Simon Michaels from Parkinson’s Positive

An interview with Simon Michaels from Parkinson’s Positive on October 5, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.

Please tell me a little about your background.


My first 2 decades of work was in environmental consulting. I now combine over 25 years’ experience of meditation & mindfulness practice and teaching, with being an ethical business advisor. From 2018 my main work has been helping people manage stress at work. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the summer of 2020, after symptoms had been evident for some time, and immediately took the attitude that while I accepted the diagnosis, I did not accept the prognosis of degeneration. I believe my body can heal, given the right conditions.

Can you tell me more about your advocacy?


The purpose of the 12-week course and resource base is to give people some tools and motivation to take control of their own health, and live better, alongside whatever medication and lifestyle approaches they employ.
What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?


I have Parkinson’s and have 25 years’ experience [and my passion is] practicing and teaching wellbeing, mindfulness, and meditation, so I have direct experience of proven wellbeing strategies for myself and others.  I am offering the course for free to help others with PD.
What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when seeing your advocacy?


Mainly to address depression and anxiety, get perspective etc.

What type of training and how long are the programs?


It’s a 12-week program, but really may guide people to a long-term lifestyle change.
What effect can your advocacy have on an individual with Parkinson’s?


Reduces stress, leads to acceptance, and gives hope and evidence that the condition can be managed, and that some degree of relief or recovery is possible.
What would you like to see as a future goal for your advocacy?


I’d like to see a vibrant community of people helping each other.
What events do you participate in?


Active on social media. Have attended PD exercise classes but continue to engage socially anyway.

How does your advocacy also assist caregivers?


Could give them hope too and new motivation.


How can someone get in touch?  What is your website?


How can others also become advocates for awareness?


The basis must be committed practice over say 6 months so that they can speak with integrity.

If you could add any questions to this interview that you may want others to learn about, what would the question(s) be?


I think the question would be ‘how can PWPs lead a better life?’.  The answer is all about perception, attitude, acceptance, and positivity, plus a willingness to take control, and make significant lifestyle changes.

If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?


Never give up. Do what you need to do even when you don’t feel like it. There is hope.