Why Walk? I Hate Walking!
My name is John Pepper. I am a Parkinson’s patient. My Parkinson’s disease started in 1963, when I found that I could not throw a ball properly. However, I was only diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1992, when I developed a bad walking gait.
Why did it take twenty-nine years before I was diagnosed?
I am neither a doctor nor a gym teacher. Having said that - since diagnosis - I have taken note of every news item I could find, concerning Parkinson's. Many news articles claimed that certain types of energetic exercise can and do affect the progression of Parkinson’s Disease
What has been my experience regarding exercise?
I spent twenty-two years, from 1970 to 1992, going to the gym, for one hour a day, six days a week, doing aerobic exercises and weight-training exercises.
For the next two years, after diagnosis, I increased the gym to 90 minutes - doing 60 minutes of aerobic exercise on the treadmill, step climbing and bicycle machines; and then, thirty minutes on various other weight-bearing machines.
During those two years, my condition continued to slowly get worse. After two years in 1994, I gave up the gym entirely, and gave in to my wife, Shirley's, request to join her at Run/Walk for Life. Within three months, my performance had improved quite noticeably. That was the first time it had shown any improvement for many years. That was the turning point in my Parkinson’s Disease!
What actually happened, since giving up going to the gym?
At Run/Walk for Life, I only did aerobic walking for three sessions a week, having started at twenty minutes a session, which increased by five minutes every second week. At the end of three months, I was walking for 45 minutes a session. The reason for doing only walking every second day was to give my muscles a chance to recover, after each exercise session. I was only allowed to walk every second day. In the past, I had been doing the same exercise every day, thus, not giving my muscles a chance to recover. They ended up eating up muscle tissue, in order to get the required energy they needed. The result was, my muscles got smaller and my fatty tissue grew larger. Not a good situation!
Energetic Walking Produces a substance Called GDNF!
What produces GDNF (Glial Derived Neurotrophic Factor) and why is it produced?
The body has a survival system, which is only activated when it thinks the body is under attack, or in danger. When we are under attack, or in danger, we either stand up to it and fight for our life, or we run away from it - the fight or flight syndrome - of which you must have heard.
The body produces this Growth Factor in every area of the body, which repairs the damaged tissue, if and when required. GDNF repairs damaged brain tissue, whereas the Growth Factor produced in the liver produces liver tissue etc. Our problem is that we have damaged Glial cells, which are neurons, that produce dopamine. When the GDNF repairs some of the neurons, we produce more dopamine and we start to get better. However, as we have not done anything to stop the Parkinson's from killing off more glial cells, we have to continually try to produce enough GDNF to stay ahead of the Parkinson's.
In other words, we have our own, built-in, repair kits!
What is the optimum time we should walk?
The optimum time for exercise has been found to be three, one-hour sessions, at maximum effort, per week, with a one day rest between sessions.
Why does more than one hour not produce more GDNF?
I don't know, but many tests have been done, and that was the result.
Why is walking or running the best form of exercise for this purpose?
It keeps our pulse-rate up to maximum level and maintains it there until we stop. Other forms of exercise tend to be stop-start, and cannot be sustained at any level, for the required one hour. If we were boxing, it would be just as good, but we could not sustain that for a full hour. As most Parkinson's patients have problems with balance, I would recommend walking, but running is just as good. Walking on the open road is better than walking on a treadmill, because we have to think about the surface on which we are walking and where we are going - whereas, on a treadmill, we merely have to put one foot in front of the other. This came out of many of the studies. The best results are produced when the brain is kept as active as the body. I assume that the condition required by the body to, produce the GDNF, would involve both the brain and the body.
Guess why I choose to walk?
I get lots of patients telling me that they don't like walking. It is boring! To me, it is not half as boring as the thought of being unable to move very well, or go anywhere, while living from one dose of medication to the next.
