By Gary Sharpe, Co-Founder of Out-Thinking Parkinson's.
Dedicated to my Co-Founder Deb Helfrich, who gave me back the Music and the Joy of Movement.
When Deb first suggested that music should be a priority part of my recovery plan, I resisted. I had not listened to music in a long time. But she was, of course, right about the importance of this stimulus.
A stimulus which urges us to move and find joy in that movement. A movement called dancing. And in all my pushing back of the boundaries of controlling dyskinesia, or at least getting relief from it, here is my Truth.
If you suffer from regularly from this blight of Parkinson's treatment and you want to follow just one of my tips, let it be this one. Make this your new positive mental attitude about it:
Dyskinesia is just an excuse to Dance Again.
Get the music on and get dancing to its beat, not your bodies faulty, random rhythm. Start slowly, start supervised, because you will be unsteady on your feet at first. No self-consciousness now, let yourself go more as you build your confidence and find ways to keep from becoming unbalanced.
Here's why I suggest this new philosophy of Dyskinesia. This is channeling the energy of the bad uncontrolled thing into something controlled by music = beauty. Into the most positive energy anyone with Parkinson's can ever channel - the joy of the Dance. Secondly, there is enormous relief from the twitches and the spasms when channeled this way. Thirdly, it is that all important exercise most of us need. Fourthly, it allows you to let go not only of your body, but your emotions. The years of pent up mixed emotions which come out of me when I Dance is so cathartic. I let them come, freely. Fifthly, the Dance alleviates the Dyskinesia, at least for me. If I start to a fast beat, just enough to get out of breath and then dance to slower and slower songs as I wind down, I find the Dyskinesia is largely ameloriated.
And now I dance to my own beat.
And now I dance whenever I can, Bradykinesia, Free or Dyskinesia.
And my headphones are always on.
I have just danced while 'free' for Deb as she waits for me 4500 miles away at the end of a video call. And the Dance does so much more for us People with Parkinson's than any of the above. It gives us the Remembrance of the times Before - or the Forgetting For a While. And here, this article is your proof of the Power of your new Philosophy. Because it is written straight after the Dance, in a state of pure flow. These words have come unbidden and written one after another without editing.
This then is the Power of Dance made manifest.
Dance with me every day. Let us remember together. Let us forget together.