How much of your life are you “going through the motions” without a present awareness of what you are doing, how you are doing it, or why you are doing it? Doing the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery® can fall into that category. Fear of some unknown future can fall into that category. Emptying a bag of chips while watching TV can fall into that category. To get the most out of your Parkinson’s recovery using the Recipe, pay attention and become aware of what you are doing, how you are doing it, and why you are doing it. Look inside yourself and become aware!
I have received a number of inquiries regarding whether or not I did any “regular” exercises or aerobic exercises along with the Qigong exercises. Here is my response:
No additional physical or aerobic exercises. Two reasons for this: 1. I could not do them even if I wanted to. I could not even take my daily evening walk around the neighborhood with Sally. I was too stiff, too sore, and I lacked energy. 2. As a result of 1., I adopted a less-is-more philosophy.
(Excerpted from a previous post when I had Parkinson’s): “Less is more. When I push myself to the limits of my mobility, I tire easily, freeze more, hunch over, and experience terrible balance issues. I made the decision to move slower than my Parkinson’s permits. The results have been very good. When I walk slower, do not try to forcibly swing my arms, and concentrate on my steps, I can stand straighter and with better balance. When I walk up the stairs, instead of going every other step where I had to use a lot of upper body strength to help pull me up the stairs, I now step up and then bring the other foot to the same step. The energy to do this is minimal compared to the workout I had been going through to get up the stairs, plus, my hand rests on the railing for balance; no upper body assistance is needed to walk up the stairs.”
If you feel like you want or need to do other physical exercise or aerobic exercise, please do what you feel is good for you. Just a note on this: Qigong builds internal energy and stimulates the lymph system to cleanse toxins, and it does not use much external energy; hence, more energy stays inside to strengthen and heal the body. Vigorous physical exercise also builds internal energy and cleanses toxins, but one loses a fair amount of internal energy as a result of performing vigorous physical exercise. It is why the Medical Qigong in the Recipe heals slowly from deep within and why it requires faith that something good is going on inside.
And this faith is the first step in recovery. First heal the soul (faith that you will recover), and the mind (no fear or worries that you will not recover) and the body (physical recovery) will follow.
Which brings me back around to today’s post…being aware of your recovery.
Body. Awareness of what you are doing: Medical Qigong exercises. Awareness of how you are doing it: Slowly moving, bending, stretching, massaging, squeezing, breathing, chanting, sitting, standing, and sometimes “Standing” with no movement at all. Awareness of why you are doing it: Healing your organs, strengthening your organs, allowing your organs to function better to cleanse toxins from your body, improving your breathing, improving your flexibility, improving your balance, preparing your body for full recovery. Look inside yourself and become aware of your physical recovery.
Mind. Awareness of what you are doing: Sitting and counting your breath from 1 to 10 and staring over again at 1. Awareness of how you are doing it: Exhaling first, and then inhaling, 1. Exhaling first, and then inhaling 2. All the way to 10, and then back to 1. Awareness of why you are doing it: Calmness of mind, clearing your thoughts, getting rid of mind chatter, taking the steps to get out of Adrenaline Mode. Normally, you inhale first, and then exhale. Normally, you keep counting to see how many of something you have accomplished. To exhale first, and then inhale requires an awareness of how you are breathing. Stopping at 10 and going back to 1 requires an awareness of how you are counting. When you are concentrating intently on how you are breathing and how you are counting those breaths, everything else goes away. You mind quiets, and you become aware of calmness. Look inside yourself and become aware of how good it feels to have a quiet and calm mind.
Soul. Awareness of what you are doing: Having faith in your recovery. Awareness of how you are doing it: Having faith in yourself in deciding you will recover, having faith in the Recipe and taking action by doing the Recipe, having faith in your Higher Power to assist you by devouring your fears and doubts and to assist you in finding love and peace and joy and happiness and gratitude in your life. Awareness of why you are doing it: To become fully recovered in your life and your Parkinson’s, and to be alive with no fear of life. Look inside yourself and become aware of how strong your faith is and how powerful love and peace and joy and happiness and gratitude are in overcoming fear and worry and anger and frustration and stress.
Be aware of your recovery. Be your recovery in all that you do.
“I have the power to heal myself.” And I did.
“You have the power to heal yourself.” Marie did, Pratima did, Betty did, Helen did, and you are.
“Together we have the power to heal the world.” And we are.
Be aware of your recovery! And smile.
You are worth it!!!
All my best,
Hi Howard, delighted with this post as I was trying to do a bit of walking with my son holding me, as I feel so weak and was hoping to build a bit of strength. My thinking was that my muscle is weakening because it is not being used. So today’s post shows me, I am using energy that would be better served with the Recipe exercises. :-). One of the girls was saying last week how difficult the exercises had become again, and I am the same. Bending to each side just ain’t happening 🙂 but I persevere knowing something good has to be occurring. It’s a great post as at times I am just going through the motions and like you say ” awareness” is important.
Big Love to you Howard and fellow warriors. Anyone near the finish line??? 🙂
hi Howard, Karen, and fellow warriors! I just wanted to say YES, I AM near the finish line – one day closer than I was yesterday …… and so are you. You’re doing the Recipe, so you are one day closer too, no matter how your symptoms are manifesting! Some mornings/ evenings my sidebends are very slight …. but I’m doing them! I AM beating my Parkinson brain – every single day, and so are you, my friend – slowly & surely – persistently, and with intent!
