In this sequel, we examine more closely the issues that an imbalanced brain function causes, in particular when the left brain is overly dominant, and show that there are strong correlations with the major motor and non-motor symptoms and real lives of people with Parkinson’s Disease. We will also explore links to Dorsal Vagus Nerve mediated immobilization.Read More
I have since been considering what Iain McGilchrist’s “Divided Brain” work has to teach us, in the context of trauma and chronic illness, and seeking to employ both hemispheres of my brain in thinking about this. I began to see how Iain’s work provides us with a vital missing part of the puzzle. Indeed, his concept of the "Divided Brain", I now feel, connects so very many of the pieces, and I will endeavour to contexualize and map out my thinking on this here.
Many people with PD (PwP), and caregivers will also be well aware of this, often encounter an almost constant chatter of busy thoughts in their own heads. This inner voice can speak in undertones of self-doubt and guilt, but also can be constantly seeking to blame others, marshalling arguments and self-justifications. These thoughts can go round and round like a tape stuck on a loop, and be very difficult to break out of. Indeed, PwP can become irritable when someone seeks to interrupt these thoughts. These anecdotal experiences have now been backed by science too. A recent article in "Nature",Read More
Movement in humans is a learned behaviour. We learn to move mainly by watching other people go through the motions: we are not born with any innate ability to move around independently. As babies and toddlers, we spend years watching and mimicking our parents, programming our brains with the data they provide. Our brain knows all about walking before we even attempt to walk ourselves, through unconscious observation. Later, we start to get the hang of it through intensive practice, and especially by falling down and making mistakes. Encouragement and supportive instruction from adults help us to keep practising until we have, at last, developed the ability to move independently. But imagine, if as we started to trying to walk, when we fell over on the second attempt, our parents said "oh dear, walking is not for you"! Unfortunately, this is precisely the message people with PD tend to be given.Read More
Now for the very good news. Since we now understand that PD is principally a problem with the Nervous System, it is entirely possible that we can pro-actively prevent further degeneration, and even regain what we've already lost, because Vagal Tone can always be improved, neurons regenerated, neural pathways re-written, and senses retrainedRead More
In this article, we explore, with the assistance of my friend and mentor, Cheryl Townsley, Health & Wisdom Coach, how the concepts of stress interruption and nervous system resetting help us understand why walking, cycling and dancing - exercises that inherently involve mobilization of the ankle joints - are so beneficial for People with Parkinson's Disease (PwPs), and why we need to keep practicing these regularly.Read More
I first discovered the Vagus Nerve (VN) when I was researching how Parkinson's Disease begins in the gut: "Braak's Hypothesis" of the disease states that the problem spreads from its origins in the digestive tract to the brain, using the Vagus Nerve as the conduit. My interest was further piqued when I read that people who had had their VN severed via a vagotomy - a surgical "solution" for stomach ulcers - appeared to have significantly less likelyhood of developing PD.Read More
"Smovey Rings" are a general health and wellness tool that combine exercise and vibration, which have particular beneficial applications for Parkinson's Disease. Indeed, these hand held "rings" were invented by Johann Salzwimmer, an Austrian Tennis player and a person with Parkinson’s, who actually initially designed them specifically to help himself. So it is not hard to understand why these are proving beneficial now with many other people who also have neurological conditions.Read More
Like many, people with Parkinson's, I had completely stopped listening to music some time before diagnosis. This "closing off" or withdrawal from the world of the senses is one of the running themes which I have found in talking to very many people with Parkinson's. But whenever I see people with other neurological conditions like Alzheimer's on the TV, invariably they seem to be existing in silence, and have forgotten the music that one made them come to life. Even quite recently, I could not recall seeing people with such conditions, as shown in the reality of their lives, with music even playing in the background, and certainly never saw them with a personal choice of music, carefully chosen to stir all sorts of memories, being played loud directly in their ears via digital headphones. Thankfully, the profound impact of music on people with neurological illnesses, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's is now coming to the fore.Read More
In taking us along with you on your journey you have realised that we are all different yet also all the same. It matters little what kind of music helps us, the fact is that there is some music for each of us that heals our symptoms. For me it's The Shadows music. I discovered this when I was recovering from a mini stroke and the friend came round to play his guitar for me. I could literally feel my brain responding as though I had guitar strings in my head.Read More
Certainly, whether I am correct or not that the mind dancing has significantly contributed to this change, clearly there are health and wellness benefits to the gentle movement therapies I have been developing and espouse. I believe that this kind of muscle growth is unusual in Parkinson's, which is often associated with muscle atrophy.Read More
I highly recommend anyone with Parkinson's get a basketball or a netball - the weight and feel matters a lot - and just play, feel, stimulate the muscle memories which are still there. Bounce, balance, catch, throw your way back to moving, every single day. Explore, play, be curious. Practice, but make sure you have fun with it. Enjoy whatever movement you can release, no matter how small. Feel good when you manage to extend your range. Feel good factor = dopamine reward = more movement = more feel good - and that is science fact. In the video I am playing by myself, the therapeutic effects are magnified by the social quotient of playing ball with family members and friends by massive amounts.Read More
I recommend anyone interested in Parkinson's Recovery to take a look at Jim Kennedy's research and follow his journey of self-experimentation into NMT. You will find Jim to be very positive and upbeat - no doubt because he has chosen to fill his life with music. You can follow Jim's work via his Facebook Page.Read More
Deb had the unique insight that a kind of stress ball (a squeezy, bouncy ball which fit the human hand well) which comes with an attached elastic string and a velcro finger or wrist strap would be hugely beneficial. She based this on our discoveries of how some hand-eye co-ordination movements are relatively easy for people with Parkinsonsim's. She was right!Read More
This video is raw, real and very honest. You will see me break down and cry and release other emotions. This is, I feel now, my most important and special contribution so far. If just one piece of our Out-Thinking Parkinson's journey does survive into posterity, I hope it is this.
Powerful stuff indeed.Read More
Here at Out-Thinking Parkinson's, it is our mission to help not only People with Parkinson's, but also the people who love and care for them, those who also have, in a very direct way, their own lives touched by the disease.
One of the most valuable contributions we can make, we feel, is simply to express the feelings and thoughts of what it is like to be a person affected by Parkinson's or to care for someone with the disease. We hope this humanization of PD will help others in the same situation come to terms with living with the disease and bring new understandings for the wider community too.Read More