About Dr. Mazzuchin Physiotherapist and Naturopathic Doctor

About Chris Mazzuchin

Naturopathic Doctor

My name is Chris Mazzuchin. I have over twenty years under my belt as a physiotherapist and a naturopathic physician.

After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease back in 2007, I have had a special interest in treating Neurological Disorders such as: Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimers & Multiple Sclerosis.

After years of seeking the guidance of colleagues and other Naturopathic Doctors and Functional Medicine Practitioners, I have seen major improvements to my quality of life all the while dramatically reducing my medications.

Every day, I take pivotal steps forward to take control of the healing process and I inspire others to do the same.

Chris's Story

It is mentioned in many scientific literature articles that Parkinson's Disease begins well before the first noticeable or measurable signs or symptoms appear. I believe this to be true and in order to predict, let alone recognize and observe those predetermining and elusive factors one would have to have a keen eye, an insightful gaze and a troublesome life experience to accurately pinpoint and intercept where any preventative action would make a difference.

I can share with you my "early prediction points" for Parkinsons later on but for now my journey began about 15 years ago when I was watching my 4 year old daughter (at that time) struggle to tie her own shoes. Naturally, as a helpful, sympathetic parent, my instinct was to interrupt her struggle, teach her and/or tie her shoes for her. My wiser self whispered "leave her be" and "let her figure it out for herself". And so I listened, but noticed my toes curl under my left foot while doing so.

The neural tension I felt that day led to more of the same while I played soccer, went golfing or played tennis and squash. Any time I turned my intense personality "on" and honed my focus for whatever task lay ahead, the tension was easily observable, and so began my slight left sided limp while I walked, my flexed left arm while I ran and my fatigue after only a small amount of exertion.

 At this time I was also under a large amount of professional stress all caused by my own doing. Making decisions unwisely, impatiently and fearfully leading to choices that had me blindly surround myself with harmful energies (both people and situations). This was what truely "broke the proverbial camel's back" and led me straight into the neurologists office after all my blood work and diagnostic imaging results (CT, MRI) came back normal.

"You have Parkinson's Disease", my unemotional, cold, robotic neurologist muttered to me at my second visit with her and to that my honest (to myself) inner voice replied "no problem, I can fix that" but we will follow your lead first and adjust things as we go, after all, how bad can it get, I am fit, incredibly health conscious, practice what I preach kind of guy. I am spiritual, kind, and have over 12 years of education and over 8 years of clinical experience. So on I went with a prescription for a dopamine agonist and a referral letter to a specialist in Toronto. 

Now it's important to know that I shared with my neurologist and was very emphatic that this all started and had something to do with when I had a perforated appendix presumably due to pork food/poisoning with an onset of abdominal symptoms shortly after consuming ice cream and yogurt. An appendectomy was performed and a 10 day course of antibiotics was prescribed and taken.

In months to follow, I had two more intense bouts of food poisoning, one of which again followed the ingestion of pork, leading to severe vomiting, fever, diarrhea for one to two days.

So on I went, a visit to the Neuro Specialty Hospital which led to a confirmation of the diagnosis of PD with a "sinemet challenge test", that the clinician felt revealed outcomes to confirm PD but i felt no better throughout the testing (ie. while taking sinemet). They did some genetic testing that revealed I was a carrier for a unique Parkinson gene, so I thought I would let them take the wheel for a while and started treatment which then consisted of Sinamet 200mg three to four times per day totalling 1600 mg per day. The sinemet, however, was only partially effective as it reduced the nerve tension (at rest) temporarily but did not have any effect while under stress or while playing sports.

Doctors added Requip /ropinerole 2mg three to four times per day which helped with symptoms during bouts of mental and physical stress. I used these meds for about 5 yrs and it was in 2016 that the duration of ‘’on’ periods (meaning i could move as i wished with no limitations in gait, balance, strength or endurance) lasted only 2-3 hours when they were originally 4-6. In addition to reduced ‘on’ periods, social anxiety dramatically increased, freezing ‘off’ periods increased, especially with distal limbs (hands/wrists, feet and shins) and energy throughout the day plummeted.

Movement disorders clinic referred me to psychiatrist in 2016 for emotional assessment/treatments but the psychiatrist was not convinced I needed any meds. After that, depression, poor motivation and social isolation began to set in more deeply. My blood pressure was extremely low now and I was suffering from drop attacks or sudden falls like my legs just gave out without warning so "I asked" to have a hypotensive prescribed (midodrine) which also helped. During this entire time neurologists tried  a whole host of other drugs which never touched the surface of my symptoms. I was now intermittently using a wheelchair and contemplating death. 

Finally having a mental crisis which then led me to see a psychiatrist again who, this time, prescribed  a benzodiazepine (clonazepam) and antidepressant (Effexor) which helped tremendously improve my drop attacks and social anxiety, all the while saying "why did they put you on so much sinemet/dopamine?".

So now, my symptoms were tremors but only right after taking my sinemet at two 110 mg tablets (as reducing carbidopa to 10 mg per tablet has helped reduce mental anxiety) but my neurologist insisted me taking two 110 mg tablets every 2 hours throughout the day (totalling 1600 mg a day of dopamine) ... that being balanced by the clonazepam and Effexor through the GABA and the serotonin and norepinephrine receptors (which i later discovered natural ways to increase Dopamine, GABA and Serotonin levels while maintaining a healthy level of Norepinephrine and Epinephrine levels).

One other current symptom which i struggle with (and is the current topic of my research) is difficulty getting up in the morning with any energy and strength  and having a very short "on" time with my balance but my current doses of Sinemet now have really shortened ..... and power, quickness and balance with walking is decreased by about 20-30% but improving slowly.

So after seeking the guidance of colleagues and other Naturopathic Doctors and Functional Medicine Practitioners results in testing and albeit 'trial and error' supplementation I was able to walk, run, jump, skate and move much more easily, and dramatically reduce my medications. I still have not yet fully recovered, as I mentioned, like some others before me (ie. Bianca Molle, Howard Schifke, John Coleman and John Gray) but each month gets better while I take over the control and direction of my healing.

As a naturopathic doctor, I took an oath to:

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Do no harm

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Cooperate with the healing powers of nature

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Teach the principles of healthy living and preventative medicine

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Heal the whole person through individualized treatment

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Address the fundamental causes of disease

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Pursue the healthiest, most helpful solution for my patients

Dr. Chris Mazzuchin

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