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Everything posted by lethe

  1. This is an excellent film on medical marijuana.
  2. And don't forget "Om Mani Padme Hum" ( oh pat my bum)
  3. 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 (; 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.
  4. After a while the slow, deliberate movement and focus becomes your normal approach to your environmemnt.
  5. 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....
  6. 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.
  8. That sounds about right. When I cut from 10 pills a day to 6 the dystonia and dyskenesia largely disappeared...
  9. O Sweet Relief.... I know thy name!....
  10. 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.
  12. Potbotics.....
  13. This medical device scans your brain on marijuana The BrainBot, a brain-scanning technology developed by tech startup PotBotics, enables physicians to pick a marijuana strain that is most suited for their patients' needs.
  14. Parkinson's disease diagnosis could be aided with blood test CBC February 8, 2017 Swedish researchers say a simple blood test is effective at differentiating symptoms of Parkinson's disease from similar disorders, but it isn't ready for clinical use. In its early stages, neurologists say Parkinson's is difficult to distinguish from rarer disorders, called atypical parkinsonian disorders. They have overlapping symptoms that tend to worsen more quickly and are more likely to lead to death. Researchers are on the hunt for biomarkers to help diagnosis these disorders. One potential biomarker, a nerve protein that can be detected when nerve cells die, is found in higher concentrations in spinal fluid collected by lumbar puncture. Now medical scientists have also found the protein in less invasive blood tests. - Blood test for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's may soon be available in U.S. For the study published in Wednesday's online issue of the journal Neurology, Dr. Oskar Hansson of Sweden's Lund University and his team examined 504 people in three groups. Two of the groups, in England and Sweden, included healthy people and those who had been living with one of the disorders for an average of four to six years. The third group of 109 patients had the diseases for three years or less. "The results of the present study strongly indicate that NfL when measured in blood can be used to distinguish between patients with Parkinson's disease and patients with progressive supranuclear palsy multiple system atrophy and corticobasal degeneration with high diagnostic accuracy," the study's authors said. Hansson said concentrations of the nerve protein could discriminate between the diseases as accurately as its concentrations in spinal fluid. Blood biomarkers have previously been considered in diagnosing Alzheimer disease but other teams weren't able to reproduce those findings. That's why the Hansson's team turned to people at clinics in different countries in their evaluation. Not there yet The results also seem highly reliable, Dr. Guido Alves of the neurology department at Stavanger University Hospital in Norway and his co-author said in a journal editorial. While NfL levels help distinguish Parkinson's from the other disorders, it can't separate the other three, which would help clinicians, Alves said. Most patients with Parkinson's showed NfL levels in the normal range. "We still lack an easily accessible disease-specific diagnostic biomarker for the most common movement disorder," according to the editorial. The test was a research tool. To use it clinically, several more steps are needed. For instance, scientists need to determine cutoff values to flag abnormal levels. But the value of early diagnosis is less clear when few disease-modifying treatments exist. The study was supported by the European Research Council, the Swedish Research Council, The Parkinson Foundation of Sweden, the Swedish Brain Foundation, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Torsten Soderberg Foundation at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Swedish Federal Government under the ALF Agreement.
