Alexander Technique for People Living with Parkinson’s
The Alexander Technique offers people living with Parkinson’s self-management strategies that can help them gain more control of movement patterns, with potential improvements in balance, posture and walking. It can enable them to participate in everyday activities with greater confidence and minimal interference from symptoms.
The Walter Carrington Educational Trust at the Alexander Technique Imperial Wharf centre aims to further the work of F. M. Alexander and make it more available to people living with Parkinson’s. The Trust supported four teachers of the Alexander Technique to receive special training and get more experience in working with this population from autumn 2016. Since February 2018 six more teachers have joined this initiative.
The Trust is now offering ten free lessons for up to ten individuals with a Parkinson’s diagnosis who are willing to commit to all ten sessions. The application process will be open until the 21st March 2018, and the lessons will be given between the end of March and the end of July 2018. Applications should be made online (see link below). Please read the guidance notes carefully before making your application.
All ten lessons offered need to be taken by the end of July 2018. Please only apply if you feel able to commit the complete series of ten lessons. We understand that it can sometimes be difficult to keep appointments, and where it is necessary to cancel a lesson, the session may be rebooked within the period specified, or in exceptional circumstances, the period may be extended. Unfortunately, we are not able to make this particular offer available to wheelchair users. If you are a wheelchair user and interested in the Alexander Technique, please do contact us as we might be able to refer you to a teacher or contact you at a later point with an offer suitable for you.
Please pay close attention to the access arrangements for each teaching location indicated later in the questionnaire.
Please click HERE for the application questionnaire.
The application process is open until 21st March. A representative for the Walter Carrington Educational Trust will contact you between 22nd and 30th March.
The teachers involved in this project
Initial core group:
Teachers who joined February 2018:
All teachers involved are members of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique and have undertaken special training in working with people living with Parkinson’s.
The activities since 2016 include:
- Participation of the four teachers of the original core group in a workshop day led by Monika Gross, Executive Director of The Poise Project:
– Adapting Alexander Technique for People Living with Parkinson’s & and their partners.
– Active-Learning Workshop: Skills to Manage Symptoms of Parkinson’s Based on Alexander Technique (AT) Principles.
Monika continues to support us with her valuable advice and expertise.
- Organisation of and participation in a teacher training workshop with Chloe Stallibrass. Chloe Stallibrass is an Alexander Technique teacher and researcher and has published a number of papers relating the use of the Alexander Technique by people with Parkinson’s disease. A detailed academic account of a randomized controlled trial of the Alexander Technique for idiopathic Parkinson’s disease was published in Clinical Rehabilitation 2002 (Stallibrass et al.) and can be downloaded from Chloe’s website here.
- A survey conducted among STAT teachers to pull together the current experience and knowledge of teachers already working with people living with Parkinson’s. An overview can be downloaded here.
- A series of five individual lessons sponsored by the Trust has been given by the teachers of the original core group to four individuals with a Parkinson’s diagnosis in Spring 2017.
- Two afternoon workshops for up to 15 people living with Parkinson’s (including carers) held at the Alexander Technique Imperial Wharf centre on the 8th October and 26th November 2017. These workshops were sponsored by the Walter Carrington Educational Trust and free for all participants.
- Several lecture/demonstrations have been given by members of the original core group of teachers to various local Parkinson’s support groups.
- Participation and assistance in two London events by The Poise Project (MOnika Graoos) and AT4P (Daniel Shepherd): An Alexander Technique teacher continuing education day: “Adapting Alexander Technique for People Living with Parkinson’s and their Care Partners” and “London Symposium – Alexander Technique for Parkinson’s”.
- Two training days for six additional teachers to join the initiative were held on 11th and 25th February, including training sessions led by Chloe Stallibrass, Daiga Heisters (Head of the Parkinson’s UK Excellence Network) and Sarah Webb (Founder of the South London Younger Parkinson’s Network – SLYPN). This included hands-on assistance during afternoon workshops for people living with Parkinson’s including carers led by Liz Dodgson, Loretta Manson and Regina Stratil.
Please find more information about the Alexander Technique for Parkinson’s initiative and information about the Walter Carrington Educational Trust here:
Watch Canadian AT teacher Caprice Boisvert and Robert Davis explain how the Alexander Technique has helped Robert manage his Parkinson’s symptoms: