Connect the dots

The gothic knot about Parkinsons
and the clue to solve it

Parkinson’s disease is very stress-related – that we can all agree.

But are we missing something obvious that might help?

We need to gather knowledge that is already out there and then “connect the dots”.
It took me 3 years to do so working 3 hours a day. I will do my best to show you the findings and add some of my own insights.

Here is  a man with Parkinson’s. He has problems walking, which is a typical Parkinson’s symptom. According to the current belief, this is a sign that he has a problem with dopamine in his brain, and this is easy to see in the first half of the video

In the second half of the video, you can see him biking without any problem, which is a sign that he has no problem with his dopamine production.

What’s going on? The answer to this strange phenomenon is that something gives him a limitation in the dopamine while walking, but not while he is biking. Other people can have problems driving or they might have no problems driving but difficulty with something else. Every person has their unique combination of symptoms and unique scenarios as to when they are having particular symptoms or not having them.

Here is an exciting shoe design that lets Parkinson’s people with freeze symptoms walk with “ease” due to a beam of light on the floor. So here you see that a visual sign that can catch your attention and help you. The person that has problems with freeze episodes will, with these shoes, be able to walk.

BUT how can a chronic disease be helped by light.
Because it helps the person to walk mindful.
(They should be very clumsy to use… so learn to be mindfull without)

Here you see a man with Parkinson’s who needs a walker to make his way across a room but who can easily walk down stairs. This is because he is focussed on the task, rather than his regular distracted thinking routine, because he knows that the stairs need attention if he does not want to fall. It is not the time for distracted thinking when your next step can cause you pain if you do it wrong. It is time for focus and attention. So our standard flat floor and pavement are not stimulating our brain in a good way. The brain gets “lazy” and gives you time to think about challenges that are NOT in front of you.

If you combine the above strange observations with the videos below, you are close to solving the mystery about Parkinson’s diseas. Like I did.
It is a shame science is not looking in this direction. But they are comming closer.
Popping pills is not the solution on this natural biological phenomenen.
Find more infromation about this via the links to the right.

Listen to this video that dancing helps people with Parkinson’s disease. So after dancing for an hour, these people feel better. On YouTube, you can find numerous videos talking about the benefits of dancing.

Boxing is also good to reduce Parkinson’s symptoms.

You can find a lot of videos about other ways you can improve Parkinson’s symptoms (and these activities will help with a lot of other diseases as well.)

What is happening? The answer is that we are actually going in and out of our survival instincts all the time and this is causing symptoms. We can not help it. It is our body trying to keep us alive.

Here is the theory explained. Your body go into fight flight and freeze and this give you all sort of symptoms. 90% of diagnoses and symptoms is due to a body in longterm stress

We all know how animals behave: run when they are in flight instinct (=exercise), fight when in the fight instinct (=boxing, as an example), and have an intense tremor when coming out of the freeze instinct. The last half of this video shows the freeze instinct which animals use when they cannot run or fight and are close to death.

I help people with Parkinson’s to find their way OUT of instincts because that is the culprit in Parkinson’s disease and many other diseases. I am a biologist, coach, and therapist, so I have a good perspective to see these similarities between humans and animals, and I have worked for several years with Parkinson’s clients. (One client has been rescanned and is now free of his Parkinson’s diagnosis. Usual it is a process that takes  a long time)

Freeze is a Parkinsons symptom. But if you consider it a natural symptom due to stressors. Your life will become easier.


Here you see the most dramatic stress response. Close to dead. See also how the body react to get out of that starte and how tremor and dep breathing is natural when getting in and out of instincts.


Below youse different videos that hopefully can convins you about the nature og instincts.


The day the world accept that most diseases are due to instincts we can do something about it.

I help people with Parkinson’s to find their way OUT of instincts because that is the culprit in Parkinson’s disease and many other diseases. I am a biologist, coach, and therapist, so I have a good perspective to see these similarities between humans and animals.

I have worked for several years with Parkinson’s clients. (One client has been rescanned and is now free of his Parkinson’s diagnosis.)

I have made a six-week online course about this theory and how you can get better systematically. See more here

Over several years I have studied Parkinson’s people who got better or healed and also have a handful of my own clients that are slowly improving by the systematic concept that I call HOPE Shortcut.

You can use the ideas you see here to help reduce symptoms, but the most effective way to improve is to STOP yourself from going INTO these survival instincts, and that is how I can help you.

Join my course and get the knowledge you need to find a more systematic road to better health.

A client talking about his new view on Parkinsons

I help clients from all countries.

Here Jeppe who now understand his symptoms and have reduced them to 50% during 10 sessions, due to reduction of some severe traumas from eg. accidents – a sort of PTSD.

Below extra videos about activities that can help you out of the instincts states. But most people mus remove the triggers via trauma theapy

Big and loud? This behavior also drags you out of instincts. No one wants to be big and loud when a tiger is close but it also works the other way around which can be used to your advantage. You become relaxed when you make noise and move with self-confidence when no predators are around you.

Here is a search with articles about Tai chi ... it also works on Parkinson’s. You can find similar articles with yoga, Qi Gong, meditation… But the story is the same: EVERYTHING that makes you relax improves Parkinson’s.


And here’s a link to the The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) which sup this up without giving the full explanation abbout why you get diseases and how you regenerate back to own health: The relationship between stress, anxiety and Parkinson’s disease

This page suggests some of the many things you can do to reduce symptoms. Just choose an activity, believe in it and be persistent. The hardest part is to step out of medication as dopamine stimulates your mood but can often give you side effects similar to your Parkinson’s symptoms. And dopamine is degraded to adrenaline, a stress hormone that kickstarts the fight, flight and freeze reaction in the body…



Yes, that is why you need help from the HOPE Shortcut course.

Subscribe to my email list here and be the first to know when the course is on sale so you can benefit from this information. It will not be expensive, and the course is for everyone.


Gary Sharpes review of online course


The author behind the blog shares his thoughts about HOPEshortcut online course
HOPE shortcut
The method where people with chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s can reduce their stress-related symptoms and, with persistent work, break free of their diagnosis

Review of HOPEshortcut online course

 The course provides the evidence that PD and many other diseases are significantly affected by stress and trauma, and instead of focusing on “curing” the disease, helps people to reduce any stress in their life, and explains how taking this biological perspective, one can do a lot to minimize symptoms. It is the pragmatic outcome of five years of collected knowledge about people worldwide improve their health, combined with the knowledge of Lilian’s theory about diseases.
In short, I feel that the material presented in the course is not only unique and extraordinary but also highly empowering for people with PD. Lilian has obviously put an awful lot of time and effort into it. Indeed, in total there are hours of video presentation, together with a lot of other media and supporting resources. The videos are presented in a very clear and well paced voice, easy to understand and accessible, illustrated by Lilian’s own life experiences, and anecdotes of the successes she has had already helped people with Diseases.
In addition to the videos, are daily encouragements, a vast library of everything Lilian herself studied along the way, a unique stress test to assess which state (calm, flight, fight, freeze) one tends to spend the most time in, and what to it about, and an English translation of a chapter on feelings from her book in Danish.
The first week is mainly about transferring all the knowledge Lilian has gained, and covers topics including Diseases and New Hope, Placebo Effect, Stress, Exercise, Physical and Mental Symptoms, Our Tribal Nature and Body Memory. The main thrust of this is to undo the damage or nocebo effect of diagnoses of degeneration and hopelessness, and to instil new hope that things do not necessarily need to get worse, and can definitely be improved. Suggested links for further investigation are provided through Lilian’s vast library of background information.
The second part stresses the importance of observing symptoms, how they can fluctuate and connecting these fluctuations with lived experiences. It provides a special dairy for observing symptoms, and instructions of how to complete it.
The third part covers four main strategies that people around the world have used to heal themselves of many chronic conditions.
The fourth part provides information on the next steps and how to use the information learned during the course.
In summary, I would definitely highly recommend this course for anyone affected by PD, especially those in the earlier years or recently diagnosed. However, I would (and have) also recommend it to spouses and families with people PD, partially as this might give insight into how they can best help, but also for their own sake too, in terms of managing their own stress, and preventing the situation causing them to also become ill.

Messages from Gary to Lilian

Straight forward and common sence

Fresh eyes

Lilian have a handfull of diagnoses herself and can see that diagnoses are not random.Her husband had a type of cancer, that hit mainly well educated men… He is a professor in physics and survived Hodgins lymphoma

Background for this review

I first encountered Lilian Sjøberg when she began to interact in the comments section of my posts. My interest was piqued because she was one of the only other people who were saying some of the same things as myself. In particular, she had also unearthed the dopamine-adrenaline link, and hence had come to the realization that not only does chronic stress exacerbate the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, but can even be causal of them.
Another example was how Lilian talked about the devastating nocebo effect of diagnoses of hopelessness.
In some ways, Lilian was even way ahead of me in spotting the patterns and joining the dots. For example, she pointed out to me videos of people from WW1 with shell shock, who clearly had movements disorders not dissimilar to PD, as well as novel interpretation of the placebo effect, connecting it to the removal of stress.
Lilian is also way ahead of me in terms of turning what we have independently learned into a pragmatic therapeutic programme. While I have self-experimented and shared openly what I’ve learned along the way, Lilian developed the ideas into a strategy which she has applied to helping people with PD directly, that she calls the “HOPE-shortcut” method.

Inovative thinking

Lilian demonstrated to me how she had already helped a number of people with PD, who, with the support of her coaching, had become better. This includes a Danish man who, after going back to his neurologist subsequent to Lilian’s interventions, removed his PD diagnosis.
The starting point for Lilian’s HOPE-shortcut programme is an online course, which arms participants with the knowledge she had gained after years of study, and that also provides key practical strategies of how to get started on a recovery journey. .
When I learned that Lilian was facing having to give up on trying to help people full time, and needed to take an office job, because she had not be able to get enough people to listen the message or take up what she was offering, I was aghast. I set out to help get her message out, not least because it is essentially the same message as my own, albeit couched in much simpler and accessible terms.
For example, Lilian largely avoids talking about and getting bogged down by the complexity of brain chemistry, because, and I tend to agree with her, this is so complicated that we will probably never figure it all out, and instead focusses on the real world, lived experiences, of people with PD, connecting stressors to symptoms.
As part of this, I agreed to go through the online course part of the HOPE-shortcut program, assess it for the PD audience, make suggestions for improvement, if required, and to then write an honest review, which is below.

Observe your symptoms

In the process of learning the HOPE shortcut you learn how to keep a diary that helps you to connect symptoms and stress in your life.

Initially the reason is to give you a new belief about the disease

Later it becomes an important tool to reduce your symptoms one by one

Follow HOPEshortcut here

Nicoles reflections after 2 therapy session
Nicoles reflections after 2 therapy session

Beating a dead horse
or taiming a petrified mare

See her 1. post – due to her son she had to stop therapy – but now she is ready!

One week after second session with Lilian and the Hope Shortcut

“Haven’t I tried everything?”

The computer screen before me contains two rectangular boxes, side by side. One containing the smiling face of Lilian Sjoberg against a dramatic mountain background and the other containing my image, just a blank white wall behind me. There is something about this new virtual environment where I get to observe myself from this vantage point. I get to look into my own eyes and see the expressions on my face. It is very revealing. I am slightly slumped in my chair. My eyes are squinted into slits with my smile. The thought “Here we go again” crosses my mind. I feel a fool. Haven’t I tried this already? Haven’t I tried everything? I have tried so many things, so many therapies, programs, practitioners, doctors. Honestly, I have had enough. I feel like I am kicking a dead horse. But, I know that Lilian is onto something. She has observed the patterns and made the connections. Lilian is sure, determined, generous and for some reason she is steadfast in encouraging me. Some part of me must have hope, because here I am.

