Spotlight on Parkinson's

Parkinson’s is a neurological condition and currently there is no known cure. It is caused by a lack of dopamine because some nerve cells in the brain have died. Without dopamine people find their movements become slower and it takes longer to do things. Parkinson’s disease most often occurs after the age of 50 and is one of the most common nervous system disorders of the elderly.

Parkinson’s tends to develop gradually and worsen with time. Symptoms can vary from person to person and it can be several months before people feel they are significant enough to go to the doctors. If you experience any of the following symptoms it’s worth raising it with your Doctor; tremours, muscle spasms and stiffness or slowness of movement.

Research has not yet revealed the cause of Parkinson’s. Doctors don’t know why the brain cells die off in this way. There are various conventional treatments but none yet that can slow the disease down and some treatments have side effects.

It is known that working with the motor system of the body does help with balance, co-ordination and movement. Complementary medicine which works with this and with the nervous system are used by many Parkinson’s sufferers to improve their quality of life.

Massage, Shiatsu, Acupuncture, Aromatherapy, Alexander Technique, Reflexology and Reiki have all been used to help people with Parkinson's relax, and some find treatments help to alleviate pain and motor symptoms, increase mobility and give a sense of well-being.

To find out more about different complementary therapies and how they can help with Parkinson's, and for information about how to access more support you can download our this booklet: Parkinson's and Complementary Therapies.