Tai Chi / QiGong

Help for Parkinson’s − the Natural Way

Tai chi, Macrobiotics, Shiatsu, Acupressure

Scientific research recently has indicated that people with Parkinson’s who take Tai Chi classes have excellent outcomes for reduction of symptoms and increased mobility. This is very positive for those with this condition. It actually has more far reaching possibilities than was recognized in the report of the following study. Science has been slow to recognize some of the principles of Oriental Philosophy and Medicine and it is indicated in their interpretation of the results.

OREGON RESEARCH INSTITUTE: 2012 − PARKINSON’S REPORT

195 people with mild to moderate Parkinson’s were randomly assigned 2 per week sessions of either Tai Chi, strength building exercises or stretching.

After 6 months, those who did Tai Chi experienced:

  •  Stronger, improved balance − 2 times more than the strength building group & 4 times more than the stretching group
  • Half the falls of the strength building group and 2/3 of the falls in the stretching group
  • Slower rates of decline in overall motor control

The report says that clients took Tai Chi and gave the results. The report did not recognize the fundamental nature of what Tai Chi is and what is happening when one is performing the movements.  The basic aspect is that of Chi energy − a fundamental life force.  Tai Chi is a movement exercise that changes and alters chi flow in the body, helps to build chi energy and balance the flow of energy thru the meridians (channels thru which the energy travels).

If this manipulation of chi aids the Parkinson’s patient in gaining increased mobility, then it must be affecting the brain − improving its ability to regulate the neuro-muscular system and possibly affecting the nerves which stimulate dopamine production. 

The next thing to conclude is that if this form of energy manipulation can be successful, why not other forms such as Macrobiotic or          Traditional Chinese dietary theories, Acupuncture, Shiatsu, Amma Massage, Chi Qong exercises, and more.

As a Macrobiotic Way of Life Counselor, I make use of energetic signs and symptoms in the face, on the tongue, in behavior and in reading pulses, etc. to determine what a person needs.  All foods have various energetic properties such as contacting/expanding, warming/cooling, and moving upward/downward, inside/outside.  The foods may have energetic relationships with each of the 5 major solid organs − heart, spleen, pancreas, liver, lungs, kidneys.  By assessing the energetic landscape of a person, we counter by recommending the foods which are going to do the opposite of the condition. This will bring the body into balance. Too much contracting needs expansive foods or styles of cooking.  Too much fire needs foods with cooling energies. The fundamental principle behind Macrobiotics is to manipulate chi (energy) to find balance.

DIET HIGH IN VEGETABLES PROTECTS AGAINST PARKINSON’S

In an experiment at Yale University, 11 patients with Parkinson’s who ate a revised diet experienced reduced movement fluctuations and less need for drugs than patients following the standard modern way of eating.

Their healthy diet consisted of:

  • Whole grains
  • Green and yellow vegetables
  • Fresh fruit
  • Low in protein from animal and vegetable sources

They avoided:

  • All meats
  • Egg white
  • Gelatin
  • Dairy food
  • Beans and nuts
  • Chocolate and pastries

“On this diet, patients, can predictably expect daytime mobility, thus permitting near normal function and independence at home or on the job,” the researchers concluded.

 −J.H.Pincus and K.Barry, “Influence of Dietary Protein on Motor Fluctuation in Parkinson’s disease,” Archives of Neurology 44:270,1987

 THE MACROBIOTIC WAY, A CHANGE FOR THE BETTER             

In order to follow the Macrobiotic Way of Eating, proper food preparation is vital. It is possible that a cook could come to the home to prepare meals. But a caregiver or the Parkinson’s patient could get individualized cooking training so that an understanding of what goes into the preparations can be developed. In Traditional Oriental Medicine, Parkinson’s is usually defined as a Liver Wind condition (extreme toxic exposure) so healing the liver becomes a major component. Diet wise that may involve eating a lot of leafy green vegetables like kale and collards or eating shiitake mushrooms. Minimizing oil and extreme sweets is also a key factor. Sea vegetables in the diet like kelp and arame are helpful for discharging toxins from the body. There are numerous foods that can benefit the liver. Getting a full scale consultation can provide specific recommendations to insure good results.