Now I have tell you about the BEAUTIFUL Spring day!! The cherry trees are blooming their splendid pink, it’s 63º F/17ºC,, there’s a slight breeze, it’s sunny …… WOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOO
Life is such a gift!!
Love, Light, and blessings
Love you comment. Thanks for taking the time to share !
Luke your woooooo hoooooo’s always make me smile. Cherry blossom on the tress is one of my favourite. Love your post.xx
Thank you Howard that is very useful.
I think perhaps it is a part of the parkinsons personality that which is my difficulty: judging myself by what I can or cannot do so lack of physical activity causes self criticism and doubt that anything is being achieved. That plus lack of outside stimulation creates for me a problem of feeling enclosed in a small world thus my wish to push myself for psychological reason.
Good on you Karen I stand in awe and admiration of your positive attitude.
Hi Mayarita, nothing to be in awe about. For me, it is a constant, CONSTANT awareness and discipline of thoughts. Teaching my mind to let go of the relentless stream of negative ones. I regularly ask my soul for help in guiding my mind away from all its fear. I just know where there is fear, love can’t exist and love is what is healing us. When the fear leaves for good, love and the new version of us will remain. Hang in there my friend. Each day say to yourself ” I am stepping out of fear and into love” You WILL get there Mayarita, I believe in you. 🙂 xx
Man I have trouble doing the sitting and counting part of the recipe.
If I’m to skip something, this is what it is. My mind will not relax to
do this, I think of what I am going to do later, to a whole lot of stuff
I just can’t change. To keep my mind quiet while counting is next to
impossible. I get the most out of it while trying to go to sleep, 1 as I
inhale and then say exhale. I find it calms me for sleeping.
Hello Howard and fellow warriors, recipe of recovery if done without the feel will merely become an exercise. We literally have to feel each one with our heart and visualise it in such a way as to literally feel the flow of energy. Initially I did not have the feel but now I do it with intense awareness.
With god’s grace I am able to do most of the things which I used to with the exception of few.
Let’s have faith and a strong one. We all will recover its only a matter of time.
Thank you Howard for your relentless effort to make each one of recover from the symptoms.
Karen my friend I admire your positive attitude Keep it up.
With deep gratitude
Every now and then some small change makes me aware of progress. This week I was able to twirl spaghetti with a fork easily, which I could not do three years ago. Another time, I noticed that grating cheese had become an easier task. The Recipe is working, slow but sure.
Dear Howard, once again I just want to say thank you for your total commitment, love and encouragement. Two things happened to me recently, nothing major but they seemed to knock me for six and I literally felt I was hanging on by a thread. I got angry, frustrated and resentful at feeling so vulnerable and the feeling of loss of dignity. Of course that made the symptoms worse which in turn made everything worse and I just felt so fragile. Although I have come through it and am now in a much better place, it showed me the importance and power of acceptance. It also showed me that this has really challenged my faith to the limit. I exhibited everything that led me to parkinsons in the first place and I don’t want to be like that ever again. So a big thank you to you and my fellow warriors also on this journey xx
I think being aware in a positive way is very helpful, but being aware in a negative way is harmful. You really just have to let go of the constant self checking. I’ve learned you have to just live in the moment like a dog i truly feel if you empty your mind of fear and negativity your cure will be right around the corner! Thank you Howard!
Thanks, Howard, for this and “Less is more” practice…am reading Not Always So book, also helpful.
Thank you, Howard. I’ve read this post several times now and I find new treasures every time I read it.
Thank you so much Howard for reminding us again on ‘why’ we are doing the Recipe, that this is not just another exercise. This forum is really my lifeline and inspiration. I know in my heart that we are all on our way to recovery!
I’m not close to the finishing line but I think I’my getting there.
One year ago I was taking 6 to 8 sinemet per day (depending on the need) and now I’m just down to 3 (4 by 0,75). I’m not on all the day for sure and during the off I’m experiencing the same type of limitations of one year ago, but somehow less severe. I know that I’ve to get rid of the Meds to be able to recover and I think that the less Meds I get the faster will become the progress and less severe the off’s.
As another warrior I’m not doing the full Recipe, missing the breathing and counting (mind calming) exercises. Hope this will not compromise the long term result.
For the rest I try to do the Recipe while off, to save the precious on time I have and to increase the feeling and as an exercise of will (they are too easy to do while on and look to have less effect). It is a continuos up and down.
I keep a daily record of what I do and how I feel, the energy I have, what I eat and any other thing I consider important to record. I record my journey.
At present the main question I’ve on myself is how it will be when I will remove the last bit of medication. My neurologist, while supporting and monitoring the reduction process, can’t say because he has no experience of a full recovery. I can’t imagine but I’m courious to discover. Hope the problems I experience now will be less severe.
Buna Carlo,,ai descris situatia mea de lupta cu boala,si eu iau pastilee si-mi agravez simtomele cu influenta deznadejdi.Sunt o persoana cu depresie si cred ca din acest motiv postarile mele sunt cenzurate.Nu foloseste nimanui tristetea mea..eu scriu totusi din inertie multumesc celui care citeste,Cu drag Leo