Early in John's diagnosis, we came across a book called Stop Parkin' and Start Living. The book was written by John Coleman, a naturopath from Australia. Eight years later, we traveled to Australia to meet John and another alternative health practitioner, Leoni Hibbert, who had developed the Aquas Hydration product John mentioned in his book. Over the years we stayed in touch with Leoni but had lost touch with John over the years.
After finding the Martha's Quest website, John Coleman, reached out to me a few weeks ago to reconnect. He has written a new book Rethinking Parkinson's disease: the definitive guide to the known causes of Parkinson's disease and proven reversal strategies. We set up a call to catch up and John sent me a copy of his book. I'm sure the title of his book will be irritating to some percentage of people who find this blog or see John Coleman's book. However, over the past twenty years of my John's Parkinson's, I can say that we have found MANY contributing factors to these disease pathology that can be affected through lifestyle and hard work. It's not simple and it's not easy. It takes an open mind and dedication to the process of improving your health. I recognize that not everyone is going to be in the place to take the difficult steps to make changes. John Coleman describes this in his book. My husband John has commented on this himself. He surrounds himself with a community of Parkinson's people who are doing the hard work and want to make positive changes to improve their outcomes. But we both respect that not everyone is going to be in that same place.
John's book is thick and covers many of the environmental and stress triggers that contribute to the disease. He also covers the microbiome and its contribution to the disease. One area of focus is the emotional and psychological aspects that underpin the disease. I noticed many years ago that John always seemed to be "on edge". I also noticed that I was contributing to his level of stress. I am a Type A personality and my expectations can often be unreasonable. After noticing this about myself and my possible contribution to increased stress for John, I asked our neurologist if she had noticed this in other Parkinson's patients. She had noticed stress inducing spouses more often in her PD patients. So I rethought my approach to John and how my own behaviors could be contributing to his disease. I can't say I am always perfect at this but I am much more mindful of my contribution to his stress.
When I read John Coleman's first book I was already looking at some environmental triggers. But he went much deeper in to all of the products that we have in our homes or come in contact with in our daily interactions that I wasn't thinking about: soaps, cleaners, packaging, air fresheners, lights, etc. It was almost too overwhelming at first. But the more we thought about it and the more changes we made in our product choices the better John seemed to feel.
While Rethinking Parkinson's covers a lot of ground, I would say, read it with an open mind and think of the changes you can make easily and others you might work your way in to more gradually and see what a difference it can make for you.