I did a Google search of holistic medicine because so many people have told me that Lori Patin’s approach to Parkinson’s seems holistic. Dr. Google taught me that holistic medicine focuses on the whole person, not just the malady. Holistic health is a way of life. It addresses not just the body, but also the mind and soul. All work together for health. Some practitioners actually mention ‘love’ as part of their therapy.
If ever a person takes a holistic approach to Parkinson’s disease, she is Lori Patin. I have often said Lori’s story is a love story because she and her husband, Bob, love each other so. With that love underscoring every aspect of her treatment, she explores all possible means of supporting her body’s natural healing systems from medication to exercise to prayer. Lori made a contract to fight to the death against Parkinson’s disease. She lives that contract every minute of every day, even in her sleep. Because Parkinson’s causes REM sleep disturbances, she addresses this by practicing good sleep hygiene and maintaining a consistent bedtime of nine p.m. To keep herself at peak functioning levels, she needs to be asleep at least eight, preferably nine hours.
Lori uses her mind to heal her body when she relies upon Western medicine and Eastern medicine as well, attending seminars and studying the literature looking for new treatments. Lori feeds her soul and her mind when she enlists the aid of friends and family in her struggle. She seeks out their company, sharing her joys and fears with them, and thus draws strength from the bond. Together with her sleep regimen, Lori lives a judicious lifestyle to keep her body healthy by exercising for hours every day, doing strength training as well as tai chi and ballroom dancing for balance. In addition, she eats thoughtfully and maintains a gluten free diet. To enhance wellness, she takes acupuncture, deep tissue massage and Feldenkrais® treatments every week. She engages a deep spirituality to maintain her health. Yet her faith is very personal. She told me, “As for reading the Bible, I can just as easily sit and look at the flowers in my garden and pray because something miraculous happened after I put a seed in the ground. They are miraculous to me. To look at them is to pray. I pray all the time.”
Under attack by this ruthless opponent, Lori Patin fights back in every possible way – body, mind and soul. She doesn’t have the option of running away from Parkinson’s. So she meets it head on with every resource in her arsenal. And the best weapons Lori has are hope and faith and her amazing positive attitude: “Hope for the best; plan for the worst; and have faith that there are forces at work that are with you and forever on your side.”