Reader’s Question: I have been battling Parkinson’s Disease for two and a half years now — without medication, using various holistic approaches. In your own experience of PD, what’s the first and foremost thing that I should try to enable my recovery?
Dr. Glenn Rothfeld: More than 10 years ago, my life changed forever. That’s when I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease – and, as I’ve told you before, I’ve been constantly on the hunt for new treatments that are safe, natural, and effective.
I’ve been able to keep my Parkinson’s from advancing for about a dozen years now, and that’s largely due to staying physically active.
You’ve probably heard that exercise can improve your strength, flexibility, motor control, balance, and endurance if you’ve got PD – as a meta-analysis found once again earlier this year – but it turns out that certain types of exercise may actually be better than others.
And there are some therapeutic approaches that you may have never heard of before but are worth a try.
With Full Body Vibration, or FBV, you do exercises on vibrating plates. The theory behind it is that, when your balance is thrown off by the vibrations, multiple muscle groups throughout your body respond by contracting and relaxing in an attempt to stabilize your posture.
The result is a whole-body workout utilizing most of the muscles in your body.
Working out on these plates has been shown to improve mobility and posture in several studies using patients with Parkinson’s, as well as other neurological diseases that affect posture.
There’s also a stationary bike with an assist motor called Theracycle, which creates what researchers have called “forced exercise” (up to 90 rpm). Studies have shown it can significantly improve both manual dexterity and motor functioning.
You can find Theracycle at some physical therapy facilities, or you can get one to use in your own home. I’ve got a Theracycle in my family room, and I find that 20 minutes per day at around 90 rpm makes a huge difference in my function during the entire day.
I wish I could say that exercise alone could beat Parkinson’s, but that’s probably not the case. But when you combine it with a natural detoxifying diet like Paleo AND avoiding environmental toxins – especially heavy metals like aluminum, lead, and mercury – the odds are most certainly in your favour.
Exercise is also a great way to sweat out toxins in your body – and, as you know from my story, there’s a direct connection between toxic exposure and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s.
Something on your mind? Drop me a line at email@example.com and I might answer your question next.
Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing