- Parkinson's disease, diagnosed in 2009,
- Prostatectomy, 1995, and
- Shingles, 2016.
With his extraordinary stamina and his intense desire to help the rest of us who are living with Parkinson's, John has developed a briefing session that helps others with PD get some of the benefits of conscious walking. After trying out the program with meetings in Europe (Sweden, the Netherlands, and the UK), John has taken the show on the road big time. He has completed a tour of Australia and New Zealand and is embarking on a tour of Canada and the U.S,
I had hoped he would bring the show to D.C. but that may have to wait for another time
If you want to know more about John and his conscious walking and his road show, I found this intervew with a radio station in New Zealand very helpful.
By good fortune I guessed that a walking and mental stimulation regime would be beneficial. I am 65 having had Parkinson's since 1998 aged 47.
My disease took the usual course for many years and I resorted to an electric cart to play golf. Now that I have been walking and stretching my brain with Scrabble, sudoku, cryptic crosswords, genealogy, and learning the ukulele I find that my symptoms are greatly reduced. In fact if I reduce my stress enough I can go all morning without my pills and no discernible tremor. In fact my severity of the disease is less than when I'd had it only three years.
My own experience is that for me to walk 5-6 days a week-half an hour each time at whatever speed my body chooses which is about three quarter speed generally. It is as though my brain reboots and quickly establishes a steady smooth stride without a hint of stiff arm swing or stooped shuffle.
My intention is to wean myself off the medication by degree.
It is very revealing that should I miss two or three walks my body begins to stiffen and other Parkinson's symptoms display. So I am not cured. Simply the main disabling symptoms are checked enabling me to look and act completely normal. Most people never pick up that I have Parkinson's. My neurologist is nonplussed. But it is clear to me that the value of repetitious walking is grossly undervalued and much misunderstood.
Remember, riding bikes and lifting weights have little to no beneficial effect on the main symptoms of Parkinson's. It must be walking.