Gratitude and life

April 16th, 2019

I have such a long article to write in my head about getting brain surgery last week in Switzerland but for now it’s not going up.

I’m not interested in the details at the moment even though I learned so much about the brain. What I’m interested in is resting in comfort, being able to take care of myself again and living.  My right leg is bothering me a lot and I’m trying not to focus on it as I think it will improve but the fact that my brain goes there is refreshing.  My brain is no longer wondering if I’ll get stuck walking, if I’ll be able to stand in a check out line, or when the next wave of convulsions will happen. Instead I have a dystonic somewhat painful leg and you know something – I’ll take it.

Tomorrow I return home to my son, animals, and friends.  I get to have a life again.  I get to shop, cook, and drive, do things with friends.  So I am rejoicing in that! I get to go back to the work I love soon and help animals again! I am not perfect but I am better and full of gratitude for that!  

Embracing the Shadow of Dis-ease (also Martha’s wisdom)

December 6th, 2018
On my recent trip to Toronto, Dr. Joaquin Farias made a comment that we need to accept something before we can change it. This was very powerful to me.

I do not accept that I have Parkinson’s disease. I’ll find every loophole to try to convince myself I do not and that does not serve me. I think of acceptance as accepting that I will get worse, that my life will be horrible and that I will constantly struggle. Accepting this dis-ease does not mean these things. If I accept it I can do things to make me better, I can accept a cure when it is discovered, and I can take advantage of what is available now to help me.

Right now my body is in a battle to fight it but it is part of me and like our shadow self the only way to heal is to integrate the shadow and transform it from within.

This is true of many chronic dis-eases, they are a part of us that is misbehaving or out of regulation. We are fighting ourselves when we fight them. It’s like fighting a hurt child, we need to comfort that part of us and try to understand what it needs and what it is trying to teach us.

I am reminded of the wisdom of a very special cat I treat named Martha. I’ve been working with Martha for over four years now. Martha came to me with metastatic hemangiosarcoma in her abdomen, which is one of the worst cancers we work with in veterinary medicine. We did no chemo or surgery, we did not attack it. Instead we started acupuncture to support and integrate her body and a couple herbals to slow it down and four years later I still see Martha every two weeks. I can no longer feel her tumor, there may very likely still be cancer cells there but her body keeps them in check. We never denied that Martha had cancer, we accepted it and did what we could to make her life and health excellent. She is now 18 years old and her biggest issues are arthritis and her aim in the cat box.

I want to be like Martha. I can have Parkinson’s and still have a good life. I can accept that medication makes my life better, I can exercise like crazy, eat well, and take good care of myself. I will never give up on getting better but acceptance is key to me transforming this. You can’t change something if you don’t look it in the eye, if you are afraid of it or if you don’t accept it. I’m not totally there yet but I’m trying.

And because you are going to ask – Turkey Tail mushroom and Yunnan baiyao were the two herbals Martha took.

The role of God and faith in curing Parkinson’s disease

February 15th, 2018

I truly believe that curing Parkinson’s disease is a multifold path. It takes hard work, it takes changing brain chemistry, it takes hacking into the brain and teaching it to do something new, and it takes faith.

A little less than a year ago I happened upon the work of Janice Walton Hadlock, after she was discussed on Fred Phillip’s blog. Janice is a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and was able to cure herself. Janice put together a project to collect the stories of those who have been cured or are in remission from Parkinson’s, to find out what the people had in common about how they were able to be cured.

As she collected stories there was one common theme and that was a belief in God. However it wasn’t just a belief in God, as there were priests and nuns who were not cured of Parkinson’s but had true faith. There were two characterizes that defined the flavor of the connection to God needed to cure Parkinson’s. The first was that God had to be defined as loving, peaceful and benevolent. God had to be viewed as a protector and friend. And secondly, belief in God was not enough, praying to God wasn’t enough. People who cured themselves of Parkinson’s had daily dialog with their God. They talked to God and God talked back to them. They were in true communication with a God they respected and loved, who loved them back.

