Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease. In short, it is a movement disorder. While the prognosis is terminal, advanced medical intervention has allowed many patients to live very long, very fulfilling lives. Mohammed Ali had Parkinson’s for over 30 years before passing away at the age of 74. Michael J. Fox has been diagnosed over 20 years ago and still lives.
Since becoming an acupuncturist, I had realized that many people look for that one therapy that will cure them. Its human nature to zero in on the one “a-ha, I found it” realization and then that realization becomes the miracle that can treat everyone. In truth, most diseases are stabilized or cured by an incorporation of many therapies integrated together in a regimen. Parkinson’s falls into that category.
For the past few years, I have worked a lot with the Parkinson’s community. After all, the Michael J Fox foundation has looked at such therapies like acupuncture for the cure to restore proper movement. The one thing I’ve learned is both a positive and disappointing conclusion. By itself, Acupuncture does not stay off or reverse PD, truly a sad reality. However, in conjunction with other treatments, it can.
The biggest conclusion that the medical profession has come to understand about PD is “If you don’t use it, you lose it”. Because PD attacks the nerves that affect fluid movement function, PD patients have to counter the effects by constantly “flexing” their brain muscle. That is to say, they have to keep activating the nerves that control motor function. Brilliantly, Rock Steady Boxing latched on to this knowledge and created a highly successful program where PD patients perform different exercises designed to activate these parts of the brain. The results are astounding. This should be the first thing PD patients should incorporate when they first become diagnosed. This, combined with medication and nutrition, builds the platform for a long life.
Now let’s talk acupuncture. Acupuncture is a Chinese medical therapy that has written clinical research dating back 2300 years and archaeological evidence dating back 5000 years. Unfortunately, through ancient text mistranslations, acupuncture was first deemed an etheric energy medicine having nothing to do with physical medicine. This is a falsehood that is finally being put to rest. Acupuncture, simply put, stimulates the nervous system and cardiovascular system to create positive changes in the body. The Chinese did an excellent job of keeping their medical records through the centuries. In every generation, the Chinese doctors who performed acupuncture (and Chinese herbal therapy) wrote what they did and how the patient responded. For 2300 years, the Chinese have been doing this. In essence, Chinese Medicine has the longest running clinical trial in history! The Chinese mapped out every point on the nervous system that triggers a change in the body. Like train stations, an acupuncturist can switch tracks to make the trains of information in the body do this or do that.
With PD, acupuncturists stimulate the nervous system to light up the parts of the brain that need to be constantly activated to keep from dying off. The cardiovascular system runs right along the nervous system (often intertwining) so that oxygenated blood can nourish nerves. Acupuncturists can vaso-dilate the vascular system, providing fresh blood to dying nerves. Finally, Acupuncturists decrease emotional and physical stress on the system by relaxing the nervous system. Less stress, less inflammation, less degeneration.
So try acupuncture. Utilize it in conjunction with other preventive measures and live a longer, fully life!
Rock Steady's Website
Clinical Research Regarding Acupuncture and Parkinsons