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lethe

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About lethe

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  1. For ten years after my bad med reaction I slept no more than 3 hours a night. Medical marijuana would give me Another hour or two. But after about a year of starting tai chi again I started sleeping regularly and deeply for 6 to 7 hours of sleep - which was normal for me way back when....
  2. https://ca.news.yahoo.com/via-rail-searching-bags-drinking-210324284.html How meditation can change your body's response to stress CBCMay 14, 2017 How meditation can change your body's response to stress You have to give a speech in 10 minutes, the study subjects were told — so get ready. A video camera recorded each step as they walked to the microphone, under bright lights, while "evaluators" in white lab coats held clipboards, ready to judge. Sounds stressful? That's the point. This was part of a randomized, controlled clinical trial, designed to send hearts racing, blood pressure rising, and stress hormones coursing through veins, to test how patients with anxiety disorder handled the scenario after eight weeks of treatment. The treatment wasn't a drug — it was mindfulness meditation. "If we could show they were better able to cope, that would really be a big bonus for the treatment of anxiety disorders where people are sometimes overwhelmed by stressful experiences in their lives," said Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, lead author of the study published recently in Psychiatry Research. The meditators didn't just feel better in the anxiety-inducing scenario, compared to the control group. The difference could be measured in their blood. Relaxation paradox As we learn more about the dangers of chronic stress, calming down has arguably become a modern obsession, with mindfulness at the fore. Of course, stress is part of life, and our bodies have an ancient response, to rise to the occasion. Faced with a threat, the brain sends signals to release stress hormones that trigger a cascade of changes throughout the body, from a racing heart to dilating pupils to slowed digestion. This is quite helpful if you need to react quickly and, say, run from a lion. But the same cascade can be triggered by our own thoughts and worries — and when stress becomes chronic, it's linked to a higher risk of heart attack, stroke,obesity and other ills. Mindfulness teaches to notice the intense feelings, without judgement, said Dr. Dzung Vo, a pediatrician who uses mindfulness to help struggling teens at B.C. Children's Hospital. Trying to suppress the stress response doesn't work, he said. "Paradoxically, the more we actually try to relax, the more we have something to achieve and to strive for, actually the harder it is to relax." Not a 'magical intervention' But as mindfulness enjoys a pop-culture moment — touted in products from meditation apps to colouring books — backlash has come, including from academics who warn the hype may be outpacing the evidence. "I think there's something here," said Timothy Caulfield, Canada Research Chair in health, law and policy at the University of Alberta. "But ... I think we need to be careful about the idea that mindfulness is good for everything, that it's some sort of magical intervention that will save the day." A 2014 systemic review of mindfulness research, for example, found "moderate evidence" the practice helps with anxiety, depression and pain, but no evidence of effect on other things like mood, sleep and weight. Caulfield also cautions about so-called "white-hat bias": because mindfulness seems both righteous and benign, he says the field hasn't faced enough scrutiny, even though it's become a billion-dollar industry. "Just like 'big pharma,' there's big mindfulness." What's needed, according to Caulfield and others, is more randomized, controlled clinical trials to know when mindfulness helps — and when it doesn't. 'Like a cloud over the sky' That's what Hoge and her colleagues set out to do with the clinical trial described above, aiming to test a technique called "Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction" the same way they'd trial a drug. MBSR was developed more than 30 years ago by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and is now used in hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. Over eight weeks of classes and daily practice at home, the class learns breath awareness, a body scan, and gentle Hatha yoga, said Hoge. "Pay attention to whatever arises in the mind," the participants heard, "with gentleness and non-judgement, and allow it to pass like a cloud over the sky." The group that learned this meditation was compared to a control group. They took a different class with the same time commitment and homework, but learning to manage stress with diet, exercise and sleep, not meditation. After the training, the control group was actually more stressed, showing higher levels of stress hormone ACTH in their blood from the anxiety-inducing speech. The meditators saw the opposite: ACTH dropped, as did pro-inflammatory cytokines — both markers of stress — suggesting the meditation had indeed made them more resilient. "I treat patients with anxiety disorders with medication and psychotherapy, and I believe in both of those," said Hoge. "But I think the thing that is special about meditation training is ... you're paying attention to your mind with kindness and gentleness. There's something that's very healing about that for some people." Reporter Lisa Johnson is exploring the science and business of calming down in a special series, Keep Calm, with stories on CBC Radio One's The Early Edition and a national holiday special produced with Manusha Janakiram at noon on Victoria Day. ts
  3. I posted this last september regarding the positive effects from my taking tai chi "Neuropathy- for the last 3 years or so I have had neuropathy - a strong numbness in my thighs and ankles, lack of feeling in several layers. I realized in the last month that I have almost all feeling restored in my thighs and improvement in my ankles."
