an Alternative to Natural Health
Nature's Sunshine Products
Partially Solved Puzzle
by Halina Hladysz, M.S., Let's Live
Connie came to see me 5 years ago. Her warm personality radiated throughout the room. But she had a tragic story to tell in her weak and trembling voice. She has Dystoniaan illness from a Parkinson's Disease family which is slowly taking away her ability to move, to sleep and to write. She cannot write a word: writing a simple check is a task remaining only in her dreams. Her bike is abandoned in the garage: there is no use for it since she cannot ride it. Famous tennis players so popular on TV are a continuous reminder of her disability: she herself is not able to hold a racket... "Why have all these activities been taken away from me?", Connie asked herself in her early teens when the disease originated. Living in confusion and experiencing all stages of grief accompanied her from day to day, from week to week, from month to month and throughout the years. There seemed to be no end to her hopelessness. The diagnosis was even more brutal: the symptoms will worsen. Characteristics of Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a slow, progressive, degenerative disorder of the central nervous system characterized by four major primary symptoms: a fine, slowly spreading, resting tremor; muscular weakness and rigidity; slowness and/or delay of movement (bradykinesia); and postural instability. The disease usually begins as a slight tremor in one hand, arm or leg. The tremor is at its peak during rest and improves during movement. It gets worse with fatigue and stress. Rigidity is an increased stiffness in the muscles and is present when the limbs are still. It increases when the limbs are moving. One of the more disabling symptoms of PD is bradykinesia. It is characterized by a delay in starting all movements, slowness of all movements and the arrest of ongoing movements. Postural instability manifests itself as a shuffling, unbalanced walk which progresses into uncontrollable tiny, running steps to keep from falling. A Parkinsonian patient who experiences difficulty in walking and balance may at times resemble a moving car without brakes.
In some patients of a Parkinson's Disease, secondary symptoms occur. They include speech problems, sleep disturbances, depression, forced eyelid closure, difficulty swallowing, constipation, breathing problems, dizziness and sexual problems. The secondary symptoms usually result from one or more primary symptoms and may become more disabling than the primary ones. For example the speech difficulty arises from the effects of rigidity, tremor and bradykinesia on the muscles of the throat that are used in speech.
As the disease advances, the patient develops more stiffness and weakness; shaking of the head; a mask like expression on the face in which the eyes do not blink; a rigid, permanent bent-over posture; slow and difficult speech; and difficulties in writing. All daily activities become difficult.
Causes of PD:
PD mainly occurs in the elderly; fifty thousand cases are diagnosed each year in the United States. If untreated, the disease progresses over fifteen years to severe incapacitation. The cause of PD is unknown. An imbalance of two brain chemicals, dopamine and acetylcholine, is seen in patients. The chemical dopamine carries messages from one nerve cell to another and when the body cannot produce it, the PD symptoms appear. The brain and nervous system are very sensitive to toxins and lack of nutrients. Health practitioners believe that malnutrition and brain toxicity are the primary causes of dopamine deficiency. Other possible causes are blockage of blood vessels in the brain, side effects of antipsychotic drugs, carbon monoxide poisoning, mercury or aluminum poisoning, abuse of certain designer drugs and viral infection.
Orthodox treatment of PD relies on levadopa, a drug which can have serious side effects, including paranoia and hallucinations. When on levadopa, a patient should avoid foods and vitamins rich in vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) because this vitamin can destroy the effectiveness of the drug. Foods that are rich in Vitamin B6 are whole grains (especially oats), raw nuts (especially peanuts), bananas, potatoes, liver and fish. When levadopa is combined with carbidopaas the most frequently prescribed drug Sinemet, then, according to Johnathan Wright, M.D., Vitamin B6 is no longer problematic. Levadopa should not be taken with protein meals, because they decrease its effectiveness.
Diet: There are a variety of alternative treatments described by holistic practitioners and the patients themselves. All of them agree that the dietary changes are essential. Some suggest that a person should consume one hundred percent raw, organically grown food; others state that 70% raw food is satisfactory. All of them declare that the emphasis in the diet should be placed on raw seeds, nuts, plenty of sprouts, raw fruits and vegetables. Green, leafy vegetables are especially beneficial. Whole grains should be slowly cooked in a thermos to retain B-complex vitamins. Wheat, buckwheat and millet are easily digestible. Spicy food or high protein meals make the symptoms worse.