I remember coming to the final chapters of Janice’s book and feeling a little like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, when she finds out she has had the red ruby slippers and her way home the whole journey. I knew how to communicate with God (did it daily in my work) and I truly believed in God down to my very soul.

I have always had a deep spiritual connection with something greater than myself since I can first remember. For me it was not taught, I was not brought up with religion, it was just something I knew was true and there. I spent many years searching for my “true” religion, but finally reached the conclusion that my connection to my God was personal and that I didn’t need to be a certain religion to define it. By the way I’m pretty sure my God is the same as everyone else’s God, we just look in at God from different windows.

Over the years though I usually did not talk directly to God but instead talked mostly to my guides, which in the Judeo-Christian faiths would be called angels. I even went so far to spell God with a small g as I felt it was more respectful as God was not someone to be approached directly like a person.

After reading Janice’s work I started spelling God with a big G and decided that I could actually attempt to talk directly instead of always through my guides. God was big enough and full enough that I was not wasted God’s time on my petty human concerns. Although I admit I am still more comfortable talking to my guides.

In addition I started communicating multiple times a day with my guides instead of only when I needed help. It is actually great fun and my guides have a delightful sense of humor!

When I was looking for a building to put my business in I was drawing a picture of what it should look like. One thing I wanted was lots of light but my guides insisted that there be no windows on the whole right side of the building. When I finally found the building, you guessed it – no windows on the right side! But the building has wonderful light, something I couldn’t envision before seeing it given the whole side with no windows.

So why is communication with God so important in curing Parkinson’s?

Most people in Parkinson’s are stuck in a place of fear, Dr. Joaquin Farias calls it shock, and Janice Walton Hadlock calls it pause. We are neither in parasympathetic or sympathetic but instead in a state of near death freeze.

Belief in a power greater than yourself takes you out of fear and makes the world a place of trust and safety. If my life is in God’s hands I don’t have to be afraid. For me, my connection also opens me up to great joy and wonder. I am constantly in a sense of awe of what God has put in this world. There is no true loneliness when you are held in the love of a loving God. Dr. Laurie Mischley, who researches Parkinson’s disease, has found progression of the disease to be fastest in people who answer yes to the question, “are you lonely?”

At the same time, there is no easy path here. If I relied on blind faith alone, I would not get better. God still expects us to do the hard work. However I find there is more joy in the work when there is connection. God does not want us to be blind. Instead being aware opens up new paths to follow to healing and joy!

So obviously if you have read anything I have written you know I am a woman of science. I firmly believe that God and science not only can both be embraced but in fact by embracing both the belief of both is strengthened.

There has actually been brain research done around what happens in the brain when we believe and communicate with God. How cool is that?

It has been found that, when you look at brain scans of someone communicating with God, the parts that light up are the parts of the brain related to inhibition and initiation of movement. These two functions we know are broken in people with Parkinson’s disease. Communicating with God stimulates the part of the brain where people with Parkinson’s have deficiencies! Wow!

It’s scarier for me sharing this part of my journey. This part is dear and close to my heart. But I truly believe that through my work with Dr. Joaquin Farias on rehabilitation, my daily supplements, and through God’s grace I will be able to cure this disease in myself. I also believe my work will eventually change into helping others with this disease as well as continuing my animal work. And when the time comes where the path to that opens up I will happily walk it. Life is a wonder and a joy!

My rehabilitation program for Parkinson’s and dystonia

February 4th, 2018

Many people seem amazed when I tell them I work out 1-3 hours a day every day. To me it doesn’t seem like something amazing. I have two chronic neurologic dis-eases that can be reversed with exercise (and in my opinion cured) so why would I not do that!

Exercise is only part of how I am curing myself. I also spend and have spent a large amount of time working on emotional clearing, clearing my ancestral DNA trauma, connecting to God, and channeling healing into my body to cure my brain and open up my meridians. Plus taking all my supplements and healing the pesticide damage to my brain. This is definitely a multifold path!

