Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Dopamine Dance to the Sinemet Shuffle

The Dopamine Dance
I dance. I dance in the morning. I dance in the evening. Weee!!!
I don’t dance alone. Yes,  it is time you met Ms. D...
My odyssey with Ms D. (nee Sinimet), began in late 2005. Her program was said to have therapeutic effects that might benefit me. Introduced by my pole dancing instructor, we hit it off immediately. We have always done what we could to make the partnership work. Always the patient instructor, and nary a harsh word was heard. Demands on my time were minimal. I knew that I needed to dance, and for a while at least seemed like I could get the job done doing it at an amateur commitment.

Some consider us a power couple, as when we are clicking there’s not much we can’t do. When the chemistry is there between us, We are in sight to behold – think Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.  The rush  I experience when we connect is comparable  to  few: the shiver I get down the nape of my neck when the initial haunting chords of “Whooly Bully”  by Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs enter the room, or the delicious rush I get when when “You relax, I’ll do the dishes” tickles my cochlea.

Some alarming signs of late have me concerned though. From the start she is always been a reliable partner. Always on time,  committed to the task, and focused. Always the consummate professional, she simply got the job done. Not long ago, at the same time that her performance seemed to be on the wane, the demands asked of me seemed to have escalated. (all the while, she’s showing up late for sessions, and occasionally, not showing up at all!). It’s like, to get the job done, I needed to quit my day job and go Pro! Who can afford that?
Shit - dope dance 13 x/ day?

 Ms D. had a long and colorful history of bringing things to a head – and our relationship was headed in that direction as well. Both expressed frustration that our performance and been on the wane in recent years. I rather pointedly suggested that word on the street was that it seemed to be a pattern in her program. She confessed that yes, that seemed to be the emerging pattern - that after some period of years the effectiveness of Ms Dopamine's therapy began to diminish . Was she aware of the new studio  DBS Dance across town? While they didn’t offer the classic dances that were the core of her program, they were having tremendous success with some cutting-edge, interpretive types of dance.

While we still see each other on a regular basis, things are just not the same anymore. Sessions begin with a pair of stilted “how are you's”. With neither offering any detail at least a friend could glean some useful insight from. I’m still researching the other studios offerings. Things look promising. Ms D Seems resigned to change.

Fear not - if the commitment is not there any more, the physical  sensations remain. When we finally connect,  when we finally meet eye to eye, molecule to receptor, he feeling is still just magic. If the truth be known, the magical instant that the drugs kick in, it is customary for me to flex in the iconic bodybuilding pose. This is a cerebration, a recognition, at least for a few minutes,  I  convince myself that I am not broken, I am strong once more, an athlete again, I am just, well, like you. What more could anyone ask for?'

Shaking your head, you ask "Blair, what the hell is the Dopamine Dance?" I knew YOU would be the first to ask that question. :-) If you do a search for "Dopamine Dance" on the web you will come up with a few different versions. Personally, for me, the day in/ day out (really, hour in/hour out  use of it describes the intimate connection we have with dopamine  be far more accurate), managing of this ying/yang, this tug and pull our bodies have for dopamine and its ever dwindling supply. Reality is that it determines what our plans are for the day - or more accurately, would actual plans are executed. For if the dopamine supply is not there, it ain't gonna happen :-) 

Sinemet (or an alternate brand) is the medication taken throughout the day. that is converted by the body into dopamine. Sinemet, is effective for some time, but after a number of years the system starts to lose its effectiveness and we look for other alternatives…

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