‘There is evidence that lessons in the Alexander Technique are likely to lead to sustained benefit for people with Parkinson’s disease.’*
The statement above is the conclusion from a study looking at the use of the Alexander Technique for people with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. One of the key messages from the study was:
‘The sustained benefits are mainly due to acquiring the ability to apply Alexander Technique skills in daily life.’
Not only were participants able to learn and apply the skills in everyday life, they were also able to retain them, and some were still using them six months later.
So what were the skills that participants learnt? One was ‘inhibition’ to use the technical term from the research paper. This is how I explain ‘inhibition’:
Taking a moment to let mind and body settle
And making a fresh start
Developing this skill can make a big difference for people with Parkinson’s disease especially for those times when it is hard to:
- Get out of a chair or the car
- Get started walking
- Get words out
- Cope with stress and panic
Reading about skills such as inhibition is one thing. Experiencing the benefits repeatedly so that stopping, letting mind and body settle and making a fresh start becomes familiar enough to use in daily life makes the difference. This is just one of the ways the Alexander Technique benefits people with Parkinson’s disease in my experience.
* Here are links to the research relating to people with Parkinson’s disease. The first describes the initial research and the second considers how well people were able to retain the skills they learnt from the initial study.
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