Don Lepore believes that Parkinson's Disease is the result of a tremendous deficiency in Calcium related to a malfunctioning parathyroid gland. Many times, he states, the person is equally deficient in Potassium. According to him, a great improvement may be seen after three months on a balanced nutritional program which includes Calcium, Potassium, Vitamin B Complex and raw parathyroid gland supplementation (Thyroid Support). One should choose non-allergenic sources of supplements, such as Bee Pollen a source of B Complex and Alfalfa a source of potassium. Sunshine, because of the Vitamin D it provides and helps Calcium absorption and should be considered as part of a therapeutic approach.
Other nutrients important in healing PD are Magnesium and silica (in HSN-W) and important in calcium absorption, GABA, gamma-amino butyric acid (functions as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system), Lecithin (important in transmission of nerve impulses), Vitamin B6 (brain dopamine production depends on it), Vitamin E (protects vitamins and minerals from free radical damage), Vitamin C w/ bioflavonoids (improves cerebral circulation, potent antioxidant), L-Glutamic acid (improves nerve impulse transmission), CoQ10 (provides neuroprotection), digestive enzymes like Proactazyme (aid in digestion), Nutri Calm (contains B vitamins and more) and Ionic Minerals (trace minerals needed by the central nervous system).
Oral chelation supplements, Mega Chel should be used to bind and excrete heavy metals from the body. Liquid Chlorophyll, blue-green algae (in Super Algae), Aloe Vera Juice and Evening Primrose Oil are essential nourishments.
Key herbs effective in treating PD are: Ginkgo (strengthens the brain and nervous system), Gotu Kola (rebuilds energy food for the brain), Hawthorn Berries (for the circulatory system), Hops (nerve food), Lobelia (cleanses and relaxes), Passion Flower (helps the nerves), Red Clover (cleans the blood of toxins), Suma Combination (strengthens the whole body), Valerian (relaxes), Wood Betony (pain killer).
Avoid: A Parkinsonian should avoid the following:
The symptoms of PD may be remarkably relieved in a continuous bath. A bathtub should be filled with continuously running water. The water temperature should be 92 degrees; some people prefer a warmer water, up to 98 degrees. The bathroom should be well ventilated. The main goal should be achieving the comfort of the patient. The bath should be maintained for about two hours and followed with a light general massage. It should be given 5 to 6 times per week. The tremors usually stop while the person is in water. Some people improve permanently while others only improve while taking the bath.
Essential oils, the semi-oily resin from flowers, herbs, trees, shrubs, etc., have tremendous healing power. The essential oils are very helpful to Parkinson's sufferers because many of the oils work on the central nervous system and can bring great relief. The oils may be used during massage, with baths and diffused. Massage prevents muscle stiffening, maintains mobility and massaged in oils reach the nerves in a matter of seconds. A person with Parkinson's should massage himself/herself as often as possible. Only 100% pure, unadulterated, grade A essential oils should be used; such as Nature's Sunshine. If a label doesn't state it is a grade A oil, then you have a very poor quality product which has no healing power.
Reflexologists apply pressure to so called reflex areas in the hands and feet that correspond to every part of the body. This technique is used to relieve stress and tension, stimulate deep relaxation, improve blood supply and promote the unblocking of nerve impulses to normalize and balance the entire body. For PD it is recommended to massage the reflex area for the head, the spine, the adrenal glands and the large intestine.
Edward Cayce's Regimen:
Joseph Chevola, a Parkinson's sufferer who overcame the disease, describes his regimen in the article published in the 1995 March/April issue of Venture Inward Magazine. Joe, a 59 year old sheet metal worker, developed PD in 1983. An orthodox treatment was not successful and he looked for answers in the writings of Edgar Cayce. He changed his diet, eliminating red meat and wine; included plenty of Vitamins (A, E, and C); incorporated water aerobics in the heated pool followed by hot tub immersion, cooling down on a chair, and sauna bath; started bi-monthly acupressure massage and meditated daily while connected by a wire to a copper pyramid with a large quartz crystal installed on the roof of the house. The body's energy was amplified by the appliance and rebuilt the nerve cells. In Edgar Cayce's readings Joe found encouragement: "... all resuscitating forces of a body must come from the Divine within ... these conditions may be aided by the use of external forces; for all power emanates from one source."
Joe, after adapting Cayce's regimen, regained his strength and muscle tone and feels more vigorous now than before the disease struck him. He believes that his progress is verified in the passage from Cayce's following reading: "Rather know: Who is the author, then, of thy wisdom. Who is the keeper of thy hopes? In whom have ye believed?"