  4. Huh....? Tai Chi is not related to :"aggressive fighting". Just the opposite - it helps to balance masculine/feminine, ying/yang, energies. Tai chi is a form of qigong. You learn how to neutralize an aggressor.... Check it out...
  5. And don't forget "Om Mani Padme Hum" ( oh pat my bum)
  6. http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-health-benefits-of-tai-chi The health benefits of tai chi This gentle form of exercise can help maintain strength, flexibility, and balance, and could be the perfect activity for the rest of your life. Updated: December 4, 2015Published: May, 2009 Tai chi is often described as "meditation in motion," but it might well be called "medication in motion." There is growing evidence that this mind-body practice, which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health problems. And you can get started even if you aren't in top shape or the best of health. In this low-impact, slow-motion exercise, you go without pausing through a series of motions named for animal actions — for example, "white crane spreads its wings" — or martial arts moves, such as "box both ears." As you move, you breathe deeply and naturally, focusing your attention — as in some kinds of meditation — on your bodily sensations. Tai chi differs from other types of exercise in several respects. The movements are usually circular and never forced, the muscles are relaxed rather than tensed, the joints are not fully extended or bent, and connective tissues are not stretched. Tai chi can be easily adapted for anyone, from the most fit to people confined to wheelchairs or recovering from surgery. Tai chi movement A tai chi class practices a short form at the Tree of Life Tai Chi Center in Watertown, Mass. "A growing body of carefully conducted research is building a compelling case for tai chi as an adjunct to standard medical treatment for the prevention and rehabilitation of many conditions commonly associated with age," says Peter M. Wayne, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Tai Chi and Mind-Body Research Program at Harvard Medical School's Osher Research Center. An adjunct therapy is one that's used together with primary medical treatments, either to address a disease itself or its primary symptoms, or, more generally, to improve a patient's functioning and quality of life. Belief systems You don't need to subscribe to or learn much about tai chi's roots in Chinese philosophy to enjoy its health benefits, but these concepts can help make sense of its approach: Qi — an energy force thought to flow through the body; tai chi is said to unblock and encourage the proper flow of qi. Yin and yang — opposing elements thought to make up the universe that need to be kept in harmony. Tai chi is said to promote this balance. Tai chi in motion A tai chi class might include these parts: Warm-up. Easy motions, such as shoulder circles, turning the head from side to side, or rocking back and forth, help you to loosen your muscles and joints and focus on your breath and body. Instruction and practice of tai chi forms. Short forms — forms are sets of movements — may include a dozen or fewer movements; long forms may include hundreds. Different styles require smaller or larger movements. A short form with smaller, slower movements is usually recommended at the beginning, especially if you're older or not in good condition. Qigong (or chi kung). Translated as "breath work" or "energy work," this consists of a few minutes of gentle breathing sometimes combined with movement. The idea is to help relax the mind and mobilize the body's energy. Qigong may be practiced standing, sitting, or lying down. Getting started The benefits of tai chi are generally greatest if you begin before you develop a chronic illness or functional limitations. Tai chi is very safe, and no fancy equipment is needed, so it's easy to get started. Here's some advice for doing so: Don't be intimidated by the language. Names like Yang, Wu, and Cheng are given to various branches of tai chi, in honor of people who devised the sets of movements called forms. Certain programs emphasize the martial arts aspect of tai chi rather than its potential for healing and stress reduction. In some forms, you learn long sequences of movements, while others involve shorter series and more focus on breathing and meditation. The name is less important than finding an approach that matches your interests and needs. Check with your doctor . If you have a limiting musculoskeletal problem or medical condition — or if you take medications that can make you dizzy or lightheaded — check with your doctor before starting tai chi. Given its excellent safety record, chances are that you'll be encouraged to try it. Consider observing and taking a class. Taking a class may be the best way to learn tai chi. Seeing a teacher in action, getting