Secrets to Living Well with Parkinson’s Disease, Part 3
This blog article is part three in a four part series on secrets to living well with Parkinson’s disease (PD). In these articles I am sharing key thoughts and techniques that I have used successfully to feel better and enjoy life more now than I did when I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s ten years ago.
As explained in the first article, secret number one to living well with PD is to: Adopt the attitude that you are not a victim. Accept the fact that Parkinson’s is part of your life and commit to the decision that you have options to help you make the most out of your days.
In the second article I explained how exercise and physical activity are more important than medicine in combating the degenerative effects of Parkinson’s disease. (Please do yourself a favor and read the whole article if you haven’t already.)
Secret number three is: Be open minded to complementary therapies in treating PD. To me living well with PD includes finding things that have been demonstrated to provide an actual slowdown in the progression of Parkinson’s disease, and not just masking the symptoms. Some of the even more progressive doctors I’ve heard speak at conferences promote exercise to fight the symptoms of PD, but endorse little else outside of various mainstream medications. (The severity of a person’s Parkinson’s disease that would merit the recommendation of DBS or other surgery is beyond the level of the disease’s progression that is applicable to this article. That said I believe that the quality of life of even DBS patients can be improved through many non-mainstream therapies.)
What prompted me to explore complementary therapies? It started in October of 2011. I had been on Sinemet for six years and was frustrated with the side effects. I had some level of nausea every day. The medication helped my tremors but kept wearing off, and seemingly at the worst times. Every time my neurologist increased my dosage the dyskinesia got worse. It got to the point that I was frustrated and felt that there had to be a better way. I knew that there were other people with Parkinson’s who have had success with complementary therapies such as herbs, different types of energy work, and special diets. I wanted to be careful about listening to wild claims from people who may be whackos, and at the same time not rule out possible therapies that could actually work.
I want to pause here before I get into specifics on what has worked for me and what other people have told me has worked for them. I need to emphasize that you must make your own decisions as to what you are comfortable with as a complementary treatment to address your Parkinson’s symptoms. I also want to say that some people may want to label me as a whacko who is selling Parkinson’s remedies. I am selling nothing. I just want to give others hope by sharing my story. I also want to share some treatments that others have told me have helped them.
My first goal was to stop the cycle of my neurologist’s steadily increasing my Sinemet dosage. In June of 2011 a naturopath that my daughter knew recommended that I investigate Tibetan herbs as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. I listened to the naturopath, but did nothing. Then in August of 2011 my neurologist increased my Sinemet dosage, again. Of course, my dyskinesia got worse. I thought about what the naturopath said. After doing some research on the Internet I started taking a Tibetan herb for my Parkinson’s symptoms. The result was that over the next four months I was able to wean myself off of Sinemet completely. (www.ahandbookforlife.com/tibetan-herbs-success) I have been Sinemet free now for over three and a half years. That’s not to say that my Parkinson’s symptoms disappeared, but they are much less severe. Not only that, my dyskinesia and nausea have vanished.
The Tibetan herbs worked for me, but everyone’s Parkinson’s is different. Fellow author and friend, Karl Robb, has had PD for over 30 years. He credits his quality of life and the longevity of his life itself to Reiki, an energy healing program. Others have found relief in other therapies such as acupuncture, acupressure, and special diets.
A little over a year ago I discovered a magnetic resonance therapy device that was recommended to me by my chiropractor. (http://magnesphere.info) The theory of magnetic resonance therapy is that everything in our bodies resonates at its own frequency. By immersing your body in the correct frequencies you can reduce cellular stress and promote healing. Even with the Tibetan herb I was still having some muscle rigidity and balance issues. My chiropractor had recently acquired a magnetic resonance machine (Magneceutical’s Magnesphere™), and felt that it could help with my Parkinson’s symptoms. After six treatments I felt that my muscle rigidity was reduced and my balance was better. My wife commented that I was standing straighter and my movements were more normal. I was skeptical that the results were possibly just in my head, but after a few more treatments I leased a home machine and have been using it about three times a week for the past year.
I can say without a shred of doubt that my willingness to explore non-traditional therapies for my Parkinson’s disease has made a profound difference in my quality of life. I found what worked for me and encourage you to find what works for you. Speak with other people with Parkinson’s who have had success with various treatments. Be open minded. Have faith in knowing that others have found a way to slow down their PD symptoms and you can too.