Lilian is appalled at my use of the phrase “beating a dead horse” which I try to explain is just an English turn of phrase.  It is actually quite a gruesome image. She suggests a more hopeful way of looking at things. Yes, the horse has been abused, but we can rehabilitate it. Like Black Beauty, it can trust and be free again. Belief, hope and a positive image is so important for healing. I can’t make much progress if I see my efforts to heal as beating a dead horse.

The dead horse is actually me: my poor abused body that I have been dragging around for years, decades actually, pushing it and forcing it against its will, ignoring it, applying all sorts of remedies, treatments and therapies trying to fix it, and medicating it. The horse understandably, doesn’t want to get up.

Traumatic events are stored in the body

The surviver is the person that react with fear and run away or use the freeze instinct often.

The relaxed person get eaten very fast by the saber tooth tiger.

In modern world the brain is operating in the dark and still collecting information on when to react to survive the next attack from a predator.

If you want to get better accept this biological fact and learn how to get out of your instinct stress

I have felt shifts and changes since I last worked with Lilian over a year ago. My physical condition has deteriorated but I have become so much more aware of the emotional connections to my physical symptoms. My medication is not working as well and my “off” periods have worsened significantly. An “off” is when the medication wears off, or fails and the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease break through. With my symptoms more prominent, I can actually feel what is going on in my body. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, when in full force so clearly feel like a full-body panic attack.  Well actually for me, it is mostly the left side of my body that feels the attack. My body is in fear for its life. It tries to stop me by freezing my muscles, stiff so I can’t move forward. My stomach tightens into knots, my throat closes, my eye gets wide dart from side to side. My jaw clenches, my body heats up, and my limbs begin to tremble. It is so clearly a deep terror, panic, all-encompassing fear, like the climax of a horror film when the victim lets out the blood-curdling scream. 

It has also become so 100% clear to me that often my physical symptoms are worsened, or are preceded by a fearful thought or an emotional response, even something seemingly benign, like my son making a mess in the kitchen, my inner critic judging me, or a perceived slight from my husband.  I have also talked to other people living with PD and some of them have confirmed their own experience that emotional upset can trigger an “off”. This not to say that I can control my symptoms, they still come and go on their own schedule holding me hostage for longer periods of time and leaving me with smaller and smaller windows of respite.

Interoception - the forgotten sense

Your skill to interpret what is going on in your body is together with balance and coordination very important skills.

We do not learn about them in school. But the ones that instictivly can feel and use their sence interoception are the ones that fast can do something fast and stop the decline in health.

The ones that understand the language of the body can avoid longterm stress and longlasting  stress symptoms

It is actually hard to really admit this observation. I feel so weak and frail. Is my constitution so fragile that the smallest upset can throw me into a frenzy of whole-body fear? Surely it is not that simple. There are layers of genetic and environmental factors that led to the damage in my brain that causes this intense reaction.  Lilian assures me that it is actually evolutionarily appropriate that survival of the fittest would have favored a heightened fear response. So, in fact, I am an evolutionary survivor. She assures me that this is not my fault.

It is difficult to accept the responsibility that my habitual thoughts, emotions and beliefs may be contributing to my illness that has kept me disabled for so many years. But this is an important starting point- to recognize that physical disease symptoms are linked to thoughts, beliefs and emotions.

This creates a tricky balancing act. There is a fine line that you must walk between seeing the correlation between symptoms and thoughts as an avenue for hope and seeing it as a reason for self-blame. It is not so easy to say, “oh just think differently and your disease will go away”. It is not that simple. There are layers upon layers. It is beneath conscious awareness.