SHIATSU TREATMENTS MOVE CHI TO REBALANCE BODY ENERGY

Shiatsu and Acupressure involve pressing points on the body which in turn affect how the internal systems are functioning. Shiatsu is a full body treatment done by a practitioner. Acupressure can be learned and points can be pressed by the Parkinson’s patient or a caregiver. For example: there is a point  on the foot that is in the webbing between the big toe and second toe which relates to the liver meridian. If that point is sore it means the liver meridian is out of balance and there probably is a liver condition that needs addressing. Pressing there also changes the flow of energy and regular practice helps heal the liver.  But each individual could also have other underlying conditions which should also be dealt with. Both Macrobiotics and Shiatsu can address all of these conditions to improve overall mobility and functioning.  Combine this with Tai Chi and your chances of improving the condition are highly increased.

Parkinson’s Retreat

Saturday, March 18, 2017 • 9:15am-4:30 pm • $35

Pre-register call: Dr. Tom Wachtmann 610-841-3395

 

Call Steve Hoog for an appointment or more information

on the Macrobiotic Diet • Shiatsu • Acupressure

610-756-6867

Tai Chi / Qigong Saved Me from Fibromyalgia

By Carrie Lowry

Fibromyalgia for me was a slow starter and gradually got worse. It was clear to me that staying in bed all day should not be an option. Then I saw an article on the benefits of Tai Chi/ Qigong for Fibromyalgia and felt that this could be a good way for me to get back into living. I was middle aged and didn’t want to spend the rest of my life being miserable. I learned that it was important to get my body moving and just moving around the house was not helping at all. This was a real down time for me!
The common symptoms I was experience were:
• Muscle pain
• Extreme fatigue
• Sleep problems
• Bowl problems
• Depression

It took about 3 months before I could be diagnosed. My doctor tested painful tender points during an examination. He asked me about the exact pain I was feeling in certain areas such as over my neck, back, chest, elbows, hips, buttocks, and knees. These areas were small and much more sensitive than other nearby areas. The doctor also checked other points on my body that were not tender points to make sure I didn’t react to these as well.

Getting the diagnosis gave me some emotional relief because then I knew what I was dealing with. I’m big on research, so I got busy learning what I could do for myself. One of the important things I learned was that I needed to move. Yuck, just the thought of it at first made me cringe!

The research showed me that Tai Chi and Qigong are two mind-body practices that originated in ancient china and have been practiced there for thousands of years. People of almost any age or condition can participate.

One of the results of doing Tai Chi and Qigong are heightened feelings of well-being along with a variety of other health benefits such as:

Boost in energy
• Decreased pain and stiffness
• Better sleep
• Better physical and mental health
• Feeling better allows me to be more active – helps with depression

The research at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston reveal that a significant number of patients with fibromyalgia responded well to Tai Chi, experiencing alleviation of joint pain and other symptoms. This study is published in New England Journal of Medicine. I’ve also learned that trials have shown there were better results with Tai Chi / Qigong than reported in trials of drug treatments for fibromyalgia.

I was motivated and really engaged and after about two months started to feel much better. Improvement was gradual, but steady. Seeing the other students in my class, who I now consider friends, has also given me something to look forward to. My experience with Tai Chi / Qigong has been very positive, so I highly recommend it to all those who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Check with your doctor who, I’m sure, will recommend that you do gentle exercises. Tai Chi is perfect for this.

I now understand why Tai Chi / Qigong have lasted for thousands of years in China. It’s greatly helping me and my friends in so many ways.

Join one of Crystal Klein’s 4 weekly classes offered at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center of the Lehigh Valley, located at 628 Twin Ponds Rd., Breinigsville, PA. Call 610-395-3355 for more information.