Fighting Parkinson’s, and tremors ten years ago

Ten years ago tomorrow, I got my final wake up call, my body’s final notification to make me sit up and take notice that there was something dreadfully wrong with me…tremors.

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Fighting Parkinson’s, and your dopamine is not depleted

Five years ago, a study came out of Copenhagen Denmark explaining that advanced computer models showed that Parkinson’s patients had their dopamine — the dopamine was not depleted, it was just blocked. The study completely supports our theory of Parkinson’s. To give all of you a boost, here it is again!

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Fighting Parkinson’s, and getting to do everything

In life, we have many things we feel we have to do. This past week, a theme from the past arose a few times, so today we will talk about again: “I know that I have to do the Recipe in order to have my recovery, but I am having trouble finding the time.” I asked each person to shift his or her thinking to “get to” do the Recipe instead of “have to” do the Recipe.

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Fighting Parkinson’s, and fearlessly facing increasing symptoms

Occasionally, I am asked, “On the days when your symptoms were worse and you were scared, how did you overcome the fear?” My response consistently is the same, “On the days when my symptoms were worse, I was not scared.” I then get asked, “How is that possible?” My response is the basis of today’s post.

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Fighting Parkinson’s, and following your heart to your cure, part 2

Last week, I posted Fighting Parkinson’s, and following your heart to your cure. At that time, I was not anticipating a part 2. However, I have been asked a question by quite a few people this last week that has prompted me to write this part 2: “How do I follow my heart when my mind won’t be quiet?”

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Fighting Parkinson’s, and following your heart to your cure

How you proceed forward in your life has a lot to do with how you proceed forward in your recovery. Since this is the case, why not choose a joyful life and follow your heart to your cure!

Suppose every thought you had sent a vibration out to the Universe, like a ripple in the pond when you drop a stone. Then suppose that the Universe did not interpret whether you liked or disliked your thought vibrations, but instead merely viewed them as: “Whatever this person is thinking about the most, he or she must want, so I will give him or her more.” Then, all of the thoughts of symptoms would bring you more symptoms, even if you were thinking how much you did not like your symptoms.

In my recovery, whatever misery I was facing, I looked at it and accepted it as necessary for my recovery. Using the same analogy, the Universe said, “Whatever Howard is thinking about the most, he must want, so I will give him more.” Since the symptoms always were there and always were changing, I constantly was thinking and saying “this is necessary for my recovery,” “this is part of my recovery,” and “this is my recovery happening,” and I knew this to be true. Changes in the symptoms (often in them looking worse) was nothing more than changes in my internal vibrations or internal changes in my electrical flow.

I was on my way to my recovery, so everything that was happening was necessary for my recovery, plain and simple. And, the Universe delivered recovery, recovery, recovery. If you are consumed with your symptoms, then chances are the Universe is delivering to you symptoms, symptoms, symptoms.

When you get angry or frustrated or fearful that your symptoms are getting worse, does it make them get better? NO! They get even worse, which kind of proves the point that focusing on your symptoms with negative emotions and fear does nothing more than bring about even worse symptoms.

It is hard for some people to understand that the more you let go of your attachment to your symptoms, the more you accept what is going on in your recovery, and the more you surrender that anybody owes you an explanation as to why your symptoms seem exacerbated that day, the better you get and the better things go for you in life.

It is the release of the ego, the drama, the lack of trust in yourself, and the self-criticisms that sets you free. It is getting out of your mind and into your heart that calms your symptoms and releases your dopamine.

Choosing to follow your heart to your cure includes choosing a joyful life and not letting your mind talk you out of your recovery. This is quite beautiful, and it works. I know many of you who are doing this already, and I am seeing it work for you, too. When you choose to view your life from a joyful heart, you feel your recovery in your life and you feel your Parkinson’s recovery in everything you say and everything you do.

When you follow your heart in choosing how to view your life, you become consumed with faith, hope, love, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, surrender, happiness, joyfulness, contentment, and gratitude. These positive, heart-felt emotions send a beam of healing light from your heart to your head and open the dopamine faucet so you can, as our cured-from-Parkinson’s friend Marie suggests, “give your brain a lovely dopamine bath!”

Take a moment and sit with that: “give your brain a lovely dopamine bath!” Aaaahhhh….

Follow your heart to your cure…it knows the way!

You are worth it!!!

All my best,

Howard

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Fighting Parkinson’s, and your best is good enough…absolutely!

Every now and again, a recurring theme pops up in coaching calls and in emails. I have found myself sending the link to a particular post many times this week, so I decided to bring it to the forefront and refresh it a bit. It is the reminder that your best is good enough…ABSOLUTELY!