But I wanted to out line my exercise program because that is the most easy to explain – most of this has come from Dr. Joaquin Farias

  1. Every morning I get up and row for 20 minutes. When I row my body is normal and it helps to reengage my left arm.
  2. I then walk my dog, Alli, usually for around 20 minutes. While I walk her I do hand and arm exercises. I bend, circle, and spread ever joint in my hand, both together and individually. Then I move to my wrist, elbow, and shoulder and repeat. I make sure to have some time with my left arm at my side so that the small amount of jerky swing I am getting back can develop.
  3. Throughout the day whenever I remember I stretch out my shoulder and arms in a doorway – I do this multiple times a day. Sometimes I combine that with kicking or stepping my left leg. I also try to stretch on the ground multiple times a day
  4. At lunch I either do a 20-40 minute power walk to music with 120 beats per minute or I do more stretching, arm or lumbar rehab
  5. In the evening I come home and row for 20 minutes again.
  6. After dinner I usually do about 30-60 minutes of exercise. This includes dance, yoga, inversions, and more stretching, and specific arm exercises.
  7. Combined with that I do specific lumbar exercises – moving my hips and lumbar back to open up my vagus nerve, release my lumbar tightness, and open up my neck. Two months ago that was all stuck, now I can move everything almost normally.
  8. I then do a series of neck exercises, which involve moving and stretching my neck in all directions.My neck has significantly improved in the last two months but still fast movements are hard for me. Small steps here.
  9. Finally I do tongue and eye tracking exercises. I had large issues with eye tracking before and now my eyes track perfectly again. In PD our eyes tend to track abnormally, so fixing that helps reconnect the left and right brain again. My driving has really improved now that I track normally again. I hadn’t realized that was even why I felt insecure when I was driving. My tongue was also slow and had a slight shake to it. I do exercises to stretch it out, move it around, and increase it’s flexibility. I have also seen significant improvement in that. If you have someone you like to kiss that also is a great tongue exercise. Harder when the person you want to kiss is in a different country.Here’s a video I made on eye tracking

Why I wouldn’t want to do all this is beyond me. I’ve seen significant improvement. My facial expressions are normal again. I still have a disability but slowly things are coming back. I’m betting on myself here that I can improve and get better. I’m beating an “unbeatable” dis-ease. It is sometimes one step forward, two back, six forward, three back but overall it is forward. There is a lot of trust and faith involved. I’m still on the three to five year healing plan. I just feel so blessed to have been able to work with Joaquin! Yes it is worth traveling to Toronto to work with him!

Helping old dogs age well holistically

December 16th, 2017

Lately I’ve been realizing that my girl, Alli, is starting to show her age. More and more white hairs are springing up in her muzzle and her gait has been a little slower, her back tighter, and her hips sorer. It’s hard being the acupuncturist’s daughter, because sometimes it’s easy to forget to do acupuncture for her after a day of treating other dogs. But at the same time she is my beautiful, loving companion and anything I can do to slow down her aging I want to do.

So what do we do to help our older animals age well. Alli so far gets the first four.

  • Acupuncture – I bet you could have guessed that one coming! But really, I have found nothing more effective for slowing down the aging process, helping with pain, wellbeing, and vitality. Acupuncture helps keep the body strong and the blood moving!
  • Walks – Alli gets a least two 15 minute walks a day, often they are longer. Walking helps with blood flow, brain health, strength, and joint mobility. Exercise helps to prevent many diseases and provides brain stimulation to your friend. Studies have actually shown that walking can reverse dementia in dogs.
  • CBD oil – I love using CBD oil in older cats and dogs. It is a super great anti-inflammatory, has anti-cancer effects, helps the heart, cuts anxiety, and helps with pain. Dr. Robert Silver has been studying the effects of CBD oil and so far the results are impressive. It is the best pain killer I have seen work in cats where there are few good options and most cats tolerate it extremely well. Also great on pain in dogs and safe to combine with many other pain drugs because the action is different. Rob’s product is available in two concentrations, HempRx for cats and smaller dogs and HempRxForte for larger dogs
  • Fish Oil – great brain support and joint anti-inflammatory in dogs. Fish oil helps with overall wellbeing. I like the Nordic Naturals brand
  • Senior Dog Support – this is a formula that I developed years ago and use in many of my older dog patients. It helps with pain, inflammation, blood flow, and organ health.For more information see my article.
  • Brain and Heart Support – this is a simple formula that I use in any dog who starts to show brain decline. It helps with blood circulation to the brain, regulates blood pressure, and supports the heart.

