The osteopath, the chiropractor(s), Disneyland – and 32 years of friendship – a sound track for the rhythm of life
Trying to decide on a title for this blog has been difficult.
Hopefully when all is revealed the somewhat disjointed one chosen will seem appropriate?
I suppose we should start at the beginning…..
1983…..Alkmini, Sasha (age 5) and I had made the move from Sussex to Corfu for a variety of reasons – one of which (not the primary one though) was a desire for Sasha to have a primary school education in Alkmini’s home country. As a sort of celebration we went to the USA (starting in DIsneyland) for a Christmas holiday.
In an earlier blog post I detailed how this resulted in our getting to know an enthusiastic young chiropractic student (LACC) Craig Liebenson, who has come across one of my books (Soft Tissue Manipulation) in the Bodhi Tree bookstore...and had written to me synchronistically just before our trip…..
Before our trip I had been in contact with noted nutritional expert Jeff Bland (one of the founding fathers of functional medicine). I had arranged to visit Jeff at his workplace in palo Alto, where he was assistant to Linis Pauling, and in our correspondence Jeff had suggested that when in LA we should contact someone he had worked with professionally, chiropractor, Carol Port. This we did and Carol with her amazing dynamic presence, met us, took us around and generally behaved like a long lost close friend – which indeed she has become….as will become clear later…..
So.2 parts of the title now make sense — I am the osteopath, and you have briefly met the two DCs.
To amplify slightly – Craig went on to forge an international reputation in chiropractic as an innovative educator who has pioneered new directions for his profession (see 2 of his book covers below). He has remained a colleague, working as one of my Associate Editors on The Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies – to which he has contributed a regular feature article in every issue for the past 19 years, since the start in 1996 !
Carol – who retired from active practice when she married – has become a dear friend – as has her husband, former lawyer, Irwin Rosenstein. They have hosted Alkmini Sasha and myself numerous times on our visits to LA, and have visited us in Corfu. Sadly, in the past few years Irwin’s health declined, firstly with early stages of Parkinson’s disease, and more lately with the start of dementia symptoms…….and this is where the ‘sound-track’ part of the title of this blog comes in….
Carol, being Carol, has delved into every conceivable approach in order to help Irwin’s condition (and at one time Craig assisted in this effort, helping him maintain flexibility)
Last year Carol managed to have Irwin accepted into a program of intergenerational activity that had been started at UCLA. This involved intergenerational respite care program, TimeOut@UCLA, where Irwin mentored and interacted with students which allowed him to reclaim his confidence.
He realized that he could contribute to society and students; his life was no longer slipping away. Most importantly, a popular activity among the seniors in the program was singing and piano playing. This program was featured on ABC News...Read about it here and see video clip of Irwin playing the piano (a still from that clip is below)
Carol & Irwin have started a charity: Music Mends Minds Inc – a nonprofit, charitable organization dedicated to “Restoring the Rhythm of Life” for older adults with Parkinson’s, Early Dementia, or Alzheimer’s.
Their website explains:
How We Help You
Patients: Many early stage Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Parkinson’s patients in the senior bands have fun and reduce stress, which may help slow or reverse the progression of the cognitive declines.Families & Students: Entire families of patients and students who are being mentored by the senior musicians can benefit from these new and strong social support networks. Healthcare Costs: This project also serves as a vital public health prevention program because it may reduce the need for expensive visits to Internists, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, for any stress-related illness. These bands may alleviate the over burdened health service delivery system which is already being choked by diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s with no cure in sight. Imagine the financial savings on our healthcare industry.
They have a band made up of students and people with mind-related diseases of ageing…The 5th Dementia….
This describes what happened at recent Valentine’s day concert….
“There were signs of dementia threading through the concert, which made it all the more tender.
One of many moments happened when the pianist (not Irwin on the keyboards) started the band off with one melody and then suddenly forgot what he was playing and drifted off into another melody!.
There was a moment of asynchronicity as 2 melodies clashed and then as if planned, they all got back on track with the second melody and finished to a rousing applause and acceptance from their adoring audience!
Probably if they had music in front of each of them, they may not have gotten back on track but, playing by ear, it seemed to mend itself, seamlessly!”
MELODIC INTONATION TECHNIQUE AFTER A STROKE:
MUSIC AWAKENING MEMORY…read about this in an article from LA Times (July 2014):
...and that’s the soundtrack I’ll hear when I think of these two brave people who have managed to turn a potential tragedy into something really positive.