I need to address an issue that has been raised with me by a number of people. They tell me something like this: “I cannot do the Qigong exercises exactly like they are in the Recipe Manual or in the videos online, so I guess I will not be able to recover.” My response is simple: “When I had Parkinson’s, I could not do all of the Qigong exercises exactly like they are in the Recipe Manual or in the videos online, and I fully recovered. The only perfect Qigong is the one your body is allowing you to do when you are doing it. Your best is good enough.” Part of this recovery is learning that your best is good enough, and that you need to be kind to yourself on this issue.

When I had Parkinson’s, my balance was so poor that my center of balance was somewhere behind my heels. I hunched forward to not fall backwards. Mostly, I shuffled when I walked so I could keep my center of balance over my feet. In the second half of Medical Qigong for Liver, where you bend backwards, I could not even stand straight up, so I bent forwards and stood up as far as I could without losing my balance. It was my best, and it was good enough…I fully recovered.

When I had Parkinson’s, the near hand/far hand exercises became unbearably painful after a couple of weeks doing them as they appear in the Recipe Manual or how they are explained in the Recipe online. My fingers curled and my arms twisted, which brought me a large amount of pain. So, I sat in a chair, put my hands on my kidneys (lower back, either side of the spine), and I did the first one that way. I then took one hand out and put it on top of my head and did the second one that way. Why? Because it was the best I could do and my best was good enough…I fully recovered.

Ultimately, in being able to look at yourself and accept, yes, accept, that your best is good enough, you first have to learn to be kind to yourself. Over the last nine years, I have met with, spoken to, Skyped and FaceTimed with, and exchanged emails with, hundreds of people with Parkinson’s. You are some of the kindest and most giving people I have met…kind and giving to others…not yourselves.

You tend to put additional pressure on yourselves to be better at everything than anybody else. It is that drive for the unattainable perfection that helped you bring your Parkinson’s symptoms to the surface in the first place…you are doing your absolute best, but you still feel it is not good enough. On the other hand, you are accepting, and kind, and giving, and compassionate to those around you who are doing their best and not being perfect. Something in your mind says, “It is okay for them to be less than perfect because I am going to be perfect enough for all of us.”

And, as a result of the expectation that you have to be perfect, you never stop thinking and thinking and thinking and thinking and thinking…your Adrenaline-mode mind does not stop. Because, to be perfect, you realize at some level that there are multiple exceptions that go to every rule, and there are multiple corollaries that go to every theorem, and there are multiple options that go with every choice…and you have to run them all down and solve them all, and they keep branching out into more exceptions and more corollaries and more options, and you can see where this cycle goes…it is endless.

For those of you without Parkinson’s, this scenario may seem strange and stressful. For those of you with Parkinson’s, I know many of you are reading this and thinking, “So, what’s your point. This is how things work, no big deal.” Here is my point: Thinking this way is a BIG DEAL! It cuts across all three causes of what brings Parkinson’s to the surface as diagnosable symptoms.

It causes anger and frustration and resentment and stress and anxiety because you simply cannot solve every problem and every scenario. First, you get angry at the situation, and second, you get angry at yourselves for being less than perfect and not “having all the answers.” Click here for more on transforming anger.

The anger and frustration and resentment and stress and anxiety make it difficult to eat properly and you suffer from dietary disaster. Solving all these problems becomes more important than what or when or how you eat. Click here for more on healthy dietary choices.

You burn the candle at both ends and in the middle and your mind never stops thinking, which completely wears it down and upsets your bodies’ natural rhythms. Click here for more on acceptance to calm the mind.

So, how do you reverse this mess? Begin by being kind to yourself and fully accepting that your best is good enough.

How to begin the process of being kind to yourself:

  1. Look in the mirror and say, “I am not perfect. My best is good enough.” For many of you, I know this will take some courage and resolve. The rest of us will patiently wait while you go take care of this. It is that important!
  2. Go back to the mirror and say, “I do not have to be perfect. My best is good enough.”
  3. I know, lots of time in the mirror — Go back to the mirror and say, “When I am doing my best, it IS good enough.” This one seems logical, but it is not. Many of you have told me, “I am doing my best, but I do not think it is good enough.”

Your best is your best; you cannot do any better than that. Be kind to yourself and accept that if you are doing your best, it is the best you can do, and it is good enough!

That is the formula to being kind to yourself. When somebody else falls short of an accomplishment, you offer them compassion and comfort and say, “That’s okay, you did your best, you have nothing to be ashamed of. It just wasn’t meant to happen.” Being kind to yourself means offering yourself the exact same compassion and comfort you offer others in the same circumstances.

