Walking with John Pepper

Walking with John Pepper

John Pepper is half way through his UK speaking tour. I have been lucky enough to have John and his wife stay with me for four days. Two mornings we walked together, he shouting 'swing those arms' and 'heel, heel' at me! He walked a little slower than his normal pace so I could keep up, but we still walked 3 miles in under 50 minutes! His two speaking events this week each attracted 100 people who all left excited and inspired. What has struck me most about this man? For him Parkinson's is not an excuse. He works very long days, has endless energy, has determinedly worked to lessen or overcome every Parkinson's challenge he has faced and works tirelessly to help others do the same. He is a very warm and generous man. I will remember my time spent in his company for a very long time to come.

18 Replies

  • thank you for the news and for the photo

  • I am looking forward to his visit in Amsterdam!!! Thanks for your comment

  • Thanks for the Post, John is an inspiration for so many.


  • Wish I could be there! Hope to meet him someday!😘👍

  • This is very inspiring. John continues to encourage us. Glad you had the opportunity to join him on his walks.

  • Great to see anyone promoting good life habits. I am not familiar with John Pepper but he sounds to me he is on the right track. I have found that Crossfit Which I do 5 times a week greatly increases my up times and i require less meds at least half of what the Dr. RX. I am 61 9 years With PD and am better now than 6 years ago. All Dr. should promote exercise at first to relieve symptoms before Rx drugs. Exercise helps at any stage. But it has to be exercise that pushes to your max not just take a slow 1 mile walk

    CrossFit is constantly varied, functional movements executed at high intensity. Ok, now that you are saying “What the *@$&”, let’s break that statement down. A functional movement is a movement that incorporates multiple joints and can move a large amount of weight over great distances in a short amount of time. By constantly varied we mean that we do not repeat specific movements regularly as part of the main workout. High intensity means that we do these movements as fast as possible as part of a timed work out in order to move as much weight over a long distance in as short amount of time as possible. Why do we do things this way in CrossFit? Well, we are trying to increase your power output (Power= (Weight*Distance)/Time) across broad, time and modal domains. CrossFit is designed for this singular purpose. We want to turn each and everyone of our athletes into a race horse, not a show horse, aesthetics are purely a by-product. For more information click here.

    Fitness is most easily described through the 10 general physical skills: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, agility, speed, coordination, balance, and accuracy. In CrossFit, we believe that you are only as fit as you are competent in each of those skills, which requires a wide variety of exercises and workouts. This type of fitness breeds general physical preparedness, which simply means that you are not a master of one skill, but are prepared for all of them. Fitness also includes eating healthy, which is as simple as eating lean meats, fruits and vegetables, and some nuts. Being fit is not merely being healthy, it is a higher standard and harder to achieve.


  • Bailey,

    John has posted frequently on this forum over the past few years. He says the neurologist describes his Parkinson's as non idiopathic and his tremor as essential tremor with no resting tremor.

    He is a keen advocate of fast walking to reverse PD symptoms, you can search his posts for an explanation.

  • John's web site is reversingparkinsons.com and it's very informative.

  • I read your list of the purpose and benefits of exercise with interest, but you have left out the effect on the brain. Forced exercise produces Glial derived neurotrophic factors (GDNF) which work to heal damaged neurons. The exercise must last 45-60 minutes and be every other day. It must be as full on as you can make It! Email me if you want more info on this d_m_bryan@hotmail.com. The medical profession has known about GDNF for twenty years or more but have omitted to tell us about it, or that forced exercise produces it. The drug companies are producing and trialling an artificial GDNF which needs a catheter in the brain and an abdominal pump to administer it!

    John Pepper's book 'Reversing Parkinson's Disease'

    Norman Doidge's book 'The Brains way of Healing' devotes a chapter to John Pepper.

    I hope this is of interest to you

  • I believe that promoting exercise as a cure all is like Dr. using only meds. I have been on several different meds and on too much and have a lot of reactions to them. The problem was when i told my Dr. he would increase them. I began to control my meds as I needed them. If I took no meds I could not function so I slowly increased them to find the smallest dose with daily exercise that i needed. This works for me.

    Not all Pd. people are able to do the exercise required to have the most effect for them.

    So in most things there is not a cure all. Best to keep our options open as well as our minds. Just keep on posting and keep talking to as many people who will listen the more we push the more we will achieve.

    Thanks Bailey

  • Please tell me what else did you learn from him

  • I think as the dust settles after his visit I will see things clearer. For now I will say I learnt never to use Parkinson's as an excuse for not doing something. He is a very determined man. He is very cross that the medical profession haven't told us about the benefits of GDNF and that fast walking produces it. He also gets cross with the medical profession when he sees people over medicated and displaying dyskinesia. John clearly still has Parkinson's. He found it difficult to hold his notes, he was shaking so badly, but then he was very nervous and very emotional. Yet he lives a normal life and he'll be 81 next month! A couple of mornings, after our walk, he cooked me a huge fry up, turning fiddly mushrooms over in the frying pan etc. (We of course cooked in coconut oil!) And the major thing - he is no longer on medication. He also stood for two hours during his presentation.

  • There is a lot of research on forced exercise. Email me on d_m_bryan@hotmail.com and I will attach it all!

  • Great to hear this. Where is John delivering his talks exactly?

  • London this week, Amsterdam next. A future tour is planned for USA and Australia if he can raise the money.

    See life.indiegogo.com hunt for 'Reversing Parkinson's' to donate. John is not a rich man. We raised enough money here to pay his airfares.

  • Sadly, we saw this after the event. Would love to have seen John Pepper. Has he gone back to SA now or is he still in Europe? Please can you tell me what you think is the best way to pick up his technique apart from reading Norman Doidge's excellent book? Thanks for posting this. Hilary

  • He is back in SA now. I suggest reading his book available from reverseparkinsons.net

  • Sorry, just seen your other post with email. Thanks, will follow up! Hilary

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