I have to concentrate so hard on walking properly, that I don't have time to get bored. It is so important to me, that I would not care if it got boring, as I enjoy my quality of life, even at the age of seventy-nine (2014).
We all have to make our own choices!
Either we do nothing, take our medication and put up with our Pd; or we exercise regularly and honestly, take the minimum medication and enjoy the benefits, by living a full life.
The choice is all yours!
Rhythmic beat may help Parkinson’s rehab
Copied from The Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation Weekly News Update
Walking to an audible beat may be useful in rehabilitation for people with Parkinson’s disease and similar disorders, a study shows.
futurity.org - Researchers studied the effects of various metronomic stimuli (a mechanically produced beat) on fifteen healthy adults, ages 18 to 30. Walkers participated in two sessions consisting of five 15-minute trials in which the participants walked with different cues.
In the first, participants walked at their preferred walking speed. Then, in subsequent trials, participants were asked to walk to a metronomic beat, produced by way of visuals, sound, or touch. Finally, participants were asked to walk with all three cues simultaneously, the pace of which was set to that of the first trial.
“We found that the auditory cue had the greatest influence on human gait, while the visual cues had no significant effect whatsoever,” says Ervin Sejdic, an assistant professor of engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, who reports findings in the journal PLoS One.
“This finding could be particularly helpful for patients with Parkinson’s disease, for example, as auditory cues work very well in their rehabilitation.”
With illnesses like Parkinson’s disease—a brain disorder leading to shaking (tremors) and difficulty walking, — a big question is whether researchers can better understand the changes that come with deterioration.
“tentimes, a patient with Parkinson’s disease comes in for an exam, completes a gait assessment in the laboratory, and everything is great,” says Sejdic. “But then, the person leaves and falls down. Why? Because a laboratory is a strictly controlled environment. It’s flat, has few obstacles, and there aren’t any cues (like sound) around us.
“When we're walking around our neighborhoods, however, there are sidewalks, as well as streetlights and people honking car horns: you have to process all of this information together. We are trying to create that real-life space in the laboratory.”
In the future, Sejdic and his team would like to conduct similar walking trials with patients with Parkinson’s disease, to observe whether their gait is more or less stable.
“Can we see the same trends that we observed in healthy people?” he says. “And, if we observe the same trends, then that would have direct connotations to rehabilitation processes.”
The team feels that visual cues could be considered as an alternative modality in rehabilitation and should be further explored in the laboratory. Additionally, they plan to explore the impact of music on runners and walkers.
Funding for this project was provided, in part, by the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Toronto, and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.
More about Walking
My name is John Pepper. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1992.
Why can I walk properly, when I focus my full attention on each move?
Not having had any medical training and not being a scholar, I have to give my answer as a person with Parkinson’s disease - I don’t know!
Why is walking so important?
Here I am on safer ground! In 2006, the results of a lengthy scientific study, done in the USA, gave the answer to this question. These results were announced at the First World Parkinson’s Conference, held in Washington, DC. So why do we all not know about this important development?
Certain types of energetic exercise can slow down or even reverse Pd.
These results should be displayed on the walls of every neurologist in the world!
This was the reason why my Pd took so long to be diagnosed, in 1992, about twenty-nine years after my first symptom appeared in 1963.
Read all about this type of exercise and what I had been doing since 1970, which slowed down my Pd. My book, ‘Reverse Parkinson’s Disease’ tells my whole story, so that others can benefit from knowing what I did, in order to overcome my Pd. In a nutshell, I think that fast walking, MAO-b inhibitor medication, and stress control were responsible for my improved health! To tell the whole story in an article is just not possible.
This is the most exciting story for all Pd sufferers. It is the first story of REAL HOPE we have ever had!
The real question is:
Why don’t neurologists tell their patients about this good news? Why indeed!
