Food Medicine for Parkinsons

Food Medicine for Parkinsons

For the month of May, in Chi Flow with Jo we are going to be covering Qi Gong, Acupressure and Chinese Medicine that can help you manage Parkinson’s or caring for someone with Parkinson’s. At present there’s no known cure for Parkinson’s and there’s no pinpoint diagnosis that they can give as to why Parkinson’s occurs. 

What we’re going to do in Chi Flow with Jo is give you Qigong, acupressure and food medicine to help alleviate some of the symptoms and find ease in your body.  (find list of foods at the end of this blog and more in my five element cookbooks)  

Plus read to the end and receive the free mini ebook dedicated to living well with Parkinsons.

My husband, Davy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s eight years ago; as a Qi Gong teacher and Chinese Medicine Practitioner, he and I work together so that he sleeps well, maintains flexibility, balance and strength plus working on the emotional aspects that are not so visible. 

He practices Qi Gong every day in Chi Flow with Jo which helps him live with ease, confidence and flow, physically and emotionally.

As his partner, I find strength and support in having my own practice, which strengthens loving compassionate kindness, knowing my limits and how to stay healthy.

Click here to watch Joanne and Davy discuss what works for them and how they work together. 

From a Chinese medicine point of view, Parkinson’s, stroke, and other neurological disorders such as dizziness, vertigo, bell’s palsy, and uncontrollable spasms would be a symptom of invading wind. 

Western medicine is not familiar with climates such as wind and dampness affecting the body but TCM is a holistic medicine. It considers the human body and how it interacts with its environment as a whole. Diseases are attributed to an imbalance between the five different elements found in nature and in the body. 

In Taoism and Chinese Medicine our life force energy is made manifest in this particular body for this particular lifetime. We are no different to a tree or a blade of grass.  Same life force energy, just different collection of cells and therefore manifestation.  To promote flow and even flow of energy we can use this life force energy when working with the body.

The term ‘climate’ in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), refers to internal and external agents that can cause disease.  Each of these climatic forces has a specific action on the body, depending upon their characteristics. Balance and harmony of these climates means good emotional and physical health. 

Wind affects the Liver often working with the other internal climates to invade the body, moving energy, pathogens and symptoms erratically causing tremors, spasms and twitching. 

Cold affects the Kidney creating contraction, obstructions and slow movement of Chi causing cramps and sharp pain. 

Heat affects the Heart causing erratic movement of Chi and often associated with inflammation, redness of skin, irritability and inability for the Shen/Spirit to settle. 

Dampness affects the Spleen causing heavy and foggy energy, generating sticky secretions and protracted, dense pain especially in the middle and lower burner, inability to transform and transport food into energy. 

Dryness affects the Lung causing dehydration and scant body fluids especially in the mucous membranes of the body including lungs, nasal cavities, digestive tract, skin, hair and nails.

Wind can bring great chaos to the body.  Symptoms come and go without warning.

If you have ever been out on a very windy day you will know it can be difficult to think straight.  Wind moves and shakes things that should be still. It produces change and acceleration in what otherwise should be steady and slow. 

With wind, things appear and disappear quickly. It causes tremors and spasms. You can’t control the muscles; the sinews contract leading to cramps and tightness and that can give you kind of vertigo. Any kind of dizziness and headaches and even a stiff neck are also included in the symptoms of wind. 

Wind is an exhilarating force.  It shows us how unpredictable and unstoppable nature can be.  You can’t trap wind in a box; it will have its flow and move where it wishes.  However, only when the Yin Yang balance is weak can this pernicious force enter and cause damage to the body.

Internal wind (not to be confused with flatulence) causes disruption to the flow of Qi and blood, weakening the body’s defences, allowing external wind to invade, doubling the damage.

Wind in nature is created by air put in motion by a change in atmospheric pressure.  Areas of low pressure have within them an area of emptiness, this vacuum initiates the movement of air.  High pressure is drawn towards low pressure. 

In terms of Chinese Medicine we can translate this as a yin deficiency/weakness causes a rise in excess yang.

Yang is hot and active whereas Yin is cool and calm.  This imbalance is a major factor in creating internal wind which causes symptoms of excess movement, epilepsy, tremors, spasm and Parkinsons.

So how can we calm this crazy demon wind?  Firstly by strengthening the YIN in the body.  Blood is a YIN FLUID nourishing, cooling and calming. 

