When I had Parkinson’s, I was completely out of balance. Physically, my center of balance was non-existent – my balance was somewhere behind my heels, so being hunched over was a way of life, a way of Parkinson’s survival. Mentally, I was angry, frustrated and depressed. Spiritually, I was well-grounded, but my perception was that I should not ask my Higher Power for anything. Instead, I felt that I needed to “keep the faith” that I would get better, and then do something positive each day in furtherance of that future getting better.
In his book Soul Mind Body Medicine, Dr. Sha has two main points that I found to ring true: (1) You have the power to heal yourself; and (2) First, heal the soul, and the mind and body will follow. Further, I learned from Dr. Janice Walton-Hadlock, DAOM (Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine), and teacher at Five Branches University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Santa Cruz, California, http://pdrecovery.org/, that I needed to discover my Inner Divine and surrender my attachment to Parkinson’s to finally be finished with it. So, how did I heal my soul?
Balance and letting go.
Parkinson’s likes to hang around and make us feel like we have to have it forever. It knocks us off balance physically, which leads to knocking us off balance mentally (anger, frustration, depression), which knocks us off balance spiritually (we give up hope). Drs. Sha and Walton-Hadlock are correct – we have to reverse the order to beat Parkinson’s at its own game.
Think about this: Physically, you are off balance. You move slowly and cautiously, often looking down instead of forward. What does that do? It puts your body in a posture that makes it virtually impossible to walk balanced. Your neck is bent, your spine is bent, the fluid in your semicircular canals is moved, and your visual frame of reference (important for balance) is your legs or the floor, and you acquire what is often referred to as a Parkinson’s gait. Mentally, you then become off balance because you are afraid of falling or freezing, and you are afraid of the future with Parkinson’s. This is right where Parkinson’s wants you…not living in the moment, but instead living in the past (getting Parkinson’s) and being fearful of the future (life with long-term Parkinson’s). Spiritually, you give up hope that you ever will get better. At that point Parkinson’s is winning.
Essentially, when you stare at your legs and feel unbalanced, you are looking at the past. When you feel unbalanced, you fear the future (walker, wheelchair, etc.). How can you move forward in life in a balanced manner if you are staring backwards and it makes you fearful of where you are going? Hope. But hope is not enough. You have to KNOW. You have to know in your heart of hearts and your soul of souls that you will get better.
I knew I would get better. I knew it as fact. I did not know when, but I knew I would get better. I got my body ready, I got my mind ready, but spiritually, I was still looking outside myself. I had the order incorrect (first, heal the soul, and the mind and body will follow). Ultimately, to heal my soul, I had to go to the scariest place of all and look inside. It is where fear lurks behind every corner. Dr. Walton-Hadlock’s guidance taught me that it is okay to ask my Higher Power to take on my fears and negative thoughts so I could stay positive on my road to recovery.
I learned to “let go” of my fear of Parkinson’s and negative thoughts about the future. Every time one surfaced, I addressed it something like this: “Dear God, I have this fear and I do not have time for it to bring me down. I need to stay focused on positive thoughts. You are in a much better position than me to deal with negative thoughts and fears, so I am giving you this negative thought and fear and thank you for taking care of it for me.” The first day I did this, it must have been 100 times I repeated this phrase. After four or five days, the negative thoughts and fears diminished, and then they went away.
During this process of healing my soul, I found Divine guidance and love where fear previously lurked. Mentally, I was not angry or frustrated or depressed…I was happy. Physically, with Sally having fixed my Stomach Meridian flow with Yin Tui Na (Forceless Spontaneous Release), I had everything in place to be finished with Parkinson’s. Thank you Dr. Walton-Hadlock for nudging me to surrender my ego to my Higher Power and just be done with it. As usual, you were correct, and I am eternally grateful.
All my best,
Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m addicted…to this blog! I can’t get enough! When I’m struggling or in pain, I click on this site and I’m always encouraged and enlightened! This post helped me with something I’ve been struggling with: “it is okay to ask my Higher Power to take on my fears and negative thoughts so I could stay positive on my road to recovery.” With so many people in this world struggling with things far worse than what I deal with, I have difficulty asking God for help with this “small” problem of my Parkinson’s. But I am learning that through our struggles and recovery from those struggles, we have a unique perspective that will allow us to help others in similar struggles. That makes the request more noble and not so selfish. Thank you, once again, Howard, for giving me the words I needed to hear today!
