Fighting Parkinson’s, and adrenaline mode

Adrenaline mode…this is one of the things that brings our Parkinson’s to the surface, and it is one of the things we need to correct in our recovery. Adrenaline mode…it is the mind working in constant fear of the future that wears down our organs to where we no longer function like the “normal” human being we once were. Everything changes, we are stiff, we are in pain, our balance is off, our bodies are polluted, we lose our sense of smell, we get constipated, and we cannot stop thinking…we cannot stop thinking…we cannot stop thinking…we have to solve this problem…we are in adrenaline mode. If we want to recover, we have to turn turn it off!

Approximately a year-and-a-half ago I wrote about this, but it is so important, here it is again:

“Adrenaline — you are walking through the jungle and a lion jumps out and starts chasing you. When your survival mode adrenaline kicks in and you start running, other things are required of your body. Your stomach gets the message from the brain that says, ‘eating is of minor importance right now so do not send me hunger pangs.’ The bladder and the large intestine get the message from the brain that says, ‘no time to evacuate, so I need you to shut down temporarily.’ The body gets the message from the brain that says, ‘you are being pushed to your physical limits, but I do not want to hear about your pain — shut it off.’ The heart gets the message from the brain that says, ‘no time for joyful emotions, so do not release dopamine, just store it for later.’

What I have had to come to terms with over these last couple of weeks is that I ran from the lion for ten consecutive years and he only stopped chasing me on a rare occasion or two for very brief moments. Shortly after the lion stopped chasing me, my tremors began and my Parkinson’s symptoms became apparent and debilitating. My home life, Sally and the children, was, and is, loving and supportive. However, external factors resulted in ten years of stress filled with fear, anger, frustration and resentment.

Although the stress and those emotions have been put to the side, my subconscious brain still has me functioning in adrenaline mode. After ten years of functioning in this emotional survival mode, my physical body and organs have forgotten how to be normal. I need to get out of adrenaline mode and re-train my organs and body. I have been hesitant to write about this because, from a conventional mind-set, this theory is ‘out there’ and there may be some who read this blog and feel I have lost my mind. To them, all I can say is what Socrates told a young Dan in Dan Millman’s book Way of the Peaceful Warrior, ‘Sometimes you have to lose your mind before you come to your senses.'”

At the time I wrote this, I had been doing my Recipe for Recovery for about eight months. I developed affirmations, meditations and prayers for myself that assisted me in quieting my adrenaline mode and opening my heart and my body for the flow of dopamine. I have posted in the past my general Adrenaline/Dopamine affirmations, meditations and prayers so you would be able to have a sense of what they were about.

However, there are private affirmations, meditations and prayers that I have not posted because they were personalized to the exact situations that had occurred, and were occurring in my life. One of the things I do for the people I am coaching is to develop affirmations, meditations and prayers specifically for the exact situations that have occurred, and are occurring, in their lives. This takes an open line of regular communication so we can explore and uproot all potential blockages to recovery, and it is working for them like it worked for me.

No matter how you view your Parkinson’s, the mind being in adrenaline mode is interfering with your recovery. If you do not believe this, ask yourself how many hours a week do you spend researching Parkinson’s? How many Google alerts are you signed up for? How many web sites do you go to looking for a better way to fight your Parkinson’s? How much time do you think about how you want to address the disease? How do these hours compare to how much time you are spending actually taking physical action and doing something about your Parkinson’s recovery?

At the risk of making you think just one more time, think about this: While your mind was in adrenaline mode leading to your body getting out of kilter, did you ever quiet your mind long enough to listen to your body? Me neither. Don’t you think it is time to quiet your mind and start listening to your body and healing your body. If you do not know how to do this on your own, I have been helping others and I can help you. Take a look at my Parkinson’s Coaching. Aren’t you worth it?

All my best,



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13 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and adrenaline mode

  1. Barry says:


    This feels like the MOST right thing about PD that you are pointing to, Howard,, among lots of right things. It’s chilling. It gives me goose bumps — I REALLY identify. I’m following substantial parts of the Recipe, plus a few enhancements, but I’m pretty convinced THIS is the bottom line. In a way THIS is the gift of PD — I am taking on this life reorientation, and “I Can See Clearly Now,” as the lyric goes, and it is such a breathtaking opportunity and the BIGGEST challenge of my 67 years. YOU are the best Howard (my two Neurologists are wonderful people), but you are best, by a
    thousand miles. Barry Heermann

    • Howard says:

      Hi Barry,

      Thank you very much! I truly appreciate your kind words. And, thank you for having the courage to write your comment and let others know how powerful this part of the coaching has been in your personal recovery. You inspire me, and I am certain you are inspiring many others.