A person with Parkinson's should stay as active as possible. Good muscle tone and function are very important for maintaining optimum mobility, balance, coordination, bodily functions and the feeling of well-being. Nutrients do not reach passive areas of the body. Most Parkinsonians stay inactive; it is important for the family members and friends to encourage the patient to stay on a daily, regular program of physical activity and exercise. The exercise program should be designed to adapt it to the needs of the individual person.
Partially Solved Puzzle
Connie's disease started in her early teens a very unusual adolescent onset, doctors stated. A possible factor for acquiring the disease was an injury during a car accident in her early teens. She was originally diagnosed with an "essential tremor" and was given muscle relaxants. The medicine was a sedative, she couldn't think clearly. After the correct diagnosis was made, Connie refused to take any medication. At the time Connie started seeking help within the holistic field, she was experiencing a voice tremor, neck muscle twisting which pulled the head to one side and a writer's cramp. Her ability to sleep was diminished by head movements. Her breathing was difficult. The MRI of the brain revealed some atrophy.
Cleansing: Each step of Connie's program was confirmed by muscle testing. We discovered that her body was 97% invaded by parasites. Her cleansing program consisted of Chinese Tiao-He Cleanse (she took this supplement for more than a year, one packet per day or every other day), Black Walnut, Artemesia Combination, High Potency Garlic, Bifidophilus Flora Force, Bentonite, Algin and Chlorophyll Liquid. Connie eliminated large amounts of dark, smelly waste.
Building: Connie concentrated on rebuilding the whole body, not only the nervous system. She took many supplements. The key products were:
For the nervous system: B-Complex, Vitamin B6, Calcium Plus Vitamin D, Choline (found in Hawthorn Berries), Herbal CA, Lecithin, Niacin, Nutri Calm, Gotu Kola, Super Algae.
For the endocrine system: Energ-V, Eleuthero, Korean Ginseng, Kelp, Nature's Chi, Pantothenic Acid.
For the immune system: CoQ10, VS-C, Trigger Immune, Spirulina and Immune Stimulator.
To improve digestion: Food Enzymes.
Other: Aloe Vera juice (to heal stomach, intestines and to alkalinize the system), Ionic Minerals, Citrus Bioflavonoids w/ C, Vitamin E, SynerPro Multiple Vitamins and Minerals.
Diet: When Connie came to me, her diet consisted of foods low in nutrition like sugar, white flour, caffeine and too much meat. I remember how much I tried to convince her to switch to a 100% raw, live food diet. It was very hard for her to accept this radical nutritional change which Gabriel Cousens, M.D. refers to as the Olympics in nutrition. She made drastic dietary changes, eating only food high in nutritional content and drinking only purified water.
Other Factors: Connie stays on a mild aerobic exercise program, lifts weights and is very conscious about getting enough sleep. She was helped tremendously by the physical therapy and massage which attributes proper neck muscle stretch. She eliminated all aluminum from cooking, including aluminum pots. She replaced all mercury fillings with plastic ones.
Connie has to be constantly aware of poisons bombarding us from all angles. Her condition always worsens when she is exposed to formaldehyde (new carpet, new furniture, new paint or new wallpaper), gasoline exhaust, pesticides, etc. Being cautious about toxins became her second nature.
For several months Connie had Reiki healing sessions. Throughout the years she has grown spiritually and has a stronger spiritual connection with God, which gave her a very positive attitude toward life. She developed acceptance and understanding of the purpose of the disease. "I have a lot more empathy for people with any kind of disability or anything out of the ordinary," Connie says. "I think in that sense I have learned to be grateful for my Dystonia."
Results: Today, Connie is a person with a new lease on life. Her anger and denial are gone. She holds her head straight and with pride. The MRI of the brain still reveals a small amount of atrophy, but it hasn't gotten worse. The ability to sleep soundly has returned. She regained the freedom of movement: she plays tennis and rides her new mountain bike. She writes her own checks but prefers using a typewriter or a computer for word processing.
Connie has beaten the odds and continues to improve in every way. She looks toward the future with hope instead of fear. In her own words, "Everything in our life is a teacher. What I discovered was that my disorder was a shortcut to God! It got me in touch with my priorities. With that, I will continue to help others realize that to fall is part of human life, but to get up one more time is the God-connection. We all have that within ourselves!"