Seeking LJ's with Essential Tremors

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Forum topic by socrbent posted 04-02-2015 03:33 AM 2947 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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687 posts in 2468 days

04-02-2015 03:33 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question resource

I have an essential tremor. The Mayo Clinic says “Essential tremor is a nervous system disorder (neurological disorder) that causes a rhythmic shaking. Essential tremor can affect almost any part of your body, but the trembling occurs most often in your hands — especially when you try to do simple tasks, such as drinking from a glass, tying shoelaces, writing or shaving. Essential tremor may also affect your head, voice, arms or legs.” The condition often runs in families. I know it affected both my father and his father. Essentail Tremor is 8 times more common that Parkinson’s.

The condition for me is a often just a minor inconvenience in the wood shop. But at times it can be very frustrating. I am left handed and the tremor is most pronounced in that hand making holding a drill and chisels challenging. However it is an aide when sanding :) Last month I had 2 big catches while tuning bowls that weere at least partially caused by the tremors but mostly by my incorrect techniques. Often I can minimize the problems created by the tremors by bracing my hand on my body or a sold object like a workbench top.

March is National ET Awareness month. I’d like to hear from other LJ’s to start a discussion of how we deal with this condition.

-- socrbent Ohio

27 replies so far

View canadianchips's profile


2613 posts in 3195 days

#1 posted 04-02-2015 11:30 AM

My Grandfather had that. As kids we did not know what it was called. When I started having shaking in left hand I was scared I had same thing as Grandpa.Parlinsons was ruled out. My Uncle also had it. My Dad did not. Mine starts when I am overworked and tired. Usually at night laying in bed or chair trying to relax. I get up and do my meditation ! For me this helps, gets my mind off of it, less worrying !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Rick S...'s profile

Rick S...

10913 posts in 3231 days

#2 posted 04-03-2015 02:22 AM


First of all. I’m also Left Handed. HUMMM? I very occasionally seem to have problem doing something like lining up a Screwdriver to sit in the Screw properly. Things like that. I don’t think it’s ET, but you never know I guess.

I do however sympathise with your problem and I’ll see what I can find that might possibly help. Naturally the first thing I did was to Google ”Essential Tremor Treatment”. Yes. You have to be carful with who’s advice you can trust when you do that.

The only one I had a look at was from the John Hopkins Centre. A LOT of advice on there. having to do with ALL aspects of ET Below is a Cut & Paste for ”Non Medical Therapy” which is the way I would prefer to go.

Non-Medical Therapy
“In some patients, tremors can be reduced by weighting the limb, usually by applying wrist weights. In a small proportion of patients, this can dampen down the tremor enough to provide some relief or improve functioning.

Since anxiety and stress classically make the tremor worse, non-medical relaxation techniques and biofeedback can be effective in some patients.

Medications known to make tremors worse should be eliminated or minimized when possible. These include lithium, several antipsychotics, valproic acid, corticosteroids, some anti-depressants and a class of drugs called adrenergic agonists. People with tremor also may benefit from avoiding dietary stimulants, such as caffeine. They should also be evaluated for hyperthyroidism, which can produce tremors that mimic ET.”

Personally I like the idea of strengthening the Forearm and Wrist Area. They mention Wrist Weights. I would take it one step further and use reasonably light dumbbells around 10 to 15 lbs. and do Forearm curls and wrist curls. To Strengthen
the Muscles in that area.

”Hyperthyroidism.” From personal experience, and research. I found that the Thyroid is a VERY important Organ in the body. It emits other chemicals into the body that have an Important Effect on a number of other Bodily Organs. The Standard MD Treatment” is Thyroid Medication with No investigation as to WHY is it NOT functioning Properly.

The Thyroid needs only ONE Chemical to function properly … IODINE! About the only place you can get that is from Iodized Table Salt and with todays “Healthy Eating Programs” Table salt is a NO NO. It only takes a very small amount to get the iodine that you need. I believe that you can also buy Iodine Supplements at a Health Food Store.

NOTE: The above information is from Personal Experience only and a LOT of Research.

The GOOGLE LINK for ”Essential Tremor Treatments is” “HERE.” (Sorry. LJ’s keeps sending that Link to their “OOPS! Page Not Found”, which is nothing new. So just go to GOOGLE and feed it in Yourself.)

There is also a host of other areas for ET.

Hope it’s of some use to you.

Regards: Rick

-- I Chose "The Road Less Travelled" Now I'm Totally Lost! (Ontario, CANADA)

View Shadowrider's profile


183 posts in 1407 days

#3 posted 04-03-2015 02:57 AM

I think my dad had this and I may have the beginnings of it. Or it could be all the coffee I drink too. I know my dad’s doctor said it was NOT Parkinsons but I don’t remember what he called it. Mine isn’t bad enough to worry about yet but I’m a competitive shooter and it does affect me a little in that and also doing fine layout, driving very small screws, etc., it’s a bit irritating at times but not enough for me to give up my fresh roasted whole beans! Dad’s doctor told him the best treatment was a good stiff drink, that there wasn’t much else he could do. May have to investigate that one myself.

