Routine Variations

When I first joined the community (probably 5 months ago) I posted my exercise goals for accountability. In January, I posted my routine in this blog as I described my Ruby Slippers and WBV routine. I inclued a photo of my ADMI Fitness exercise platform at that time.

I have altered my exercise routine. I appreciate having the bar across the front for gripping as I do 5 sets of twenty squats (100) and 5 sets of twenty knee lifts.. raising each knee high enough to tap my arms holding onto the bar. I took a note from the rocksteady boxing and exercise my voice… LOUD counting with each squat and each knee lift. Then I strive to pull my chin in and attempt to tuck my shoulder blades into the back pockets while doing the last three minutes of higher vibrations for freeing up sluggish lymph through out my system.

I thought you might like to see some of the benefits I found claimed on the internet sites of makers of whole body vibration platforms.

From ADMI Fitness

“How can ONE HOUR at the gym be compared to 10 MINUTES on the whole body vibration machine? Whole Body Vibration has the name for a reason! When your body engages 97% of muscles in the same exercise your results are accelerated. At the gym you spend your time on your different individual muscle groups. It would be incredible to see someone working his or her abs, arms, legs and calf’s at the same time at the gym! As wild as that picture is in your head Whole Body Vibration does exactly that and more. “

“Balance: About 30% of people over the age of 65 lose their balance and suffer a fall each year. Whole Body Vibration is an effective way to maintain or enhance skeletal mass in low-mobility individuals without the risks associated with high-impact exercise. WBV stimulates the primary endings of the muscle spindles, activating alpha-motor neurons resulting in muscle contractions. Studies have shown that WBV is associated with increases in lower limb muscle strength. WBV also delivers mechanical loading to the skeleton, which increases bone mass and improves postural balance by strengthening skeletal muscles. Balance and gait are improved by enhanced muscle control effected by routine WBV exercise. Strengthening skeletal muscles has a direct effect on coordination and balance “

‘ Parkinson’s: Researchers from Germany compared the effects of Whole Body Vibration and conventional physiotherapy on levodopa-resistant disturbances of balance and gait in idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease. Gait assessments and upper limb control tests showed significant improvements on gait stability and posture, a significant decrease in tremors and less rigidity in PD patients receiving whole body vibration therapy compared to a control group with no therapy ‘

” The Health Benefits of WBV-Training are many, and the reason for this is because WBV stimulation affects not only your musculature but also your internal organs and glands, including your brain”

Increase muscle strength, especially explosive strengthPain reduction (such as with fibromyalgia)
Increase hormone secretion: IGF-1, testosterone, and human growth hormone (HGH)Counteract age-related muscle wasting  
Increase fat loss; WBVT in conjunction with resistance training improved fat loss in menopausal women.8Other research9 found WBVT was 54 percent more effective than traditional aerobics and strength training in producing visceral fat loss.Those using WBVT were also less likely to gain the weight backReduce cellulite; 8 to 13 minutes of WBVT, two to three times per week for six months was shown to reduce cellulite by 26 percent. When combined with 24 to 48 minutes of cardio, cellulite was reduced by more than 32 percent10
Increase bone mass and mineral density, thereby decreasing risk of osteoporosisImprove in blood circulation, which can also stimulate tissue healing. Three minutes on a vibrating platform doubles mean circulation for at least 10 minutes11
Increase flexibility and mobilityIncrease secretion of serotonin and norepinephrine
Improve proprioception and balanceIncrease lymphatic drainage
Decrease cortisol levels  Speed up recovery from injury
Improve fitness in the elderlyImprove neurological conditions


The Spoon Theory

A recent dialog at “The Invigorated Community” an online group for Parkies or their care givers… the question was posed. “How do you get people to understand the fatigue we experience and why we can’t do everything we used to?”

Mind you, I’m the eternal optomist and believe the therapies I have adopted will give me many years of productive living… but I wanted to share what others have said, to answer the question.

Quote from MJFF “One of Parkinson’s more insidious symptoms is fatigue. This is not your garden variety bone-tired. This is fatigue on a cellular level. Your body is working overtime to accomplish the simplest of tasks: Taking a shower, answering the phone, pouring orange juice. In addition, you may be coping with the combination of possible cognitive problems knows as “Parkinson’s apathy”. These problems include difficulty initiating projects, inability to follow complex instructions, short-term memory loss and difficulty in switching gears midstream.

You can fight Parkinson’s disease apathy by exercising, trying to get regular sleep, taking short naps, and making sure you do not isolate yourself.”

I’d like to share a link from… ButYouDon’ It explains the Spoon Theory… a concept developed by Miserandino and frequently referenced among those with chronic or invisible illness. Many people living with conditions ranging from fibromyalgia to anxiety to depression to parkinsonisms self-identify as “Spoonies” and use the theory to explain their lives to people who may not understand the scope of their illness. (Miserandino’s diagnosis is Lupus)



Infrared Sauna

Both movement disorder neurologists I’ve seen indicated … although not enough data has been gathered, to allow them to prescribe infrared therapy, they had heard some positive feedback and encouraged me to “feel free to try it.”

We read the claims:
“Infrared sauna surrounds you and penetrates deeply into your joints, muscles and tissues increasing oxygen flow and circulation.”
“Helps to remove impurities from your cells, specifically the cells inside our fat where our body stores waste and harmful toxins such as cholesterol and heavy metals.” 
“As your body increases sweat production to cool itself, your heart works harder to pump blood at a greater rate to boost circulation. This increase in your metabolism will burn calories.”
“Infrared sauna therapy can help keep blood pressure within healthy levels, lower cholesterol, reduce chronic pain and be of therapeutic value to patients with chronic congestive heart disease.”

“In animal models of Parkinson’s, near infrared treatment has been shown to rescue dopaminergic neurons, … In addition, near infrared light treatment corrects the abnormal firing activity of neurons in deep subthalamic brain regions that occurs in parkinsonian conditions. Various animal models of Parkinson’s disease shown improved motor control and locomotor activity, as measured by both mobility and velocity, after near infrared is applied.” 

We tried the infrared sauna at the gym. Although our insurance provides a membership at no additional expense to us, there were draw backs. We had no control over the temperature. If we went in the morning, it wasn’t warm enough to produce any sweat. It was twenty minute drive each way for 20 minutes of heat. John is waiting for the VA to schedule hip surgery, so if my chauffeur didn’t feel like exercising, it was just shower and go home.

So, because I intend to leave no clue uninvestigated… we set up our two person Infrared Sauna into a sweet place in John’s workshop. It also has
Chromotherapy, also called color light therapy, which is the process of restoring balance to the body by applying color.

My Essential Oil story

To explain my love of the essential oil of frankincense, I need to share a little of my history. In 1992 I was experiencing repeated urinary tract infections. It was determined I needed surgery to re-attach my bladder. Next thing I knew, while the doctors were working on fixing me, they had also removed my uterus, reporting it had been full of fibroid tumors. And then, they told me I would need to have annual mameograms because of the large number of fibroid tumors in my bosom.

I had just been introduced to essential oils, and more specifically, I’d learned that frankincense is anti-tumoral. Being pro-active, I began putting two or three drops of frankincense on the bottom of both feet each evening.

Why the feet, you may ask? Because the foot has the largest pores and I was given to understand the oils would be absorbed and disseminated to all the cells in the body within twenty minutes.

I was totally convinced… Frankincense is the reason, just a few years later the mameogram report was… “You have no fibroid tumors. You have the smoothest tissue I’ve seen”

In my search for brain health for people with Parkinsonisms I found the study below. I aim to begin applying essential oils to my feet again!

In studies performed in Vienna and Berlin Universities, researchers discovered that sesquiterpenes, a natural compound found in essential oils of Vetiver, Patchouli, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, and Frankincense, can increase levels of oxygen in the brain by up to 28 percent

Not all essential oils are created equal. Not all are cold pressed. Some are cut with harmful chemicals. or diluted. If you find a cheep version, you probably are not getting a good product.

I was recently invited to join a ‘shopping club’ with a focus on helping us save money while eliminating products that contribute to pollution. They focus on products for our health, our environment and our quality of life. I placed my first order last night. And I was delighted to see they have included essential oils in their product line. And I’d be delighted to send you an invite to join the ‘shopping club.’ If you want to know more, simply message me on the ‘contact form’ page.

Marilee wanted to see

Marilee had such an impact on my attitude, I’d like to share her message.

To set the stage…We attended church in Brownsville, Texas. At the time of my ‘training’, John & I had seven children, John was a member of the ward Bishopric and a great deal of his Sabbath day responsibilities kept him busy.. out of the home. The boundaries of the McAllen Texas Stake were large. Our home was 60 miles from the stake center. I, as one of Marilee’s Stake Primary Counselors, had ridden with Marilee on assignment to visit a branch on the other side of the stake. I took the youngest two children with me.

Both of the children were asleep, as Marilee pulled the car into our drive. [This was in the days before seat belt restrictions] The three year old was asleep on the back seat, and the infant was asleep in my arms. Full well knowing what to expect after the oldest five had been home for several hours without adult supervision, I said, “I’ll take Stephen in and be right back to get Emily.”

Marilee alighted from the drivers seat, volunteering, “I’ll bring her in for you.”

“NO,” I protested… “You don’t need to. I’ll be right back for her”

After a couple more exchanges, Marilee explained. “You don’t understand. I WANT to SEE! Then when I get home, I won’t feel so bad about the condition of MY home.”

I laughed, and accepted her help. I made a mental note…”Let people see your messes, if it helps them feel better about themselves.”