The horse within me perks her ears and opens an eye. She lets out a soft sigh. I am finally seeing her.

I am finally listening.

She is not getting up yet, but there is hope.

Lilian is an observer and a trouble-shooter. She has observed the patterns clearly. She has made the correlations. She has noticed that chronic illnesses are grouping of stress response symptoms, Parkinson’s disease being a particularly obvious one. The growing understanding in the world is that 90% of disease is stress related.

Lilian does not base her approach on foregone assumptions about the mechanics of Parkinson’s Disease. The rest of the PD treatment world relies on the assumption that PD is caused by a lack of dopamine and focuses on that. Lilian has looked beyond that. She looks at each person individually and looks at each symptom as an overactive symptom of stress. She has developed a multi-step program to begin to alleviate the symptoms of chronic disease. The beginning point is the recognition that there is hope.

Her method of healing involves several steps.

  1. Adopting a new belief system that the physical disease symptoms are linked to thoughts, beliefs and emotions. (HOPE)
  2. Catching stressful reactions (Observe symptoms)
  3. Other healing modalities that reduce stress.
    E.g. exercise and getting to the root cause of subconscious or habitual stressful triggers and solving them (Pacify stress)
  4. Adding power to your own journey  (Engage)


In my first session with Lilian over a year ago, she explained step 1. In that year (this is not a standard length of time between visits, it is normally one to two weeks), I have seen so clearly and experienced the correlation between thoughts, emotions and beliefs so acutely in my body. And so here I am and I begin again. Ready to look deeper, to see if I can address what is keeping my body in a perpetual danger response.

The horse within me perks her ears and opens an eye. She lets out a soft sigh. I am finally seeing her. I am finally listening. She is not getting up yet, but there is hope.

Change your beliefs

You need to have  supporting beliefs on your journey toward smaller symptoms:

Of course you can get better

Mind and body are connected and interact

If just one person in the world can get better, so can I

Here I am ready to look deeper, to see if I can address what is keeping my body in a perpetual danger response.


Nicole St. Arnaud
11. march 2021, Alberta Canada

See my first post here

This is the second of a series of blog posts on the progress in Lilian Sjoeberg’s Hope Shortcut program for chronic illness.

You can learn more about her program here

May Evers - Dancing
May Evers - Dancing

May Evers

“I was diagnosed in 2014.

Since then, I’ve been trying to come to terms with Parkinson’s. It annoys me that Parkinson’s and its symptoms are little known in the public and I am trying to change that.

I use a lot of time to find out how I can reduce my symptoms.”

Dance and reduce your symptoms
May found out that dancing 2x 30 minutes reduced symptoms.
She got diskinesia due to overmedication and have stepped down 30% in medication

Who is May

May here introduces herself and her way to smaller symptoms

  • She could feel she needed to move and start dancing 2×30 minutes a day.
  • Because of dancing she got diskinesia due to overmedication and reduced her medications by  30%
  • She has felt that needlework also calms her down. The monotonous work that needs your full attention is mindful.
  • Hiking is also the body’s natural way to a calm mind and body

Stiching helps as well

The many faces of Parkinson’s

A picture of hope May wants to make 185 embroidered portraits of people with Parkinson’s disease, put together, make a big face of hope. People are united by the hope of healing. What keeps them strong is the community.

“Take part in this adventure!

I am still missing a few photos of people with Parkinson’s so that I can reach my goal. I would be very happy if you would support me. Send a photo of you to, I will delete it immediately after processing.

Here you can see how many portraits I have finished, how many are currently in progress and how many I am still missing.”

Dance down in symptoms

May dance morning and after work.

Doing this natural movements help you to get out of your instincts.
If you are 100% calm you do not have symptoms.
Here you can see a video she has made about her dancing – an example.

The right belief

May try new therapies and excersises and listen carefully to her body to see what she can do to become more calm. This ability is called interoception and is an important sense of ours.

She understand that it take time every day to reduce stress.