  15. Researchers studying usage, safety of cannabis oil for children with epilepsy CBC February 2, 2017 Researchers in Saskatchewan and Alberta are looking into the usage and safety of cannabidiol (CBD) — a marijuana extract with very low levels of psychoactive compounds — for children with epilepsy. The lead researchers of a pilot study are Dr. Richard Huntsman, a pediatric neurologist at the University of Saskatchewan, and Dr. Richard Tang-Wai, a pediatric epileptologist at the University of Alberta. Cannabidiol is the main area of their research. Tang-Wai said the study came about after a huge demand from parents of children with severe epilepsy. Tang-Wai said the parents were looking for anything which could help their children. Some of them noted reports from various news outlets depicting the use of CBD as some sort of miracle drug. Tang-Wai said parents told him parents would seek out CBD themselves. "It's hard to stop parents from doing that sometimes because they are desperate," Tang-Wai said, adding it can't be determined just what else is in those products. Safety is needed when dealing with the administration of medication and children, which is what the study hopes to shed more light on, both men said. "The product that we're using is a high cannabidiol, low THC product," Huntsman said. Huntsman said past studies have shown CBD to have some benefits when it comes to treating epilepsy but said the study is only just scratching the surface. Tang-Wai emphasized it is not the same as recreational marijuana use, in which THC features prominently, so there aren't as much psychoactive effects when treating children. The children in the study have varying degrees of severity when it comes to epileptic seizures. Huntsman said some children can have up to 100 seizures a day, in the worst cases. The children in the study often are not candidates for surgery either, due to medication or diet. "These kids also, as part of epilepsy syndromes, often regress developmentally," Huntsman said. "So that really adds to the urgency that we need to get a good feel, a good handle of what's happening with cannabis." The study is a multi-centre study at both universities, as well as partner sites at University of British Columbia, Université de Montréal and McGill University, Huntsman said . Thirty children will go in on a monthly basis, and each month their dosage of CBDs will be escalated. Over the time, children will be monitored and will continue other medication they're using during the study. "We have to keep things steady as possible," Huntsman said.
  16. New Petition Demands DEA Stop Lying About Marijuana By Duke London on January 17th, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Updated: January 17th, 2017 at 6:37 pm Activism, Law & Politics One of the most puzzling aspects of ongoing marijuana prohibition has been the ability of the government to preserve clear falsehoods within the Controlled Substances Act. Even with our limited access to peer-reviewed studies on the plant, we know that many of the risk factors initially associated with marijuana use are baseless. Marijuana legalization advocacy group Americans for Safe Access were fed up with the hypocritical handling of cannabis and are taking a stand, but they need your help. The group started a petition that they hope will force the DEA to tell the truth about cannabis so that those in need may finally get legal access. Organizers hope to gather over 100,000 signatures, at which point the petition will be delivered to President Obama in the hope that he will force the DEA to take corrective action. According to the Information Quality Act, it is against the law for a government agency to knowingly and purposefully disseminate false information to the public. The ASA petition argues that the DEA has been doing just that by continuing to hold fast in their claims that cannabis has addictive properties and zero medicinal value. By allowing these false claims to remain on the books, politicians are able to use the plant’s CSA designation as a reason to shoot down new reform. The petition accompanies a legal request filed by Americans for Safe Access last month with the Justice Department in hopes of forcing the DEA to correct their outdated and disproven information. Specifically, ASA wants the DEA to stop calling cannabis a “gateway drug” and a causing factor for long-term brain damage. The filing also demands that all future legislation and publicly available information about cannabis reflect the most recently available research data and medical information. “The DEA has actually admitted that cannabis is not a gateway drug and does not cause long-term brain damage, psychosis, and other alleged harms, yet they keep distributing this false information anyway, despite the reality these claims are not based on scientific fact,” explained Beth Collins, Senior Director of Government Relations and External Affairs for ASA. “It’s illegal for the government to disseminate inaccurate information and the DEA must be held accountable. This misinformation hurts the millions of medical cannabis patients in the 29 states where cannabis treatment is legal, as well as patients in other states who are working to pass laws, for whom safe and reliable access to marijuana is a matter of necessity.” The timing of the petition and legal filing are no coincidence, as the nation recently watched Senator Jeff Sessions begin the confirmation process for his Attorney General appointment. The Alabama Senator has a strong record when it comes to opposing marijuana, even claiming at one point in his career, “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” Advocates for cannabis know that the next legislative session is a crucial one for the advancement of legalization efforts, and they want these important decisions made based on real scientific data rather than archaic opinions. If you would like to see the government make informed decisions about cannabis, sign the ASA petition here. You can also read the legal motion filed by ASA here, including pages 6-12 that spell out in detail each false claim the government has made about marijuana with regards to mental illness and the “gateway” theory.
