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What Every Person with Parkinson’s Needs to Know About Air Travel

Plane Travel!

Don’t be alarmed– but be aware, my fellow Parkinson’s disease travelers!

As if we didn’t have enough to worry about along our journey, it was released recently, that the Transportation & Security Administration (TSA) has a program called “Quiet Skies” that is noting behavior, looking for excessive fidgeting, perspiration, and cold stares by passengers. Supposedly, fifty passengers a day are identified.

We are being tracked and monitored both on the ground and in the air. Our habits, reading material, and reactions are noted and logged, if we bring any kind of attention to ourselves. The knowledge that anything out of the ordinary needs investigation is understandable, but when you are faced with a neurological disorder that can alter your walking, uncontrollable movement and body temperature regulation (both hot and cold), tremor, or balance issues- these physiological reactions are possibly red flags that could bring focus on those of us living with an illness.

Maybe, just maybe, through education and identifying ourselves as people with Parkinson’s and educating TSA agents about facial masking, dyskinesia, bradykinesia, as well as the numerous subtleties that can come with Parkinson’s, might be just what the doctor ordered. Instead of making the TSA wonder what we are going through, we need to create a teachable moment that might just lead to real changes.

People suspect and often fear what they don’t know about. Unless you live with Parkinson’s disease daily and are aware of the wide variety of symptoms and unpredictability of this illness, only through education and extra training will those unfamiliar with neurological disorders come to be educated.

Fending Off Crisis

Since the invention of life, it has all been about preserving it, healing it, living it, and  bettering it. How we do all or any of the four components,  can take a complete lifetime or more of learning. Life would be so complete and easy if there weren’t those nasty and annoying bumps, tragedies, and crisis–right?Maybe not.

Heartache,  pain, and suffering are among life’s lowest trips in the human experience.  Sometimes, how we deal with an unexpected blow is just as important and vital as the blow itself.  One’s initial reaction to most stimuli is panic, adrenalin rush,  and to act out of desperation.  If we are able to process our mind and heart in a cohesive manner, working together, we  would know how to get through the toughest of times. When your head and heart work in conjunction, it just feels right. Maybe, one can attain true peace and fend off crisis with this harmonic balance of mind and body. 

Finding balance in any part of our lives is difficult and takes dedication.  Sometimes it takes sacrifice. Sometimes those tragedies become painful but valuable teaching aids that stick with us the rest of our life.

On Freddie Roach Airs January 20th!

Starting  January 20,2012, HBO Sports presents the first episode of a 6 part series called On Freddie Roach. If you don’t know boxing or Parkinson’s Disease, Freddie Roach is a successful  former  lightweight boxer and one of the greatest trainers  of all-time. Roach has trained  Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya, and Manny Pacquiao, just to name a few. 28 of his boxers  have become world champions.

A few years ago, Roach was diagnosed with PD, but it hasn’t slowed him down and he continues  to keep his bevy of fighters winning. He is a force of determination, drive, and inspiration.  

I can’t wait! Thank you, HBO!  

Here is a recent New York Times interview with Mr. Roach.

Be Skeptical–But Stay Open-Minded

Neurologists and researchers need to step back and look at Parkinson’s disease (PD) from another perspective. I believe that even though there may be a genetic  component as well as an environmental trigger, there is an emotional , energetic, and in some cases a psychological component that disconnects with the unity of mind and body.  

For myself, after altering my thought process, learning Reiki, reducing stress, and realizing certain changes that needed tweaking, I have found myself improving over the past several years. My medication has not changed in many years but I continue to get better!

I have just returned from a conference where I had the privilege to apply the amazing energy of Reiki on 8-10 PD patients or their care-partner.  The results were amazing.

Eyes that were tired and slightly glazed over were clearer and refreshed after just a 15 minute treatment.  Many of the participants were able to relax and even fall into a deep slumber. Tremors  subsided briefly and overtaxed muscles released. These are most of  the cases of what I experienced from  several  15 minute sessions.

Skeptical? So were most of them–but when many of them left, they admittedly stated that they felt better than before the brief Reiki session. Thirteen years ago, I too was a skeptic, but from my very first Reiki session, I realized the benefit of this healing art, for myself. My body glowed and mind quieted and calmed. The simple act of gentle touch made a world of difference. No pill. No surgery. A complimentary therapy gave me my life back and continues to improve my health.

The Truth Is Out Somewhere

I’ll admit it. If I see an episode of the X- Files on television, I have to stop and watch it, unless I’ve seen it more than once. The writing and storylines for the show were bright in thought and dark in content, usually. The drama was compelling and the chemistry between David Duchovny  and Gillian Anderson was electric . The show worked. Each week  the show explored a mysterious and unexplained  phenomenon like aliens, monsters, black projects, and potential government cover-ups. This was all fantasy–right? Maybe, fantasy and reality are closer than we think.

Just this morning, a probe deep in space uncovered a planet with 2 suns, just like Tatooine, the home planet of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. Earlier in the week, 50 new planets were discovered, many of which may be capable of sustaining life. The truth really is out there –but it’s here too!

Another recent story that caught my eye was about a cat that was missing for over 5 years but was re-united with her family. Miraculous and breathtaking  events that are hard to fathom  happen every day. What we think we know or take as fact may not always be so! It all starts with a flexible and open mind.

The same thought and tact applies in the battle for beating Parkinson’s disease! Neurological disorders need to be approached from a completely different perspective. Drugs and surgery may alleviate or at least reduce some symptoms,  but they only stay effective for so long.

It is my strong belief that Parkinson’s is an energetic disruption in the body and not just the brain. It may likely be a disconnect between the body and the mind. For this kind of problem modern chemistry and surgical techniques are limited. The human mind and body are yet to be totally understood.  There are still parts of our own planet that have yet to be explored and that leaves room for questions.  In the same realm, there are parts of the body yet to be understood and illnesses that arise without  any known reason. As much as we want to believe we have things in control– we don’t.   

It is just for that reason that alternative or complimentary therapies (Massage, Yoga, Reiki, Qigong, and many more)that we  need to  do much more exploration and embracing of what may potentially work for our own healing process. I have little doubt that our bodies are capable of healing themselves. It very well may be that each of us requires our own unique cocktail of therapies to activate the process. For some it might be a change in diet and heavy exercise and for others it could be a hodge-podge of  try , try, try,  until I discover what works for me. I have experienced and seen amazing results in myself and in others. Medicine needs a radical mind-shift, but until then, knowledge and a willingness to educate ourselves on  opportunities for improving ourselves is our best solution. What could be more important?

Imagine a world where patients improve, medical costs go down,  productivity rises, and who knows where it could lead us? The truth is out there somewhere–maybe it’s here.   

This is strictly my opinion. I am not a doctor. I am not a  scientist. I am someone who has dealt with Parkinson’s disease for about 25 years.

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