Her job takes time from the most important thing to get better. But she is doing her best.
Now she use nearly 2 hours per day and 4-5 hours hiking in the weekent

Why not search for anything that helps and try it​

Tiphanie Gould-Gillespie
Tiphanie Gould-Gillespie

Artwork as way out of stress and symptoms

Tiphanie Gould-Gillespie is one good example of how Parkinson’s is NOT a devastating disease. She used her diagnosis as a transformation to a better life.

Not only are her symptoms reduced to 20%, but she also chose to come off her prescribed medication, and she instinctively knew that she had to change her lifestyle completely.
She drew a line in the sand on her old life entirely. She challenged her own imperfections and learned to live with them through her artwork.
She had never painted before, but during the last year has seen Tiphanie has seen her art develop to a place where she can start to exhibit her works for other people to admire.
What could your challenge be?
She found that painting was a way of reducing her stress and leading to a more mindful life, whilst her Parkinson’s symptoms reduced considerably.

Hobbywork - Painting
- a way to a symptom free life

My past - stress

My world was perfect. I had a fascinating but full-stress job.
I was a high performing speech therapist
I start to have Parkinson’s when I was in the middle of all this, but I covered up my symptoms.
When my Parkinson’s got worse, I have to step out of my job. I had so many significant side effects that I chose to step out of medication, which was very hard.
I now consume zero medication.

"I have made a challenge to see what happes if I painted full time for one year."

tiphanie gillespie
On pause due to Parkinsons

Reeinventing myself

I need to do something to reinvent myself.

I instinctively knew that I must do something radical.

I transformed from being an extroverted business girl to an introverted artist.

I have never painted before as I have many talented artists in my family. I saw the painting when they struggled in life.
Little did I know that making art gives you a break from stress.

Being 100% dedicated to my art has given me confidence as an artist selling my art.

Being a hermit in my house for the last year has been fantastic for my mind and learning new skills.

I only make 2 social arrangements per week.

No one understands this, but my symptoms have been reduced the big time by this calmer lifestyle.
What a difference a year makes

Thiphanie have started to sell her art on posters and t-shirts

When I could not wear high heels, I could paint high heels

I looked at my old wardrobe with lots of buttons and gorgeous-looking decorations that made the clothes difficult when getting dressed.
I left the fashion style and now wear practical clothes, no makeup, and a simple hairstyle. I needed to let go of so many of my previous habits for dressing. I let go of old standards for how I needed to look. I feel a lot calmer, not needing to be the perfect version anymore.


There is beauty in the broken.

I integrate the tremors in my art. When I have tremors and use the waves as an extra element.

Mental Health and the connection to Parkinsons

Mental Health must be truly understood for what it is.
Mental Health is literally at the core of all things mental, physical, spiritual, and political. Mental health is the core factor of every single choice as we move through the world. Every single interaction is shadowed by the state of our mental health.

Why not integrate your tremor into your hobby, and bend your definition of perfectionism

Nicoles reflections after 1. therapy session

What I Wish Everyone Knew About Stress

The author behind the blog shares her thoughts about life with Parkinson’s disease and about the
HOPE shortcut
The method where people with chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s can reduce their stress-related symptoms and, with persistent work, break free of their diagnosis

One week after first session with the Hope Shortcut therapy

“Life is bliss, but my brain is trying to convince me otherwise.”

I thought I knew it all about the impact of stress on the body and mind. I’ve studied this topic many times over the many years I’ve been searching for healing. I thought I had it dialed. I know that stress has real physical impacts on the body, that the stress response called Fight Flight or Freeze, can be triggered by the most subtle thoughts, and that society is totally hooked on stress. I know how to counteract stress through relaxation techniques. I know how to create new patterns in the brain.

