Periodically, veterans of this blog will mention to me that they think it would be useful to re-post a certain post for the newer blog followers. This happened again recently. They suggested that it would be useful to re-post my explanation about how we are chipping away at Parkinson’s day by day. My response to them was “okay,” I will do it. Here it is from Fighting Parkinson’s, and faith, attitude, action, progress:
“I was on a coaching call a couple of days ago and was questioned about how Qigong works, basically, what is it really doing because sometimes it is hard to know if it is doing anything at all. After a deep discussion about Qigong in general, followed by a discussion of Qigong in the Recipe for Recovery, it made sense to the person, and she suggested I write about because she felt it would be meaningful for all of you. Ultimately, it comes down to faith, attitude, and action to make progress…I will begin, as I did with her on Wednesday, and start with action.
Action. In my Recipe for Recovery, there are Qigong exercises that require us to take action to fight our Parkinson’s. These are not general Qigong exercises that one would learn taking an introductory Qigong class. These are medical Qigong exercises designed to heal the liver and kidneys and help them function better. Since I view one of the causes of Parkinson’s as: “Kidney and Liver Wind Deficiency, which is caused by overwork and insufficient rest which unbalances the body’s natural rhythm,” I researched medical Qigong to focus my initial action to rectify these deficiencies.
Qigong in general. Our hearts pump our blood through our bodies. Our lymph system needs our assistance to move it throughout our bodies to build up immunity and cleanse toxins. Enter Qigong. Qigong is known as a soft exercise in that it does not require a whole lot of physical exertion, but it still still builds up internal energy because we are moving our bodies slowly and stimulating our lymph system.
Medical Qigong for Liver and Kidneys in the Recipe for Recovery. The slow Qigong movements are focused on these specific organs. However, there are additional benefits. The liver is paired with the gallbladder as an organ system. The kidneys are paired with the bladder as an organ system. And, the lungs (it is not possible to do these Qigong exercises without breathing in a whole lot more oxygen than just sitting around) are paired with the large intestine as an organ system.
So, by doing these Qigong exercises, we are working on healing our liver, gallbladder, kidneys, bladder, lungs and large intestine. It is why many people have reported back to me that within days of beginning the Recipe for Recovery, they notice an increase in energy, their bowel movements have become regular and easy, their sense of smell has returned, that although they still feel pain their shoulders and knees are looser, they can turn their head and look back when backing up their car…these are small signs of progress, but they are signs of progress nonetheless.
Here is how I envision the Qigong is working: I am going back to my Titanic analogy, but taking it to the next level. Here is what I have said on this point in the past: “You did not get Parkinson’s the day you got diagnosed, and it is not going to go away the day after the diagnosis. The captain of the Titanic only saw the tip of the iceberg, if that, but an ice mountain had been growing for a long time beneath the surface. When Parkinson’s finally breaks to the surface, there are a mountain of layers below that need to be dealt with to beat the disease.”
Now, envision the mountain of ice below the surface that sunk the Titanic. Further, envision that you are placed deep into the center of this mountain of ice and you have a tiny hammer and chisel. Your goal is that each day you will chip away at the ice in a symmetrical manner. To an onlooker at the surface, they cannot even see you are in there chipping away. To an onlooker at the surface, the iceberg looks just as solid as it did the very first time they saw it.
Every day you are chipping away more and more, and every day the onlooker at the surface sees no progress. On one particular day, somebody who knows you are in there tells the onlooker, “Hey, there is a person in the middle of that iceberg with a small hammer and chisel chipping away.” The onlooker shakes their head and tells the person, “If that is so, they are crazy and they are wasting their time. I have been looking at this iceberg every day and I see absolutely no change at all.”
Ask yourself this: “If every day I am inside that iceberg chipping away and watching the hole inside get larger and larger, aren’t I making progress?” And, ask yourself this: “If every day I am inside that iceberg chipping away and watching the hole inside get larger and larger, does it really matter what the iceberg looks like on the surface in determining whether I am making progress?” How about this: “When I chip away at this iceberg in a symmetrical manner and I finally reach the outer edges, won’t the entire iceberg go away and won’t it happen quickly?”
There it is in a nutshell (or iceberg), how the Recipe for Recovery works. After nine months of doing the recipe and seeing very little improvement of my symptoms, I started seeing a lot of improvement and two weeks later I had no symptoms. The causes were removed and the disease went away. This is also known as full recovery.
