Over the years and through a variety of observations, I have come to realise that there are varying degrees of being relaxed, and because my body is in a constant state of flux, sometimes, it requires some purposeful help to keep itself wholly in tune with its self.
The term, 'Relax the muscles and try and get some rest' is to instruct my muscles, that are generally used during and for mobility, to behave in an inactive state or sleep (a restful stillness). This specific action, as I understand it, requires the dispersion of acetylcholine in specific muscle tissues to occur, in a particular and balanced order, until the muscle becomes extremely still, and in a quiet steadiness relative to its function and my overall posture.
Akin to this, I find there is the situation of 'relative stillness,' as in the activity of muscles to achieve a steadiness in muscle control. For example, the semi relaxed state of my left hand fingers and thumb holding the needle steady enough to receive the thread from a more active right hand. In this situation, the muscles are burning more energy in a finely controlled semi relaxed state. The Activity in the muscles of my steadied hand are finely measured cyclic ones, occurring within the Sarcomere of the muscle tissues involved, all working in harmony to maintain the desired stillness within. So infinitely balanced in operation (for such a light weight task), the cyclic motions within, are almost to the point of slipping into full relaxation; or slipping in and out of it, depending upon the muscle tone of the muscles in concern.
In fact, during my early teens, a fellow pupil at school, noticed I had an apparent, very rapid, yet minute fluttering in my fingers during the 'semi relaxed state' of fine motored control, while for instance lightly holding a pen steady in handwriting. As I now see it, an inability for my body to maintain that smooth balancing act or evenness, in the fine control of what I call, the Inner Cyclic Motions (ICM); The cycle in; ignition, burn, dispersion and uptake, within the cells of the muscles used for movement in mobility. Which I hasten to add, varied on a daily basis with good and bad days; and as this aspect had no really noticeable consequence then, I just considered it a natural personal attribute and got on with the excitement of being alive.
Whether this imbalance in Essential Tremor, was of an adolescent 'over-burn' or 'inertness' within my muscle tissues due to hormonal changes is open to debate. However, over time, I have come to realise that there is a more noticeable peculiarity in recognising the pivot in neurological transition, or the intensities of, what I term as being, the Relax Datum (RD). The sense felt between the semi relaxed and totally relaxed states in being within individual muscles; which is now becoming an increasingly important aspect in later life. And I have to ask myself, whether the apparent fluctuation or irregularity between the ICM rhythms was the first signal, that without certain due care and attention, there may be trouble ahead.
To give you more of an idea into the aspects I am trying to relate: At the age of four years, I had the strength to prise up and lift a very heavy wrought iron grill my father had been unable to shift, by utilising the inertia of thrust, generated by speeding up the ignition and burn aspect in ICM. While fifty plus years later, energy levels are fading without sufficient Dopamine, while the Relax Datum is also waning. And of course, without this faint RD, evaluating or monitoring, towards achieving the varying degrees in necessary relaxation for smooth action becomes increasingly more blurred. Which in turn, inhibits my ease in the control of mobility while also affecting the depths of physical sleep.
In a way it is rather comical, when my Physiotherapist states that I must try and relax a particular muscle; I reply I have; while the burning tension remains to be eventually teased away by massage. What is happening here? The brain is saying, I have done all I can to relax, while the muscle is telling a completely different story. What on earth is causing this apparent inability toward relaxation? Or perhaps more importantly, can I identify the real root cause for this phenomena to be occurring, to the point in enabling some corrective measures.
In further effort in understanding the bigger picture, there is another observation that may have some relevance to or upon this issue in muscle control. For wants in my condition, now diagnosed as Parkinson's Disease, along with a deformity in Spinal stenosis (bearing in mind the 'chicken and egg' scenario of which came first) I have at times encountered a pattern of instant change in the ease to my mobility and gait, by simply wearing a back support for a short period of time.
In more detail; When muscles in the lower back as hard as nails, having adopted what may be a protective stance (to the aspect in stenosis), partially disabling the ICM to instinctively prevent further injury to the spine and additional squeezing upon the central nerve; My stride in walk turns into a penguin like shuffle, and by simply providing additional support the ability to stride automatically returns. Put more simply; With the support on, there is a ground swell in relax datum (RD) to a pitch or strength that enables a larger or increased amounts in movement.
This underlines the forever fluctuating relationship of the RD and its pivotal role, that exists within cells, the Sarcomere and collectively in every muscle. The muscles used for skeletal support and mobility are governed by both involuntary (subconscious) and voluntary (conscious) synapse in ICM; Not only responsive to task, as in when the loads the muscles carry are varied, but responsive to the physical condition and health of the collective adjacent areas.