This is what I wish everyone knew about stress

  1. Your thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions can be a source of stress.
  2. Stress has a real physiological impact on the body.
  3. Most of us are caught in a habitual state of chronic stress.
  4. Chronic stress can create disease states in the body and mind.
  5. A subconscious trigger can initiate the stress response.
  6. Counterbalancing the stress response in the body is essential to good health.
  7. What we do to “relax” may not actually be relaxing.
  8. Techniques like progressive relaxation, meditation, heart coherence, qigong, yoga, tai chi can create the relaxation response in the body and counteract the effects of stress.
  9. Exercise is beneficial because it burns up the excess cortisol and adrenaline in the body created by stress.

I know that my sensitive little nervous system seems to be highly attuned and highly responsive to even the smallest stressful triggers. I am aware of the common sources of unnecessary stress, and I have designed my life not to waste my precious energy on unnecessary stress triggers. I don’t watch the news. I don’t get involved in drama or gossip. I don’t have a packed schedule. I try not to worry about appearances or what other people might think of me. I no longer have a stressful career. I have a peaceful life, so I thought. I also thought I had already done the work to uncover unconscious stress responses. I thought I had mastered my internal critical dialogue. I had healed that aspect of myself that thought I had to do something extraordinary to earn love and acceptance.

I was wrong…

I recently met a Danish biologist named Lilian Sjoberg, who is helping people with Parkinson’s disease and other chronic illnesses reduce their symptoms by becoming aware of their stressful patterns and addressing the root cause. She has recognized that symptoms of Parkinson’s disease look a lot like an extreme Fight Flight or Freeze response.  I find this hypothesis quite accurate, and I started to recognize it in my own body.

Last summer, I was standing in knee-depth wading pool with my friend and our two-year-old sons.  We were looking up at a bird flying by, and I suddenly heard a splash. Her son had slipped and gone under the water. In a quick moment of mommy instinct, she grabbed him and yanked him back up. He came up sputtering, but he was ok. I held my son more tightly. Moments later, my Parkinson’s symptoms hit me with full force. Tremor, muscles freezing, movement slow, brain foggy. I realized that it felt like a full-body panic attack. After this incident, I became more aware of my symptoms related to fearful thoughts. Sometimes I would note an extremely subtle trigger in my thoughts, and sometimes I couldn’t tell what had made a sudden worsening of my symptoms.

I had offered to help Lilian to reach a wider audience with her important message. She asked me to go through her coaching process and write about it. I still thought I already knew what she had to offer from my previous studies on stress. I was wrong. On the healing journey, there is always more to discover.

The first thing Lilian asked me to do was to record my thoughts, emotions, and physical responses throughout a day. I was surprised how stressed out I still am.

Although I am retired from a stressful career, I am now recreating that stress and pressure in my home life. It’s because my brain got so used to stress and pressure that it is literally stuck. The hard-wired pathway in my brain for stress, pressure, and worry is like a superhighway. The one for peace and ease is like a rabbit trail through a dense forest. I am slowly making it more discernible through inconsistent practice.

Lilian’s exercise allowed me to see the direct physical effects on my body as the stress accumulated in the day.

Observe your symptoms

In the process of learning the HOPE shortcut you learn how to keep a diary that helps you to connect symptoms and stress in your life.

Initially the reason is to give you a new belief about the disease

Later it becomes an important tool to reduce your symptoms one by one

This is an excerpt of what I recorded in only one morning (B is my 3 year old son):

9:00 am: B. asks to watch a show.

My thoughts: “But shows are bad for his brain. I shouldn’t let him watch shows. I should engage him in enriching activities. What a failure I am as a mother…”

My body: My stomach tightens.

10:15 am: B. slouched in the car seat and staring out the window blankly.

“OMG. Is there something wrong with him? Does he have the coronavirus? Is he going to die? I feel so helpless. Should I drive straight to the hospital?”

My body: My left hamstring cramps and spasms. My stomach is in knots.

10:20 am: B. says he is hungry

“I forgot the snack in the fridge. OMG. Why can’t I get it together? How do other moms seem to be able to do this, and I can’t. I need help.”

