An interview with Author John C. Coleman, October 5, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.
By August 1995, John Coleman was wondering how he could go on living. Suffering symptoms of stage IV Parkinson’s disease and early-stage Multi-system Atrophy, diagnosed by five medical and complementary practitioners, and severely dissatisfied with the treatment and prognosis he received from western medical practitioners, John decided to pursue other pathways to health and was completely symptom-free by April 1998.
John was co-founder of Very Special Kids in 1984 and founder of the neuro recovery foundation in 2002, conducted sixteen Neuro Recovery Pathways residential programs, plus practitioner training around Australia, USA, Germany, Austria and UK.
John is one of Australia’s most experienced naturopaths in treating Neurodegenerative and Autoimmune disorders and Lyme disease and co-infections.
John now conducts his Naturopathic Clinic in Lancefield, rural Victoria. He presented at the International Parkinson’s Disease Conference in 2001 and the 3rd Tick Borne Diseases Conference in 2015 plus other professional conferences. “Shaky Past” (autobiography) was released in 2012. His latest book, “Rethinking Parkinson’s Disease”, was released by Hybrid Publishers in October 2020.
John received a Tattersall’s Award for founding Very Special Kids in 1985 and is a Fellowship Member of the Australian Naturopathic Practitioners Association (ANPA).
PLEASE TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND.
After a difficult childhood and teens, I left school at 16, worked at a copper mine, then explored a variety of jobs before spending over 20 years in the music industry.
In my late twenties, I married and had two wonderful sons. My oldest, Damian, developed Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at 8 and died at 11 & 9 months, having lived well much longer than prognosed due to our use of many Complementary therapies.
Shortly after, I was divorced, lost my career, lost all my money, and began studying for a new career as a Naturopath.
I was diagnosed with stage 4 Parkinson’s and early-stage MSA in 1995 (age 52) and decided to find my own way to health after the usual grim predictions by neurologists.
I became symptom-free late in 1998 and graduated the same year.
The first patient who attended my clinic was diagnosed with Parkinson’s; so was the second, and the third. Many hundreds followed.
Over the years of research and treating PwP, I came to see that Parkinson’s is not really a “disease” but sets of symptoms caused by influences in our family, childhood, lifestyle, and environment, all of which can be reversed.
We now know that “diseases” like Parkinson’s are caused by trauma/stress, environmental toxins and food choices, and stealth infections.
CAN YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT YOUR ADVOCACY?
After 25 years of research, I feel we know enough about the causes of neurodegeneration and inflammation (the fundamental symptoms of Parkinson’s) to develop recovery pathways for people diagnosed with this “disease”.
I spend much of my time helping patients to find a way to wellness. I also contact organizations, universities, and other practitioners to persuade them that recovery is possible, and it is our responsibility to present that publicly.
WHAT IS YOUR PASSION AND HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN PARKINSON’S AWARENESS AND HOPE FOR A CURE?
My passion is to leave the world with the wide-spread knowledge that we KNOW what causes Parkinson’s and we CAN get well. Since 1998, I have presented at Parkinson’s conferences, practitioner training programs, health industry conferences and conventions, created and presented recovery programs for PwP, developed, and presented seminars and webinars, written three books on Parkinson’s (including “Rethinking Parkinson’s Disease” published in 2020) and continued to advocate for research into RECOVERY versus a “cure”.
HAT TYPE OF GOALS DO INDIVIDUALS WITH PARKINSON’S HAVE WHEN SEEING YOUR ADVOCACY?
They say they want to “be like you (sic)” and get well. They aspire to be free from symptoms as I am. However, many are unable to be dedicated enough to make the life changes necessary to be well. Those that have the dedication love without symptoms for many years.
WHAT TYPE OF TRAINING AND HOW LONG ARE THE PROGRAMS?
The current Parkinson’s Recovery Program (online) is six months long with weekly classes.
I am currently developing new programs for both PwP (People with Parkinson’s) and Practitioners of all modalities which may be a little shorter.
WHAT EFFECT CAN YOUR ADVOCACY HAVE ON AN INDIVIDUAL WITH PARKINSON’S?
Those who are truly dedicated get well.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE AS A FUTURE GOAL FOR YOUR ADVOCACY?
- I am now 80 years old and tired of working 6 days per week.
- I would love to see many other practitioners showing PwP how to find their individual causes, reverse them and get well.
- I want to see this work taught in colleges and universities.
- I want recovery to be as publicly trumpeted as begging for money for a “cure” is now.
- I want there to be courteous, respectful and constructive dialogue between western medical practitioners and practitioners of complementary medicine (really original medicine) for the benefit of all those struggling with ill health.
WHAT EVENTS DO YOU PARTICIPATE IN?
I still present at conferences and support groups, present webinars and write blogs.
HOW DOES YOUR ADVOCACY ALSO ASSIST CAREGIVERS?
When caregivers/family see the truth, that Parkinson’s does not have to be a “life sentence” and see their loved one getting better, their life improves dramatically.
Many carers say to me “You are the only one who has given us answers and understanding”.
HOW CAN SOMEONE GET IN TOUCH? WHAT IS YOUR WEBSITE?
HOW CAN OTHERS ALSO BECOME ADVOCATES FOR AWARENESS?
Read about the causes of Parkinson’s and stories of recovery, then share their thoughts on social media, support recovery sites and programs, and keep on living with love and joy rather than doom and gloom.
DO THE SYMPTOMS CALLED PARKINSON’S DISEASE ACTUALLY REPRESENT A DISEASE?
No, they don’t. They are symptoms telling us that something has gone wrong in our life.
This is just the same as cancer. The tumor is NOT the disease, it is a symptom. The disease is the toxins, inflammation, infection, or poison that caused the tumor.
With Parkinson’s, the tremor, stiffness, poor balance and all the other symptoms are just symptoms. The disease lies much deeper, and we CAN find the causes for everyone. We look for long-term trauma or stress, toxic food, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, poor gut function, other medications and, often, hard-to-diagnose infections.
We CAN treat the causes and become well.
IF YOU HAD ONE FINAL STATEMENT OR QUOTE YOU COULD LEAVE FOR THE PARKINSON’S COMMUNITY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860), Philosopher.
This is true of Parkinson’s disease. The truth is that we CAN find and treat the causes and we CAN get well.