Sunday, September 29, 2013

Natural Help For Parkinson's

 Natural help for Parkinson's
Supplements, dietary modification, mind-body medicine and holistic therapies can work wonders with this frustrating disorder.
An estimated six million people worldwide have Parkinson’s disease, where neurons in the part of the brain that produces dopamine (a neurotransmitter necessary for motor skills) progressively deteriorate; decreased dopamine levels cause tremor, rigidity, slow movement, poor balance and, eventually, permanent disability. There is an assumption that Parkinson’s only affects the elderly – but 15 per cent of patients are under 50 years of age.
While there is no single known ‘cause’, long-term exposure to environmental toxins, plus poor dietary and lifestyle choices that result in oxidative cell damage, is one likely culprit. Studies show that people regularly exposed to pesticides have a significantly higher risk of Parkinson’s, and that industrial chemicals and heavy metals destroy dopamine-producing neurons.
Natural therapies can complement conventional medication in an extremely powerful way. There are even instances where they have led to a full recovery, as in the case of naturopath John Coleman. In his book, Stop Parkin’ and Start Livin’, he describes his four year-long road to recovery, after being diagnosed with Stage IV Parkinson’s. To learn more, visit

Emotional counselling

Coleman’s work shows that periods of extreme stress and trauma occur early in Parkinson’s patients’ lives. Behavioural patterns - such as fear and an intense desire to control everything and everyone – are also often present, according to Louise Hay, author of You Can Heal Your Life. A full life review is necessary. Dedication and trust need to be developed with a counsellor who can guide a patient through healing the past to shape a brighter future.

Diet and exercise

Decrease exposure to toxins – agricultural chemicals, food colourings, additives and preservatives – by choosing organic produce and using natural cleaning products, toiletries and make-up.
Fatty foods, starchy carbohydrates and sugar increase inflammation, which is linked to Parkinson’s. Eat antioxidant-rich berries and oranges to quench oxidative damage, and high-fibre foods to ensure regular elimination. Glutathione and coenzymeQ10 supplements may improve mitochondrial and neuron function. According to Coleman, Parkinson’s patients struggle with nutrient absorption; a naturopath can provide advice on improving digestion.
Drink 6-8 glasses of filtered water daily. Coleman recommends Aqua Hydration Formulas to help patients absorb water more efficiently, which in turn boosts absorption of nutrients. One study has shown that drinking green tea is associated with a significant reduction in neurons damaged by Parkinson’s.

Helpful holistic therapies

* Bowen therapy releases pain, spasm and stiffness by facilitating the movement of water through the fascia (connective tissue) that envelops muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and organs, and carries fluid, immune cells and vital nutrients. It also encourages the flow of chi (energy) through the body, removing blockages and imbalances on an energetic level.
* Focused exercise that calms the nerves, strengthens the body and improves balance, such as yoga, qi gong and tai chi, is very valuable. Pilates and dance classes help develop core strength and fine-tune motor skills, ‘retraining’ patients to try to move naturally. The Alexander technique is recommended to reduce physical tension, increase energy levels and control physical performance.
* Magnet therapy and pulsed electromagnetic fields can treat many ailments. A study in Movement Disorders suggests that transcranial magnetic stimulation improves balance and gait in Parkinson’s patients.

Source : Nature and Health


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