The Five Most Important Actions Needed to Take Control of Parkinson’s Disease
I am not a doctor, I am a Parkinson’s Patient with 51 years of experience. These are the actions, which have helped me:
1. Regular Energetic Exercise
2. An MAO-b Inhibitor as the only Medication
3. Learn how to Take Conscious Control of all movements
4. Manage Stress Levels
5. Adopt a Positive Attitude
Take a Walk in The Park
Walking improves stamina, energy, heart health, strength, and balance. As a form of exercise walking may even alter the physical and brain changes that occur with Parkinson’s over time. Walking can also help the mind and the soul. Research tells us that exercise including simply just walking, can protect our thinking abilities as we get older and protect from disease…
· Reduce cognitive decline that can happen with aging
· Reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease a form of dementia that attacks memory and thinking skills
· Reduce the decline executive function in Parkinson’s. (Learn more about executive function.)
Walking can also be good for our emotions and our soul. We have long known that exercise can help our mood and treat depression. A walk in the park is like getting a double dose of therapy.
John Muir, a naturalist and nature lover once wrote,
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”
In a time when many of us are flocking to gyms, joining exercise classes or getting on the treadmill to get in ‘their exercise’, we may be missing an opportunity to move and feel well. Researchers evaluating the effect of walking on our mood showed that a walk in the park improved mood more than a similar walk in the shopping mall. Our environment affects how we feel, think, move and behave. Think about a walk in the park on a beautiful sunny day and the feeling and experience that comes to mind
· The fresh air sharpens the senses and clears the mind of clutter
· The marvel and good natured fun of watching nature
· The stress dissolving effect of the peaceful calm of a gentle breeze
· The sense of hope and anticipation that comes with the first spring buds.
· The reflection of days past and what brings joy to us in life as we watch the sun set
· The challenge and sure footedness of walking that is gained from walking on uneven ground
· The chance to slow down, share your walk and connect with a loved one
· The energizing feel of the sun
· The joy and reminder that little things like a bird’s song or child’s laughter are important in life
· The soothing effect of the sun’s warmth on our back
The benefits of nature are available to us all. The power of exercise in Parkinson’s, healthy aging and emotional wellbeing are undisputed. Enhance this power by taking your next exercise activity outdoors. Whether you take a stroll in your wheelchair in the park, take a walk around the block or a short stroll in your backyard, the benefit of nature is priceless.
Author: Monique Giroux, MD
Copyright 2013 Northwest Parkinson's Foundation Wellness Center
Brain feedback may ease Parkinson’s
Copied from Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation Weekly Newsletter
Futurity - People experiencing the early signs of Parkinson’s disease could see their symptoms improved through a process of regulating and re-training how their brains respond to certain activities and actions.
Experts from Cardiff University report in a paper published in the Journal of Neuroscience using real-time brain imaging to identify how people with Parkinson’s disease react to their own brain responses.
Scientists used a technique known as neurofeedback to monitor brain activity in an MRI scanner. The activity levels are then fed back to the patient in the form of a display on a screen.
Using this feedback, the study found that patients were able to learn to alter activity in specific parts of their brain.
“This is the first time that this neurofeedback technique has been used with patients with Parkinson’s disease,” according to David Linden, a professor from Cardiff University, who led the study, which was a collaboration between scientists and clinicians in Wales, London, and the Netherlands.
“Self-regulation of brain activity in humans based on real-time feedback is emerging as a powerful technique. In this study we assessed whether patients with Parkinson’s disease are able to alter their brain activity to improve their motor function.”
“We found that the five patients who received neurofeedback were able to increase activity in brain networks important for movements and that this intervention resulted in an overall improvement in motor speed—in this case, finger tapping.”
The study involved 10 patients, all with early stage Parkinson’s. The patients were divided into two groups: half the group received brain feedback and the other did not.
While self-regulation using related techniques has been used in other conditions like ADHD, apart from a study on chronic pain the clinical potential of the technique for neurological disorders has not been explored.
Parkinson’s disease was considered a suitable target for the technique—and an opportunity to show that its use could help patients with neurogenerative disorders.
