Right back at the start of the Out-Thinking Parkinson's project we were focused on interventions to control dyskinesia - an unfortunate side effect of the drugs prescribed to alleviate the stiffness and rigidity of Parkinson's. Since then our researches have demonstrated that the best way to prevent dyskinesia is to lower the drug burden, safely accomplished by using diet, music and movement therapy, light therapy and relaxation techniques to significantly reduce the symptoms of the disease itself.
However, for those still stuck with high over-dosages of medication, I thought it was worth looking back at this simple, but remarkable, result we discovered early on. It was a result so instant, so simple and so effortless (for me) that, indeed it is worth sharing again, just because of the potentialities for other People with Parkinson's to perhaps get some small relief. Again, there is no certainty that this exact technique will work for others, but it opens the way for PwP's and their life partners to explore whether they can find their own such relief mechanisms.
Later on I discovered that this is a standard yoga pose or "mudra" - it was at that point when my eyes swung to Eastern philosophies and I began to understand that these approaches are in fact Engineering in the truest sense - practices based on pure empiricism - trial and error over hundreds or thousands of years. I have since came to the realization, as a practicing Scientist and Engineer myself, that the western system is broken. It relies totally on pure Medical Science, but tends to discount Wellness Engineering, which is quite an odd situation from my own perspective. In fact, if Engineering (empiricism) was discounted from any other part of modern society, we would be still living in the stone age! It is simply not always necessary to understand completely why something works to know it works and to therefore implement it. Very many of the real world applications (automotive, mining, for examples) I've worked on have been developed yet without understanding all the details, but which have been perfected over time through experiment and observation.
I hope my video in this post demonstrates this concept and that, while Science does not have all the answers, neither do we need complete answers to relieve suffering. Just because Medical Scientists can't currently explain observable phenomena like this, it does not mean the results are invalid. Quite the contrary, discounting what you can't explain is actually pseudo-science of the worse kind.
So next time a medical professional scoffs at some new, alternative or complimentary technique which works for you and perhaps mutters about lack of clinical trials, just tell them my story about Wellness Engineering!
If you suffer from Dyskinesia, we really do want to hear from you about whether this worked for you or not.
To help in understanding of just how much a blight Dyskinesia can be on the live's of people with Parksinson's, I have a small anecdote for you. Until recently, I used to compare the "Pub Quiz" on a Wednesday night at a local eatery. On a few occasions, a very nice lady joined one of the regular teams. She had Parkinson's too and suffered terribly from Dyskinesia, so badly so that she would just wiggle her way off the chair and end up on the floor. In order to prevent this, she had to be seated in a corner of the room, close up to two walls. The person next to her would then move his chair as close as possible to hers, just in order to hold her tightly in her seat.