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Alexander Technique and Neurological Problems

Parkinson's Disease

Preliminary research has indicated the value of the Alexander technique in ameliorating the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease. This preliminary research involved quite a small number of participants and funding is hard to raise for a larger trial (there is no potential profits in this research for the drug companies).

Randomized controlled trial of the Alexander Technique for idiopathic Parkinson's disease (2002)

However many Parkinson patients have found a considerable level of relief after undertaking Alexander technique lessons.

The following article written by Alexander teacher and researcher Chloe Stallibrass is addressed to Alexander Technique teachers, but will give you an idea of how work with an Alexander Technique teacher may help patients with this condition.

Alexander Technique lessons for Parkinson 's disease patients

In an Alexander technique lesson the teacher will provide verbal instructions as well as gentle manual guidance which will help to reduce tremor and rigidity and improve balance.

We do offer lessons for Parkinson's disease sufferers living in Melbourne. Normally you can expect to come twice a week for a series of 10 lessons and then reduce the frequency to once a week for another 10 lessons. Because of the progressive nature of Parkinson's disease you may then choose to continue lessons indefinitely.

In the case of people with Parkinson's disease who do continue after this initial course of lessons the school can offer lessons at a reduced rate for those whose financial situation would otherwise not allow for them to continue with these lessons.

Here is the experience of one of our students who came to the Alexander technique because of Parkinson's disease:

I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 2000. At the beginning, it was barely noticeable, aside from slight slowness and dis-coordination of movement. After eight years however, the disease progressed so far that I could not usually move without a walking frame, and on the best days, I could manage with a walking stick. A friend suggested I try Alexander Technique. I made an appointment with David Moore at The School For Alexander Studies three years ago. I went to see David on one of my better days when I could manager ot walk aided with a walking stick. Lying on the massage table, I felt somewhat disappointed because I felt as though hardly anything was happening. I was only receiving gentle manipulation and stretching of the limbs. I thought to myself, just another waste of time and effort, like physiotherapy.

Only after I alighted the tram back home, did I realise that I had left the walking stick behind in the school! Getting off the tram in the city I felt so good that for the first time in three years, I felt like walking! And I did walk for almost one hour in the city. When I got home without any walking aid, the first thing I did was make a phone call to secure another appointment with David. After four weeks of three sessions a week, I felt like a new person. All the aches were gone, pains in my legs disappeared, and I never had a better posture in my life.  I would highly recommend Alexander Technique treatment to anyone who suffers back and neck pains, and to sufferers of Parkinson's Disease.

Klones Kalina, South Yarra

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