“Whilst this was a very small study the key aim was to establish whether this technique may be feasible for sufferers,” Linden adds.
“The training resulted in clinically relevant improvement of motor functions—so assuming patients can learn to transfer the strategies used during neurofeedback into real-life settings, it might also become possible to sustain the clinical benefits.”
The scientists now hope to take this method further in formal clinical trials in order to establish whether it holds promise for patients.
“We have to be clear: This research won’t stop the progression of the disease nor should it offer sufferers false hope—but, it does have the potential to alter the course of motor symptoms and possibly reduce drug requirements in early disease,” says Linden.
“This may have the effect of delaying more severe motor complications and improve the quality of life of patients affected by Parkinson’s disease.”
*Note by John Pepper
I wonder if this concept is the same as I used, without any scans, when I examined my bad walking habits – I was dragging one foot and taking short steps – and then correcting the habit by consciously controlling the actual movements. I overrode the normal subconscious brain control of my walking, by consciously controlling the actions. Yes! We can overcome bad movement habits by using the conscious brain to control our movements!
Have you noticed, now that you have Parkinson’s Disease that you often bump into objects, while walking around your house? It might be a doorjamb or a chair leg. The problem is, that our brain does not pass this information to other areas of the brain, so that you automatically avoided those objects. Although you are conscious of seeing these objects, you still bump into them! The reason is lack of neurofeedback!
What sort of exercise should people with Parkinson’s disease be doing, on a regular basis?
My name is John Pepper. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1992, at which time I had been in the habit of doing regular exercise since 1970, including gym exercises and jogging. In 1994, I started doing regular aerobic walking, in order to try and get fitter. My walk, at that time, was akin to that of an old-man. I was only sixty years old, and should not have been walking like that.
Walking is one of the movements, with which we Parkinson’s disease patients often battle. When I was Diagnosed in 1992, I was shuffling and taking short steps. Despite the awkward gait, I was determined to walk as fast as I possibly could, three times a week. Within five months of starting my walking program, I was walking for eight kilometres (five miles) in a little over one hour. I soon got that down to less than fifty-five minutes, with which I was very happy. However, I was not happy with my awkward walking gait. In 1998, I decided to pay less attention to my speed and more attention to the way I walked.
It took me many months to achieve this, by focussing on each movement, instead of letting my subconscious brain control it. I managed to achieve this - as many others, who have had accidents, have managed to do in the past – by focussing on the actual movements.
Why can I walk properly, when I focus my attention on each movement?
Not having had any medical training and not being a scholar, I have to give my answer, as a person with Parkinson’s disease?
“I don’t know!”
Why is walking so important?
Here, I am on safer ground! In 2006, the results of a lengthy scientific study, done in the USA, gave the answer to this interesting question. These results were announced at the First World Parkinson’s Conference, held in Washington, DC:
Certain types of energetic exercise can slow down or even reverse Parkinson’s disease.
These results should be displayed on the walls of every neurologist, throughout the world!
This was the reason why my Parkinson’s disease took so long to be diagnosed, in 1992, nearly thirty years after my first symptom appeared in the early 1960’s! It was because I did a lot of exercise, on a regular basis. It seems obvious that:
This exercise had the effect of slowing down the progress of my Parkinson’s disease.
Read all about this type of exercise and what I had been doing since 1970, which slowed down my Parkinson’s disease. My book, ‘Reverse Parkinson’s Disease’ tells my whole story, so that others can benefit from knowing what I did, in order to overcome my Parkinson’s disease.
This is the most exciting story for all Parkinson’s disease sufferers. It is the first story of:
REAL HOPE, based on someone’s successful experience, we have ever had!
The real question is:
Does the medical profession regularly tell their patients about this good news?
We know that busy doctors have no compulsion to educate their patients, with all the news that is coming out of laboratories and hospitals; but it would help to be pointed in the right direction!
All we know is; doctors were trained to diagnose medical problems and prescribe medication. That’s what doctors do!
However! Before anybody with Parkinson’s disease would be willing to do regular energetic exercise, with all the risks and discomfort it entails - they would need to know that what they are being advised to do, especially by another non-medical patient,
will really work!
They would want their doctor to advise them to do it. Better still, they might even need to be told that they had to do it!
We automatically assume that we have to take medication, but there must also be other things we can do to:
There certainly is!
Why has my condition got better?
On the subject of exercise, I assumed, in the beginning, that being a movement disorder, the more I moved, the longer I would be able to move. Whether I was right or wrong does not matter. I was in the habit of doing one hour of daily exercise, in a good gym, six days of the week.
After the diagnosis, I became very disenchanted with my performance in the gym. I had watched the level of my performance on every machine, slowly get worse and worse. I had been told, by my neurologist, that I must expect my Parkinson’s disease to get worse, because it is a degenerative condition. But I did not expect it to get worse so quickly. The weights on each machine had to be reduced almost every month. In the past, I was used to them slowly increasing, but now they were decreasing,
This made me very despondent, and within two years, I gave up going to the gym. I decided, at my wife’s insistence, to start walking with her walking group. They only walked three times a week, and for no more than one hour a session. Hell! What did it matter? What had I got to lose? I did not really care any more.
THEN! Within five months, my performance had improved to such an extent that I could not believe it.
What had happened?
Read my book and listen to what I did, that changed my whole attitude to my Parkinson’s disease. I am not advising you to commit yourself to spending a cent on anything to help you start to
Reverse Parkinson’s disease.
There are no catches to this story. I feel that if I could do it, then so can everybody else.
I spend most of my time these days, helping other people, at no cost to themselves, to:
Learn how to walk properly.
I go all over South Africa, encouraging people to start exercising and changing their life style.
Have I had any success?
Has everybody been able to get exactly the same results as I?
Without doing a study, which would take forever, I feel that my commitment is probably more substantial than that of most others, and my belief in what I was doing was absolute!
Was it because other people were not able to exercise the same as I do?
No! I had no trouble teaching anybody how to walk properly, while they focussed on what they were doing. The problem has been that most of them don’t appear to want to do it on a regular basis, with total commitment. Many have said that walking bores them. I understand this, but there are other ways of doing exercise, that will bring about the same result, but as many of us have problems walking, why not kill two birds with one stone. Others say they have nowhere safe to do their walking. I know this is probably true, but how much effort would they have to put into looking for somewhere close-by, that would be safe?
It is all in the mind.
I have had a certain amount of success with other patients. But as it took several years before my hard work translated itself into positive results, I do not expect any miracles. Many of the people I have worked with have written glowing letters to me, and some of those letters can be viewed on this website. I have not kept all these letters in a convenient place, so that one day, I could show them to other people on my website. What a pity!
Why not commit yourself to starting an energetic exercise program, now?
If nothing else, it will improve your general health and your whole attitude to life!
What are you waiting for?
Why Not Order My Book - Reverse Parkinson's Disease
Go to my Website - reverseparkinsons.net
Opposition to exercise
My Name is John Pepper. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1992. My first symptoms showed up in 1963, when I found that I could not throw a ball properly.
I am not a doctor, nor do I have any medical training. However! I have lived with Pd for over fifty years and I have not needed to take any Pd medication since 2002. This is, in my opinion, because I only took an MAO-b inhibitor for medication for 8 years and I did regular determined WALKING for all those 8 years. I also got rid of all HARMFUL STRESS out of my life and adopted a very POSITIVE ATTITUDE.
My experience, ever since 2002 has been that there are many patients who think they are unable to exercise at the levels I suggest, or they are not interested in doing any exercise, even though the rewards are so enormous.
I have not ever been able to persuade these people that they are capable of doing the required exercise.
I have been able to demonstrate to every Pd patient, who has asked me to show them, or has volunteered to be shown, how to walk, when focusing on the individual movements.
None of them has ever failed to be able to, ‘Walk Properly’, while focusing on their actual movements. This applied to bed-ridden patients as well. Whether they carried on walking properly, I do not know. However, if I were personally able to be with them all the time, to be able to get them used to doing this, then I have no doubt that they would continue to do it
You can lead a horse to the water
BUT YOU CAN’T MAKE IT DRINK!
William here, I want to tell you John Pepper's story as he related it to me. John's story is a story of passion and excitement that I want to share with everyone, especially those that suffer from Parkinson's disease.
In 2002, John wrote his first book – “There IS LIFE After Parkinson’s Disease” - but doctors complained that the title claimed that his Parkinson's disease was now in the past, and he was therefore cured, even though he says he is not cured – so he changed the name of the second edition to - “There IS LIFE After Being Diagnosed With Parkinson’s Disease”.
In his book, he claimed that:
“Nobody would ever know he still has Parkinson’s Disease”.
To put this claim to the test, John consulted another eminent neurologist, who said that:
“You do not have Parkinson’s Disease. There is no cure for Parkinson's disease, therefore you never had Parkinson's disease”
This neurologist did not carry out a proper clinical test on John. He mainly based his opinion on John’s outward appearance, which certainly did not look as if he had ever had Parkinson's disease. But, as he states quite clearly in his book, he still has many of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, but because he has been able to overcome most of the movement problems, he is now able to live a perfectly normal life, providing he maintains his new life style regimen.
After selling 700 books, without any advertising, other than by word of mouth, he decided to change the name of his book to – “Reverse Parkinson’s Disease” – because of the success his story has had with patients, who have read his book and taken the bold steps he has recommended, in order to change their life style.
Why not find out what those lifestyle changes are?
All of John’s recommendations are common-sense solutions to general health problems, and cannot do any harm to anyone, unless their doctors have advised them not to do any meaningful exercise.
If John’s recommendations are all common sense, then why don’t more doctors recommend that Parkinson's disease patients take his advice?
That is a good question!
Do any of John’s recommendations get used for the treatment of other health problems?
Yes! They do!
Speech Therapists use some of these solutions and Cardiologists use others, to treat people with heart problems! Business people use other solutions to improve their business skills!
Why don’t Neurologists routinely recommend these solutions to
their Parkinson's disease patients?
The only answer John can come up with, as a layman, is that only a Parkinson's disease patient knows what he/she is capable of doing.
Parkinson's disease is a movement disorder, and part of his regimen involves strenuous exercise, and who would think that that would be a possible solution?
What type of strenuous exercise is John recommending?
You will have to read his book to find out how he came to the conclusion that walking was the single best exercise to do for Pd. He also does other exercises for strengthening his core muscles, but the answer to this question has to be put into a routine that most Parkinson's disease patients will be able to follow, without injuring themselves.
John has been there! He knows what is possible for a dedicated
‘Couch Potato’ like him to do!
John also knows that unless the Neurologist insists on his patient carrying out these life style changes, or the patient knows for certain that other patients have successfully done it, then the patient will never commit to this routine. It is much easier to take pills and accept what the future has to offer!
Why does John not claim to be cured?
Because he is not cured! If he stops his routine, due to other health problems, of which he has several, then his Parkinson's disease starts to deteriorate again. If ever he stops exercising, or whenever he got clever and stopped taking his medication, during those ten years after being diagnosed, then his condition got appreciably worse.
Why does John no longer take
any Parkinson's disease medication?
John’s Parkinson's disease is at the stage where medication is no longer needed, providing that he continues with his new lifestyle regimen.
Thank you for reading this story,
William Ainslie (John's Personal Trainer)
Parkinson's Insights – My Story Part 1
There is no doubt that, contrary to established thinking, the progression of Parkinson’s disease, can be reversed. Although it has not been done by very many people, the fact remains that I've done it, and many others have followed, and will continue to follow.
