Fighting Parkinson’s, and being in control

I have read that a stereotypical behavior of Parkinson’s sufferers is that we are wanting to be in control of everything, and it is this type of self-driven, adrenaline-driven, perfectionism that leads us to Parkinson’s door. I cannot disagree that these behaviors help lead us to Parkinson’s. What is confusing to me is why so many of us self-driven, adrenaline-driven, perfectionists hear the words “You have Parkinson’s” and our immediate reaction is to feel defeated, to give up hope, and to give up control of our lives. It doesn’t have to be that way!

Western Medicine says we do not know what causes Parkinson’s Disease. I am going to ask that you humor me here for a moment or two, and I promise to get around to my point. Let’s just say for the sake of argument that I am correct in my interpretation of Traditional Chinese Medicine’s view of Parkinson’s, and that these are the main causes of Parkinson’s:

1. Qi and Blood Deficiency, which is caused by emotional stress, anger, frustration, and resentment.
2. Phlegm-Fire Agitating Wind, which is caused by dietary considerations such as consumption of too much greasy, fried or sweet foods.
3. Kidney and Liver Wind Deficiency, which is caused by overwork and insufficient rest which unbalances the body’s natural rhythm.

My point is that the reason I refer to these as the main causes of Parkinson’s is because these are the causes over which we have control. Growing up on top of a buried waste dump, eating too many tuna fish sandwiches as a child, having lived in areas polluted with environmental toxins, etc…yes, they may also be involved in causing Parkinson’s, but they are old and gone and out of our control.

“We can control efforts, not outcomes.” Dan Millman from Peaceful Warrior.

Now, let’s look at each of the three causes of Parkinson’s listed above.

1. Qi and Blood Deficiency, which is caused by emotional stress, anger, frustration, and resentment. Take a moment and ask yourself if these emotions existed in your life prior to getting Parkinson’s. I know they did for me. Now, ask yourself this: “When I received my diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease and was told it was incurable, did I experience any or all of these emotions: anger, frustration, resentment, despondency?” Also, “How am I feeling now…am I still harboring those emotions?”

2. Phlegm-Fire Agitating Wind, which is caused by dietary considerations such as consumption of too much greasy, fried or sweet foods. For me, guilty as charged. This was an easy one to admit, and a hard one to change. Now, ask yourself this: “When I received my diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, did my diet include, among other things, a large amount of greasy, fried, or sweet foods?” Also, “What does my diet look like now…does it contain a large amount of greasy, fried, or sweet foods?”

3. Kidney and Liver Wind Deficiency, which is caused by overwork and insufficient rest which unbalances the body’s natural rhythm. For me, guilty again. I had to be honest with myself and acknowledge that I had been functioning in high-intensity adrenaline mode for at least a decade before the major symptoms of Parkinson’s appeared. Now, ask yourself this: “When I received my diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, had I been engaged in a type of ‘burn-the-candle-at-both-ends’ behavioral pattern driven by adrenaline, and had I been lacking in enough sleep?” Also, “What does my behavior look like now?”

“We can control efforts, not outcomes.” I believe this quote also means to take responsibility for our efforts because our efforts are the only things in life over which we have complete control, and our efforts begin with looking inside and deciding we need to make a change. If we are such self-driven, adrenaline-driven, perfectionists, why not use these traits to seize control of our lives back from Parkinson’s.

The Recipe for Recovery helped me seize control of my life back from Parkinson’s. Why? The Qigong healed my organs and helped put my mind at ease so anger and frustration and resentment of cause number 1 melted away. Changing my diet not only removed cause number 2, but it made me healthier and stronger.

Cause number 3 is a tricky one…accepting things as they are, accepting that I had Parkinson’s, accepting that all I could do against Parkinson’s was to give it my best shot, accepting that I really had little or no control over the outcome of Parkinson’s or the outcome of anything…this kind of complete acceptance and surrender…gave me complete control…complete peace of mind in knowing that the only things I could control were my efforts, so why not make them my best efforts and enjoy the journey of life in the moment…each moment…moment by moment. And that is what I did.

And you can, too. The Recipe for Recovery contains the ingredients that resulted in my recovery. Why not take control of your Parkinson’s by taking control of the one thing in life over which you have absolute control: YOUR EFFORTS! Okay, here’s the catch: Why not give up trying to control all of the things over which you have little or no control: EVERYTHING ELSE!

Why not take control of your Parkinson’s and use your best efforts to give the Recipe for Recovery a try. What is the worst thing that can happen? You will rid yourself of negative emotions, you will have a healthier diet leading to a healthier and stronger body, and you will get the control of your life back that you had turned over to Parkinson’s. Is that so bad? And those are the worst things that could happen.

Finally, yes, I will answer your question:

How do I know the Recipe for Recovery will work for you?

My feelings are pretty much straightforward on this: Although I cannot guarantee your outcome, I have found in life that the more I put forth my best efforts, the more I have achieved the outcomes I desired.

In the words of Dr. Sha, “If you want to know if a pear is sweet, taste it.”

All my best,

Howard

NOTE: Don’t forget, I am providing a special offer on Parkinson’s Coaching through the end of June. Click here to learn more about Parkinson’s Coaching, including how to sign up for the One-Month Parkinson’s Coaching Package with the special offer.

 

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2 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and being in control

  1. Teri Rye says:

    Howard,
    This is good advice! “We can control efforts, not outcomes.” This encourages me to give it my BEST shot. This weekend, I had much “false evidence appearing real” . I’m struggling to learn all the Qigong exercises and change my diet. There doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to do it all and still work (which I’m thankful I can still do). But I’m determined to give it my all! I will recover! Blessings to all on this journey to RECOVERY!
    Teri

  2. Howard says:

    Hi Teri,
    That quote sits to the left of my computer screen, a place where it has sat for years. On the toughest of days, it is a friendly reminder that we have to be willing to accept and “let go” of the fact that the only things we can control are our efforts (and that includes our efforts to keep our emotions under control during the tough times of Parkinson’s recovery). On the days where there doesn’t seem to be enough time to “do it all,” make sure you do something — something that will remind Parkinson’s that you are fighting it, however, based upon being really busy or really tired, you are not fighting it as hard that day. It needs to know you didn’t quit the fight. And, as you so aptly put at the end of our comment, it is a “journey to RECOVERY!”
    Blessings,
    Howard

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