Rehabilitation from Parkinson’s disease – yes permanent healing is possible

Did you know that if you have dystonia, typing is easier if you are listening to music with a 120 beat? Many of my exercises involving moving to music with a 120 beat as music causes us to bypass our frontal context to do movement.

This last week I traveled to Toronto to work with Dr. Joaquin Farias who specializes and in fact has dedicated this life to work in helping people with dystonias and similar movement disorders heal through neuroplasticity movement exercises. It was a life changing experience and today I am typing this completely off Parkinson’s medication.

For the first time since coming down with Parkinson’s two and a half years ago my body is still and comfortable without medication. I have tremor in my left hand still but some of that is my body trying to rewire my hand to my brain where the connection has been lost. In fact he says my tremor will get worse as I start to rewire and heal and loss my rigidity. I have gotten back a very small amount of my arm swing in my left arm since the beginning of the week and I am confident with work I can have normal arm swing again. Today I was able to throw a beanbag cow with a wrist movement where before this week I could only throw with a shoulder movement and had a hard time releasing to throw. These may not sound like much but Parkinson’s is supposed to be regenerative, getting worse, not better. And my body is not supposed to be able to heal and make dopamine again. But I never believed that and neither does Dr. Farias.

He believes I have a secondary dystonia to my Parkinson’s and a partial functional paralysis on my left side where my brain’s frontal cortex has disconnected from my body. This can be rewired with exercises similar to someone who has suffered a stroke. The dystonia can also be worked with through exercises that help stimulate the parasympathic nervous system. Luckily our brain holds an incredible neuroplasticity potential to be rewired and relearn function that has been lost. I also have a number for exercises to get my brain to make dopamine again, the neurotransmitter lost in Parkinson’s disease. If I can help my functional paralysis and dystonia, my Parkinson’s may actually be asymptomatic or very close to it!

I know this will be a long journey for me to get better including about two hours of exercises throughout the day, everyday, and small steps. I will probably still need medication some of the time.

I have so much more I want to share about my experience and will over the coming weeks. In the meantime, I highly recommend Joquin’s book Limitless.

5 Responses to “Rehabilitation from Parkinson’s disease – yes permanent healing is possible”

  1. Shawna Davis Says:

    Very excited for you, Lena! Sounds like an amazing trip. Looking forward to hearing more about it, and all the possibilities ahead.

  2. Kim Williams-Brinck Says:

    Thank you for this Luna!
    Since I too have dystonia, I will look for to hearing how it is going.
    It gives me hope!

  3. Lena Says:

    I’m in the process of publishing part two tonight. I hope it is helpful!

  4. NUBIA Says:

    Que gran esperanza Lena!.Me ha emocionado muchisimo tu relato; es que se abre la puerta de la esperanza.
    Abrazos desde Iquique al norte de Chile.

  5. Lena Says:

    ¡La esperanza es una cosa de gran alcance! 🙂