For People with Parkinson’s Disease

People with Parkinson’s and their partners ask: “What can I do for myself other than taking my medication?”

Try an introduction to basic Alexander technique (AT) principles that can improve general functioning, increase confidence, and improve overall quality of life and can be applied during normal daily activities as well as during any exercise program.

Email Constance for class schedule or to set up a private lesson.

‘’The only therapy recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Evidence (NICE) is the Alexander Technique to help day-to-day movement for people with Parkinson’s.’’

Parkinson’s UK Policy Statement

NICE Guidelines state:

“The Alexander Technique may be offered to benefit people with PD by helping them to make lifestyle adjustments to affect both the physical nature of the condition and the person’s attitude to having PD.”

See Guidance on NICE website here (Para 1.9.2.2)

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurological condition. In Parkinson’s, the loss of dopamine-producing nerve cells means that parts of the brain that coordinate movement are unable to work normally, causing the symptoms of Parkinson’s to appear – tremor, rigidity and slowness of movement.

As well as affecting movement, people with Parkinson’s can find that tiredness, pain, depression and constipation can have an impact on their day-to-day lives.

The Alexander Technique is a method of improving the efficiency of our overall balance and coordination. It is a self help approach with therapeutic effects. Lessons are individual. It is used alongside normal drug treatment.

Research trials, including a Randomised Controlled Trial, were carried out in 1997, 2002 and 2005 on the effectiveness of the Alexander Technique in helping those with Parkinson’s.

Conclusion: The trials, listed below, showed that sufferers receiving Alexander Technique lessons were more likely:

  • to find everyday actions easier ( at best times of day or at worst times of day) and that benefits could be sustained
  • to feel less downhearted
  • to feel more self-confident.

The Alexander Technique was shown to

  • decrease the speed at which symptoms worsen
  • decrease the speed at which medication levels need to increase.

Research:

  1. Stallibrass C. (1997). An evaluation of the Alexander Technique for the management of disability in Parkinson’s disease – a preliminary study. Clinical Rehabilitation, 11, 8-12.
  2. Stallibrass C., Sissons P., Chalmers C. (2002). Randomized controlled trial of the Alexander Technique for idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. Clinical Rehabilitation, 16, 695-708.
  3. Stallibrass C., Frank C., Wentworth K. (2005). Retention of skills learnt in Alexander Technique lessons: 28 people with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 9, 150-157.