by Orie Quinn, DC
I have been blessed over my six years in practice to meet and work with some of the best of people. They have come from all areas of life and backgrounds and have come in to be treated for all sorts of reasons. It is not unusual for someone to come into my office simply because they felt that they should, and they present with problems that are much larger than normal. This was the case with a particular client whose experience I wish to share.
She came in with the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. She had been diagnosed with it 6-7 years before we ever met. She had spent time driving down to see specialists in Dallas for quite some time only to find that they were playing a waiting game. Every time she went down there, she was told how much further she had progressed or digressed and simply when to come back. This did not settle well with her. She took to reading a lot of things online and listening to varying holistic doctors through the internet, radio and television. By the time she came into my office she was only sleeping an hour a night and was having a very hard time slowing or stopping her tremors in her arms and legs. Because of these symptoms, she rarely left the house and even coming into the office was of great concern. She came in with a determination though. She wanted this behind her. Her hope was that I could do something more than just wait for things to get worse.
What she couldn’t have known before coming into the office was that at almost the same time that she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, someone in my close family was diagnosed with the condition. With someone so close to me suffering from this, I had had the chance for several years to actively work with them through manual therapies and nutrition to greatly slow the progression. From this previous experience, I also recognized in my new client the altered gait patterns, rigidity of muscles, and what I call a tension of the face and cranium that come with the development of Parkinson’s.
We started care with what is often termed as cranial-sacral work. I had used this for several years working with Parkinson’s clients because increased and or proper cerebral spinal fluid flow and turnover is essential for brain nutrient availability as well as proper removal of bi-products of normal function. With these treatments alone we were able to improve her sleep to a few hours a night as well as decrease some of her rigidity.
To start with, she didn’t respond well to nutritional supplements. It seemed that despite what we tried it would lead to more tremors and a need to increase her L-dopa levels, which she was and is still taking on an as need basis as prescribed. Because of this we continued the cranial-sacral work and started looking elsewhere.
Thinking though more of her symptoms outside of the tremors it occurred to me that they matched some of the symptoms seen from other brain imbalances such as GABA, Serotonin, and Acetylcholine. Having used the work of Dr. Eric Braverman for brain balancing with other clients, we put together a combination of herbs and supplements to support her other neurotransmitters and not just the Dopamine. The results have been great. Within a couple of months, her sleep is now consistently 6 hours a night, her altered gait pattern has almost been eliminated and her confidence and ability to leave home and do daily tasks has greatly increased. In fact she went in for a bi-annual check up with her neurologist only to be told that she is the only client he has that is actually showing marked improvement.
Her journey has been an amazing one to be a part of. Her personal efforts have been unbelievable and are an essential part to the improvement she is seeing. Since before I knew her, she has eaten a simple, but clean diet, with the intent of lowering inflammation in the body. She also has daily tai chi type exercises that she does to relax the body and improve oxygen saturation. She is still in need of her prescribed L-dopa but her dosing has not gone up in several years.
I am anxious and excited to see where her improvement takes her. The intent of all these modalities were and are to help improve her symptoms and in no way are intended to treat the disease of Parkinson’s.