      With gratitude and blessings,

  2. floramania says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes!
    Yes, Howard and Yes, Barry!
    The concept of the adrenaline ingredient in Parkinson’s Disease and the dopamine ingredient in
    the Recipe for Recovery really hit home for me when I first read your blog, Howard,
    almost a year ago.
    I knew as soon as I read about it: This is true for me.
    I could see myself in overdrive, see how stressed and unhappy I had become in the time leading up to my symptoms developing. I was doing a pretty good job of hiding that from most other people, most of the time, since part of my “image” that I was trying to maintain was that I was a mellow and joyful person. But for myself, I knew the lion was at my heels and all I was doing, no matter how it looked from the outside, was running full out. There wasn’t any joy in it.
    When my hand started shaking…I didn’t know it was possible to run even faster and harder, but I did it, and still tried to keep up the image that nothing was wrong until the day I first encountered “fightingparkinsonsdrugfree”.
    What a revelation.
    “Life reorientation”, as you put it Barry, is exactly right. It is a huge change.
    It works. For me, it works in ways that go so far beyond what ever I imagined “recovery” might be. Lucky me!!
    This is the busiest and most demanding time of my work year. I can remember being absolutely enraged through this period a year ago. But not now. I am enjoying my work enjoying my life. Keeping the dopamine flowing.
    Thanks, Howard. I am so grateful to you for your help, and also grateful to everyone forming this wonderful, supportive community.
    With love, Marie

    • Howard says:

      Wow, Marie.

      How eloquently you have shared a big part of your healing story. And, as you mention Barry’s description, so aptly put as “life reorientation,” you give us all a true sense of how you ran from the lion and then had to make some changes to quiet your mind and start healing…and also, to start living again. And what all three of us have tried to explain here is that not only is this possible, but when we began living again, it was a better life than we ever could have imagined.


  3. Teri Rye says:

    Thank you, Howard, Barry and Marie!
    I feel like I have my PD on the run! Today I was at the dermatologist for my annual appt. I told her that I was no longer taking PD drugs. She said, so you are in remission? I thought for a moment, then said yes. I feel well and I’m not on drugs! So…Parkinsons be scared, be very scared! I’m done with you!
    Blessings to all

    • Howard says:

      Hi Teri,

      You have Parkinson’s on the run! How delightful is that. It is so wonderful to hear you say, “I feel well and I’m not on drugs! So…Parkinsons be scared, be very scared! I’m done with you!” You are winning and you KNOW it! Congratulations.


  4. Leontina says:

    Dragii m-am simtit foarte rau[puseuri de tensiune.vedere dubla,dureri de cap.tremor]azi parca e mai bine,sunt de 5 zile fara pastile.Un lucru bun simt in zona plexulul solar o caldura si o senzatie de bine parca vine energie buna de acolo,,voi ati simtit asa?Ma bucur pentru voi ca sunteti mai bine decat mine.Va inbratiseaza Leo

    • Teri Rye says:

      Wow! 5 days without pills is awesome! You are ridding yourself of toxins. Maybe that’s why you felt so bad. I’m praying for you. I’m glad the sun helps you feel better. It does me too! Keep the faith! We are getting better!
      (I hope my translation is correct! I couldn’t wait for Howard. I wanted to encourage you!)

      • Howard says:

        Teri, Your translation was great. Thanks.

        Here is the whole thing for everybody else:

        My dear. I felt really bad I [voltage flashes, double vision, headaches, tremor] is better today though. I am 5 days without pills. I feel good in the sun and the solar warmth, and a feeling of wellness, like good energy comes from there, you have felt this way? I’m glad for you that you are better than me. It encompasses. Leo

        Hi Leo,

        I join Teri in wishing you congratulations on 5 days without pills. We all know this is not an easy task and your are doing it. As you can see from Teri wanting to translate for herself so she could congratulate you and cheer for you, this is a place of friendship and community and love…and we are so happy you are here with us fighting this disease together.


  5. Leontina says:

    multumesc ca sunteti cu mine. Am vrut sa spun ca din interiorul sternului[plex solar]simt o caldura un fel de energie buna dar numai cand nu iau pastile ,e ceva da la qi gong vine din interior.Soarele nu=mi face bine numai drag Leo

    • Howard says:

      Leo’s translation:

      Thank you for being with me. I wanted to say that within the sternum [solar plexus] I feel a kind of heat energy. It is not good when with the pill, but better with qigong because it comes from within. Sun does well not only in the morning. With love, Leo

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