My body: My jaw and facial muscles on the left side tighten.

10:30 am, I do not have B.’s indoor shoes for the babysitting room.

“I forgot B.’s indoor shoes. Oh no. Maybe the babysitter won’t notice. They have to let him in. What if they don’t let him in? Why can’t I get it together?’”

My body: My leg is fully dragging now. My tremor has begun. I am having trouble focusing.

I obviously have a body that is extremely sensitive and at its maximum capacity for handling stress already. Would these symptoms still have come on without my constant barrage of worrisome and self-critical thoughts? I don’t know. I did notice that my thoughts have me in a constant state of self-criticism and stress.

In my first coaching session with Lilian, she recognized that the habitual worrisome thoughts and pressure that I put on myself is a subconscious habit that I picked up in childhood. We work through using different techniques.

Since my session with Lilian on Monday morning, I am feeling a new sense of peace

I had a better day with B. today, putting less pressure on myself and becoming more aware of my stressful thoughts before they get out of hand. I am feeling more confident that I can take a little bit of power back from my roller coaster of unpredictable symptoms by recognizing my internal stressors and using relaxation techniques when they arise.

The research is now very strong that certain specific techniques that counteract the stress response and change the internal state of the body can result in significant health improvements.

I wish everyone understood the impacts of stress on the body: that thoughts can create stress, that the brain becomes habituated to stress and will seek out more, and that there are things you can do about it.

Nicole St. Arnaud
2. march 2020, Alberta Canada

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Quilting as a hobby
Quilting as a hobby

Who is Dianne Crowel

Hi all

My name is Dianne Crowel (to the right).
I have had Parkinson´s disease for 5 years.

My symptoms are not too bad, so I can do a lot of the things I am used to.
I use Quilting as a relaxing and comforting hobby when my disease gives me anxiety.

- a way to a calm life


If you are Hopeless, the best thing is to get a purpose that reaches beyond yourself.

I quilt animals for people that have lost loved ones. I call them memory bears.

This job keeps me busy and makes the people so very happy to have something to hug. 

When I see how I can impact other peoples´ lives It gives me a good feeling as well.


Having a hobby means that you can always comfort yourself and relieve stress.

Your hobby must be so easy that you quickly develop a routine doing it, so you are slowed down in speed. And it is prefferable that it is a bit challenging so your thoughts do not wander anywhere else, to the past or future.
When you get to this sweet spot, it is as good as meditation. It is a form of mindfulness.

When your thoughts stay in the present moment, you will have fewer symptoms.

"I use my hobby to keep down my stress
and anxiety level"

Diane Crowel
Retired with Parkinsons

My work - Quilting

In the video I tell you a very short story about my work, my hug dogs and my quilts.

Feel free to contact me about my memory bears and hug dogs. It feels good to help other people in pain.

Just click on the video to the right and see 2 minutes of introduction to my Quilting world.

I have had Parkinson’s for about five years.

I am very convinced that the disease is stress-related:
I have had two bad marriages. My spouse was drinking and fighting me. It was terrible.

I have six kids, four boys two girls. The third boy has a cleft palate and has had several surgeries. Two have had terrible asthma.

Five of them made it and are all teachers. But one passed away two years ago. I have been having a hard time, but it is getting better.

Also, my symptoms get a little better as the anxiety reduces.


I love working with my groups and doing what I can for them. Both online groups and local groups.
I do online cycling and yoga with Jacob. I want to do dance as well.

Sometimes a hobby comes with a social life, where you get the benefits from the joy other people can give you. We are social beings and we therefore thrive in supportive surroundings.


Be in the moment

My grandchildren are happy to help me with the quilts and you can see how they like to show the blankets to us.

Being around my grandchildren makes all fear fade away.

Why not slow down in speed

"When I am on vacation I have a lot less symptoms
I’m away from stressful things. Love to go."

Diane Crowel
Retired with Parkinsons

Quilting Questions