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,