In TCM we not only focus on the functions and cellular make up of blood but the very quality of blood itself which cool and nourishes all the organs.  

In Chinese Medicine the function of the Liver is to nourish, purify and stores the blood. It also enhances  Qi/chi(energy) which moves the blood smoothly around the body. 

THE LIVER

If the Liver is functioning properly, the blood will move around the body easily without obstruction, nourishing, cooling and calming.

However in our Western lifestyle it is very easy to overwork the Liver.

Too many saturated fats, chemical additives, alcohol, caffeine and stimulants make the Liver slow, leading to “stagnation” in the system and weakening of the blood causing symptoms of fatigue, headaches, problems concentrating, night terrors, spasms and tightness of the ligaments and tendons.

Here are some five element food medicine guides to follow and include in your diet.  Use the books to find recipes in which to use these ingredients on a daily basis:

LIVER BOOSTING FOODS

  • ☯️ Dark leafy greens including
  • ☯️ Nettles
  • ☯️ Spinach
  • ☯️ Kale
  • ☯️ Broccoli
  • ☯️ Sprouted seeds and legumes
  • ☯️ Good oils in seeds and nuts 
  • ☯️ Oily fish
  • ☯️ Aubergines
  • ☯️ Kimchi
  • ☯️ Fresh & raw food
  • ☯️ Lemon & limes
  • ☯️ Apple cider vinegar
  • ☯️ Plums & gooseberries
  • ☯️ Turmeric
  • ☯️ Avocado’s
  • ☯️ Seaweed
  • ☯️ Umeboshi plum

For recipes showing you how to use these foods and the five element system, sign up for the FREE mini ebook below or take a look at the cook books.

Every day in Chi Flow with Jo you receive a recording of the Qi Gong class if you can’t make the LIVE plus a 5 element food recipe, acupressure point of Traditional Chinese Medicine Tip to set you up for the day.

FOODS TO AVOID

  • ☯️ Ice cream
  • ☯️ Heavy cream
  • ☯️ Cheese
  • ☯️ Fried food
  • ☯️ Saturated fats
  • ☯️ Alcohol
  • ☯️ Processed meats
  • ☯️ Ready meals
  • ☯️ Refined Carbohydrates
  • ☯️ Refined Sugars

Following the 5 element system, the nourishment of blood by the liver relies on kidney jing to nourish it 

When kidney jing is weak liver energy and the strength of the blood becomes weak. 

Read more in my next blog about how to use acupressure and Qi Gong to strengthen Kidney energy helping vital blood to flow and nourish organs, ligaments, muscles and tendons, relieving spasms, cramps, twitching, improving sleep and ease of the body.

I share an Acupressure point and a Qi Gong move to help you feel at ease in your body.  It’s important to not feel isolated and alone.  There are things you can do and a whole community in Chi Flow to support your Parkinsons journey.

Chi Flow with Jo uses natural and easy Qi Gong movements, acupoints and food medicine every weekday to nourish the blood, clear the liver and calm your nervous system.  Plus daily Q&A helps you to return to deep acceptance and ease with a community full of support.

Doors open the last few days of the month so that we begin the new moves together at the beginning of the new month.

WOULD YOU LIKE A FREE PARKINSON’S MINI EBOOK?

Enter your email to receive the FREE mini e-book with a recipe, an acupressure point and Qi Gong move and we will also send you the link for the FREE CLASS

 

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HOW CAN QI GONG HELP REVITALISE YOUR LIFE?

If you’re eager to revitalise your daily routine and prioritise self-care for both your mind and body, consider exploring Qi Gong as a transformative practice.

Qi Gong is all about being well and loving yourself with gentle exercise, and the best part is that everyone can benefit from it.

Hope to see you in the Chi Flow.

Self-administered acupressure or Chinese Medicine is not a substitute for visits to qualified healthcare practitioners.

Knowing how to treat yourself and your loved ones with complimentary therapies like acupressure can be greatly beneficial and convenient. However, for serious and chronic conditions, you’ll want to visit an Shiatsu therapist / Acupuncturist or other qualified healthcare practitioner who can develop a treatment plan based on your unique medical history and combination of symptoms.  The information provided should not be considered medical advice.

Find your Fun & Reduce Anxiety

Find your Fun & Reduce Anxiety

Have you found yourself feeling anxious and foggy-headed this past Winter?

Just in time for Spring, we will delve deep into the energy boosting ancient Toaist form of Qi Gong ; the 5 Animal Frolics. This flow celebrates the energy of animals by mimicking their movements, while bringing our mind and body ease.

Qi Gong is said to originate from the dances of early Wu Shaman in China. In their dances, shamans used animal movements to induce trance states for communicating with the spirit world.

Many of the movements such as “Parting the Clouds”, “Shaking the Wild Horse’s Mane” and “Wise Owl turns Head to eliminate fatigue” specifically reference animals and elements of nature.

In one exercise such as the “Crane spreads Wings”, you move like a tall elegant bird, finding your balance, feeling its spreading wings and the lightness in your body.

Attuning to the rhythms of nature will amplify our Qi Gong for April.

Even though the exercises can be playful and light, Qi Gong offers some seriously powerful health benefits that are accessible to everyone.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Qi Gong is a gentle movement meditation that is suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

Some of Qi Gong’s physical benefits include boosting metabolism, balancing hormones, improving flexibility and fitness, aiding digestion and increasing your overall energy levels.

Mentally, Qi Gong will help calm your mind and reduce anxiety.

The 5 Animal Frolics allow us to cultivate the animals’ energetic gifts, bringing harmony within all of the body’s energy systems. Using the 5 Element Theory, each of these animals is linked to a season, a time of day, an organ pair, a sense, a flavour, an emotion and much more.

WHAT ARE THE 5 ANIMALS?

Let’s break down the animals, their corresponding organs and some ways your health can benefit from this month’s energy update.

THE TIGER

 

First, we will draw power, flexibility and flow from the tiger. The tiger is associated with the wood element, which is also linked to the liver and gallbladder. When you practice tiger, you give yourself a healthy and natural way to release anger, becoming confident, powerful and assertive. If you are stuck sitting at a desk all day, and/or looking to prevent arthritis, practicing the tiger will greatly benefit you.

Chi Flow with Jo will give you the tools to use the tiger’s claw to release tension in the shoulders and chest, strengthen tendons and joints in the hand and increase gripping strength by generating a powerful surge of Qi energy in the hands and fingers.

THE BEAR

Next, the Bear. Chi Flow with Jo will teach you how to channel the bear coming out of hibernation by reconnecting with the present moment and releasing anxiety and worry.

The bear’s movements will benefit your spleen and stomach, helping to receive the benefits of the earth’s bounty and easing digestion.

The bear is heavy and grounded to the earth, so its movements will help to balance the earth element. Finding this balance will enable you to start your Spring off by rediscovering your nurturing, relaxed and social self.

THE MONKEY

Next, the monkey movements will benefit the heart and small intestine with the playful joy and exuberance of the fire element. Mimicking the light and spirited movements of the monkey promotes healthy blood circulation in the vessels and the meridians, while also encouraging your inner child to express itself.

If you are finding yourself weary with the world, Chi Flow with Jo will show you how to return to a state of wonder, optimism, enthusiasm and joy by practising the monkey and improving your heart’s health.

THE CRANE

Next, the lungs are responsible for self protection and self-preservation. The crane’s movements, with its long legs and outstretched wings, benefit the lungs and large intestine, helping expansive openness and deep breathing.

Mirroring the crane opens the lungs, releasing grief and sadness, and enabling you to expand your capacity of breath.

Chi Flow with Jo will teach you to foster the crane’s spirit, so you can strengthen your dignity, integrity and ability to connect with others.

THE DEER

Finally, the deer’s movements benefit the kidney and bladder, as well as bringing quiet and stillness. The deer is a prey animal, always aware of its surroundings yet never overwhelmed; it is calm and curious. The emotion associated with the deer is fear, so practising the deer will allow you to release that fear and become more clear minded. 

Chi Flow with Jo will teach you to practice the deer’s movements to calm your nervous system and return to deep awareness, while also helping with bone density and hormonal balance.

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HOW CAN QI GONG HELP REVITALISE YOUR LIFE?

If you’re eager to revitalise your daily routine and prioritise self-care for both your mind and body, consider exploring Qi Gong as a transformative practice.

Qi Gong is all about being well and loving yourself with gentle exercise, and the best part is that everyone can benefit from it.

Hope to see you in the Chi Flow.