There are many other great ways to support our older animals but these are usually my starting tools!

Mammary cancer in dogs and cats – holistic approaches

December 8th, 2017

I’ve gotten many requests to write something about mammary cancer. I guess I’ve been hesitant both because I feel like compared to some of the other cancers, I haven’t treated a lot of it, and my first cat Millie died of it. It was a horrible death with an infected oozing tumor and her not being able to breath. When I found the tumor it was smaller than a pea but when we tried to remove it her oxygen fell and we had to quickly pull her out of anesthesia and leave the tumor. It was already in her lungs. I was just finishing vet school and elected to treat her with steroid injections and later also antibiotics. She made it for the drive back to Seattle but passed away within a month of me moving back home, just three months after the lump appeared.

This cancer is very preventable with early spaying of females. Animals spayed before their first heat have on a 0.6% chance of getting mammary cancer, after the first heat it jumps to 6%, and after the second 26% or higher as the number of heats before spay increases.

In cats, this cancer is highly aggressive, quickly spreads to the lungs, and most cats die from lung involvement within three months of diagnosis. Most tumors in cats are malignant but occasionally you get a benign one.

In dogs we see a few types of tumors. Many are benign and removal is curative. Of the cancerous ones, some are more aggressive than others with local occurrance and lung spread as issues. Some are very low grade and there is minimal chance of spread. It is not uncommon especially in unsprayed females to see multiple tumors in which case sometimes the whole mammary chain is removed.

I do have a lovely little Rottweiler patient, Ella, who had a less aggressive form of mammary cancer who has been in complete remission for over two years. The tumor was removed, a little Hoxsey, acupuncture, and a loving dog mom to take care of her and love her!

So first let’s talk about dogs. How do I approach this cancer

  1. I recommend removing the tumor if possible and the lungs are clear. These are inflammatory tumors, they ulcerate, they bleed, they spread to the lungs. Get rid of it before it does.
  2. Acupuncture – I can’t say enough about acupuncture’s ability to hold, slow, and stop cancer and help animals feel better.
  3. Hoxsey like formula – This formula is made for tumors like this, which are angry and inflammatory. These dogs often have heat signs and run hot.
  4. Lung protection – if this is a very low grade tumor with very low chance of spread I stop here. Anything else gets herbs to prevent spread to the lungs. See Breathing Through Cancer
  5. Artemisinin has a place for these tumors. It has actually been studied in humans with breast cancer and shows good results.

Cats. I’m going to be honest, I have never had a cat come to me with mammary cancer. I think so many of our cats are spayed early in Seattle, we just don’t see much of it.

However if I was treating a cat, my primary objective would be lung protection. I would also highly consider using Hoxsey like formula if the tumor could not be removed. In cats, I think an oncologist consult might be worth while especially since this cancer is so fast to spread. If the tumor can not be removed, and chemotherapy is not an option, talk to your vet about steroids and pain management.

As with all advice offered on this website please check in with your animal’s primary veterinarian before using any of these herbals and supplements.

