Benefits for Parkinsons Sufferers

The latest Guideline for PD from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), largely based on my research, stated that:*

“The rate of medication change was statistically [lower] in favour of Alexander Technique treatment”

and made Recommendation 79 that:

“The Alexander Technique may be offered [by the NHS] to benefit people with PD by helping them to…affect both the physical nature of the condition and the person’s attitudes to having PD.”

I have given over 30 courses (of 24 lessons each) to people with Parkinson’s. Most of them found it enormously helpful.

When Parkinson’s makes the usual ways of trying to do what you want, how you want to do it, more and more ineffective, it makes sense to look for new ways of doing. The Alexander Technique helps because it teaches you to use mental strategies and approaches rather than simple strength to improve balance and movement. People with Parkinson’s are only slightly more likely than others of the same age to have short-term memory loss, so people with Parkinson’s can benefit as much as anyone else from lessons.

Research shows that if you want a self-help method alongside normal treatment, using the Alexander Technique is likely to make everyday actions easier, both at best times of day and at worst times of day. You are likely to feel less downhearted, and more self-confident. The Alexander Technique has been shown to decrease the speed at which symptoms worsen and medication levels increase.

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* NICE Guideline on PD CG035, June 2006. Section 10.3.