How can it help in Parkinson’s?
CE in Parkinson’s works at two levels: it addresses existing problems and aims to prevent new ones. It does not replace medication but works alongside it, looking also at the effects and side effects of medications. It encourages the individual to be active at all times, not just when medications are most effective.
CE can help overcome or alleviate everyday problems arising from some of the most common motor symptoms in Parkinson’s - such as tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement, freezing, lack of facial expression and micrographia (small handwriting) – as it provides an opportunity to learn practical techniques to overcome these difficulties. CE techniques may be helpful for the following:
- maintaining a central body position and improving posture, balance, and both range and control of movement
- using rhythm to change the timing of movements needed when performing fine motor activities such as buttoning clothes or tying shoelaces
- improving the initiation of movement when voluntary movement is reduced or during freezing, and increasing the rhythm and speed of movements
- learning how to transfer weight when stepping
- improving arm swing, increasing length of stride and fluency in walking
- overcoming obstacles and changing direction
- improving concentration to achieve co-ordinated movement
- improving breathing techniques to assist with volume, articulation and intonation of speech
- improving facial expression
- improving handwriting, to keep it consistent and a legible size
- motivation to overcome difficulties encountered in everyday life and nurture a belief that one’s goals can be achieved.
Techniques are generally taught within structured group sessions and may be adapted and used to suit individual needs. CE strategies can help you complete daily activities and learn new ones with increased confidence, and many have reported improved motivation and general wellbeing.
Carers may also find it useful to attend CE sessions as they can then help the person they care for to put into practice what they have both learned.
What should I expect at a CE session?
After the initial consultation, you will probably have a session each week, usually lasting between one and a half to two hours. Sessions are generally in small groups as group work is an essential part of the CE philosophy, providing an opportunity for individuals to share solutions and learn from each other. Learning in a group provides a positive learning environment, promotes interactivity and fun, and helps to motivate each individual.
The group will carry out movement-based tasks of varying complexity and difficulty, either standing, sitting or lying down, and the conductor will ensure that each person is active and participates to the best of their ability. They will guide you towards finding a solution to carrying out a movement rather than carrying it out for you. It is a partnership, with the conductor passing to you the skills required to achieve tasks so that you can perform them on your own. It is sometimes said to be an apprenticeship in which skills are transferred and available then for use as you require.
CE uses only simple but good quality, purpose designed furniture and equipment.
How do I find a CE group?
To find where conductors work please visit: www.e-conduction.org/where-conductors-work.
The Parkinson’s organisation in your country may be able to provide information based on members’ experiences – see Our members and Other Parkinson’s organisations.
We would like to thank the following for their contribution: