Parkinson’s Symptoms significantly reduced in just one calming meditation session, Learn How!

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Managing symptoms every day for people living with Parkinson’s can be an enormous challenge. They never know when a symptom or side effect will hit them. Tremors may escalate and you can’t hold a fork to feed yourself, freezing can stop you in your tracks so you can’t move or your speech is slurred, down to a whisper when you desperately want to complete the conversation but the person can’t understand you.

Do you start to panic when these symptoms occur?  Are you anticipating the worst and don’t know how to stop it?

Calming down when a symptom hits may be one of the best ways to get through those difficult moments by using a simple technique of breathing….

Focusing in on your breath will slow down your heartbeat, relax muscles and help the respiratory system reduce both mental and physical fatigue.

By practising breathing gently “in” an “out” with slow prolonged expiration over 4 seconds or more will allow for more air to enter the lungs and relaxes the body.

The practice of using the breath as a basic object of meditation can help you in more ways than one. It supports the practice of mindfulness the concept of being present in the moment without judgement. In the act of breathing your mind and body become synchronized as one and you relax.

When using your breath you’re feeling something in your body rather than concentrating on a thought. Whenever your attention wanders away,  focus back to the breath observing the flow in and out, how it changes the feeling in your nose, down to the back of your throat and getting into the rhythm of your breathing.

Here’s an example of an exercise you can recite in your head quickly and in the moment of a symptom attack

  • Breathe “In” I calm myself, breathe “out”, I relax
  • You can also count slowly and take a breath and inhale at each number and then exhale…. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 and backwards, 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

Here’s another technique that’s takes a bit more time and can be part of a daily practice for 5-10 minutes.

Close your eyes and disconnect from what you’re doing for a few minutes (sitting if possible or standing is fine). Close your mouth and take a deep breath in through your nose down to your stomach. Feel your stomach rising up into your rib cage and  chest, hold it for a few seconds. Exhale, breathe out over 5 seconds through your nose (the stomach deflates) feeling the air passing through your nostrils, the hairs in your nose and then out of your body will calm you down.  Repeat breathing “in” and “out” three to five times.

Then, you will notice your mind shift, the symptom will diminish, you will relax, and then can resume your action or task.  Breathing exercises (there are many) can be built into a daily practice and become a habit helping you stabilize your mind and relax your body.

In a study called the effects of a mindfulness-based lifestyle program for adults with Parkinson’s disease: a mixed-method, randomised control trial made up of  35 people including Parkinson’s patients, participated in a mindfulness program over six weeks using breathing and meditation. The study was to demonstrate how mindfulness practices can improve function and emotional wellbeing for people with PD and be sustainable over 6 months or longer. Outcomes were positive and showed significant Improvements in daily living and reducing side effects.

In another study based in Australia A Potential case of remission of Parkinson’s disease,, a 78 year old man diagnosed with Parkinson’s 16 years earlier went into complete remission of his PD symptoms. His initial symptoms were left-hand tremor, stooped posture, shuffling gait, and frequent falls, which eventually progressed to bilateral motor symptoms after 3 years. there were other factors that indicated he had full onset PArkinsons. Doctors devised that over time his symptoms ceased because he followed a life-long practice of meditation and as a result he was able to go off all medications.

Meditation has been shown to release dopamine in the striatum the nuclei in the subcortical basal ganglia of the brain, the location where motor activity occurs that affects people living with Parkinson’s. This also demonstrates the benefits of a mindfulness practice

Here are 5 tips for practicing breathing, meditation and other methods for controlling your symptoms:

  1. When freezing occurs, (stopping suddenly when walking) focus on your breath. Inhale, count to four and exhale, Repeat three times and your body will begin to relax. You can also wait it out, and focus on something else which will relieve the tension you may be feeling.
  2. For Tremors, Close your eyes and visualize something in nature, a lake, a forest, a beautiful flower or birds chirping. Listen for the sounds or play some soothing music on your smartphone. Take a deep breath “inhale” then “exhale” and repeat three times.
  1. When experiencing anxiety, take a moment and relax your body and mind with a short body scan. If possible lie or sit down and place your hands on your lap or beside you: Go through each body part starting with your toes and say “I relax” my toes, “I relax” my ankles, “I relax” my knees, all the way up to the top of your head (include your spine), with deep breathing for 8- 10 minutes. Let your body sink into the chair or mattress and relax as you go through your body scan and you may even fall asleep.
  2. Using a supplement of Magnesium bi-glycinate can also help with muscle relaxation. Magnesium plays an important role in the production of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) a nucleotide found in the mitochondria responsible for energy production in the cell which affects our mobility and for transforming fats and sugars into useable energy. It also helps to keep genes properly functioning. For people living with Parkinson’s, ATP production is compromised so any possibility for improving mobility, magnesium is your mineral! (see my blog Have you Heard of the Calming Mineral? for more info about Magnesium)
  3. There are many proven studies that exercise contributes to reducing symptoms. I’ve seen it myself, at a gym after an extensive 75 minutes of movement and exercise, a person with PD who struggled with freezing, stiffness in the neck and body rigidity and after her workout, her symptoms were gone. How long that lasted I’m not sure.

A good nutritious diet free of sugar, processed foods and high in vegetables and fruits also have huge benefits for relieving PD symptoms. If you’d like to find out more about reducing  symptoms get my  FREE 7 strategies for reducing Parkinson’s symptoms guide where you’ll see results in as little as 30 days. you can get it by signing up on my facebook page or on my website

personally I like to use an breathing mantra that adds a positive tone to my day:

” Breathing in, I calm myself, breathing out, I smile”!

Give it a try! It won’t cost you anything and you’ll feel so much better to have calmed yourself down without having to take any pills or other medications.

References:

I hope you enjoyed this post and can use some of these breathing techniques in your daily life.

Enjoy the week in good health,

Rani 

Rani Glick (1)