Exercises help people with Parkinson’s to maintain their balance, flexibility, and strength. Applying the Alexander Technique to the exercises would make a big difference in the way the exercise is performed, as well as in the results.
Let’s take, for example, the exercise of going up on the toes. Obviously feet are very important for walking, and this exercise increases foot-flexion, and helps with flexibility, and balance. At the same time – it can make one feel insecure, vulnerable, and fearful of losing balance, or falling, while performing it. The body and the mind, in this case, would respond with tightening, and stiffening, and will make any effort to prevent the falling. Repeating attempts with this state of mind will not bring the expected results, but the contrary.
The person with Parkinson can learn how to be aware of the tightening thoughts coming up, and can sense the stiffening. The Alexander Technique will teach this person how to develop a new awareness of the whole body, and a new way of thinking that would invite ease instead of tension, while engaging the head, neck, and back into a new relationship that promotes better balance. This will lead to a more efficient way of going up on the toes, starting with better poise to begin with, and with a more natural postural tone to facilitate the movement.
The Alexander Technique provides the person with Parkinson’s a new tool to apply to the exercises, as well as new skills for self management of daily activities.