"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
Parkinson's is a progressive neurological condition with physical symptoms such as trembling, loss of balance and coordination, and impaired movement as well as feelings of anxiety, depression, pain and insomnia.
Although the Alexander Technique isn't intended to reverse the underlying cause it can greatly help to get the most out of the resources that are still available by teaching, through experience, how to move more efficiently and improve awareness in activity, as well as helping to manage anxiety.
Both the NHS and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend the Alexander Technique as a management tool for dealing with the symptoms of Parkinson's and improving quality of life.
The School of Integrated Medicine, London University of Westminster, performed a randomized controlled trial of the Alexander Technique for idiopathic Parkinson's disease which showed that Alexander lessons led to a significantly increased ability to carry out everyday activities compared with usual medical care. The trial also showed that the rate symptoms progressed was reduced as well the rate at which medication needed to be increased.
I regularly work with clients with Parkinson's who find the Alexander Technique really helps them to reduce their tremors, improve balance and coordination, breathing, posture and their confidence.
This was filmed ad hoc at the end of Harry's lesson with me to show how his balance had improved. Prior to taking lessons Harry was unable to go up onto his toes and remain balanced. It's a simple balance test that he was familiar with from his Parkinson's medical support team and he was delighted to find that he could now do it with ease.
Find out how Robert copes with his Parkinson's using the Alexander Technique in this video from the World Parkinson's Coalition:
This is a great example that shows how Alison improves her mobility and coordination using the Alexander Technique:
"I'd like to give you some feedback on my first session. I noticed an immediate difference in my walking after I left the building. It was far less 'clumpy'. The back pain has almost (95%) disappeared, and I was much less stiff when I got out of bed this morning. I feel very positive and optimistic about my lessons and I look forward to seeing you on Monday."
Michael A, Parkinson's patient