People with Parkinson's and their partners ask:

"What can I do for myself other than taking my medication?"

 

Alexander technique is a way of managing symptoms for people with Parkinson's.

While dance or exercise programs offer satisfying and necessary periods of choreographed, aerobic or strengthening movement, Alexander technique works directly with cognition to teach new ways of thinking about organizing movement while carrying out exercise or during daily activities away from class.

Lessons involve verbal instructions and hands-on guidance to teach self-management strategies that improve and, as much as possible, restore functional movement patterns enabling the person with PD to carry out activities with greater confidence and minimal interference from PD symptoms.

AT offers the potential for long term benefits that continue the self-management learned during lessons.

For Workshops and other AT for Parkinson's events go to our EVENTS PAGE

 

The Poise Project's 2016 World Parkinson Congress "AT for Parkinsons" Team Member Alison Wood recorded this amazing insight as part of the Cure Parkinson's Trust UK's "Tips and Tricks for Living with Parkinson's" project.

Toronto Canada Poise Project team members
ROBERT DAVIS and CAPRICE BOISVERT
explain how AT has helped Robert
manage his Parkinson's symptoms

 

Rochester MN Mayo Clinic wellness program participant Dena Mamasis explains how Alexander technique with Laurel Podulke-Smith has helped her with Essential Tremor

 
 

THE POISE PROJECT was at the
4TH WORLD PARKINSON CONGRESS
in Portland Oregon, September 2016

 

Recent Research on AT for Parkinson's

Please go to our AT FOR PD RESEARCH page to find information on existing research studies, case studies, and AT based wellness programs for people with PD and their partners.

 

What others have shared about AT for Parkinson's

Mrs. H

wife of an AT student with Parkinson’s

I first became aware of Alexander technique and its adaptation for people with Parkinson's some years ago. I ran off a copy of the article I had read and left it floating around the house for some years. Dave was not interested at that time as he had been through several things which had cost lots of money but with no benefits. (Chinese medicine- stinky stuff we had to brew and then he had to drink, a chiropractor who said he could cure it; etc). He knew exercise was essential to his well-being but became hampered by an arthritic hip which eventually took away his ability to walk without support. 

We attended a lecture which Alison Wood was chairing and I was amazed at what I saw. She had been standing to the side and was visibly shaking and somewhat hunched over, but when she was required to go to the podium she was transformed. She stood upright and walked towards the podium, arms swinging and head up. (I was gobsmacked.)

When the lecture finished I went over to her and asked her what happened that she could take hold of the P.D. like that and she said “Alexander technique”.

I insisted Dave go over and and see how she could get control of her tremor and P.D. symptoms. Alison was only too happy to show him what she could do. 

That’s when he first started coming for sessions. It was the first time he felt there may be a way to get back some control.

 

Cathy Walker

accountant and Parkinson's patient

I could never go back to the way I was before Alexander technique lessons with Candace.  I have automatically changed the way I do some things -- although there is more I could do and I don't always remember!  Day to day life is easier -- I have more 'oomph', and it's really helping with movement and balance.  I'm the kind of person who has always held things "in" -- this helps me soften and find different ways to handle stress.  And tremor!

 

Kent Tisher

MD, CCFP

I have been working with Candace Cox and Alexander technique as a singer and musician for 15 years.  The positive impact on my singing she has facilitated has been profound.  … As a family physician, I have also followed Candace’s work with Parkinson’s patients with interest.  Research I have read and the success she has had with many students suggests that techniques such as Alexander technique could be a key component to preserving function or slowing down the progression of the disease.  As of Mar 1, 2016, I will be practicing at the Trent Hills Family Health Team in Campbellford, ON, and would like to refer patients to her.  I am also extremely interested in the possibility of pursuing further research into the effect that Alexander technique has on individuals with neurodegenerative disorders. 

 
 

New Yorker Pat Vega, a Poise Project team member, participates regularly in an Alexander technique for Parkinson class taught by team member Morgan Rysdon as part of the Edmond J. Safra Parkinson's Wellness Program at the JCC in Manhattan