A few weeks ago I noticed that even though I was now taking PD medication, I was experiencing worse trembling. Then I went for a chiropractic treatment … the first one since October … and I noticed an immediate improvement. The next day I went for another treatment and experienced further improvement. It reminded me of the importance of bodywork for minimizing certain symptoms, particularly trembling!
In 1983, I joined a market research company. A few months into the job, I did a presentation to a client accompanied by my account senior and group manager. It wasn’t my first presentation. Every time I looked up during the presentation, my manager was feverishly writing notes, which I took to mean he didn’t like what he was seeing and I started to become unglued. It got so bad that at one point, the Eastern regional sales manager asked me to explain the numbers on a chart, and my response was, “I don’t know, that’s just the way they came out of the computer.” The moment I uttered the words, I knew I had blown it and the presentation went downhill from there. By the end of it, I was a total mess! Afterwards, neither my account senior or manager said anything, but on the way out of the building I declared to myself that I would never let that happen again. And for the next 23 years, I didn’t!
I recently made a similar declaration as it relates to my experience with the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Let me explain.
I’m happy to tell you that I woke up this morning feeling better than I have felt in a long time. Actually, I noticed I was much feeling better after my Bowen appointment yesterday.
Hallelujah, essentially means to rejoice, to joyously celebrate God [the universal-energetic-intelligence]. It means to celebrate life!
For me, hallelujah is a tool I use on a daily basis to manage this neurological condition I’m experiencing. I use it in two ways. First, I yell hallelujah in order to neutralize the fight or flight state that I find myself in each day. Second, I use it to help me accomplish physical tasks I’m struggling with, like getting out of a chair.
What I find interesting is that I can stay in the fight or flight state for hours at a time at varying levels of intensity where as the joyful feeling I get from yelling hallelujah only lasts a few minutes. Neuroscientist and standup comedian, Dean Burnett, provides an explanation for this phenomenon. In his book, The Idiot Brain, he explains that the hormones released by the body during the fight or flight response, such as adrenaline and cortisol, will stay in the body for up to an hour [in my case, more like a day], where as, the neurotransmitters released during a moment of joy, last only a few minutes.
I guess the preservation of life is more important to the body than happiness. Makes sense!
So I find myself yelling, HALLELUJAH, a lot! I also find looking up, raising my eyebrows and smiling, to be effective, as well.
I’m sure the neighbours are questioning my sanity [they’re sure not questioning my insanity] but nonetheless, I am staying the course!
Oh, by the way, I also yell, WOOHOO, a lot. If it works for Homer Simpson, that’s good enough for me!
Trembling isn’t the most troublesome symptom I experience. That distinction goes to loss of balance and freezing, with an honourable mention to constipation. I attribute the minimal trembling I experience to the bodywork I am doing, namely, four chiropractic treatments a month. [A few years ago when I started doing Body Stress Relief therapy, the trembling I was experiencing was reduced by about 75%]
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.
Difficulty swallowing can be one of the most challenging [if not terrifying] aspects of this condition we call Parkinson’s disease. In fact, it was the increasing difficulty I was having swallowing that contributed to the panic attacks I experienced in 2014. I was under the mistaken assumption I would eventually require feeding tubes. The neurologist I was seeing at the time assured me that this was not the case.
This past November, Mari urged me to get more dedicated to my daily recovery protocol. It’s a regimine I created three years ago before I retired from teaching martial arts and moved to Manitoulin Island. At the time, it consisted of 15 physical activities that were intended to support my recovery protocol; activities such as walking, doing push-ups and practising Qigong. I created an Excel spreadsheet to track my progress each day, putting a check mark beside each activity I completed.
If you have been following my blog posts, you may recall that I have written about two techniques I discovered that help me minimize freezing. The first is to stagger my feet. I have found that I am more prone to freezing when my feet are side-by-side. The second technique is to tell myself to take a big step, then bend my knees quickly, and take a big step.
I recently discovered a third helpful technique! It simply involves swinging one or both arms in the direction I wish to step … I initiate the swinging motion just before stepping. I have been doing it now for over a week and it helps enormously. Quite frankly, I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me sooner, given that I used to teach my martial arts students to swing their arms and upper body first in order to throw more effective spinning kicks. Such are the peculiarities of the human mind!
If you haven’t already figured this one out, give it a try and let me know if it helps!
In the meantime, have an awesome day!
As you probably are aware, I believe that bodywork is an important part of the recovery process. On Sunday I got to experience it firsthand! My right hand was trembling, so the chiropractor, using her activator, released tension in a specific spot near my elbow and the trembling stopped immediately! It was the first time I had experienced such a direct response! It was an amazing moment and I felt awesome!