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Conductive Education Update
The ten weeks programme of Conductive Education rehabilitation has now been completed. This unique method of learning has helped to improve the quality of life for all those that attended the course and for their families.
The level of mobility was improved and more control over movements achieved by all by using simple but effective methods. Just using speech for instance, automatically triggers your movements. Simply saying out loud ‘I stand up’ and/or counting from 1 to 5 while attempting to stand by the count of 1 becomes easier with practice. Using the rhythm of speech such as ‘left, right, left’ or counting also helps with hesitancy, freezing episodes and for momentum when walking.
Good balance when standing and walking were achievable with surprisingly less effort and energy by learning to find your own centre of gravity, shifting/transferring your weight and letting gravity do most of the work for you.
There is a lot more to Conductive Education but speech, writing and walking are all linked together for everyone. If you improve one, it automatically improves the others. Because speech helps thought processes and movement, Conductive Education uses this natural link in the programme to help overcome some of the problems caused by the lack of dopamine. When following methods shown at the sessions, further improvement and preventative measures, can be achieved by putting all that had been learned, into practice on a daily basis at home. Further sessions a few times a year should help to keep on top of PD to help slow down or halt further deterioration.
Conductive Education has been beneficial to all and offers a positive solution and hope for the future.
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PS: CE website is updating so
Seven weeks into my course and the sessions are going well. A few more slip-ups than usual today when performing certain sequences of movements as instructed but apart from that, there is improvement with my flexibility.
Our group programme for Parkinson’s has been gradually built up to improve all movement from walking, sitting, getting up/down, in/out of bed, breathing, speech etc.
Today we did facial expressions and movement exercises with the aid of a mirror. This helps greatly for those of us with loss of facial expression, as it is a very important part of everyday non-verbal communication. Internally we feel that we are smiling but our expressions may not show what we are feeling inside. The exercises are useful also on a preventative level.
The Conductors specialise in motor disorder, i.e. central nervous system problems resulting in specific movement difficulties. The most common condition in this group, for adults are, Parkinson’s, MS, stroke, cerebral palsy and head injury.
Conductive Education works well alongside other therapies. We all learn in different ways and each of us requires a range of information with which we can pull from in order to improve the quality of our lives.
By experiencing different ways of achieving the same aims, I am able to choose the approach that best suits me. This is a very important part of my personal learning.
More next week:
I wrote earlier about Conductive Education, (see a previous post for introduction) which is a learning process that may help hold back the progression of the degenerative condition of Parkinson's amongst other neurological conditions. I had attended an induction and had been assessed before the start of a ten weeks course of which I am now half way through.
Without going too deep into why people with Parkinson’s need to re-learn or find new ways to perform tasks that were once automatic responses, it is best explained as being mainly because the basal ganglia in the brain that regulates motor commands has been damaged. This causes difficulty in starting the movements that we have planned, as well as trembling and slowness once we do begin them. Conductive Education not only helps to correct or find new ways of moving, it can help work at a preventable level as the base line of the condition changes over time leading to new or different symptoms being experienced.
Due to the progressive nature of Parkinson’s it is very important to keep ‘ahead’ of the symptoms, rigidity, tremor and slowness of movement being the main ones, which affect almost everything we do on a daily basis. Also the side effects of medicine add their own set of symptoms to the list.
The first few sessions for the group were about ‘what’ we needed to do rather than ‘how’ we needed to do it. We performed a range of tasks and activities to teach our bodies to respond appropriately and with minimum effort and maximum result.
Our posture was corrected often and we had to register how these corrections felt and try to adopt them firstly while in the lying position. Performing these exercises in this position allows for maximising the use of all parts of the body safely and also because we cannot see ourselves whilst lying down, we are learning to ‘feel’ our own movements and are made more aware of our symmetry which is vital for balance, hand co-ordination and for standing and walking.
General posture to help maintain a secure position while performing tasks and fine movements and co-ordination were helped with instructions and encouragement. Also using the link between speech, thought and process of movement and of external rhythm or stimulus to overcome the lack of internal rhythm, helped our bodies respond correctly to the decision to move with less hesitation.
Repeating over what we have learned each week with a little more flexibility and speed makes us feel like we are making real progress but what is more important is that we are learning to perform the movements correctly and with more control. These new ‘habits’ learned at the sessions are helping with every day tasks at home. Also if we consciously develop our problem-solving skills to add to increased awareness of our movements, it will aid our own individual needs.
Another update next week……
Please comment at the top of each post.
For more about Conductive Education see previous post and/or click 'Here for CE link'
I am very excited at the prospect of a course in Conductive Education that may help me and others hold back the progression of the degenerative condition of Parkinson's. I have attended an induction and been assessed before my ten week course begins in a few weeks time.
Medication has done much to ease the symptoms of Parkinsons but self-awareness has taught me that my mind and body had already adapted to my symptoms of diminishing dexterity, coordination and flexibility. I had hardly noticed that my hands didn't always work as a pair or that turning over in bed or walking etc, required much thought and effort, as I automatically adjusted the way I went about achieving every day tasks.
My symptoms will continue to get worse with the natural progression of the disease despite medication. I like to think of the CE rehabilitation as a kind of brain training exercise which will help me to regain as much full movement and balance as possible now, and hopefully slow down the rate of deterioration later.
More about Conductive Education.
CE is a unified system of rehabilitation for people with neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease multiple sclerosis and those who have suffered strokes or head injuries. It was initially developed in Hungary by Professor Andras Pëto for the needs of children with cerebral palsy.
Rather than being a therapy it is a learning process in which the practitioner or 'Conductor' creates circumstances for learning. Conductive education approaches problems of movement as problems of learning. For more info, see Link below:
National Institute of Conductive Education
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