I hope everyone reading this is in good spirits. When life’s curveballs get thrown at you, it’s important to take a step back and take a deep breath. Life has a lot of uncertainty. Thinking of the future can be stressful and cause you not to be fully present. 

This is where mindfulness can help. Practicing mindfulness meditation can help attend to what’s in front of you in the present moment because that is all we can tend to in the moment. Although preparing for the future is important, you have to remember not to get lost in constant thoughts about the future. 

When dealing with stress, the body wants to go into fight or flight, but with Parkinson’s, it tends to manifest in shaking or muscle stiffness. Recently, I have learned a few techniques to help calm myself. The particular technique was shared in a support group meeting hosted by Parkinson’s Resource Organization.

 You can be in a sitting or standing position. Cross your arms over your chest with your fingertips resting on opposite shoulders; you can also do this on your legs as well. Start with a gentle tapping or patting motion with your fingertips. The motion should resemble a butterfly flapping its wings. While performing this tapping motion, be sure to focus on taking slow, deep breaths and try to relax. This tapping motion is supposed to help mitigate the stress response that is natural in our bodies when we are feeling anxious. It stimulates both sides of the brain, otherwise known as bilateral stimulation. 

Over the years after diagnosis, I have looked into supplements to replenish my deficiencies. A common deficient mineral in people with Parkinson’s is magnesium. This mineral is responsible for turning the food we eat into energy. Magnesium is known for relaxing muscles while also controlling their contractions. Although there are many types of magnesium, I’ve found all of them have a positive effect. Magnesium threonate is great for the brain as it provides a boost in cognitive function, which Parkinson’s patients can’t get enough of. Magnesium citrate is easily absorbed in the body, giving it its laxative properties. Magnesium oxide aids heartburn and indigestion and can provide relief after a heavy meal. Magnesium chloride is an all-around magnesium that supports low levels. Magnesium sulfate is often used in baths for muscle relaxation, and magnesium chloride is used in topical applications. Magnesium glycinate is a chelated form with high bioavailability and is gentle on the stomach. Each type serves specific purposes, and choosing depends on individual needs and preferences. 

All in all, these are just some of the ways I combat stress. I hope some of these tips work to keep the Parkinson’s community thriving. Do you have any tried and true ways to combat stress? I’d love to hear them!


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Parkinson's Resource Organization
74785 Highway 111
Suite 208
Indian Wells, CA 92210

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Updated: August 16, 2017