Brain training for conductors has made my life with Parkinson’s disease easier.
The most amazing thing I have discovered using what I call “the driverIs that the signals entering my brain are sometimes distorted. This distortion can take the form of signal amplification or suppression. If I react to this distorted cerebral entry as if it were real, there will be consequences that will waste time in my rehabilitation work.
The second most amazing thing I discovered is that I can use my brain – especially the driver – to help manage the symptoms.
Before I had Parkinson’s disease, I was an upbeat, positive guy with no signs of depression. Like so many other people with Parkinson’s disease, I have had to deal with entries into my brain that resemble sadness. But when I use the conductor, I see from this point of view that there is nothing behind the sadness. There is no context. It is the disease that speaks.
My brain wants to create a context. This is what the brain does. If the conductor weren’t there, I’m pretty sure he would. Instead, the driver provides a a fresh take on depression. It’s a big deal for me. It was this shift in perspective – seeing the entry as overkill – that had a big impact.
The conductor helps us with the daunting tasks of learning to start all over again, even simple things like walking or eating. The conductor is also helpful in helping me cope with more symptoms of Parkinson’s disease than just depression. A well-trained driver can also help you with the following:
When I put the driver in place to relieve these symptoms, I find that I am replacing the old coping skills with new ones. I repair the “flat tire”, So to speak, by recycling my brain, which translates into a better quality of life.
Learning to use the driver to help relieve symptoms takes a lot of practice. In addition, it is important that this practice is done using a well prepared brain. It is not easy to focus sustained attention on using the conductor while going through life. I found this exercise, practice small things, and CHRONDI’s well-being mapping practices all help prepare my brain to engage the conductor.
The breath count exercise, which I explained in last week’s column, is an easy way to be introduced to the conductor. It is important to follow the instructions as given. Of particular importance is the intention maintained during exercise. The conductor is non-judgmental, kind and curious without causing harm.
It is also important to mentally note any intrusions that result in the loss of the inspiration account. Keep this in mind, then return to the breath count exercise. You will get this useful information later.
There is also some useful information about the number of numbers counted in the expiration. After doing the breath counting exercise for a few weeks, you may find that the number of numbers counted in the exhale changes. Noting what affects these changes is important information about how the driver’s brain is trained.
There are times when this exercise and the conductor go wrong. These are when we cross the emotional management threshold or enter the dark, when deep fatigue sets in when the brain is inundated with unhealthy chemicals (like alcohol or the wrong choice of drugs) or when there is brain damage.
My wellness card includes instructions for me on how to avoid these dangers. Now I am practicing these instructions. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail, but I always revise the wellness map accordingly.
This use of the driver as described here is a mental construct that I use to help manage symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. This is my way of describing personal care. It is a case study of one person and should be evaluated accordingly.
There are unique case studies in the annals of brain science that have made an impact, like Phineas Gage, who in the mid-1800s survived after an iron bar passed through the front part of her brain, and patient “HM”, who had his hippocampus (a structure in the middle of the brain) was cut off in the mid-1900s. Science has learned from these survivors of bizarre accidents and experimental procedures.
Anomalies only become useful to science when we take the time to examine them.
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