Finding your balance with Parkinson’s

Have you seen my latest guest post for the Parkinson’s Hub Blog? If not, you can check it out HERE!

The post discusses finding balance in your movements, but also ways to seek balance in your life… it provides some direction on practicing Warrior II posture. Warrior II embodies the spirit of a warrior and conveys readiness, stability, and courage.

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… wishing you strength and courage in seeking balance in your life. much love.

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Paleo for Parkinson’s?

So, Darc and I decided to do a cleanse for the month of March. Spring is a great time to detox… your body and your living space (we moved apartments, so we also did some major spring cleaning of our ‘stuff’!). We decided to follow Tim Ferris’ 4-hour body Slow Carb Diet … basically cutting out everything but protein and veggies. It was hard, at first… then after a month we decided to extend it a bit longer. Now, a low carb diet is becoming a habit (are you surprise? this is from the guy who bakes … and I mean CHECK OUT THESE pancakes, english muffins, bread, cinnamon buns, pizza, AND croissants!!).

Lately, we’ve been looking into the Paleo diet (…though being a vegetarian i’m a bit unsure of where I’m going to get all my protein without legumes) and we came across this great book at the library…

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… and whatdya know, they have a section on eating for Neurological health, including Parkinson’s disease!

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The book suggests some nutrients, such as B vitamins, Vitamin C, D & E, magnesium,  potassium, omega-3’s, probiotics, zinc among others…

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It also discusses dietary / lifestyle factors you should add (fats, antioxidants, massage, stress-management) and avoid (gluten, dairy, sweeteners, caffeine) … though I DO NOT agree with avoiding high-intensity exercise, as research demonstrates it IS beneficial.
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… and finally some considerations around protein, Vitamin B6 and Levodopa.

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… now I’m curious… Let me know IN THE COMMENTS BELOWdo YOU follow ay special diet plans?

Have you tried a gluten-free or Paleo diet?

How does diet modification change YOUR Parkinson’s management (because we all know everyone is different!)??

much love.

From research to real life: smell, sleep, constipation and Parkinson’s

… what do these 3 things have in common? Early detection of PD.

New research shows that hyposmia (loosing sense of smell), rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD), and constipation, may be early Parkinson’s disease manifestations that reflect the underlying alphasynuclein pathology (the degeneration that is happening in the brain!) as well as predict subsequent onset of motor manifestations (Ravina & Aarsland, Mov Disord 2013).

Also, recent prospective (it means the researchers followed patients for 4-years) study shows that patients with RBD have increased cognitive impairment on neuropsychological testing (Postuma et al., Mov Disord 2012). The results showed that 48% of persons with RBD developed some cognitive impairments (especially hallucinations and some cognitive fluctuations), compared to 0% of patients who did not have RBD. This gives us an indication that we should watch RBD diagnosis in Parkinson’s disease closely as RBD may be a good marker of cognitive impairment subtypes associated with Parkinson’s.

A typical sleep cycle (dementiatoday.com)

A typical sleep cycle (dementiatoday.com)

what RBD can often look like! Yikes! ... and often dangerous to your bedmate (netterimages.com)

what RBD can often look like! Yikes! … and often dangerous to your bedmate
(netterimages.com)

… so ask your bedmate and talk to your doctor about how do you sleep at night. much love.

Stress management, self-care and yoga!

Hey Islanders … have you seen the latest copy of Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson’s Centre‘s TRANSMITTER newsletter???

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If not, check out some of the upcoming Parkinson’s programs… including my talk on STRESS MANAGEMENT AND SELF-CARE on April 25th in Westshore!

We will be discussing Parkinson’s self-care strategies, doing some yogic breathing and stress-relieveing exercises!

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Also, have you seen what’s new in the community???

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Check out my YOGA FOR PARKINSON’s WORKSHOP on April 27th from 1-3pm at Cedar Hill Rec Centre! Send me an email (kaitlyn.p.roland@gmail.com) or give me a call (250.589.2046) to register!

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LOTS of exciting things coming up … looking forward to seeing you there! much love.

Dance for Parkinson’s: TANGO

Tango includes both single-time steps, or steps on the beat, and double-time steps, or steps between two beats … and dancing to this beat may benefit people with Parkinson’s disease.

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Since 2007, Dr Madeline E. Hackney PhD has been demonstrating the benefits of tango dance on balance, ability to complete spatial tasks, mood, coordination and endurance improvements in people with Parkinson’s disease (Hackney 2007; Hackney 2009; Hackney 2010).

And new research is demonstrating that:

community-based adapted tango for Parkinson’s disease  can be safely delivered with high participant satisfaction/retention and potential for improving balance (link HERE).

Another reason to put on your dancing shoes, grab a partner and hit the dance floor! Do you tango? much love.

Dance for Parkinson’s: BALLET

Can learning to point/flex your toes and turn out your feet improve muscle control and movement in people living with Parkinson’s disease?

New research is saying YES!

… as a “ballerina” since the age of 4 (well, if my current once/week adult ballet classes count!), I am really inspired by the ability of ballet to improve brain function in Parkinson’s disease.

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dancing snowflake (june 1989)

1990 June Kate's Ballet Recital

again, a snowflake (june 1990)

New research at McMaster/Western Universities in collaboration with Canada’s National Ballet School will see how the brain reacts and learns in people with Parkinson’s in relation to music and acquired movements related to the rhythm and  beat of music.

They are testing the idea that the brain can develop new pathways if stimulated with learning ballet. This could help improve mobility in people with Parkinson’s.

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As part of the Dance for PD program, Saturday sessions are offered for people with Parkinson’s, their carers and family members within the professional environment of English National Ballet. Recently, there was a BBC news clip about the benefits of ballet for people with Parkinson’s, offered by the English National ballet; check it out HERE.

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Have you tried ballet? Are you learning any new dance moves? I’d love to hear how you are pointing your toes for better brain function in the comments below! much love.