flus and even cancer. Unfortunately, the lure of tasty, unhealthy stuff is quite often too irresistible and so we opt for foods and snacks that aren’t good for us.

The second important thing we can do for our IS is to feel good about ourselves. When we feel good about ourselves we make better food choices and we are generally much happier…we are not so affected by day to day stress. A happy mind helps keep our body’s pH level in the 7.0 to 7.4 range which promotes a healthy IS.

Changing the way we eat begins with awareness. It is really important to know about the effects of all the food we consume. Yes, everyone knows that eating candies, snack foods and fast foods isn’t exactly going to help you live til 100. But it is also important to be aware of the negative health effects artificial sweeteners (esp. aspartame), sugar, margarine, dairy, pasteurized juices, processed foods and genetically modified foods (esp. corn), because in many cases we’ve been led to believe the exact opposite.

We also need to be aware of the positive effects of fermented foods (like sauerkraut and kefir), which put healthy bacteria into our digestive system, and Vit D (esp. from the sun), which promotes a healthy IS.

Folks, it’s like we’ve been given a choice. We can choose short term ego gratification by stuffing ourselves with tasty, unhealthy foods or we can choose long term health. Because I am in the process of healing Parkinson’s, my choice was made easy for me. I just wish I had this awareness, wisdom and willpower before I got sick, and I wish the same for you.

In recognition of the importance of maintaining a healthy immune system, this month at our karate club–Georgina Family Martial Arts–we’re celebrating Be Kind to Our Immune System and we invite you to celebrate it with us by making healthy food choices.

Honouring your immune system is a wonderful gift you can give yourself! We wish you healthy eating and an awesome day!