Support Group

Psychology

1. THE ENORMOUS HIDDEN PSYCHOLIGICAL VALUE OF COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

I was a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist for 15 years, so sometimes I get a glimpse of the psychological reasons which underpin many of our actions.

On the Positive Stories page, my wife Estelle has given her story. It includes some of the therapies she has tried over the years.

These include Chiropractic help, the Alexander Technique, Trager treatment, Massage, Watsu, Gyrokinetics, Singing, Voice workshops, Tai Chi, Watsu, Reiki, Colonic Irrigation. Cranial Osteopathy and most recently Autogenic Therapy! In addition she did a Tony Robbins programme and walked barefoot over hot coals! which did wonders for her self confidence.

Each of these treatments helped for the period it was used, usually in confidence,mobility, relaxation, posture, balance or exercise in some way.

The hidden dimension in all this, however is that each represented some kind of positive action, by her in the fight to slow down the disease and stay confident and positive in the face of it. This should not be underestimated. Many of those diagnosed with Parkinsons slump into depression or hopelessness, or find the sheer effort of any of these things too much. Their energy and will is sapped by the disease and the sense quickly invades them that Parkinsons controls them, they dont control Parkinsons!

Thus regardless of clinical trials, nearly every alternative approach, may offer additional and unconscious value, as it represents those diagnosed with Parkinsons maintaining their own health and freedom of action, by taking a positive step to stave off the encroachment of the disease, and worsening the quality of their lives. Any personal step to act and stay in control maintaining life's quality is positive. It is life enhancing, maintains confidence and provides encouragement and hope for the future. Drugs wont provide this and neither will clinical trials!

Thus it seems to us that all those diagnosed with Parkinsons should be given every encouragement to try any reasonable alternative therapy not just for the immediate known benefits, but because it represents symbolically their freedom, independence and continued ability to fight for life on their own account. This critical psychological benefit is at least as important on a day to day basis, as the benefits they receive from drug treatments, vital though they are.

2. THE UNDERLYING PSYCHOLOGICAL CAUSE OF PARKINSON'S

As I said earlier as a Psychotherapist I have a view that ALL illness has a hidden underlying psychological cause. For example whether you survive a heart attack or break a leg, the message is the same. SLOW DOWN! Your unconscious does you a favour and sends you a powerful message. I believe Cancer's psychological component are powerful feelings like anger that are constantly held inward, allowed to build up and never released. Eventually it eats away at you inside.

Parkinsons on the other hand is all about trying to CONTROL everything and not letting go. Eventually your body demonstrates to

you that have to let go more and you find you cannot control even your own body. The more you relax and let go of that need to be in

control, the better you are likely to feel. That won't cure Parkinson's but it will help you live a more relaxed and satisfying life.