Parkinson’s patients get opportunity to learn Alexander Technique

The Henry Mayo Center, left, looking towards Main entrance of hospital.

Santa Clarita residents living with Parkinson’s will soon get an opportunity to take a class to help with their motor abilities.

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital officials are putting on a workshop April 27 from 3-4:30 p.m. to help people living with Parkinson’s disease and their caretakers retain movement functionality. The workshop will be put on by the Poise Project, a nonprofit specializing in poise in human functioning.

The project employs the Alexander Technique, an educational process that helps performs retrain habitual patterns of movement and posture, to help performers and other communities who may need it, said Poise Project executive director Monika Gross.

The specialized training workshop is open to all members of the public. Interested participants are invited to register on the local website,

“The Alexander Technique employs principles that allow you to choose how you’re going to orient yourself better for activity,” Gross said. “It’s the sense that if you close your eyes, you still know where your foot is and you can move it. (The technique) heightens our awareness of our spatial orientation and our ability to stay with that even in challenging circumstances.”

It also can help Parkinson’s people calm down and also reduce emotional anxiety, Gross said.

Lessons involve verbal instructions and hands-on guidance to teach self-management strategies that improve and, as much as possible, restore functional movement patterns, according to the official site.

“The technique helps someone dynamically manage a motor symptom so they can organize themselves with optimal postural tone,” she said.

The Poise Project is putting on programs around the country. Teachers of the technique will also be available at the Parkinson’s Foundation’s Moving Day event on April 28 at Valencia Heritage Park.

The April 27 workshop will be held on the first floor of the hospital.

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