My name is John Pepper and I have successfully reversed my Parkinson’s disease, to the point where I no longer need to take any Parkinson’s disease medication, since 2003, and nobody would ever know that I still have Parkinson’s disease.
How did I do this?
My case was quite unique, for the three following reasons:
My neurologist had prescribed a monotherapy of a unique type of Parkinson’s disease medication, which was the only medication that the manufacturers claimed - as a result of conducting extensive double-blind scientific studies on a wide range of patients – could possibly slow down or even reverse the progression of this condition. I know of nobody else, who has only been prescribed this type of medication and nothing else.
I was in the habit of doing regular energetic exercise, for over twenty years, before I was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I was therefore bodily very fit, which was not a unique occurrence amongst newly diagnosed patients, but it was, and is, not the norm; especially as it was accompanied by reason number one. I have continued to do rigorous exercise, since I was diagnosed, which is not common amongst Parkinson's patients at all.
I gave up my high-powered job, three months after I was diagnosed. I was aware that my job had become very stressful to me and I would have done anything at that stage to help me cope with the Pd. I also stopped singing in the church choir. It was not just the services that ate into my time it was all the rehearsals and the travelling to get there and back that was the problem. I wanted to simplify my life. I also left my Rotary club, which was not a burden, but I did not want to be amember who did nothing active in the club. Stress is one of the major triggers for many health issues. It affects many of my symptoms.
The combination of a Monotherapy of a special type of medication, regular energetic exercise and the management of stress, all urned out to be the crucial changes I had made in my lifestyle that have reversed the progression of my Pd, and they made my circumstances unique.
In addition to these three unusual circumstances, I made the following changes to my life style, during the next eight years, after diagnosis:
I decided to change my type of exercise.
I learned how to control my movements by focusing my full attention on controlling each movement!
I examined and changed my whole attitude.
After having given up my job, and having experienced the huge improvement in my health, I came to the realization that ‘Stress’ had played a major roll in the progression of my Parkinson’s disease.
Many people ask me about diet. I have found only one food item that must not be eaten by Parkinson’s disease sufferers and several other interesting substances that should be avoided.
Two years after my diagnosis, I realized that I had to learn to manage my sleeping problems.
The last change I made to my lifestyle was to start doing regular brain exercises.
I hope you have found this Insight helpful.
More about Sleep
My name is John Pepper. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1992.
Insomnia is a very common symptom of Parkinson’s disease. It has a very real affect on patient’s lives, which can prove to be very difficult to treat!
Why is insomnia so difficult to treat?
Medication is the obvious route to use, when faced with the inability to sleep! The problem that I faced was that my body became accustomed to whatever type of sleeping tablet I took, with the result that I had to continually increase my dosage, in order to be able to sleep. That was no good for anybody. There was also the problem of possible addiction, which I did not want or need.
I did find that there are some off-the-shelf medications that worked, but I was not happy about taking any regular medication for sleeping, because all medication is toxic, and the body has to cope with enough problems without any unnecessary medication.
I found that when I cut out any daytime ‘dozing’ or ‘cat-napping’, my night time sleeping became a lot better. I have now got to the stage, where I get five to six hours a night, without any medication, and that appears to be enough for me.
I have to avoid watching TV during the daytime, as that sends me to sleep very easily. I also have to avoid anything else, which causes me to fall asleep.
I did find that if I read a book, during the night, when I was unable to sleep, I often was able to go back to sleep again. I organised my bedside light to be positioned above my head, facing away from the other side of the double-bed. I did the same for my wife’s light. In that way, I did not disturb her, when I read during the night.
I found that walking also helps me to sleep better. Walking also helps in other ways with the progression of Pd.
Why not get a copy of my book, ‘Reverse Parkinson’s Disease!’, and see what other methods I used to overcome movement and other problems?