Friday, November 10, 2006

Parkinson's Disease Cause Found - Disease Cured

EoR was recently listening to a radio talkback discussion on the stem cell debate when a gentleman described the case of his wife. Now 44, up until a year ago she had been playing A grade netball, but now had such severe Parkinson's Disease that even her husband had great difficulty understanding her speech. He then casually mentioned she was being treated by a naturopath and that she was "feeling better every day". He also stated this (unnamed) naturopath had himself had Parkinson's Disease and had been unable to walk until he cured himself and wrote a book about it.

This rather intrigued EoR (not least why the caller supported stem cell research while at the same time saying his wife was being cured by the naturopath).

While it is known that Parkinson's Disease is due to low levels of dopamine, until recently it was believed that the cause was unknown (a view supported by the Huntington Hospital, The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Neurology Channel, and Wikipedia). Even Holisticonline states that the exact cause is unknown.

Not according to John "Return to Stillness" Coleman, who would appear to be the groundbreaking miracle worker the caller referred to.


In 1995, John Coleman was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease by five practitioners (including three medical practitioners) . By August 1995, John had lost his power of speech. Suffering from Stage IV Parkinson's Disease and Multi-System Atrophy symptoms, he was unable to walk 5 metres without assistance, and took an hour and a half to get dressed. Severely dissatisfied with western medical treatment and prognosis, John decided to pursue other methods. With the aid of Homeopathy, Aqua Hydration Therapy, Bowen Therapy, Craniosacral Therapy, Flower Essences, Counselling, Meditation and Spiritual Development, John was completely symptom free by April 1998.

Strangely, John's own detailed story (yes, he calls it a "story") doesn't actually mention any diagnosis of Stage IV Parkinsons's Disease. The closest he gets is a neurologist who thought he might have the disease:

He said that he believed that I had Parkinson’s disease and was developing Multi System Atrophy. He thought I required some "Parkinson’s disease treatment" but wanted a second opinion first.

The two other neurologists he saw diagnosed "stress".

John refused drug treatment (which may explain the "stress", since he appears to have been working in a conventional medical centre - possibly in a nursing capacity though he's rather vague about this), preferring instead an absolute cornucopeia of alternative treatments. There doesn't seem to be anything he hasn't used (so identifying the source of his "cure", if such it is, is almost impossible): homeopathics, cranial sacral therapy, bowen therapy, flower essences, "natural" diet, meditation, grape seed extract, spiritualist religion, herbal medicine, counselling, psychiatry, massage, exercise, Aqua Formula, a clairvoyant Reiki Body Light Worker, and the catch-all "other". Even John himself has no idea what effected the miracle (which hasn't stopped him writing a "research paper" - apparently unpublished).

Why did I recover when so many had tried and failed before me? Was it the Aquas that took a little while before their full benefit became apparent? Was it the accumulation of many therapies that just happened to coincide at that time? I am not sure. I am certain that the whole of my journey is important and it is almost impossible to separate the effect of each therapy/experience from the whole.

In passing, EoR was concerned to see that John was also a victim of that rarest of rare adverse outcomes: a homeopathic overdose! Yes, dear reader, alternative therapies are not totally harmless, and can have devastating side effects!

When taken to excess, homeopathic formulas, like the Aquas, can create or aggravate the symptoms they are intended to cure. In my enthusiasm, I overdosed and exacerbated many of the Parkinsonian symptoms I was trying to eradicate.

Or it might also be possible that the symptoms of the undiagnosed complaint (well, diagnosed as stress, but John wasn't happy with this) came and went with little correlation to all the magics applied to them (other than a conceivable reduction in stress).

Like all unproven and doubtful "cures", John provides testimonials. There's RN ("While he still has much work to do, there is little doubt of his recovery in due time"). The case of CR demonstrates John's lack of insight:

In May 2000, CR was diagnosed with Prostate cancer at a severity of "4/10". His PSA reading was 8. His doctor prescribed Zolodex 10.8 implants each 3 months as palliative treatment in the hope that this drug may slow the progress of the cancer. At RETURN TO STILLNESS, we commenced herbal treatment of his immune system with a mix of Saw Palmetto, Red Clover, Couch Grass, Horsetail and Echinacea. The Zolodex caused several episodes of nausea and vomiting which were distressing, and CR became more fatigued, often sleeping after lunch. By November 2000, CR's prostate cancer was in remission and his PSA at 0.2. A remarkable turn around which can only be attributed to the immune herbs.

Just possibly, might it not also be due to the Zolodex? Might it have been a spontaneous remission due to neither the drugs or the herbal drugs? Might the prostate cancer have been a misdiagnosis?

What strikes EoR about these testimonials is that the clients are all "progressing" towards wellness, and have not yet "fully" recovered from Parkinson's Disease. John makes much of reducing or eliminating client's medication but there's no clear correlation between his woo and any changes in medication. Neurologists frequently have to change medication (type and levels) for Parkinson's Disease patients to achieve maximum effect with minimum side effects. It doesn't mean John's magic was responsible.

EoR's favourite case history is the final one, for kJ [sic]. While other woo practitioners use unbelievable tales of miracle cures, kJ is a salutary warning to follow John's regimen to the letter for ever or Suffer The Consequences.

Just before Christmas 1999, KJ's wife telephoned to say they were discontinuing the programme. They could not "see any difference after a year". While I respect the right of anybody to make decisions about their health care, I felt sad that their failure to keep notes during the past year had stopped them seeing the great progress kJ had made. I have no doubt that, had they persisted for another year or two, kJ would have made remarkable progress and, perhaps become symptom free.

Or perhaps they would have wasted another two year's worth of time and money, not to mention the emotional devastation of being promised a miracle cure that was no such thing.

John will provide comfort and hope for you without you even attending his office. For only $A80 you can consult via email.

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