Effectively, the momentary aspect in each cell stroking this pivotal point and the pitch of the RD, appears to me, as being as critical as the sense of touch; A key to, and in, providing the necessary data upon status, timing and conditions as they work in unison. And when not in harmonious unison due to injury or ills like PD, there can be a whole lot of pain, discomfort and disability.
Along side this; Through the course of time with Parkinson's' Disease, I have come to understand the apparent development of stored pockets, groups of Sarcomere, stocking 'Ready' (strings of acetylcholine excitable cells) and 'Spent' (strings of inert cells withholding toxic proteins), where the necessary ICM patterns have changed or temporarily ceased in activity, actively locking up as a clump or small groups. And while mobility can still occur around these smaller inactive areas, it temporarily becomes impossible for the whole muscle to go through the complete cycle in processes in complete comfort, and or to completely relax in full on its own accord however hard I try.
Noting that, when these pockets assemble and reoccur in one specific area or another, in unrecordable levels of activity or relative inactivity within regions, being in the nature of an 'indirect injury' (rather than an injury that can be felt due to impact) there can often be, a tendency toward latent reactions. For instance, if large areas or strings of stored up 'Ready sarcomere' are suddenly triggered by a single cell passing Go as the inert protein moves, stroking the RD as it were, on its path in excretion, the result can become like an almighty power surge, an almost electric current, a rush of increasing intense energy. Gaining momentum and force on route, resulting in; An intense involuntary movement or shake of a limb, or a hefty thump to the brain, to possibly cause further physical damage within the Central nervous system.
Equally, once my PD had developed to diagnosable proportion, the build up of muscle tension from banks of 'Spent or inert sarcomere' holding on to unwanted proteins for long periods have I believe, provided the regional changes in posture and gait, cause for the movement synapse to falter and fail, in a tremor, spasm, cramp, and across groups of muscles the freeze in mobility and the occasional fall.
These are obviously some peculiar aspects at work here, that appear to be once again, directly connected to or centred around the RD and or its relative pitch; In co-response to its environment and the direct relationship to both involuntary and voluntary Inner Cyclic Motions (ICM) coexisting within the individual and collective group of cell tissues. A complex duality (or multiples therein, as I'm no scientist) simultaneously utilising the same elements; where the dominant behaviour aspects can change or be changed. A duality that when out of sync, may as it appears, just tip the scales the wrong way.
Thinking further on these lines; In general comparison, there is a stark difference between the voluntary movement of the limbs and the involuntary movement of many of the organs, bearing in mind their Primary roles in function, beyond, the controllable aspect of conscious thought, and the repeating patterns in behaviour or unconscious instruction (which actually occurs in all living cells in the body); namely the sense of feeling, the inner spark of the RD's tense in pitch.
Which brings me to another thought: In Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease, is the Substantia Nigra being systematically tricked because the pitch of some muscular RD have become too faint or indistinctly blurred? Tricked to the point, of no longer being excited sufficiently to produce the continuing, further, dopamine triggers for groups of Sarcomere in specific muscles at a specific moment in mode. A chain of reaction leading to broken links, that induces anomalies to perpetuate cause for the break up of more links in subsequent ICM reaction.
While honouring that I believe the initial root cause of Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease, may be from a combination of things (rather than being triggered by an individual reaction to an agent infection). I can well imagine that a “semi relaxed stating RD” within muscles, could easily become an adopted new norm for “a being relaxed RD,” to the extent, that adjustments in the provision and levels of Dopamine would no longer be regulated, in a corresponding manner as previously suited to bodily needs and functioning; leading to the eventual decline (inevitable reduction or 'cell count') of those enabled in producing Dopamine.
The thinking and reasoning behind a possible cause for such a scenario being for example: Toxins not readily moving from cells, due to a virus, and or, the damaged and hardened Lymphatic vessels (from injuries that have not been massaged and treated during the “healing process”) remaining in a fatigued like state, almost frozen in their bruised structure, and accordingly, continually slowing down the flow and passage of Lymph.
I surmise, such an aspect would act like a brake, immediately altering the RD's momentum in pitch and in turn, altering the ICM rhythm in muscle tissue, because unwanted proteins remain in the Sarcomere tissues for a prolonged period relative to what should be. This to my mind, bodes in the aspect of being more noticeable in the “dulled get up and go, and heavy after affect,” following a good session of Exercising; Which, sort of fits in with my description of PD being, 'as if the body is ageing before one's time.'
Likewise, once PD has triggered muscular spasm and contraction cramps, I fear, both Lymph vessels and Nerve fibres can come under immense pressures, causing further ongoing problems and damage! The sad often depressing downward spiral in progression.
