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Everything posted by lethe

  1. lethe


    http://www.pdf.org/en/depression_pd Depression For people with Parkinson’s, depression is quite common and disabling—and it is the symptom most often overlooked. Up to 60 percent of people with Parkinson’s experience mild or moderate depressive symptoms. In fact, research suggests that the disease itself causes chemical changes in the brain that may lead to depression. Parkinson’s affects many parts of the brain that are important in controlling mood. One of these is the area that produces serotonin, a brain chemical implicated in depression. Another part of the brain important in regulating mood—the frontal lobe—is known to be under-active in Parkinson’s. Commonly prescribed antidepressants can help. In addition to medications, cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been shown to help some people with Parkinson’s . Other researchers have found that people with Parkinson’s who were depressed had more trouble with daily activities, and were more likely to begin medication for motor symptoms sooner than those without depressive symptoms. Depression decreased their quality of life and made their motor symptoms worse—but treating the depression, rather than the motor symptoms, improved both quality of life and movement. If you feel you are doing very poorly, yet your doctor finds only mild physical impairments during your exam, you may be depressed. Depression can range from feelings of sadness and discouragement to extreme hopelessness. These feelings generally are different from the grief and frustration you may feel as a result of your diagnosis. Tell your doctor if you are having these symptoms.
  2. lethe

    tai chi

    https://www.drweil.com/blog/bulletins/tai-chi-best-bet-to-help-prevent-falls/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Weekly Bulletin 8032017&utm_content=Weekly Bulletin 8032017+CID_4ea19f1610ca4deac4864b9b3f474e78&utm_source=CM Email&utm_term=Tai Chi Benefits Andrew Weil, M.D. Tai Chi: Best Bet To Help Prevent Falls Tai chi is a gentle form of exercise that can help develop strength, balance and flexibility. In fact, practicing this traditional Chinese “shadow boxing” appears to work better than other types of exercise to reduce the number of falls among seniors and others at high risk of falling. A team of Spanish investigators compiled the results of 10 randomized controlled trials that compared the effects of tai chi, physical therapy and low intensity exercise as well as other approaches aimed at preventing falls. The researchers found what they described as “high-quality evidence” that tai chi reduced the rate of falls by 43 percent compared with other interventions at short-term follow up (less than 12 months) and by 13 percent over periods longer than 12 months. They also found evidence that tai chi reduced the risk of injurious falls by 50 percent over the short term and by 28 percent over the long term. However, because there have been so few studies of tai chi among seniors and others at risk of falling, the Spanish team concluded that more research is needed to determine how effective this practice is at lowering the risk of harmful falls in this demographic. My take? I view tai chi as an effective form of mental and physical stimulation, and very beneficial for overall health. Like yoga, tai chi is a reliable method of stress reduction and relaxation, and it promotes flexibility, balance, and good body awareness. It is pleasing to watch and perform, and as this study suggests, it may be the best type of exercise to reduce the risk of injury from falls among seniors.
  3. lethe

    tai chi

    I started Tai chi classes again. My instructor in the special classes has had Parkinson's for over 20 years! She has to be over 70 years old.
  4. lethe

    medical marijuana

    http://watch.montanapbs.org/video/2365337910/ This is an excellent film on medical marijuana.
  5. Otolorin posted: in what form do you take medical marijuana,and how do you dose it? I vaporize it, as well as oil concentrate. I would prefer it in edibles , but unfortunately I have slow stomach motility (thanks PD), so I could ingest a whole bunch but wouldn’t feel it. I eyeball it and use it whenever I feel the need - usually every 3 or 4 hours, sometimes longer. MM is a different type of medicine, and may lead us to rethink “dosing” at specific times. You stated that you were on L-dopa for 10yrs,did you ever get dyskinesia from it? Sure did and still do, though not as often. I usually get it when my next leva-dopa is overdue, and it may last intermittently for an hour or two. But I no longer get it in the early morning.
  6. I would get bad foot cramps at 4am. I was on 10 leva dopa daily for about 10 years,, until I decided to wean myself down. I ended up at 6 daily (40% drop) and it was very interesting the way it seemed toi get better daily - over a two year period. Now about 2 or more years of this, I no longer get the cramps and my mornings are much better. two other contributing factors are medical marijuana and tai chi...
  7. lethe

    Not Sleeping Well

    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....
  8. Recently my Dr mentioned a new group they were thinking of forming to deal with anxiety, depression, etc, based on a “new” therapy that was proving effective with a low level of recidivism. It’s called Mindfulness, based on Taoism philosophic principles. She thought with my taking tai chi and my interest in psychology etc that I might be helpful in the group. I told her that I already use one of the techniques – observing my flow of thoughts and feelings without identifying with them. I consider my life-long interest in psychology and health to be helpful in living with PD, as it’s provides me insight into both – and first-hand experience of the relation between mind and body. After thinking about Mindfulness relating to PD and sickness in general I thought it could be very helpful - but I can only see it being helpful to people who believe that there is more to life than meets the eye -- whether it be religion, philosophy, cosmic forces or whatever. For without this belief I can’t see how or why anyone would derive satisfactory meaning (or reason) from observing their negative and painful experience of anything..... Since my Dr mentioned it I have noticed more articles on mindfulness...
  9. lethe

    Mindfulness as therapy

    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
  10. lethe

    tai chi

  11. lethe

    Peripheral Neuropathy In Parkinson

    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."
  12. lethe

    tai chi

  13. lethe

    tai chi

    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...
  14. lethe

    sleeping trouble

    And don't forget "Om Mani Padme Hum" ( oh pat my bum)
  15. lethe

    Anybody Find Tai Chi To Be Helpful?

    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.
  16. lethe

    Anybody Find Tai Chi To Be Helpful?

    After a while the slow, deliberate movement and focus becomes your normal approach to your environmemnt.
  17. lethe

    Anybody Find Tai Chi To Be Helpful?

    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....
  18. lethe

    Anybody Find Tai Chi To Be Helpful?

    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.
  19. lethe

    medical marijuana

  20. lethe

    Would This Be Too Pushy?

    That sounds about right. When I cut from 10 pills a day to 6 the dystonia and dyskenesia largely disappeared...