The Feldenkrais Method may improve quality of life for patients with Alzheimer’s and enable them to learn new habits, according to an article published in Alzheimer’s Care Quarterly (2006; 7 [4], 278-86).

As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, individuals lose reasoning and communication abilities. Motor skills are retained the longest. The more that patients can remain physically active, the better it is for their overall health. The challenge, however, is that as reasoning functions fade, individuals lose awareness of safety issues and have a higher risk of injury.

“Since the Feldenkrais Method changes an individual’s habits, the results of [teaching movement awareness] can produce positive and lasting results through the individual’s capacity for procedural learning,” says Joyce Ann, a registered and licensed occupational therapist and a guild-certified Feldenkrais practitioner, who teaches Awareness Through Movement® classes at The Wealshire Nursing Facility in Lincolnshire, Illinois. Procedural memory, also referred to as “nondeclarative memory,” is learning by doing and includes repetitive activities, habits and motor learning.

Through her work with numerous Alzheimer’s patients, Ann has found that by improving movement function, she has been able to help individuals breathe better, relax more, have less pain, stop falling, learn to stand independently and even nod in communication. She believes that the Feldenkrais Method offers patients with Alzheimer’s a way to experience gentle, pleasurable movement and to feel warmth and attention. Ultimately, this makes a powerful positive difference in the quality of life for people who have experienced tremendous losses.

Are you looking for different ways to make a positive difference in your quality of life and those of your clients? The 2007 Inner IDEA Conference® offers a truly moving experience. Located in Palm Springs, California, September 7-9, 2007, this invitation to transformation will be rich in program diversity, offering you the opportunity to explore many different types of education alternatives. Last year’s event was sold out and received a satisfaction rating of 98% from attendees. The 2007 conference is going to be an unforgettable experience, register now.

With more than 130 diverse and creative program topics to select from, the opportunities for self-exploration and discovery will be endless. Some topics offer deep inner focus, with programs such as yoga, meditation, Pilates and Gyrotonic® exercises. Other programs offer new ways to become highly interactive, offering skills such as coaching and learning enhancement. Download the 2007 conference brochure (PDF).

Registration Is Limited–Don’t Delay
Participation at Inner IDEA® is limited in order to preserve an intimate environment for this special event. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and you can register by website, phone, fax or mail. The registration fees are $645 before July 31, 2007; $695 after July 31, 2007; on-site: $745 (note that the event may be sold out); preconference fees are additional.

Three Scholarships Offered for Inner IDEA
If you can’t afford the registration fee to the Inner IDEA Conference, consider entering the “What Is Your Wellness Passion?” scholarship contest. Recipients receive a complimentary registration (accommodation and travel costs not included). For more information, see Essays must be received by June 15, 2007, to be considered.