  17. The Canadian Press January 18, 2017 Former president's movement disorder mimics Parkinson's Former President George H.W. Bush, who has been placed in intensive care at a Houston hospital, is suffering from pneumonia and has vascular parkinsonism, a rare syndrome that mimics Parkinson's disease. The 92-year-old Bush also broke a vertebra in 2015 and has used a motorized scooter or a wheelchair in recent years. Some answers to common questions about his health: ___ Q: WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF PNEUMONIA? A: Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can be mild or severe. Elderly patients are at risk of deadly complications. The former president wrote to President-elect Donald Trump on Jan. 10, saying that he would be unable to attend Friday's inauguration because of doctor's orders: "My doctor says if I sit outside in January, it will likely put me six feet under. Same for Barbara. So I guess we're stuck in Texas." ___ Q: WHAT IS VASCULAR PARKINSONISM? A: People diagnosed with the condition walk with shuffling steps, and brain scans suggest they have suffered small strokes. However, they do not have the characteristic tremors of Parkinson's disease, and they do not respond to drugs for Parkinson's. "They look like Parkinson's from the waist down. From the waist up, they look very expressive," said Dr. Alberto Espay of the University of Cincinnati's Gardner Neuroscience Institute. ___ Q: IS IT DIFFERENT FROM PARKINSON'S DISEASE? A: Yes. It does not get steadily worse in the same way Parkinson's does. Classic Parkinson's disease develops when cells that produce one of the brain's chemical messengers, called dopamine, begin to deteriorate and die. Dopamine transports signals to parts of the brain that control movement. Parkinson's symptoms appear after enough dopamine-producing cells die that there's too little of this neurotransmitter in the brain. Vascular parkinsonism can closely mimic a number of other disorders, including classic Parkinson's, progressive supranuclear palsy and excessive fluid on the brain. ___ Q: WHAT HAS PRESIDENT BUSH SAID ABOUT THE CONDITION? A: In a 2012 interview with Parade magazine, Bush said: "It just affects the legs. It's not painful. You tell your legs to move, and they don't move. It's strange, but if you have to have some bad-sounding disease, this is a good one to get." Bush said the symptoms have been difficult for him, "because I love being active, (playing) sports, being in the game. . But you just face the reality and make the best of it." ___ Q: WHO GETS IT? A: People in their 70s and older are most likely be diagnosed, said Dr. Tanya Simuni who conducts research on Parkinson's and other movement disorders at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago. She calls it a "difficult diagnosis" because of the lack of accurate diagnostic tests. The risk factors are the same as for stroke and heart disease: history of smoking, lack of exercise and poor diet. It's rarer than Parkinson's disease, which affects about 1 million Americans. In contrast, roughly 20,000 people have been told they have vascular parkinsonism. ___ Q: HOW IS IT TREATED? A: Since the condition does not respond well to drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease, treatment relies on lowering the risk factors for stroke. That means quitting smoking, exercising, eating a healthy diet and perhaps taking a daily aspirin. Preventing falls is important, so a patient may receive physical therapy to improve balance. ___ Q: WHAT CAUSES THE DISEASE? A: This is where answers get tricky. Conventional thinking says the disease is caused by strokes. But without a perfect test, lots of problems get lumped under the umbrella. Espay has written a paper questioning whether most parkinsonism is related to vascular disease. He's also debated the topic at a recent neurology conference. ___ Q: IS THERE A CURE? A: Physical therapy can help with balance and walking, but the damage cannot be reversed, said Dr. Corneliu Luca, assistant professor of neurology at University of Miami. "If you do not control risk factors for stroke, they can have another stroke, and the walking can get even worse," Luca said. ___ Q: WHAT COMPLICATIONS ARE MOST WORRISOME? A: Falls are the biggest concern because they can lead to fractures, Simuni said. Bush took a spill in 2015 and fractured his C2 vertebra, the second one below the skull. It's not known whether that fall was directly related to parkinsonism. ___ Follow AP Medical Writer Carla K. Johnson on Twitter at . Carla K. Johnson, The Associated Press