Looking back to the early years, I recall quite long periods when groin lymph nodes became like hardened peas, and although the doctor at that point put this down to probably being hormonal, I still wonder upon this aspect, particularly as one side often felt quite normal whilst the other showed signs of being under strain. With a bias to poor circulation in the Lymphatic vessels where perhaps the right-hand limb had naturally taken a greater load in knocks and bruising. Indeed, since schooldays, relaxing my right leg (into the floppy limb mode) has always taken far longer than the rest of my body.
Interestingly, the occasions or bouts of leg jerks and Restless Leg Syndrome (on and off since my early twenties) have on the whole been that same Right-side bias and the Parkinson's Disease primarily effected this side first.
So towards further exploration into the fathoms of PD, and as to how and why I developed or inherited this awful disposition. It often crosses my mind to increase the self searching and the projection in thoughts upon past observations. I'm looking for patterns or links (that at the time may have appeared totally unconnected) towards establishing a plausible Theory; A theory that may then lead to a roadmap, determining practical ways forward, towards reversing or combating the problem once and for all.
In essence I hope that this search for patterns and common denominators may narrow things down towards helping to overcome the cruel bounds in disabilities PD brings. I want to find that magic key that will allow me to manage the situation and turn it on its head; After all, to my way of thinking the “Chicken and Egg scenario” points towards cyclic patterns in Nature and no aspect can be ignored.
For instance, the Essential Tremor brought to my attention by a fellow pupil, while not considered a consequence of PD may be a contributing factor towards the development of PD in later life.
Lifestyles may also be a big contributing factor when I think about how very early on in our lives, we are disciplined into becoming control freaks!
To avoid disruption in classrooms, infants are encouraged and forced to suppress any natural urges for number one and twos, in not being allowed to go to the toilet until specific Break-times. Indeed, in the art of becoming “potty trained” we swiftly master ability in self control, so that we do not mess in our pants!
On top of this, we develop within social frameworks designed to encourage active and the most productive lives as individually possible; and this competitive drive in spirit, even spills over into our leisure time; I'll wait until I have scored the winning goal, wait for this video to end, or until we have finished chatting online.
I have come to realise, that over the years I have been, continually exercising levels in control over groups of muscles that are naturally meant to be continually proactive in involuntary movements and variable rhythms (depending upon the intestinal environment and types of food that has been processed further upstream).
Or for want of an expression, “I have been habitually suppressing and interfering with the very valuable involuntary movement of the Intestine and Colon!” After all, how often in acts of politeness, do we suppress the urge to break wind at the dining table or when in the company of others in public. Bottoms up! There is little or no emphasis in training ourselves, on how to reverse any ill effect that such conditional behaviour may bring.
Indeed, coming from a large family were daily life patterns were regimented in waiting for your turn, the control in overriding calls of nature, would then often be overtaken by my very enthusiastic nature to discover the joys of life, with little time for rest and relief, until it was forced upon me.
For sure, there is a time and a place for everything, but what is the cost?; If we cannot re-engage the Natural processes within the gut in Full; Due to, a regional drop in temperature through lean activity, a Virus and or noxious bacteria passing through, or even a failure to relax a specific region sufficiently after a forced expulsion, so that Natural rhythms resume wholly throughout.
“Ah, I'm alright Jack, I go as regular as clockwork!” Well am I? If I am eating and exercising on a regular basis, the gut movement could simply be one predominately regulated upon the volume in mass! And not necessarily including; All the various Involuntary movements being triggered in the right places, at the right time, according to the dietary intake (food type) and uptakes, in all the regional biochemical processing along route. I have come to the conclusion that, a wholly regimented lifestyle may not necessarily be good for me, especially during Autumn when environments are constantly under siege from volleys of new outbreaks in rapidly mutating germs.
Coming back to the aspect of RD intensity; I wonder upon the possible aspect of any inbuilt conditioning or bent in self control and or intestinal infections, causing involuntary movements to totally alter in their pattern and rhythm. Perhaps sections holding almost steady through an 'applied semi relaxed RD,' rather than total relaxation in their normal involuntary cyclic rhythms.
In other words, through 'taking control' or gastric infection, the RD changes, altering the Natural bio-rhythm, by recoding the Involuntary synapse cycles with the cycle RD timing utilised in fine motor control. Whereby, dietary fibre and waste products have effectively been slowed down significantly enough to have a direct knock on effect, with additional folded or Imprinted proteins being enabled to cross the blood brain barrier, effectively flooding the central nerve. And moreover, through their footprint in RD recoding, they are then targeted for the Substantia Nigra area associated with concious motor transmission; Where there may then be, or develop, inabilities and abnormalities to deal with or regularise the situation of floods.
