We are glad you are here, especially if you are living with diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, Cerebral Palsy, or perhaps recovering from stroke. There are lots of claims being made by helpful disciplines and lots of talk about neuro-plasticity. What sets Alexander Technique apart is you learn conscious control that can help you cope immediately and it changes your unconscious functioning.
The Alexander Technique for People Living with Parkinson’s Disease
Improve Balance and Decrease Rigidity and Tremor
The Alexander Technique has become more widely acknowledged as a valuable resource for people living with Parkinson's Disease (PD) and other neurological disorders. Parkinson’s patients, doctors and caregivers are recognizing improvements in:
- Decreased rigidity
- Range of motion
- Social interaction
- Voice and Breathing
In 2002 a ground breaking study was done showing significant results for Parkinson's patients. Equally if not more significant was a follow up study done 6 months later which showed how the study participants continued to benefit from and use what they learned (same website as above). The gains were practical and useful, helping the participants move and live with better balance and more confidence.
During a session with an Alexander Technique teacher, the student experiences a very subtle hands on guidance. This guidance is combined with using a thought process that addresses the nervous system’s control over movement, balance and muscular tone. This control begins to eroded at the onset of PD leading to a loss of a secure sense of balance and ease of movement. This erosion of control can be viewed as a deterioration of pathways in the nervous system. A simple example could be the act of standing up from a chair. When you decide to stand up, your intent becomes a stimulus that results in moving to stand. How hard or easily you stand up depends on pathways in your nervous system organizing and coordinating the structure. Parkinson’s patients experience a loss of familiar ability and consequently have to struggle to find a way. So they start building new pathways haphazardly. The good news is that the patient can build new pathways in their nervous system associated with ease and balance. This is where the Alexander Technique excels. It is a technique with scientifically sound principles which help to control and build new patterns of movement and behavior in ordinary daily activities as well as more sophisticated endeavors like singing. The educational process promotes release of restrictive tension to move versus increasing disabling contraction of muscles. The patient usually achieves a very pleasant feeling of calm and balance during the lesson and leaves with more tools for self care.
Alexander Technique is based on scientifically sound principles which help to control and build improved patterns of movement and behavior in ordinary daily activities as well as more sophisticated endeavors like speaking and singing. A new ease and confidence is acquired through release of restrictive tension to move replacing disabling contraction of muscles. The patient usually achieves a very pleasant feeling of calm and balance during the lesson and leaves with more tools for self care.
Parkinson’s Association of Northern California member Diane Mater has been getting guidance from Alexander Technique teacher Bruce Oliver and remarks…
“the Alexander Technique has put some normalcy back into my life. Turning over in bed, once frustrating and difficult, now is second nature. Holding a glass or taking my change from a clerk no longer stresses me and I don’t have to avoid those situations. Alexander Technique gives me a degree of control over my disease that I didn’t have before. I now walk with balance and control”.