The Recipe for Recovery is what I did for my soul, mind, and body healing from Parkinson’s Disease. On January 5, 2011, I posted the Recipe in its entirety on my blog, and it can be accessed from any page on this site on the right-hand side under “Links” where it says, “Click Here for Howard’s Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery.” Today, after six months of collecting feedback on one issue, the Recipe gets an adjustment.
On December 6, 2011, I posted, “Fighting Parkinson’s, and how’s the stiffness in your neck?” Here it is again:
“As you know, the electricity in a Parkinson’s body is not flowing well, and we have a host of physical issues that arrive as a result. In a couple of coaching sessions over the last week, it was brought to my attention that stiffness in the neck was something plaguing people. I would imagine that a stiff neck interferes with the smooth flow of electricity (neural impulses) generated in our brains and having to make their way down to our bodies.
For many years (8-10 years), I had been doing neck exercises to stretch and loosen my neck as part of my morning Qigong exercises. So, even though I did the neck exercises every morning while I had Parkinson’s, they are not in my Recipe for Recovery because I never associated them as something I did for recovery from Parkinson’s. The information I learned last week makes me feel that this is important enough to discuss because maybe some of you are facing a neck stiffness problem.
Here are the neck exercises:
Turning head to sides.
1. Sit up straight and slowly turn your head to the right.
2. Slowly turn your head so you are facing forward again.
3. Slowly turn your head to the left.
4. Slowly turn your head so you are facing forward again.
Repeat this 10 times to each side.
Tilting head forward and back.
1. Slowly tilt your head forward with your chin moving down toward your chest.
2. Slowly bring your head up so you are facing forward again.
3. Slowly tilt your head back.
4. Slowly bring your head up so you are facing forward again.
Repeat this 10 times forward and 10 times back.
Tilting head to sides.
1. Slowly tilt your head to the right side as if you were trying to place your right ear on your right shoulder.
2. Slowly bring your head back so you are facing forward again.
3. Slowly tilt your head to the left side as if you were trying to place your left ear on your left shoulder.
4. Slowly bring your head back so you are facing forward again.
Repeat this 10 times to each side.
If your neck is so stiff that you cannot perform any of these movements, use your hands to assist your head and your neck in doing the exercises, but only do the movements slightly so you do not strain your already stiff neck. After you have been doing this with the assistance of your hands for a number of days, the tightness should loosen up a little, and you should try again without using your hands.
I feel that tremors occur from blockages in our electrical system. Our Parkinson’s brain is sending weak impulses and the impulses are trying to get through passages squeezed tight by our rigidity, thus resulting in shaking. I feel that a tight, stiff neck negatively impacts the ability for electricity (our neural impulses) to be delivered correctly to our bodies. Our rigidity is literally squeezing the life out of our neural impulses…and out of us…we are slow, unsteady and fatigued.
And, let’s not forget about pain. But, wait! In order to feel pain, isn’t it our nerve endings themselves that send the “I’m experiencing pain” message to the brain? So, if we are just sitting around watching TV and we feel pain from our rigidity, doesn’t it make sense that our ridiculously tight muscles called rigidity are squeezing down so hard on our nerves that our nerves are sending an “I’m experiencing pain” message to our brains. This squeezing causes blockages in the energy flowing through our bodies and these blockages negatively impact our movement and cause us pain. To make matters worse, our dopamine faucet is nearly turned off, so we are getting very little assistance from our dopamine.
So, here is where I am going with this. Please try doing the neck exercises outlined above and let me know about your ability to do them or not. If you do not wish to comment publicly, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Having a looser and more flexible neck will help with many things in life, including balance and looking backwards when backing up your car.
I feel very strongly it also will help with opening up the first line of electricity blockages in your body and will assist in your Parkinson’s recovery. As I said before, I did not include this in the Recipe because for 8-10 years it is something I did every morning already, so I did not view it as something I did specifically for Parkinson’s recovery. However, if enough of you do this over the next month or so and report along the way that you are seeing measurable improvement, I feel that it should added to the Recipe as an Addendum.