Trust me.. I’ve helped lot of people ….feel really good about themselves or their efforts. We all love to give service to others… but when the table has been turned… and WE NEED a helping hand, accepting it graciously can be a challenge to learn. I hope each of us can remember something I learned from my father-in-law, Wally, when I offered assistance (service); ” you don’t have to do that, BUT who am I to deny you your blessings.”

“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.” – Anthony Burgess

Straighten Your Crown!

When a doctor evaluates a person with Parkinsonian symptoms, they ask questions to evaluate the person’s mental health; to determine if we are experiencing a loss of ability to think, remember or reason and confirm we are are in touch with reality. Don’t let them intimidate you.

We are HIS children!

Redefine yourself, if you don’t already know… You are literally a spiritual child of a loving Heavenly Father. Thank Him for each day.. and pray:

“Lord, help me be the kind of person, who, when their feet hit the floor each morning, the Devil says, Oh, NO! they are up!”

AND then seek to do something nice for someone else.
“When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17).

Aware in Care

After I’d experienced several choking episodes, as a result of my Parkinsonism symptoms, I followed my primary care doctor’s recommendation to get a pneumonia vaccination. I’d read: “When thoroughly assessed it was found that the most common cause of death in people with Parkinson’s Disease was Pneumonia, which was the cause of death in 45% of people.”

Being proactive, when I learned about the Aware in Care Kit, I requested one. And I received it yesterday. The link is included below, for all proactive Parkies. Additionally, there are links to download the action plan, the medical alert card, medication card, fact sheet and reminder slip,,, in case you need any of them prior to the arrival of your bag. This is from the web:

“The Parkinson’s Foundation launched the Aware in Care campaign in 2011 to help people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) get the best care possible during a hospital stay. According to a recent study, three out of four people with Parkinson’s do not receive medications on time when staying in the hospital. With more frequent hospital visits and a high sensitivity to the timing and dosing of PD medications, people with Parkinson’s face great risks in the hospital.”

“To protect, prepare and empower people with Parkinson’s before, during and after a hospital visit, we developed the free Aware in Care kit with tools and information to share with hospital staff during a planned or emergency hospital visit.”

“Aware in Care kits can be requested from your local Parkinson’s Foundation Chapter or Center of Excellence. If you do not live in an area with a Chapter or center, you can order a kit online.”

Kit Contents

‘Each Aware in Care kit is filled with useful tools and information to help a person with Parkinson’s during the next hospital visit. Each kit includes:’

Aware in Care Kit

“Pack your bag with your Parkinson’s medication and materials below.”

Hospital Action Plan

“Read about how to prepare for your next hospital visit — whether it is planned or an emergency. “
Download the action plan >>

Parkinson’s Disease ID Bracelet

“Wear your bracelet at all times in case you are in an emergency situation and cannot communicate.”

Medical Alert Card

“Fill in your card with emergency contact information and place in your wallet.”
Download the medical alert card >> 

Medication Form

“Complete this form and keep copies in your kit for use at the hospital. If you download the form, you can fill it out on your computer before you print it out.”
Download the medication form >>

Parkinson’s Disease Fact Sheet

“Share the facts about Parkinson’s with hospital staff and ask that a copy be placed in your chart.”
Download the fact sheet >> 

“I Have Parkinson’s” Reminder Slips

“Share vital information about Parkinson’s with every member of your care team in the hospital.”
Download the reminder slip >>


“Use this magnet to display a copy of your Medication Form in your hospital.”


On the bright side

So… I have to admit I was disappointed with how our trip to Gainsville went. Basically, the Doctor just wanted to put me on a medication that has bad side effects. When I said, no thank you, he said, “You can just be followed by your primary care doctor.”

So what we did accomplish… They have a base line for my symptoms,,, so If I return in the future, I am in the system. AND he also said, “I would change the diagnosis from Parkinson’s to Parkinsonism.” Because I have multiple symptoms, typical with Parkinson’s, but not the tremors.. plus other symptoms as seen in MSA. There is a test that could be given to determine what parts of the brain are losing the dopamine. But knowing wouldn’t change the treatment. And I don’t desire to have radioactive stuff injected into my veins, anyway.

DaTSCAN is a special technique that provides detailed images of the dopamine neurons (nerve cells) in the brain. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of DaTSCAN for differentiating PD from other conditions in 2011. The patient is given a radioactive agent into a vein.

I asked if I could speak with a dietician, because I am losing too much weight on the Keto Diet, but both dietician’s were in a meeting, so one is supposed to call me. (I’ve made a decision, without her call.) The thinking behind the Keto diet was to get more oil to my brain… and to increase my energy. Sadly, I do not recognize any pick up in my energy level… but when the scale said 107 Lb. this a.m., I decided to add more fruits, beans, etc… to balance my diet more. I’ll still have to say no to products with white flour or sugar, of course. Back to the matra of moderation in all things. I will also continue to focus on the gut health guidelines… Bone Broth, and fermented foods.

The bright side in my day came when I checked the mail. My Aware in Care kit had arrived. I’ll explain what that is, tomorrow.