Functional Neurology

Several people have inquired about more information on my experience with functional neurology. I want to be clear that I am neither endorsing or promoting functional neurology, I am only explaining my experience.

I might note here, that in the United States, one of the premier top 25 college football teams, the Oregon Ducks, noted for their advanced training facilities, implemented the eye exercise training on the football team three years ago. After the second year the team played for the national championship. While we can’t give full credit to the eye exercise program for their successful season, it has brought the eye exercise training into more of the mainstream practices.

Some people ask is it more cognitive improvement or physical? At this point, for me, I’ve seen more improvements in my cognitive abilities then my physical abilities. Although I believe because my improved cognitive skills my energy level is much higher. Following is a list of improvements that I found after a week of intensive exercise and at the doctor’s clinic. I have left the improvements that I still possess over one year later an indented the ones that are not so improved. I’m still doing daily eye exercises some of which I will explain below.

A.better speaking

B. swallow better

C. more right-hand flexibility

D.better posture

E.twinkling eyes

F.Less brain fog

G. walking better

H.humor returning

Here are some of the exercises I am doing. Since I am right side affected, these exercises work on the left brain.

Follow my upward pointing thumb moving from left to right to any of the dots I have placed on the wall. Once my eyes are focused on the dot, move my head left and right for ten times. Then, follow my outstretched thumb moving from below up to any dot. Eyes focused on the dot, move my head up and down 10 times. Repeat for three sets of this exercise.

Here is an example of the dots I put at eye level on the wall. The example would not copy. The 5 dot look like 5 dots on a one of two dice.

The mirror exercise is done by using a full length mirror where I sit facing my wife, she is holding the mirror between our legs with the mirror facing my left (good) side. She will do various mirrored exercises with both hands and fingers. My eye sees my left hand function correctly and is tricked into thinking it’s my right hand making those smooth movements. This helps train my brain into believing that my right hand is as functional as my left hand.

Another exercise I do which is kind of fun, is an app on my iPad with downward scrolling bars, where I keep my eyes focused in one spot and count the bars is a flow by. That helps me maintain my focus which definitely helps my cognitive skills. I believe the trick to this exercise is that the iPad is held higher than my eyes and to the right which Chelsea work on the left brain.

Here’s an exercise to get me to create energy, which works for me. Again I’m right side affected so we’re trying to strengthen the left brain. If I need more energy, I take my right hand and make a horizontal figure 8 motion, rotating the wrists up and down as I make the figure 8. I can do this for about 30 seconds I gained new energy. It seems so simple that using a short exercise like that, gives one more energy. It seems to proves that the brain is trying to send out lazy signals to my body.

I know this all may seem a little weird to some of you, but it works for me. I still have slowness of movement, my gait is a little disrupted but mentally I’m so much sharper than I was before I started this program.

Thank you all for your interest, and allowing me to share my story. I find this social medium very informative and very encouraging as we can have access with more PWP’s.

19 Replies

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  • Good luck with your quest to find a alternative to conventional meds and treatments.

    Please try conventional meds and treatments they are proven to work. Don't suffer with your PD. for years when you could more fully enjoy life. Avoiding conventional treatments will not delay the onset of dyskinesia there have been studies about it.

    If you find relieve doing this i wish you well.

  • Actually I had posted before that I am starting CD/LD and that I started this to delay the start of the meds. Now that I am on them I am finding that this is just one more thing I can exercise. Why limit my exercise just to my muscles? That seems a little shor

  • To finish, That seems a little short sidedsided.

  • To edit a post after you have replied just click on the down arrow next to the Like button and choose edit

  • I've got no dog in this fight. Haven’t tried DonTodd’s exercises - yet. Have no financial interest in any chiropractic. I’ve read, though, of the link between the optic nerves and brain function and how Parkinson’s messes with the way we PWP process what is in front of, and alongside, us.

    There are ways of coping with that PD-disrupted sense of perception. For instance, a line on a floor - lately done with a laser beam - can coax a frozen foot to move forward.

    You may also recall the TEDX video someone posted here a few weeks ago. A man with PD needed a walker to get around the main floor of his home but could easily amble - unaided - down a stairway. Solution: trick the eye by laying runner mats, designed to give the illusion of a stairway, throughout the house.

    (3 minutes in)

    I read DonTodd's post as simply a suggestion of something we might try — I didn’t see it as suggesting those eye exercises would replace what I now do.

    It’s been said that each case of PD is unique. What works for one may not work for all. But it may work for some. Sharing that info is a big reason many of us come here, isn’t it?

  • DonTodd. Thanks so much for the detailed outline. For those who are left-side affected, does one just substitute left for right?

  • I try to use the right when I can but I have become more left handed. I write right hand and type left hand by hunting and pecking. EatEat with both.

  • I feel it is crucial to continue using the affected side as much as possible because we want to keep that part of the brain alive and functioning.

  • My husband with PD has been going to a Chiropractic Neurologist for a little over a year who helps a lot of people with balance issues. He went because he had started getting wobbly although not falling. My husband is now 11 1/2 year past diagnosis and is not on PD meds. He is 79 and still works as a Computer Aided Designer and the doctor felt that the nature of his work using both sides of the brain might have been one factor in the unusually positive things that showed up on his testing. He is doing some similar eye exercises and the figure 8 with his right hand (although his tremor now is on both sides and sometimes his lower extremities, it started on his right). In this time he has shown slight improvement and has not fallen. He only goes now every 4 months for re-evaluation and modification of exercises as well as some chiropractic treatment.

  • It doesn't sound like the Chiropractic Neurologist has been able to improve his tremor.... is that right?   Tremor in both my arms and legs now.   Haven't found anything to help that.

    Would be interested if he begins to get tremor relief.

    Thanks.

  • Can you give more information about this program? What is the name of the app on the iPad and what is the name of the program. How did you find a functional neurologist? These types of therapies can be very successful so I always like to get as much info as possible. Thank you for sharing your experience....

  • The ipad app is called Optodrum. It is a series of bars moving down the screen. I have to hold the pad up and to the right and focus on one spot while the lines move downward. I might suggest that you should not try this without guidance. If I hold it on my left side it strengthens my right brain which is already the strongest of the two. That makes the imbalance between the left and right brain even worse.

    See the post by answerseeker for a link to find a Functional Neurologist.

  • Hi Dontodd. Thanks for your help....I was able to find a functional neurologist by using the link from answer seeker and my husband had his first appointment today. We are very hopeful about the outcome and are grateful for this opportunity. Hope others are able to use this info too!

  • Great to hear. I would love to hear about his progress. Please keep us updated.

  • Hi Frida12,

    Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I'm not on this site every day.

    You can go to acnb.org/DoctorLocator.aspx That is where I found the doctor my husband goes to. You can see how long they have been certified and look at their website. The doctor we chose was the furthest from us in NJ but sounded the most qualified to address my husband's issues since one of his specialties was balance issues. Our current chiropractor when we asked him also felt he was the best qualified. He knew him through the NJ Chiropractic Association and had heard him lecture and only good things about him. Personal referrals are always helpful if you can get them.

    All the best to you! Keep your sunny side up!!

  • Hi Answerseeker

    Thank you for sending the link to acnb website. My husband had his first visit today and things are definitely looking up!

    I hope others will take into this treatment......thanks again

    Frida12

  • Frida12, That is wonderful news. Hope he continues to see progress!

  • Do you know if anyone has ever had improvement with tremors?

  • Interesting. You: Some people ask is it more cognitive improvement or physical? Sensory integration is what this appears to be.

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