These are critical lessons if you want to be successful with the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery® and with your recovery. Here is why:
The Recipe is a soul, mind, and body recovery. If you do the body part (Qigong) and at the end, you say to yourself, “I did not do that Qigong perfectly or even good enough, so I probably will not recover,” you have moved backwards. Whatever benefit you have gained for the body is great, but your mind is in negative (self-beating) mode, and your soul is losing faith in recovery.

Be kind to yourself and turn this around:
At the conclusion of doing the Qigong, say to yourself, “In this moment of doing Qigong, I did the best possible Qigong that my Parkinson’s body would allow and I did great in moving forward with my recovery!” That attitude propels your mind with positive thinking, and it propels your soul with continuing faith and hope in your recovery.

There is nothing wrong with being kind to yourself. In fact, being kind to yourself will liberate you as you move forward on your path toward recovery.

So, while you are continuing to be kind to others, keep the happiness and joy and compassion alive by being kind to yourself.

And do not be afraid of being vulnerable. As Socrates tells Dan in The Peaceful Warrior, “A warrior is not about perfection or victory or invulnerability. He’s about absolute vulnerability.” How about being a warrior in your fight against Parkinson’s by being vulnerable, admitting that you are not perfect, and that your best is good enough. You can do this!

You are worth it!!!

All my best,

Howard

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Fighting Parkinson’s, and life goes on

Recently, a few people have mentioned that they do not know what they will do after they have their full recovery. They seemed anxious about not knowing “what’s next,” and it is creating a blockage in their recovery journey. I have reminded them that life goes on and not to create another worry as an impediment to their full recovery.

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Fighting Parkinson’s, and there is nothing wrong with you, revisited

In the past, I have focused on the issue of nothing being wrong with you from the spiritual perspective. Today, let’s look at this from all three perspectives of recovery for a deeper understanding.

Parkinson’s is a symptom that life has become out of balance. As you know, the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery® is a soul, mind, and body recovery protocol that restores balance to your life.

Physical: If you can walk and you can bring food to your mouth, then there is nothing wrong with you physically. If your arms and legs were broken (something physically wrong with you), you would not be walking or bringing food to your mouth. The issues in Parkinson’s physically are needing to clean toxins from your body, heal your organs and get the correct electricity to your limbs. If the electricity goes out in your home because of a power company outage, there is nothing wrong with your lightbulbs and appliances, they just are not getting the correct electricity. Once the electricity is restored, everything works just as good as before.

Mental: There is nothing wrong with you mentally. You are a brilliant person, you have a sharp mind and you think clearly. Fear, anxiety, anger, frustration…these are emotions you have acquired based upon events in your life. They are taught and learned behaviors; they are not you. They throw off your electrical flow and increase symptoms. Over time, you will rid yourself of responding to these emotional triggers and your electricity will flow smoothly.

Spiritual: There is nothing wrong with you. You are a luminous soul, a spiritual being in a human existence, and Parkinson’s does not touch your soul. You are abundantly healthy in your soul. You are special simply because you exist!

As you can see, short and to the point, there is nothing wrong with you. If you are doing the Recipe, then you are giving your soul, mind, and body the tools and materials to heal you, restore balance to your life, and repair your electrical flow.

Here are affirmations to assist you with knowing that there is nothing wrong with you. Positive affirmations will get rid of years of negative thoughts in a rather short amount of time. You need to be relentless in repeating positive affirmations. So, let’s all get together and stay in the moment, this moment, right here, right now, and do it.

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU!!!

Okay! Everybody together so that we rock the world:

“THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH ME!

I am abundant health. I am allowed to be abundantly healthy.
I am joy. I am allowed to be joyful.
I am gratitude. I am allowed to be grateful.
I am happiness. I am allowed to be happy.
I am love. I am allowed to be loving.
I am forgiveness. I am allowed to be forgiving.
I am compassion. I am allowed to be compassionate.

Parkinson’s is curable.
I am my own Parkinson’s cure.
I am slowing, halting, and reversing the progression of my Parkinson’s.
I am extraordinary.
I am recovery.

AND, I AM WORTH IT!!!”

All my best,

Howard

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Fighting Parkinson’s, and fighting fatigue

Here we are with another very hot summer for many people around the world. The extreme heat not only has caused people’s symptoms to increase, but also, it has increased people’s fatigue. Let’s fight the fatigue and not worry about the increased symptoms.

Two main things you can do for fatigue are deep breathing and healing the spleen energy to raise you metabolism and your energy.

Deep Breathing.

