I first noticed my mother’s slowing body movement three years ago. She’s the kind of person who doesn’t spend any money on herself, so it took my father and I over three months to persuade her to visit the hospital.

There, we learnt about Parkinson’s disease. The doctor said that there is no cure for Parkinson’s and every word from him sounded like a death sentence. The solution was to take drugs and increase the dosage over time, but no matter what you do, it will only get worse and the drugs come with many side effects. This came as a massive shock – the thought that my mother would ever get this disease had never entered my head. I had a horrible image replaying in my mind of my mother unable to walk with me again, sadly sitting in a wheelchair. It was as if my mother’s life had been taken away from me. After countless consultations at different hospitals, my mother was in denial, then became extremely upset and lost hope. At this point, I started to look at alternative treatments, trying my best to help her out.


You may think it strange but most Chinese people have never had acupuncture. Ever since the Communist Party’s take over, Traditional Chinese Medicine has been disregarded as primitive witchcraft and almost no Chinese even consider it. Everyone wants a quick cure – fast food style treatment. After learning some of the basics from my teacher Lijie, I decided to give it a try and do acupuncture on my mother’s hand which always shakes. After just one month, her swollen hand went back to normal, and slowly the dark skin color on her hand also disappeared. Right now, you wouldn’t even notice that she has Parkinson’s Disease.

I still remember the first time I put the needle on her hand, she couldn’t feel the needle at all. Now, after 12 months she has sensation back and the acupuncture treatment has reduced from once every two days to once every two weeks.


Moxibustion is a Traditional Chinese Medicine therapy using moxa which is made from dried mugwort. It is primarily used to treat a deficiency of yang energy in the body. Yang energy governs movement and warmth. A deficiency of yang results in cold symptoms.

Since my mother’s body has become slow and inflexible, she always has very cold hands and feet. I chose to use stick moxa as a primary treatment due to the fact that it actually adds yang qi to the body. For around three months, my mother’s hands and feet have become warm again and she never feels “chilled to the bone”, or “cold in the heart” as we say in Chinese.


My mother used to hide the disease from those around her but as time goes on she has started to openly discuss her Parkinson’s with anyone who asks. Sharing her experiences, doing regular exercise and meeting new people has helped her. It was a matter of luck that we met the Qi Gong teacher, Yuan Feng, who was extraordinarily patient with mom. The Qigong Horse Stance helped her with chronic back problems and strengthening her legs. It relieves back pain by realigning the vertebrae, thereby relieving pressure, correcting posture, and allowing the chi energy to flow smoothly through the spinal column, thus healing scoliosis and a host of other back problems. Apart from the above treatment, my mother takes coconut oil to prevent shaking, has a Chinese massage once a week, together with Gua sha and Cupping to help her energy flow.

Parkinson’s Disease took my mother’s normal life away, but has given her back a new one. My family used to be secondary to my work, but now comes first. Because of my mother’s health, I’ve been forced to slow down, lead a healthier lifestyle, learn traditional Chinese medicine and enter a world which is alien to most people. I’ve learned you have to work with Parkinson’s, not against it.

I don’t think too far ahead, but for now, I’m by my mother’s side. She is getting better and is not in a wheelchair. Life is good.