Blessings to all, as we journey towards recovery!
Teri – Thanks for your insight giving over our fears to a higher power. I am doing that as much as I can now, because physically, mentally, and spiritually, I am about as low as I have ever been. Kicking pharmeceutical drug is not for sissies, and having low dopamine in your brain makes it even harder. This journey is hard, because we are bucking “conventinal medical” thought, and so we feel we are in uncharted territory and all alone. But we know in our hearts that this is the right path. So thank God for Howard, and for the internet, and for all of you out there. I wish I could meet some of you and just give hugs all around, but I will send healing chi your way.
Thanks for being out there.
Hey, Meredith, Sending chi and reiki your way, I know the Rx war is hard, but you will make it, i know it!
just flip that Rx a bird – it’s just trying to make it hard for you because you’ve got it on the run.
I wish we could all meet too. We could have the merriest party ever! We’d make dopamine Floods
I love it – “Dopamine floods”! You gave me the first chuckle of my day – I needed that!
Hi Teri, Meredith and Nancy,
I am grateful to all of you for sharing what is going on with you, post-medication elimination. I am happy that you have found each other here and that the information on the blog, as well as from each other, is helping you get through some tough times. You are not alone. In fact, this is a recurring theme, and I wrote about it in June, https://www.fightingparkinsonsdrugfree.com/2011/06/27/fighting-parkinsons-and-current-issues-in-recovery/. I hope the additional information will assist you and others who are reducing and eliminating the medications.
Hi, I haven’t made a comment before but I, too, have been encouraged by Howard and his miracle. My husband has been diagnosed this year, at age 56, with PD. We have feared it as we watched the tremors (that the Dr. said were nothing to worry about) develop into more PD symptoms over the past year. We are not taking any meds but Alan is working a very stressful full-time job and is struggling to do so. Hard to stay “stress-free” while trying to sell $150,000 Volvo Trucks to a market that you have to go out and create yourself. Do THAT with a PD facial mask, almost no voice, hands that make it so hard to eat with a customer that you just choose not to, hands that freeze up on you….you get the picture. Any of you holding down careers???
I understand what your husband is dealing with because I am working full time in sales and data processing. I use voice recognition software for my computer and use my smart phone to take notes. The “recipe” is helping though. I have more good days than bad. I really encourage your husband to start doing the recipe. It will help! Good luck! Let us hear of his progress!
Nancy, I’m glad you and your husband found Howard’s site and know there is hope. I work full-plus time in insurance and yes, it’s hard keeping stress down while dealing with making the grade. But, I think it can be emotionally destructive to quit work and accept a self image of “disability”. I use an iPod for field notes and a half keyboard in the office. For a year I went on meds to mask the symptoms so I could work. Then spent six months getting off them. I still have some symptoms I don’t care for when I’m in work-public, and i still don’t order soup, but in some ways I think the PD helps me connect to people more compassionately – everyone out there either is or will be dealing with issues also, some with things far worse than this. I also hope your husband will start the recipe. I know he will find relief, and eventual healing. Bless you, Nancy, it’s probably harder to watch someone you love deal with this than to go through it yourself
I am also working full time and trying to cope with PD and getting off the dead-end drugs. It is very difficult – the stress definitely adds to the complexity. Sometimes I feel I am losing the battle. The only thing that always helps is to do some of the recipe – even a little bit at a time – or some chants or mantras of your own. I also try to envision you all out there, struggling beside me, and it helps to hear your voices. We are not alone! (Even though it feels like that sometimes).
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Hang in there!
Thanks for your comments and encouragement ladies. Yes, it DOES help to picture others struggling on the job and yet pressing on! Even tho it is my husband and not me that is dealing directly with the PD…..he hasn’t got time to gather help and encouragement so I do it for him. Then, while we are doing Yoga and the P.M. recipie – I bring him up to date. This site is something we look forward to…..but sometimes just the you-tube videos of our only little grandson and his parents really motivates and encourages. Praying for a miracle and putting muscles to our prayers!!
Bless you for being there for your husband! It’s definitely a team effort, isn’t it? We are fighting PD, not only for ourselves, but also for the ones we love! I agree with you — the grandchildren keep me motivated and encouraged! The support of our families is a very important part of the journey. Keep the faith! We are here for you!