(248) 433-1011

Managing PD

  • First step is seeing a neurologist, then getting connected with a Movement Disorder Specialist (MDS). A MDS is a neurologist with additional training in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. This type of doctor typically has extensive knowledge of Parkinson’s therapies and ongoing research. If you need a MDS referral, give us a call as we have a running list of MDS physicians throughout the state of Michigan.
  • Getting involved with Michigan Parkinson Foundation, as you are not alone. We will tell you more about Parkinson’s, get you connected with a support group, and get you the information about our free exercise class x6/week.
  • Making exercise a regular part of your daily routine. We cannot stress how important exercise is for Parkinson’s disease, as it is critical and imperative in order to not only manage symptoms but to slow down the course of the disease. Although medication can help with symptoms, it does not slow progression as exercise can.
  • Taking your Parkinson’s-related medication. This will help with your symptoms, keep you active and alert, and improve your QoL.
  • It is very important to get your therapies in order. This could include but not limited to: Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, Psychotherapy/Talk Therapy, Aqua Therapy, Recreational Therapy, Vocational Therapy, and Massage Therapy.
  • Lastly, appreciating and thanking your loved ones/care partners. They are with you through this process and it’s not easy being a caregiver.
  • A simple touch or intentional hug could mean so much to your loved one. Do not take them for granted!

Alternative Therapy

  • A system of integrative medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissues with needles, used to alleviate pain and to treat various physical, mental, and emotional conditions. Originating in ancient China, acupuncture is now widely practiced in the West.
  • Acupuncture has been reported to have possible therapeutic effectiveness for PD in clinical trials, as manifested by improvement in clinical symptoms such as tremor, a decrease in the dosage of antiparkinsonian drugs, a decrease in side effects, and improvements in daily life, such as improved sleep.
Guided imagery
  • The use of words and music to evoke positive imaginary scenarios in a subject with a view to bringing about some beneficial effect.
  • Guided imagery is a relaxation technique that uses positive mental images to influence how you feel. It can enhance your traditional Parkinson’s treatment. But it does not replace traditional treatment. Guided imagery is an ancient practice that includes simple visualization.
  • Chiropractic
    • A system of integrative medicine based on the diagnosis and manipulative treatment of misalignments of the joints, especially those of the spinal column, which are held to cause other disorders by affecting the nerves, muscles, and organs.
    • The goal of chiropractic care is to improve the function of the central nervous system, composed of the brain and spinal cord and the driving force behind everything that occurs in the body. Bentonville chiropractor Dr. Tom Niemela will improve spinal health to increase the function of the central nervous system and the brain by removing spinal misalignments that cause nerve interference.
    • A Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.
    • The Benefits of Yoga for People with Parkinson’s Disease: Increased flexibility, better balance, greater strength, fewer muscle cramps, deeper sleep, easier breathing and greater sense of well-being.
    • The induction of a state of consciousness in which a person apparently loses the power of voluntary action and is highly responsive to suggestion or direction. Its use in therapy, typically to recover suppressed memories or to allow modification of behavior by suggestion, has been revived but is still controversial.
    • Hypnosis is a viable therapy for people with Parkinson’s Disease. Stiffness, shakiness, slowness, pain, fear, anxiety, dementia, and sleeplessness can be reduced and sometimes eliminated.
    • A process whereby electronic monitoring of a normally automatic bodily function is used to train someone to acquire voluntary control of that function.
    • Results from the current study suggest that real-time visual biofeedback may be effective at modifying specific gait characteristics that are associated with falls in PD.
    • The use of aromatic plant extracts and essential oils in massage or baths.
    • Essential oils are a complementary therapy that may help reduce PD symptoms. Lavender can aid in sleep, sweet orange can help with anxiety, and peppermint eases nausea. In studies, rosemary and cinnamon have been shown to potentially slow down the progression of PD.
    • The state of being free from tension and anxiety.
    • Several randomized controlled trials of mindfulness meditation programs for people with PD show instruction in the practice can lower anxiety and depression, as well as improve motor symptoms of the disease.
    Herbal remedies
    • Herbal remedies are plants used like a medicine. People use herbal remedies to help prevent or cure disease.
    • Natural Remedies for Parkinson’s Disease
      1. Turmeric.
      2. Green Tea.
      3. Ginkgo Biloba.
      4. Coconut Oil.
      5. Brahmi.
      6. Cowhage.
    • Mucuna plants, which are used in Ayurveda herbal treatments, are known to contain levodopa – a key Parkinson’s medication that increases dopamine levels in the brain and therefore improves the motor symptoms of the condition.
    • *Talk to your doctor to see what will work best for you as research may not support some of these natural remedies
    • Vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, and uric acid are examples of alternative treatments that have been studied as treatments for Parkinson’s disease. However, they were found not to be effective or may even have harmful side effects
    • The rubbing and kneading of muscles and joints of the body with the hands, especially to relieve tension or pain.
    • How can it help in Parkinson’s? Research suggests that massage can help to relieve the muscle stiffness and rigidity that is often found in Parkinson’s. It can also help reduce stress, promote relaxation and enable you to identify tension in your body, and so find ways to minimize or reduce this.
    Music and art therapy
    • It’s a complementary therapy that is used along with other cancer treatments. It helps patients cope mentally and physically with their diagnosis. Music therapy may involve listening to music, making music, singing, and discussing music, along with guided imagery with music.
    • Music therapy, which utilizes rhythm, movement, voice and creativity to try to improve Parkinson’s disease (PD) symptoms, are very popular for people with PD. Music-based therapies may work in a variety of ways to improve Parkinson’s related challenges.


    What do we know?

  • Food is medicine
  • Not a well-known Parkinson’s disease (PD)-specific diet
  • Best we can recommend is a Mediterranean diet
  • You will eat mostly plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables, potatoes, whole-grains, beans, nuts, seeds and extra virgin olive oil.
  • The diet also includes moderate amounts of lean poultry, fish, seafood, dairy and eggs.
  • To simplify: fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats (limit processed food)
  • MIND diet – designed to decrease dementia
  • It’s a mix of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet, which works to naturally control hypertension
  • A lot of people with PD are deficit in vitamin D and fiber
  • Supplement with vitamins or get through your food
  • Optimal fiber amount=30g
  • Hydration and drinking water is very important
  • Especially because there can be blood pressure changes that can result in falls
  • Recommend that each time you take your medication, instead of sipping water, drink the whole cup of water so you get in the habit of drinking more water
  • Antioxidants are those good-for-you molecules that protect the cells
  • Found in fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, dark chocolate, and some beverages, such as red wine, coffee, and tea