TRY NEW THINGS
1.THE ENORMOUS HIDDEN VALUE AND ADVANTAGE OF CONTINUING TO USE A VARIETY OF COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES
I was a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist for 15 years, so sometimesI get a glimpse of the importance of the psychological help which
our actions produce.
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 Parkinsons patients 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 Parkinson controls them, they dont control Parkinsons!
Thus regardless of clinical trials, nearly every alternative approach, may offer additional and unconscious value, as it represents the
Parkinson patient 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 take action to stay in control and maintain the quality of their lives is positive, 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 Parkinsons patient 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 to patients on a day to day basis, as the benefits they receive from drug treatments, vital though they are.
2. YES YOU CAN!
My hero, is a man named Mike Wallrock. He doesn't have Parkinson's but he has led a remarkable life. He was torpedoed three times during the war when a young man and is now 90. I played tennis in his regular tennis sdoubles in September 2011 and he can still play a hard game for two hours and runs around the court with players over 20 years younger. I have known him for more than ten years and used to play regularly with him when he was in his 80's. On two occasions in his early and mid eighties he could have easily given up. He fell off his roof while doing some repairs and had to stop for six months but he came back, fiesty as ever. Then on the court during a game we were playing he suffered a severe achillies injury and had to carried to a car as he couldn't walk. He was back playing with in six months and is still playing at least twice a week at 90. Those injuries would have been a good reason to stop for most people, given his age. Mike is indefatibible. His motto is 'Use it or Lose it' and he demonstrates that in action. Everyone diagnosed with Parkinson's needs to develop that same determination and spirit. That's the way to continue to enjoy a high quality of life despite all that life throws at you! Mike is lucky but to a large extent he makes his own luck. If you take the attitude 'Yes I can"
instead of 'No, I can't', it will serve you well.
3. START SOMETHING NEW
Being diagnosed with Parkinson's does not mean your life stops! Indeed to prove to yourself you still have many possibilities ahead of you, why not start something new? Exercise is critical and if you have not taking lots of regular exercise, now is the time to start. The best exercise for Parkinson's is dance, or anything rhythmical. (See our pages on Dance and Dance Videos) Any kind of dancing will work - and there are many kinds to choose from -ballroom, sequence, line, tap, modern, country, and so on. Or go to a Yoga class, or Aquafit, or Tai Chi or take up Table Tennis or Bowls. Start to do something new whilst you are still able. Don't put it off. Remember, 'YES YOU CAN!'
Try New Things