Return to Integrative and Holistic Methods for Treating Cancer in Cats and Dogs

Compression socks and gloves for remapping the brain

December 4th, 2017

I recently learned about using compression socks and gloves to help with reprogramming my brain from Dr. Joaquin Farias. In Parkinsons and dystonia the brain starts mapping the body in chunks instead of individual parts. This leads to a decline in fine motor ability, especially in the toes and fingers. Compression puts pressure on the fingers and toes and signals the brain that they are still there and are individual parts.

Doing passive movement of my fingers and toes with the help of a friend or with my functional hand also helps with this mapping. I make sure every joint in my body moves every day and circle, bend, and spread all my digits, both individually and together.

While I can’t wear the gloves all the time, I try to wear them when I can and have already noticed a difference in my fine motor ability. The compression sock I usually only use on my left foot. My toes had been mostly paralyzed for over two years but recently I regained the ability to bend them but not spread them. Today for the second time in three years my left toes were able to spread after I had worn the sock for most of the day. The only other time this happened was when I slammed by toes hard on a doorway. The compression sock is much preferred and less painful!

It helps that we are in the cold of winter in Seattle so I don’t get too hot! I highly recommend anyone with a movement disorder affecting the hands and feet to look into using these!

Here’s the ones I bought

Am I a Butterfly? Changing Reality

December 2nd, 2017

Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was myself. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.”
― Zhuangzi, The Butterfly as Companion: Meditations on the First Three Chapters of the Chuang-Tzu

When people with Parkinson’s and dystonia dream all symptoms disappear. So am I someone with Parkinson’s dreaming I am normal or a normal person dreaming I have Parkinson’s. And if so can I change the dream? Or can I bring the dream into awakeness? I am doing one of these, just not sure which one. Five minutes becomes ten and ten will soon become an hour and hours turn into days and after that the sky is the limit.

One of the most curious consequences of quantum physics is that a particle like an electron can seemingly be in more than one place at the same time until it is observed, at which point there seems to be a random choice made about where the particle is really located. Scientists currently believe that this randomness is genuine, not just caused by a lack of information. Repeat the experiment under the same conditions and you may get a different answer each time.
― Marcus du Sautoy, The Great Unknown: Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science

But the more we observe something in it’s normal state the more it reinforces our brain connections and eventually the normal moments merge together shutting down the abnormal. We control the outcomes of our own path and health.

When did everything start smelling so bad? Part of recovery I assume

November 29th, 2017

The last few days my sense of smell has increased by about 10X. I never knew there was anything wrong with it but maybe there was. Suddenly everything stinks, did the couch smell before? Did the dog smell before? Do I stink? The banana sitting in the kitchen is somewhat nauseating and I’m not in the kitchen. And god the cat’s breath is bad! Martin has been telling me that for awhile. Eating meat is suddenly hard because it stinks. I’m pretty sure my sense of smell has never been this good, ever!

I’m been experimenting with bringing the normality of my lucid dreams to life, doing Dr. Farias new exercises, wearing compression gloves, renaming my normal non-rigid self and trying to separate the Parkinson’s program that boots up over my normal from my normal brain programming. I now wake up in the mornings pretty normal besides the functional paralysis in my left hand and neck tremors that clear when I sit up. Today I just took citicoline, glutathione, fish oil, and about 1mg of nicotine and felt extremely good, definitely one of my best days since this all started with no PD medication. My shake is a little more (wind leaving?) but everything else is better and my facial ability to show expression is amazing today – maybe even too much so as my eyelids and lips are a little hyperresponsive.

When I wake up in the morning I feel my normal body then I feel the Parkinson’s program boot on top of the normal. I can now get the Parkinson’s program to not completely boot by realizing it is not part of my normal brain – I’m hoping with time to enhance this. And I’m hoping to get enough clarity on what I’m doing to explain it better. I can feel my du channel (the channel that is blocked in PD according to Janice Hadlock) and it’s open a good portion of the time. Mine was definitely closed before.

The Parkinson’s is still there but it is separating from my normal underneath and I can feel it is not part of me – almost like a snake ready to shed an old skin. I still do much better when I’m alone or around people I know very well (Janice’s partial recovery?). I expect ups and downs in this process – two steps forward, one step back.