feedback, and experiencing the camaraderie of a group are all pluses. Most teachers will let you observe the class first to see if you feel comfortable with the approach and atmosphere. Instruction can be individualized. Ask about classes at your local Y, senior center, or community education center. The Arthritis Foundation (www.arthritis.org; 800-283-7800, toll-free) can tell you whether its tai chi program, a 12-movement, easy-to-learn sequence, is offered in your area. If you'd rather learn at home, you can buy or rent videos geared to your interests and fitness needs (see "Selected resources"). Although there are some excellent tai chi books, it can be difficult to appreciate the flow of movements from still photos or illustrations. Talk to the instructor. There's no standard training or licensing for tai chi instructors, so you'll need to rely on recommendations from friends or clinicians and, of course, your own judgment. Look for an experienced teacher who will accommodate individual health concerns or levels of coordination and fitness. Dress comfortably. Choose loose-fitting clothes that don't restrict your range of motion. You can practice barefoot or in lightweight, comfortable, and flexible shoes. Tai chi shoes are available, but ones you find in your closet will probably work fine. You'll need shoes that won't slip and can provide enough support to help you balance, but have soles thin enough to allow you to feel the ground. Running shoes, designed to propel you forward, are usually unsuitable. Gauge your progress. Most beginning programs and tai chi interventions tested in medical research last at least 12 weeks, with instruction once or twice a week and practice at home. By the end of that time, you should know whether you enjoy tai chi, and you may already notice positive physical and psychological changes. No pain, big gains Although tai chi is slow and gentle and doesn't leave you breathless, it addresses the key components of fitness — muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and, to a lesser degree, aerobic conditioning. Here's some of the evidence: Muscle strength. Tai chi can improve both lower-body strength and upper-body strength. When practiced regularly, tai chi can be comparable to resistance training and brisk walking. "Although you aren't working with weights or resistance bands, the unsupported arm exercise involved in tai chi strengthens your upper body," says internist Dr. Gloria Yeh, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. "Tai chi strengthens both the lower and upper extremities and also the core muscles of the back and abdomen." Flexibility. Tai chi can boost upper- and lower-body flexibility as well as strength. Balance. Tai chi improves balance and, according to some studies, reduces falls. Proprioception — the ability to sense the position of one's body in space — declines with age. Tai chi helps train this sense, which is a function of sensory neurons in the inner ear and stretch receptors in the muscles and ligaments. Tai chi also improves muscle strength and flexibility, which makes it easier to recover from a stumble. Fear of falling can make you more likely to fall; some studies have found that tai chi training helps reduce that fear. Aerobic conditioning. Depending on the speed and size of the movements, tai chi can provide some aerobic benefits. If your clinician advises a more intense cardio workout with a higher heart rate than tai chi can offer, you may need something more aerobic as well.
  7. After a while the slow, deliberate movement and focus becomes your normal approach to your environmemnt.
  8. Yes, I go to a special “health recovery” program geared to PD, etc., but starting next month I’ll start a regular one as well. For the longest time I was the only student, with a 70 year old woman teacher who has had PD for awhile, and the rare beginner that would only last 2 or 3 lessons. For the last year I’ve had two regulars. One uses a walker or walks precariously on his tiptoes until he “gently “ falls..... ( I say he’s just practising his break- dancing) The other uses a wheel chair and moves stiffly. Both have made noticeable improvements. The support between us helps too, much of it intuitive. Either class would be an excellent activity for both of you together., and your wife would learn how to help you exercise. If you have any questions feel free....
  9. I'll be starting my 4th year i n July and would highly recommend it!!! Check out the Tai Chi forum here (early onset) to find out my experiences. Excellent for body AND soul... Taoist Tai Chi is the best / easiest to learn because of the 90 and 45 degrees angles, the others are more esoteric.
  10. http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/as-doctors-see-benefits-of-medical-marijuana-treatments-for-seniors-calls-for-changes-in-policy-895834691711