On January 5, 2011, I posted the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery™. Many people have been doing the Recipe over these last couple of years, and some of you are just getting started. Since many people have informed me that they would be starting the Recipe at the beginning of 2013, I feel my January 11, 2011 post is just as important today as it was two years ago. Also, there are some good reminders for those of you who have been doing the Recipe for a while.
Here is my January 11, 2011 post entitled, “Fighting Parkinson’s, knowing your enemy.”
“I think we all can agree that Parkinson’s is our enemy…certainly, it is not our friend! It is the type of enemy, though, that is brilliantly crafty. It is the hacker that has downloaded all of our personal information and is trying to steal our identity. We cannot see it, but we know it is there lurking in our bodies, preying on us relentlessly. So, what do we need to do? Fight back.
The way I fought back is described in detail in my previous “recipe” post. I am going to use some of the feedback I have received and my feelings about it as I believe this will be useful for all of us.
Here are the three types of feedback I have received regarding the exercise Medical Qigong for Liver:
1. Did 10 reps first time, felt great, will continue doing every day.
2. Did 10 reps first time, felt nothing, so:
a. Stopped doing it. What’s the point.
b. Will continue for a while to see if something is felt.
3. Felt pain, so stopped doing it.
None of these are right or wrong; just different. No different than the fact Parkinson’s impacts every one of us a little bit differently. Here is what I experienced when I first started Medical Qigong for Liver:
I was unable to do the part where you bend backwards because I would have fallen down as a result of my poor balance issues. When I finished the fourth set, which I only attained with great difficulty, I broke out in such a sweat that I had to lay down on the floor with lightheadedness and shortness of breath.
However, because of my previous years of studying holistic healing, I actually saw this as a good thing. I learned years ago that when the body releases toxins, it is a good thing. I just viewed this as my body releasing an overwhelmingly large amount of toxins all at once. It took me about 6 or 7 days to get up to seven sets of this exercise and another week or so to get up to ten sets.
More times than not, I would do this exercise and feel nothing in particular. For those just getting started, my rule of thumb is that when I start a new Qigong exercise, I do not see anything measurable for a few weeks. That’s where attitude and the mental part come in. It is difficult to stick with an exercise for a few weeks when you see no measurable results. Since I viewed Parkinson’s as more than just trying to work out some kinks in my body, I stuck with the exercises every day even if I did not see any measurable results. I had faith they were healing my organs deep inside and I was okay with that.
This brings me to the issue of pain. Also, what I learned is when toxins leave your body, generally they hurt and you experience pain. This is really a critical issue in recovery. We are taught that pain is not good. When we feel pain, we stop doing whatever it is that we are doing and we do not do it again. Parkinson’s knows this about us — it has hacked into our systems and it knows that if we are trying to get rid of it and it gives us pain, we will stop and it gets to stay.
Think about this: Why would a slow-moving Qigong exercise cause enough pain that it would make you want to stop and never do it again? Qigong exercises often are referred to as “soft exercises.” What I have learned over the years is that this type of pain is “good” pain because it is cleansing your body from toxins. If you are experiencing pain and are concerned, I recommend you discuss it with your doctor.
Remember, pain causes fear…oftentimes, it really is FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real). Since Parkinson’s has hacked into our psyches, whenever we try to fight it, it knows where to go…the pain bucket. Parkinson’s says, “Hey, I’ll bet if I give this person some pain in his leg it will get him thinking about a walker and wheelchair, and he will stop doing these exercises.” Or it says, “Hey, I’ll bet if this person starts to get some pain in her shoulders it will get her thinking about not being able to dress herself, and she will stop doing these exercises.” You get the point. This is Parkinson’s exploiting our FEAR. Be strong. Don’t give in.
If you view Parkinson’s as the enemy, then you have someone to fight.
Thank you for your feedback. We are all in this together, so keep it coming. Wishing you well.”
So, here we are, two years later. And, here you are deciding if you can stick with the Recipe even though it causes some discomfort. Don’t you think fighting Parkinson’s and getting on your path to recovery with the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery™ is worth a little discomfort? If you are used to avoiding conflict, it is time to stand up to your Parkinson’s and change your conflict-avoidance nature. That’s right — change your conflict-avoidance nature and tell your Parkinson’s that it is time to leave!
Think about it: when somebody steals our wallet and goes after our identity, we have two choices. 1. We can do nothing and be the victim. With this choice, the thief (Parkinson’s), has dinner on our credit cards, goes shopping with our bank card, fills the tank with our gas card, and is enjoying our life while we sit at home depressed about the whole thing and afraid…fear owns us. 2. We can be pro-active and change our nature. Instead of being afraid, we can call and cancel all of the cards. Yes, this is a major inconvenience…like doing the Recipe is a major inconvenience…but look at what happens.
Parkinson’s theft of our wallet and attempted theft of our identity is squashed. We have stood up to fear and stood up to Parkinson’s and we have refused to allow our identity to be stolen. We have changed our nature and changed the entire playing field. How much power over us does the thief have when we cancel our bank card? How much power over us does the thief have when we cancel our credit cards? How much power over us does the thief have when we cancel our gas card? None. Who has the power? WE DO!
Okay, it is an inconvenience to have to get a new driver’s license and new cards. Isn’t it worth some inconvenience to get our lives back? Isn’t it worth taking a look at ourselves and announcing, “I am not afraid to make the changes I need to make to recover.” Isn’t it worth looking at our Parkinson’s with no fear in any fiber of our being…the look that makes our Parkinson’s know we are serious and it’s days are numbered?
Of course it is worth it!!! Parkinson’s knows everything there is to know about the old us, the soul, mind, and body it has invaded. It knows nothing of the new us…the confident us who are taking action and not afraid of failure. There, I said it, “NOT AFRAID OF FAILURE!” We are exposed now…our inaction is because we are most afraid of failure.
It is time to change our nature and not be afraid of this question: “What if I try the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery™ and I fail?” My only response to that question is a quote I saw a long time ago that goes something to the effect of this: “The failure is not in the falling down, but in the refusal to get back up.”
As explained above, in September of 2009 when I attempted Medical Qigong for Liver for the first time, my result was this: “When I finished the fourth set, which I only attained with great difficulty, I broke out in such a sweat that I had to lay down on the floor with lightheadedness and shortness of breath.”
What if I had refused to get back up?
Let’s make 2013 a glorious year of recovery!!!
You are worth it!!!
All my best,
Thanks again Howard for your words of recovery and inspiration. I will keep on going. I will be away for a few weeks when I get back would love to Skype again. Helen
Howard: As usual, your words take me to a better place!
Thank you for rallying and focusing my energy on the task at hand, ie my recovery!
With Immense Gratitude
This was difficult for me to do and commit to at first, but then I thought of all the things in my life through which I’d persevered in the past, and for a whole heck of a lot less at stake, and thought oh yeah, I can Do this! And the doing not only got easier, but has become a pleasure
Thank you, Howard
Yup, Howard…. I’m willing to get back up….again and again if need be….thanks for the invitation …. and the ever extended hand.
I look so forward to your weekly blogs….they stabilize me and keep me focused and put me back on track. In between your comments I often go through each day struggling to control the negative mind chatter, discouragement and FEAR that tries to push away my faith as I try not to focus on my worsening symptoms. Thank you so much for caring for each one of us enough to continually support and encourage us to stay strong. You’re truly one of a kind.
You are welcome. Thank you all for your comments, and thank you for how hard I know each of you is working on your recovery. I am familiar with the struggles that each of you have faced throughout this recovery process, and I am inspired by your courage and tenacity. Thank you for sharing your insights with all of us!
Love and blessings,