I’m like a leaf in the steam of creation (bonus points if you know the reference!)

Sinemet – microdosing and using it as a part of recovery from Parkinson’s

November 27th, 2017

I want to talk a little about Sinemet, the main drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Before I go any further, I am not a human doctor, I am not giving medical advice, and I am talking about my experiences and beliefs about this drug. You know the drill – don’t quote me to your doc!

As anyone who has brought an animal to me knows, I am a firm believer in mixing western and holistic medicine. When animals come to me taking a drug, which has improved their symptoms, I do not stop the drug. My first step is to fix the underlying imbalances in the body until their symptoms are better than when they came to me or ideally are completely gone. Only then do I slowly stop or reduce the drug they are on. It is a completely different story if the drug is making them sick, has bad side effects, or their symptoms are worse on the drug.

I know many treating Parkinson’s naturally have made decisions to not take drugs and I highly respect that as long as it is not made from a place of rigidity. For me Sinemet improved my quality of life and I see it as a helpful crutch until my brain is better. I have no side effects from it as long as I am on the right dose. In Chinese medicine a drug with no side effects is actually helping to correct the imbalance and is needed by the body. It is also highly unlikely to cause harm.

Sinemet is the precursor to dopamine, Levodopa, along with Carbidopa, which helps with transport into the brain of the Levodopa, by stopping peripheral metabolism of the drug.

Is Dopamine production the problem with Parkinson’s? I happen to agree with Janice Hadlock, that maybe Parkinson’s is more an issue with the parts of the brain that utility dopamine to help control initiation and inhibition and that these areas stop utilizing dopamine properly. This causes an excess of dopamine in the brain, which feeds back to the dopamenergic neurons and starts shutting them down. I do not agree with her that Sinemet causes irreversible brain damage. I think it can potentially at excessively high doses but not when used correctly.

My naturopath, Dr.Laurie Mischley, who studies how to slow the progression of Parkinson’s, has found that early Sinemet dosing, actually leads to slower progression. Her theory is that if there is not enough dopamine in the brain the receptors start dying and then no amount of dopamine will work. So start early. I also feel like Dr. Laurie’s approach with multiple brain supporting supplements and one or two drugs is very beneficial. It goes along with the idea of using a drug appropriately but fixing the underlying imbalances as the primary goal.

I have found for myself that micro doses of Sinemet work best. This prevents me from having side effects and helps me support my body without damage. It also gives my body a chance to restart any dopamenergic neurons that are dormant because I am not flooding my brain with extra unneeded dopamine. Generally I take ¼-1/2 of a 25/100mg pill every 4-6 hours during the day. Sometimes I don’t need it so I don’t take it. I feel so blessed to have two doctors who support me in doing this and don’t insist that I take the same dose of drug at the same time every day!

I am lucky to be very sensitive and in touch with my body and how things effect it. Usually I know what dose of drug I need by feeling into my body. I also have different cues that tell me if I have too much or two little medication in my system. For me being under or over medicated can be hard to tell apart as one triggers my Parkinson’s symptoms and one triggers my dystonia symptoms. If I kick out my leg from the knee and I am overmedicated my toes will flex involuntarily. Not being able to sit still is another sign. Then I do not need more meds.

If walking feels like I am sludging through molasses or if I am extremely stiff and uncomfortable and stretching doesn’t help then I am usually under medicated.

My drugs work way better when my du channel is open which is the meridian channel which starts at the base of the spine and runs midline up the back, into the neck, over the head, and ends above the lip. I try to open before I medicate. When it’s closed my drugs help a bit but not much.

And one more thing – can we please stop saying Parkinson’s is an incurable and irreversible disease? It is not easily curable or reversible but there are people doing it!

I have so much more I want to say but I’m finding I never publish articles unless I keep them short, so here it is – more later!