10 Holistic Approaches to Parkinson's Disease
For people with Parkinson's disease, treatment typically involves the use of medications that help minimize movement problems and control symptoms. A disorder of the central nervous system, Parkinson's disease also can be better managed with the help of certain lifestyle changes. Since many medications used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease can cause severe side effects, patients often seek alternative treatment options.
The use of alternative medicine in the treatment of Parkinson's disease has yet to be extensively researched. However, a small number of studies suggest that the following natural approaches may be of some benefit to Parkinson's patients.
1. Watch and Read
Watch a documentary called “HEAL”.
It’s on Netflix. Or you can rent or buy via an online platform such as iTune, Amazon, etc.
Read “Fighting Parkinson’s . . .and Winning" by Howard Shifke
Read “10 Breakthrough Therapies for Parkinson’s Disease” by Michael S. Okun, M.D.
2. Eat Healthy Food.
Raw fruits and vegetables, High Fiber foods, Healthy fats, Cold-pressed oils, Omega-3 foods, Green tea, Lots of water, Protein at dinner only.
AVOID too much protein, processed foods, artificial sweeteners & added sugar, alcohol, any potential food allergens (gluten, dairy, shellfish, peanuts.)
3. Add Supplements.
Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin C, D, E, Omega-3 fish oil, Green vegetable powder supplement that includes Spirulina, chlorella or wheatgrass.
4. Choose the Right Exercises.
Staying active can help you sleep, strengthen your muscles and joints, reduce stress and depression, and improve posture, balance, and gait. The types of exercise you choose will depend, to some degree, on the severity of your Parkinson’s disease and your overall health.
According to the Parkinson’s Disease Clinic and Research Center at the University of California, the exercises should be varied and incorporate changing directions through unplanned movement, cardiovascular exercise, balance, strength training and rhythmical exercises.
Walking, Dancing, Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, Meditation, Swimming, Water Aerobics,
American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) Information & Referral Center at Stanford - Fall Prevention Programs, PD Exercise Classes, Local Support Groups,
5. Incorporate Acupuncture.
According to the Neurodegenerative Disease Research Group at King’s College in London, recent research has shown acupuncture can relieve Parkinson’s symptoms by generating a neural response in areas of the brain that are particularly affected by inflammation, such as the putamen and the thalamus.
Acupuncture has been used for centuries to help reduce pain, anxiety, insomnia and stiffness. Now it’s suggested that it can even help slow cell death and attenuate oxidative stress that causes damage to dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra.
6. Incorporate Hypnotherapy and Sound Therapy.
Hypnotherapy is like a guided meditation with an intention that works on your subconscious by telling your subconscious what we want the body to do (relax your body and mind, sleep better, improve the symptoms, etc.)
Sound Therapy uses the water in your body vibrated with the Singing Bowls that is placed on your body plus the sound you hear, together they can work wonders to unblock the tension you have in your organs or cells, brain stimulation can dramatically improve the symptoms, and the transmission of dopamine and serotonin. Sound Therapy helps with motivation, coordination, energy, vocal tone and modulation, mood and positivity.
7. MRI-Focused Ultrasound Undergoing Phase 3 Clinical Trial for Parkinson’s Treatment
With the new technology, clinicians direct ultrasound waves to a brain structure called the globus pallidus, which helps regulate voluntary movement, to destroy damaged tissue, decreasing the uncontrolled movements that characterize Parkinson’s disease.
Doctors use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to create a temperature map of the brain, giving them a real-time picture of the region they want to hit with the sound waves. They then raise the energy, directly targeting that area of the brain to destroy the tissue.
8. Incorporate Aromatherapy.
Essential oils are believed to have beneficial effects on the mind, body, and spirit. Many essential oils are used to treat specific ailments or complaints. Like herbs and minerals, the FDA does not regulate essential oils. Most medical doctors don’t consider them a valid treatment for what ails you, but those who use them are believers. But check with your doctor first. If you have allergies or anaphylaxis, you’ll probably want to avoid most essential oils. By and large, though, they’re worth a try.
9. Incorporate Massage Therapy.
According to a 2002 study conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami, along with staff from the university’s neurology department and Duke University’s pharmacology department, Parkinson’s disease symptoms are reduced by massage therapy. In this study, the group of adults with Parkinson’s disease who received two massages a week for five weeks experienced improved daily functioning, increased quality of sleep and decreased stress-hormone levels. The study’s authors reported, “These findings suggest that massage therapy enhances functioning in progressive or degenerative central nervous system disorders or conditions.”
While several different massage modalities have been quantifiably researched in the context of Parkinson’s, including Trager, Alexander Technique and Swedish massage, all modalities report improvement in function, from the reduction of rigidity and improvement of sleep, to the reduction of tremor and increase of daily activity stamina.
10. Medical Marijuana (CBD)
The two primary chemicals that are isolated from the cannabis plant are Delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). THC exerts the mind-altering effects that recreational marijuana is known for, whereas CBD does not. For the most part, medical marijuana consists of purified combinations of these two chemicals in varying ratios. The combination can be dispensed as a liquid, pill or nasal spray. Both THC and CBD interact with the ECS.
You can volunteering for Trial with The Michael J. Fox Foundation.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to funding research into therapies for Parkinson’s disease, supports research to identify new targets for therapies as well as improving current therapies.