View socrbent's profile


687 posts in 2468 days

#4 posted 04-03-2015 03:24 AM

Thanks Rick and Chips. I was hoping to create a dialog between LJ’s about how they cope with the tremor while woodworking. But maybe there aren’t many LJ’s with the condition.

-- socrbent Ohio

View Rick S...'s profile

Rick S...

10913 posts in 3231 days

#5 posted 04-03-2015 03:44 AM

Thanks Rick and Chips. I was hoping to create a dialog between LJ s about how they cope with the tremor while woodworking. But maybe there aren t many LJ s with the condition.

- socrbent

You have a problem with ET. Coping while Woodworking is one thing. Are you saying this is the ONLY time this condition affects you?

What I’ve Posted above is a way of Coping with it and a possible Cure or at least a Reduction in that ET activity.

Naturally if it’s an Overall Reduction that would also apply to Woodworking. Would it not?

Don’t get to disappointed about the number of replies you have received so far. At this point It’s only been posted for about 24 hours.

-- I Chose "The Road Less Travelled" Now I'm Totally Lost! (Ontario, CANADA)

View mahdee's profile


4021 posts in 1966 days

#6 posted 04-03-2015 11:31 AM

Have you tried magnesium taurate? It works great to calm the nervous system, it is all natural and can buy it over the counter.


View lwllms's profile


555 posts in 3480 days

#7 posted 04-03-2015 12:40 PM

This will be short because my ET interferes with my typing. I do struggle with tremors.

I try to use additional support for my arms when doing fine accurate work. I’ve tried medications often prescribed for tremors and they’re of marginal benefit but I do take propranolol now. It doesn’t do much that I can tell.

My tremors have gotten progressively worse and they’ll likely be what ends my ability to do my work.

View Holli's profile


94 posts in 1736 days

#8 posted 04-15-2015 12:01 PM

Ignore Rick.
He thinks he owns this site but he’s really just a big pain in the ass trying to jack up his number count so he can be on the front page with the real woodworkers. That’s not even his picture.

Don’t reply to him or get in an argument or he will attack you and copy your photograph so he can distort your face and use it as a weapon against others here on this sire he doesn’t like.

Look at his only blog. He makes 20 or more comments every day, giving dumb advice and getting in arguments with other woodworkers. He’s a jerk.

Avoid this guy and good luck.

-- Holli

View MrRon's profile


5190 posts in 3442 days

#9 posted 04-15-2015 04:20 PM

After reading “non-medical treatment” for ET, it brought back memories from 60 years ago. I was working as a draftsman and my hands would get shakey. I was told at the time to hold a heavy weight (spline duck) at arms length for a minute of two. Doing that would make my hands steady. I don’t know if what I have is ET, but it seems to be worse when I am tired. It only affects my hands like when trying to find the head of a screw with a screw driver.

View Redoak49's profile


3661 posts in 2187 days

#10 posted 04-15-2015 11:53 PM

Try not to let it get you down….not easy. Probably a lot of us have chronic problems to deal with.

Find the best doctor you can and if you do not like one, find another.

Hopefully, you will find someone with the same condition you can communicate with thru personal messages.

Do not listen to someone who googled the condition and is offering advice.

Lastly, good luck to you

View LeoD721's profile


6 posts in 700 days

#11 posted 01-10-2017 08:27 PM

Hey socrbent.

I just found your post from a Google search about woodworking and essential tremors. Which I DO suffer from.

Before I go deeper, are you still on here and wanting to discuss this?

I would love to have some dialogue.

Thanks! Leo

-- Leo, Kansas

View socrbent's profile


687 posts in 2468 days

#12 posted 01-10-2017 08:51 PM

Yes, I’m still interested.

-- socrbent Ohio

View LeoD721's profile


6 posts in 700 days

#13 posted 01-13-2017 06:04 PM

Hey socrbent Ohio,

I am exploring everything for treatment with urgency.

I have been unemployed for a while and found a staffing agency that was very confident in finding me a position. I have a management background. Unfortunately, I was nervous, cold and rushing a bit to be on time. My ET was so bad I had to leave the interview without being able to fill out necessary forms. I could not write legibly!! Not whining, just letting you know that there ARE others that share your situation. It’s rare that it’s that bad but it certainly was bad timing. I will share as much as I can about treatment and solutions. LeoD721

-- Leo, Kansas

View UncannyValleyWoods's profile


542 posts in 2062 days

#14 posted 01-13-2017 10:13 PM

Time to ask your kids for a bag of the green stuff and let go your ingrained social conditioning. Cannabis does wonders for tremors like this. It completely transformed my own late life dad’s existence.

-- “If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.” ― Lenny Bruce

View bobasaurus's profile


3544 posts in 3382 days

#15 posted 01-13-2017 10:22 PM

I have a slight case of it, my father has it badly. It helps if I brace my arm/elbow on something as I’m doing detail work and don’t have someone looking over my shoulder (the nerves/stress of onlookers seems to make it worse for some reason).

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

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