One warm, sunny mid-June day Sergio decided to go for a walk in the forest. He had been to this particular forest many times and felt quite comfortable there. He didn’t consider it special, but he very much enjoyed spending time amongst nature. It was a short drive from his house, just outside of town, a forest frequented by hikers and avid outdoors people.
For me, the best approach to anything, is to keep it simple! In this regard, the moment I awake in the morning I place my attention on stimulating dopamine, seratonin, oxytocin and endorphin production … naturally. I don’t need to think about recovering my health or even returning my body to homeostasis, I just need to focus on the thoughts and activities that will initiate the release of the feel-good neurotransmitters and hormones.
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.
As 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!
Yesterday I got my mountain bike out of winter storage, inflated the tires, and went for a ride! It was exhilarating! No doubt, my brain was in dopamine and serotonin producing mode!
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.
I recently weaned off Zoloft [sertraline HCl]. I started taking it in December along with Sinemet due to the severe anxiety and loss of balance and mobility I had been experiencing. Prior to that, I had experienced the symptoms of PD medication-free for 17 years.
I am grateful to say that this combination of medications [Sinemet and Zoloft] restored my balance and mobility to the point where I could function again, and eliminated the anxiety. I am also grateful to tell you that the weaning-off process went really well, with no major complications.
One of the most frequent questions I am asked, is how to get off medication. Be it PD meds, anxiety meds or both, there is a genuine desire to be medication free, and thus, free of side-effects and the inevitable loss of efficacy of the medication … it is well-known that over time PD meds lose their efficacy, eventually becoming completely ineffective, the outcome of which is quite grim. Moreover, for the vast majority of people experiencing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and who believe recovery is possible, recovery will involve coming off medication at some point, and this too quite frankly can be a disconcerting prospect. It is akin to a drug addict going through withdrawal.
I just finished reading The Root of All Healing by Misa Hopkins and it is an excellent read for anyone experiencing a chronic health condition. The book could be particularly helpful for those who have no experience with natural health practices.
Ms. Hopkins, an American, overcame MS using the strategies she discusses in the book, so she has credibility. Her attitude and approach is very much in alignment with mine, so I found it very reassuring.
Her recovery protocol includes meditation, spending time in nature, creative expression, laughter, singing, acceptance, asking questions, belief in our inner power and self-compassion. In fact, she says true healing begins with self-compassion.
Her number one recommendation for people experiencing Parkinson’s is spending time in nature. She says the natural energies in nature balance our circadian rhythms which in turn, balances neurotransmitter and hormone production in our bodies.
Like me, Hopkins believes our health conditions have purpose. They are our life work, she says.
You won’t go wrong reading this book! It is available on Amazon.
A few years ago [I don’t recall exactly when], I noticed that driving intensified my symptoms. Not long after that, I noticed that my symptoms got worse even when I was a passenger in the car.
Last week, I took a rather long driving trip to visit family and friends, including my mentally handicapped brother who is in declining health. Every day involved a significant amount of time in the car, including nine hours on day one and six hours on the last day.