What is a symptom? According to Merriam-Webster Online, a symptom is “subjective evidence of disease or physical disturbance; broadly : something that indicates the presence of bodily disorder.” We all should be able to agree that symptoms are evidence of disease, but they are not the disease in and of themselves…they are the “something that indicates the presence of bodily disorder.” So, although the symptoms of Parkinson’s are unpleasant and can prevent you from doing some of the things you would like to be doing, you have nothing to fear from your symptoms.
If you have nothing to fear from your symptoms, then where does all of your fear of your symptoms come from? Lack of understanding what is occurring…”if symptoms appear worse, I must be getting worse.” This is where many people tell me their fear comes from. Here is why this is not the case.
Let’s suppose you have been doing the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery® for a while. Your sense of smell has returned, constipation is under control, and on most days you feel like you have pretty good energy. In fact, you are doing so well that when your kidneys encounter a blockage in the kidney meridian, they contact the brain and this takes place:
Kidneys: Hi brain. We have detected a major blockage in our meridian and we need more energy to break it open.
Brain: How much energy do you need?
Kidneys: 90% of the available energy in this body.
Brain: I cannot give you 90% of the available energy in this body. Symptoms will go haywire if there is only 10% of the available energy to tend to them and keep them in check.
Kidneys: Here is how we see it. If you give us 90% of the available energy in this body to open up this major blockage, the body will be low on energy for a couple of days, but after that, we will be able to provide you 10 times the amount of energy we are borrowing. The body then will be soaring with energy and recovery will go more smoothly.
Brain: Sounds like a plan. Let’s do it.
When the brain gives the kidneys 90% of the available energy in the body to open this major blockage in the kidney meridian, here is what the body feels for a couple of days: tremors out of control, severe rigidity, extreme slowness, major fatigue, and pain in the lower back that feels like somebody has been using the kidneys for a bunching bag.
FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real! What Appears Real when you are facing the result listed above is that something dreadfully wrong is happening with your Parkinson’s. This is where FEAR takes over; some people stop doing what they were doing (the Recipe), and some people run to the doctor to have this terribleness remedied. However, when you look at The Plan listed above, you know it is False Evidence to think that anything bad is happening. In fact, something wonderful is happening. So, the end result for those lacking faith in themselves, their Higher Power and the Recipe is FEAR — False Evidence Appearing Real — and they get off of the recovery path.
The Faith: Faith says, “what is occurring is just my experience in the moment, and it will pass.” And after a couple of days when it passes and the tremors settle down, and the rigidity subsides, and the slowness speeds up, and the fatigue turns into high levels of energy, and the pain in the lower back disappears, you smile to yourself and say, “I am happy I surrendered having to know why things are happening, and I am happy I chose faith. In retrospect, I clearly can see that I had nothing to fear, and to the extent that I had a little fear, it turned out to be False Evidence Appearing Real. I am really happy I did not give in to the fear.”
If you have faith in yourself, faith in your Higher Power, and faith in the Recipe, then you absolutely have nothing to fear. Remember, a symptom is nothing more than something indicating the existence of something else. If you are doing the Recipe, your symptoms are nothing more than an indication that you have more work to do in your recovery. That’s all!
Please know this: recovery is not just a destination…it is a journey. You are recovery in each moment of the journey. Since you have to move through this recovery slowly, why not enjoy the sights, explore the things you used to miss because you were moving too quickly to notice, and accept that Parkinson’s is temporary.
Fear and FEAR are not real. They are in your mind. Faith is real. It is in your heart and it is a part of who you are. Be the best you that you can be by looking inside yourself, grabbing a huge amount of faith, and telling your Parkinson’s that its days are numbered.
A symptom is nothing more than something indicating the existence of something else. The something else is Parkinson’s, and you are doing the Recipe and recovering from Parkinson’s. You have nothing to fear with the symptoms or the Parkinson’s. You are recovery.
You are worth it!!!
All my best,
Thank you, Howard.
It’s so important to remember this when toxins are shifting.
Thank you so much.
Thanks for the reminders!
thank you for this reminder to be patient with symptoms
Howard, I’m cracking up at the creativity of the “Plan” and the kidneys talking to the body ! That is so cool and gets the idea across in an enjoyable way….at least for me it does. But gosh isn’t that the truth about symptoms. Yeah, the part about fear creeping in is getting less and less for me but it still materializes especially when tired. I like the term “bodily disorder” instead of symptoms too.
Thanks for helping once again.
thanx, again, Howard, for being spot on!….
just the encouragement I needed today….
fear is much less, but still likes to rear it’s
ugly head sometimes, especially when i’m tired
or overwhelmed with responsibility or emotional
upheaval in the family….
thanx for being there, Howard, and for being
sensitive and perceptive….judy..
I have been doing the récipe on/off for a few months and daily now for the last few days approx 1 hour and have had a recurrence of a stomach problem quite bad. I’m wondering if this could be connected with what you’re talking about, and if other people with Parkinsons suffer from similar?
One thing I’d like to comment is about when I was diagnosed, on a first visit to a neurologist- after about a 20 min examination, he sent me out the door with a prescription for medication, and Parkinsons diagnosis. I had a baby at home at the time, it felt like being written off like an old used car, with no attention given to what had brought me to this condition. He also sent me off for all the usual checks, but at no point did anybody address the real problem. This is what made me reject the drug route as they seemed to be totally missing the point.
Thank-you to Howard, as a person who has lived in the same skin, for your braveness and clarity in putting voice to what it’s all really about. It is an inspiration.
Love to all
Good job, Howard,
Best description yet of what goes on! Thanks.
Great post, Howard! Just what I needed! After having a great day on Tuesday, I have been very slow and rigid the last two days. This helps me understand what’s going on and not be fearful.
Just re-reading this post. So powerful and encouraging! Again, thanks.
I have been dedicating one hour a day to The Recipe for the last few days, and no doubt about it, it makes me feel better in myself, and is slowly , very slowly helping to calm the mad interior manic-ness that I have. Some of my Parkinson symptoms are as bad as usual, even worse, but when I feel calmer inside, I know this is just the beginning.
So courage to any of you out there that haven’t yet started The Recipe. It is definitely worth finding the time however you do it. I am mother on my own to a small child, and when I am back with her this week, I shall by hook or by crook find the time for this- for myself, and for her.
If I can do it, so can you!
Thank-you Howard for your encouragement.