I started with the basics. Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat. Here is a method to assist with bringing in the most amount of oxygen possible. Lay on the floor on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. This should have lowered the small of your back to the floor. Place one hand on your chest and one on your navel. Inhale slowly and see which hand rises. If it is your navel hand, you are breathing into your diaphragm and you are in good shape for deep breathing exercises. If it is your chest hand, you need to practice. When I first learned diaphragm breathing, I would push out my stomach prior to the inhale and try to direct the airflow down to my expanded stomach. With Parkinson’s, rigidity will fight this, so be patient.

Once you have mastered diaphragm breathing, or deep belly breathing as some call it, try this:

  1. Inhale deeply for a count of 4.
  2. Hold your breath for a count of 4.
  3. Exhale for a count of 4.
  4. Hold your breath for a count of 4.
    If you can do this set of breathing four times in a row, it should go a long way to helping with the breathing issues you are facing with Parkinson’s.

If you are having a difficult time inhaling a large breath, in “Not Always So,” Shunryu Suzuki suggests starting with an exhale…he says to exhale like it is your last breath before you die. Keep pushing out air until your body forces an inhale. This method will certainly force your system to comply. Another way he discusses breathing and exhaling first is in how you view the process. He says, first exhale to blow out all of the toxins and impurities, then you are ready to receive a breath of the world’s nourishment. Instead of “taking” a breath of air, you are “receiving” Mother Nature’s nourishment. I like these ideas and practice them, but the key is to breathe deeply and exhale fully.

Increasing Spleen Energy.

Fatigue is often the result of low spleen energy. Here is acupressure and Qigong to raise your spleen energy and fight your fatigue.
Acupressure:
There is a part on the leg where the Liver, Kidney and Spleen meridians all cross each other, and a blockage there could relate to issues of digestion as well as tremors because it has the potential of three meridians being blocked at the same spot…lots of shaking could occur. It is known as Spleen 6. Click here for the Spleen meridian. Do acupressure on Spleen 1-11, starting at the outside of the big toe at the nail edge and finishing at Spleen 11 on the inside of your thigh. You can press a little harder on these points because they are not on the spine, such as with the Governing Vessel Acupressure. The idea is to press on the point with the tip of a finger or 2 and then massage in a circular motion for about 20 seconds per point. Do this once per day.

Qigong:
Stand with knees slightly bent.
Raise your right arm straight up and bend your wrist back so your palm is facing the ceiling.
With your left arm still by your side, bend your left wrist back so your palm is facing the floor.
Inhale.
On the exhale, straighten your knees and stretch your right palm toward the ceiling while stretching your left palm toward the floor.
Do this ten times.
Then switch your arms the other way and do 10 more.
Do this in the morning.
(If you are fatigued in the middle of a meal or shortly thereafter, do this 15 minutes prior to each meal).

Not worrying about increased symptoms in the extremely hot weather.

As discussed above, in the Northern Hemisphere, the record hot weather has caused fatigue. The difficulty with staying hydrated has caused increases in tremors and slowness. Your body is using extra energy to stay mobile. However, your Parkinson’s body was low on energy to begin with, so when your body is needing more energy to stay mobile, you will suffer with increased symptoms.

This does not equate to you getting worse with Parkinson’s. It equates to a shifting in energy for comfort and survival. Your body needs a certain amount of water to stay hydrated and to use perspiration to regulate body temperature, and it is prioritizing its energy. That’s it!

Please know that you are not only impacted by weather, but also that the Parkinson’s body is moving very slowly inside. As a result, recuperating from the effects of extreme weather takes time, so do not be afraid.

When I had Parkinson’s, here is an example of how I realized how slowly my body was moving inside. One evening, Sally and I had roasted beets with our dinner. The next morning, Sally reminded me that beets will bring a reddish color into urine and bowels, so not to be afraid if I saw red in my urine or bowels.

It was three and four days later that there was a reddish color in my urine and bowels. After my full recovery, the reddish color from the beets appeared the next day.

I offer this story so you can understand that heat has built up inside of you and exacerbated your symptoms. By the time your symptoms appeared worse, the heat already had taken hold of you inside, but it took a number of days to appear as worse-looking symptoms. Drinking plenty of water and eating cooling foods (you can go on Google and look up cooling foods) will start the process of cooling you down.

Since you already are behind the heat, and your body is moving slowly inside, it will take some time to catch up to the heat.

As you have been struggling, it is important to know that your best is good enough. Not only do you need to know this, but you need to know that each day “your best” will be different than the day before. Don’t judge or criticize yourself…just do your best. And, let your faith defeat your fear.

Click here for a refresher that your best is good enough.

Click here for a refresher on faith over fear.

Be strong. We will get through these extreme temperatures and the fatigue together! You can do this!!

You are worth it!!!

All my best,

Howard

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