AN INTEGRATIVE APPROACH TO PARKINSON’S DISEASE TREATMENT
This year marks the 30th anniversary of my father’s passing from Parkinson’s disease.
I am Steve Liu, an established acupuncturist since 2001.
And in my previous career I was an electrical engineer working with lasers (which you’ll soon see is so very relevant to my current work treating Parkinson’s).
In 1992 when my father passed, very little attention was given to Parkinson’s disease.
Now, twenty-five years later, it is the 14th leading cause of death in the United States with 1.5 million of Americans currently suffering from the disease. Although significant scientific advances (such as deep brain stimulation and medications) help ease motor and non-motor symptoms, at this time there is no cure or therapy proven to slow the progress of the disease.
As you may well already know from your doctors.
This lead me to a personal and professional mission to find natural ways to not only improve quality of life, but to actually slow down and even stop or reverse the progression of this terrible condition and other brain disorders.
And why people finally seek me out as their last resort when nothing else can be done.
I created Integrative Brain Healing Institute and a new, integrative approach to Parkinson’s to address this deep need:
A New, Integrative Approach to Treating Parkinson’s Disease, not Just its Symptoms
It starts with integrating two contemporary but scientifically founded therapies to address the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
- Neuro-acupuncture (or scalp acupuncture) integrates traditional Chinese needling with Western medical understanding of the brain. In the last 30 years this therapy has been extensively studied and shown remarkable results in treating stroke paralysis, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease.1Acupuncture can also help support cognitive function and slow the decline from Parkinson’s symptoms. A study done in 2002 by the Department of Neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine revealed 20 Parkinson’s patients were treated with 16 sessions of acupuncture. Eighty-five percent of those patients reported improvement of symptoms, including tremors, walking, handwriting, slowness, pain, sleep, depression, and anxiety. There were no adverse effects.2
- Photobiomodulation (PBM) Therapy is the use of a low-intensity laser or LED light source on our biological system. Beneficial outcomes include alleviation of pain and inflammation, immunomodulation, promotion of wound healing, and tissue regeneration.3PBM seems on the fringe of today’s therapy treatments because it does not have an avenue in the Western medical industry at this time. However, many studies presented at PBM conferences around the world in the last ten years show the positive effects of this therapy when applied through the scalp and nasal cavity on patients with traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Furthermore, the therapy is proving not only absolutely safe, but also without any adverse side effects.4 This is a very important point when so often a patient has to compromise by accepting side effects for temporary relief of their primary symptoms.
These acupuncture and PBM therapies can be applied together in one session when a patient is either sitting upright or laying down comfortably.
The therapies can even prove relaxing in an environment where soft music and low lighting encourage a sense of peaceful relaxation.
This unique approach to integrative Parkinson’s treatment then integrates a complimentary set of natural treatments. They work together to further heal and stimulate new neuro-pathways so patients can get back outside, enjoying life, and being active again.
Four supplemental healing modalities, each empirically and/or scientifically shown to slow down the progression of the disease and/or alleviate Parkinson’s symptoms, are used:
Movement and Massage Therapies to Help You Improve Daily Functioning
These specific techniques have been proven to alleviate symptoms associated with Parkinson’s as well as to improve movement and function in activities of daily living.5
Joe Pinella, a well-known Qi Gong/Tai Chi practitioner, overcame a quadriplegic diagnosis.5
Through his miraculous healing Joe developed his business called Healing Movement Systems. Throughout the Tucson area Joe is an icon in the aging and Parkinson’s communities, teaching his movement systems and distributing his DVDs.
Maria Mitchell addresses stiff muscles, tremors, and symptoms of constipation common with Parkinson’s patients.
Maria’s M.S. in Gerontology, her over two decades experience as a massage therapist, and her certification in Yoga Therapy makes Maria an expert in her field. Neuromuscular Therapy can improve muscular movements and alleviate tremors, while Chinese Abdominal Massage (known as CNT) and yoga poses can help address issues of constipation that is often associated with Parkinson’s conditions.
Getting You Moving Again in the Fresh Air
Parkinson’s patients’ being able to ride a bicycle was first reported by a clinic in the Netherlands in 2012.
Additionally, a 2010 study showed an exercise method called Forced Exercise using tandem bicycles. This method can be highly beneficial to a Parkinson’s patients’ shuffling gait and hand trembling.6
The study describes a captain in the front seat of a tandem bicycle pedaling at a very high pace with the patient being “forced” to pedal at the same pace in the rear. The release of dopamine from the exercise is thought to help overall body movement.
Steve Morganstern, of Bicycle Ranch, developed this unique exercise improves Parkinson’s patients’ physical health and sense of well-being.
Nutrition for Healing, Parkinson’s, and the “Second Brain”
Karianne Cory, a graduate of Cornell University’s Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition Program, developed our Plant Based Nutritional Therapy.
A study published in the Dec. 1, 2016 issue of Cell, Caltech researchers showed that signals from the gut microbiome affected the level of neuro-inflammation and the degree of motor dysfunction in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease.7
This study was the first one of its kind to provide a possible link between bacteria in our gut and Parkinson’s disease. Fiber in plant-based foods is the only nutrient the gut bacteria needs to flourish. Karianne is eager to help patients attain wellness with plant-based nutrition and instill confidence in their own ability to make choices to enrich body, mind, and spirit.
Bringing it All Together for a Science Backed, Natural Approach to Parkinson’s Disease without Medication
We’re now offering this full program to Parkinson’s disease patients.
A typical patient may not need all five therapies depending on their stage of progression.
Treated early, the ability to slow, stop, or possibly reverse your current symptoms naturally are greatly enhanced, and require a less intensive approach.
Makes sense, right?
Working with you and understanding your current condition, I help coordinate the appropriate therapies and their frequency for your particular treatment. I understand each Parkinson’s patient is unique and there is no “one-size-fits-all” treatment protocol.
I will stress that this treatment regiment in no way is a claim to cure Parkinson’s.
I can make no promises to actual results you will experience. Every patient is different, and will need to fully participate in the program to get the best results.
However, this program is the first of its kind to assemble a team of practitioners who will present well-founded practices for dramatically improving quality of life for Parkinson’s patients.
Please call 520-878-8116 to make appointment for an evaluation and consultation.
- Hao J.J. and Hao, L.L. “Chinese Scalp Acupuncture” Blue Poppy Press, 2011
- Briggs D. and Crispell M. “Helping Patients with Parkinson’s Disease” Acupuncture Today, March 2017
- North American Association for Photobiomodulation Therapy website – www.naalt.org
- LED Therapy with Dr. Naeser of VA at Boston https://youtu.be/T-yym1tcdm8 published on February 22, 2017
- Miners S. “The Power of Imagination – A Former Quadriplegic’s Spine-Healing Story” Well Being Journal, March/April 2017
- Alberts J, et al. “It Is Not About the Bike, It Is About the Pedaling: Forced Exercise and Parkinson’s Disease” American College of Sports Medicine 2011
- Whiteman H “Gut Microbiome Contributes to Parkinson’s, Study Suggests” Medical News Today, published on Friday 2 December 2016