So, please check on the level of your neck stiffness and please do the neck exercises outlined above. Let’s work on this together and monitor the results. Aren’t you worth it?”
Over these last six months, I have received lots of feedback explaining how the neck exercises have helped people very much. I can only presume that they helped me as well, so I feel it necessary to add them to the Recipe.
Also, here is a comparison that you should consider as you do these exercises and the Recipe:
1. The “Turning Head to Sides” neck exercise is the identical movement for the neck that we achieve for our trunk when doing Clearing Liver Wind Qigong.
2. The “Tilting Head Back and Forth” neck exercise is the identical movement for the neck that we achieve for our trunk in the second half of Medical Qigong for Liver.
3. The “Tilting to Sides” neck exercise is the identical movement for the neck that we achieve for our trunk in the first half of Medical Qigong for Liver.
These movements for the neck and trunk loosen the passageways for our bodies’ electricity to flow and for our neural impulses to have the best possibility of getting where they need to go carrying the messages from the brain.
Think about this. If you face forward and your neck and truck are very stiff, can you: take a “normal” step? turn and walk to the side? turn around and head back in the opposite direction? As so many of us know, with a stiff neck and trunk, none of these “normal” movements can be accomplished with fluid movement. Instead, they take a large amount of “baby steps” literally standing in place until we slowly rotate our stiff body to face the direction where we want to go.
And what happens to us when we are taking these “baby steps” to turn our bodies in the direction where we would like to go? We are not balanced…not balanced physically, mentally, or spiritually. Physically, our feet are very close together so these baby steps make us feel wobbly. Mentally, we have fear of freezing and/or falling because our bodies are so wobbly. Spiritually, we start to lose hope that we can turn this disease around.
It does not have to be that way! You have the power to heal yourself and fix this by doing the neck exercises and the Qigong exercises in the Recipe. When you experience the benefits consistent with the feedback I have received over the last six months, you will be able to scream a resounding scream, “I HAVE THE POWER TO HEAL MYSELF!!!” And you will know in your heart and soul it is true.
What are you waiting for? Get moving, get looser…and GET ON TRACK TOWARD YOUR FULL RECOVERY FROM PARKINSON’S!
You are worth it!!!
All my best,
In addition to exercise…
For help to relax neck muscles and restore natural curve: Fill a tube sock with uncooked rice to 4″ length and tie a knot on end to prevent spilled rice.
Heat in microwave for 1-2 minutes and put under neck, parallel to shoulders, while lying down face up.
Thanks Howard! I have been doing the neck exercises for several months now. I believe I saw it on your site posted by Marie. The exercises really help to loosen my neck. I also lie flat on my back with my arms stretched over my head. This stretches my shoulder and helps me to sleep at night.
Thanks for standing with the rest of us as we fight to recover. You could have moved on after your recovery, but you didn’t! We are all so grateful!
Blessings to all!
I have been doing the neck exercises about 4 weeks now as part of my “Recipe Routine” in the mornings. AND, on the first day even! I noticed how much easier it was to back up the car to go to work! Now, if I omit the neck exercises, I miss them and can tell a huge difference in how I can move the rest of the day. Yay! It helps me! I’m a believer! Bev
Thank you all for your comments. I am happy to see that you are deriving benefits from doing these neck exercises. Also, I am grateful that you are willing to write about it so others can be encouraged by you to persevere as they stay on their paths toward full recovery. Thank you!
I, too, have been doing these neck exercises daily…in my case, since December, so about 6 months now. When I began, my neck would protest with a sound I can best describe as grungy …. movement on the right side particularly was limited….almost non-existent from vertical towards shoulder….now both problems are very much improved. I really notice the difference when I’m driving with much more ease doing the shoulder check….thanks once again Howard!
You are welcome. I appreciate you chiming in on how you are doing. It helps others so much to see they are not alone on this journey.
With gratitude and blessings,