At extremes, I know too well, how PD can create new dimensions within the Brain and Central nervous system! Like those seen in Sleep Behaviour Disorder (RBD), where the normally concious movements of Awake, are triggered involuntarily during sleep. Which perhaps, again confirms this apparent add-on reassignment or recoding aspect in neurological transmission, to exasperate the whole situation in adding more fuel to the hell fires, progression in PD.
Whilst not very scientific in the theorising of my observations, I consider the whole motor process in mobility and involuntary movement ICM to synapse, as having five stages; Relax Datum, Refuelling, Ignition, Burn, and Exhaust dispersal. Five points where imbalances may occur and have an affect upon the subsequent momentum in function; Noting that the Relax Datum's duality may affect measure upon Refuelling, the intensity of Ignition, and the subsequent RD intensities as the process is cyclic; While, the speed in Exhaust dispersal may affect the efficiency of Refuelling on account of, available space and the molecular connect-ability becoming available within each cell.
It is hardly surprising that finding a single Cure for Parkinson's Disease, appears very improbable to my mind's eye, with such complex variables at play. Even before you start thinking upon all the other possible variants, like each Individual's genetic bent and the genetic mutations that may or may not occur through various viral, and or bacterial infections, or lacks in immunities from not having been breast fed, or the exposure to toxins when the body was unable to cope with them in one way or another. Finding a single nomad in amongst a million and one reasons, appears to be a mission impossible!
Perhaps not. Let us not forget, that instinctive willing spirit for survival, and the inbuilt mechanisms towards bodily repair. If I have inadvertently contributed to the condition in PD, then there could be paths forward to readdress some of the imbalances associated with Parkinson's Disease.
Changes to lifestyle that keep me more in touch and mentally in tune with my body, Assistance through targeted Massage and Exercises correcting and resetting all the rogue RD intensities and patterns, in ways that I can hopefully then maintain myself, in readiness for the Individually tailored prescribed medical intervention that I may still require. For I have a feeling, that once I am enabled to manage PD (rather than PD perpetually bullying me) there will be a more precise means towards total eradication, as more potential forms in treatment come into being.
In trying to assemble a road map out of all this knowledge and theory, I have to ask whether the movements in Dyskinesia materialise in, or point to areas of damage; in the same way that I can associate areas of previous injury and physical deformity of the spine as being of significance. i.e. I tend to know very quickly when the stenosis is affecting posture and gait while also causing levels of Sciatica.
Through my experience, one aspect evidentially apparent, is that the targeted Massage to my lower back prior to Exercise sessions, physically extends the length of the On time and shortens the period of the Off time; to the extent that I can actually feel better, taking a lower daily dose in medications. For when I am more relaxed in the troublesome back muscles, 100mg may last up to 5 hours instead of 3+hours! And I have to wonder upon this aspect, as being similar to my medication, in effectively assisting in slowing down the progression of PD.
Further to this, there is another area I certainly feel may well be more directly connected to Parkinson's Disease in regard to the lacks of Dopamine neurotransmitters. Back along, I experimented with a home-made Herbal remedy (BocowoA) but failed to get the initial very apparent sense of increased dopamine (Which was strong enough for me to stop all medication for a brief period) on the second test trial. While very disappointed by this failure to make further inroads, I have still pondered upon the actualities that made me surmise that I was on to something. I even considered the fact in brisk walking causing this effect, but while making things momentarily easier, there has not been that sustained sense in getting anywhere near to how I was feeling first time around.
Aside from this, by way of the unrelated observation in dog behaviour, namely, their occasions to 'back-digging with their hind legs followed by the spine shake,' my predicaments and the pelvic tingle I felt at the beginning of the BocowoA trial, online research, and more recently following Massage therapy. I am beginning to ponder more upon the RD intensities of the muscles that line the pelvic region, and more particularly the flexibility of the Sacrum region allowing uninterrupted ICM throughout, and indeed, the overall neurological contributions therein. Time I guess for more targeted massage and exercises, to see what role or difference can develop, as I continue with the battle.
And after writing this article, I am even more determined to develop new Exercises and techniques, directed by and with my Masseur Kinésithérapeute to reset the RD pitch as evenly as they should be throughout the various muscle tissues, enabling more ease to relaxing the whole body, and who knows?.
NB. Because of the interplay of Dopamine in movement, exercise and the necessitation of achieving intensity in RD pitch, the timing of Massage and Exercises is very important in relation to any Le-dopa medication; Accordingly, for maximum benefit aim for the peak times in the Le-dopa arc.
I hope that Relax Datum (RD) is adopted by the Medical Proff' using a RD Score 0 to 5
This would be beneficial in both diagnosis of nerve damage and dispositions. Plus a good way to determine how an injury or ill has healed inside etc.
© Andy D Kemp 01/01:2016