The Qigong in the Recipe amounts to us taking action. The Qigong in the Recipe amounts to us chipping away at the iceberg from the inside out. To an onlooker, we look like we are accomplishing nothing, that we are crazy and wasting our time. Yes, our symptoms are an annoyance and an inconvenience, but I was not focused on relieving my symptoms. Instead, I was focused on ridding myself of Parkinson’s, and then the symptoms would go away. Actually experiencing the symptoms is what gave me the insight to understand what needed to be accomplished to beat this disease. I saw the enemy, I was able to endure what it had to deliver, I learned what I needed to learn to defeat it, and I took action. Every day we do something to defeat this disease we are making progress.
That is Qigong for the Liver and Kidneys…even though we may not feel our organs healing from deep inside, they are. How do I know this? Faith, and success. I recovered. It is why I named today’s post “Fighting Parkinson’s, and faith, attitude, action, progress.”
Faith. At the beginning, we have to have faith in our own recovery and faith in the process we are using to lead us down the path to recovery.
Attitude. We have to keep a good attitude that no matter how we feel, we are making progress because we have faith that we are on the correct path.
Action. I have said many times that faith without action is meaningless for Parkinson’s recovery. Action proves faith! Action says, “I so firmly believe that I will recover that I am willing to do Qigong exercises every day even if I cannot actually feel them healing me from deep within and even if I do not get immediate relief of my symptoms.” Some people think this kind of faith is crazy. I feel that this kind of faith leads to recovery. Did you ever stop to think that the same people who call this kind of faith crazy actually have no faith at all in recovery — they still feel that one cannot recover from Parkinson’s. We are proving them wrong.
Progress. Every day you wake up in the morning you are making progress in the path of life. Every day you do something in furtherance of fighting your Parkinson’s you are making progress on the path of Parkinson’s recovery. With strong faith, a great attitude, and proper action, you come to the realization that every day you employ this formula, you are making progress.
And, one day you may wake up making progress in the path of life and realize that you have successfully completed the path of Parkinson’s recovery. It will be overwhelming.”
When you heal yourself from the inside, chipping away a little each day, saying “okay” to whatever it is that Parkinson’s is throwing at you, you are making progress each day and you are taking control of your Parkinson’s.
When Parkinson’s says, “How about more tremors or rigidity or pain” and you say “okay,” who is knocked off balance? Your Parkinson’s! It gets confused. It does not know if you are saying, “okay, let me have some” or “okay, that sounds exciting” or, the one that puts the most fear into your Parkinson’s and gives it tremors, “okay, I know I am recovering, so I accept that whatever it is that you do to me, it is nothing more than something I will have to endure on my path to recovery.”
The more fear you give your Parkinson’s, the more it will run away from you. When Parkinson’s tries to give you fear, choose faith. Your faith, in turn, puts fear in Parkinson’s — that is how you control your Parkinson’s instead of it controlling you.
And remember…the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery™ is not forever…it is just until you recover. I stopped doing the Recipe when I fully recovered. So did Marie. So did Pratima.
As I mentioned to the people at my workshop in Victoria, when you do a treatment (Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery™), and the disease goes away, and then you stop doing the treatment and the disease does not come back, isn’t that the definition of being cured?
So, what are you waiting for? Grab onto the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery™, say “okay,” and chip away a little each day, with the full faith in your heart and soul that you are on your path toward recovery.
Faith, Attitude, Action, Progress: RECOVERY!!!
You are worth it!
All my best,
Each time, I read your posts, Howard, they re-enforce my commitment. Whether in a nutshell or an iceberg, I’m in for the journey … however long it takes…. if nothing else, it’s a fascinating trip …..
Thank you Howard for this posting, after 6 months of daily Qigong my tremor seems to be worse shaking my whole trunk and not just my arm. It’s easy to get discouraged and not stay focused (mind chatter) on the big picture which is Recovery.
It’s easy too forget the progress i’ve made spiritually and mentally. And also I am off meds. I have to keep chipping away and keep the faith that some day I will defeat this monster.
The metaphor of chipping away at the iceberg from the inside is so inspired and so appropriate. When I had symptoms I visualized that a lot…my little hammer and my little chisel and me, deep inside the iceberg, chip chip chipping my way out. Of course, it was also helpful to have you outside with the megaphone, Howard, shouting encouragement …”keep chipping! Keep chipping!” It helped me so much knowing you had made it out, using the very tools I had. One of the most beautiful examples of faith I have ever encountered is your chipping, Howard, with no one who had gone before you. Thank you. Love, Marie
That is what keeps me going……..the firm knowledge that you, Marie and Pratima have succeeded the seemingly impossible feat of full recovery. Thank you for continually shouting the encouraging words…..”Keep Chipping”! When I feel like giving up on the daily exercises I am reminded that there is no alternative.
Thanks for always being on the sidelines cheering each one of us on to recovery!