Dear Maria

Dear Maria,

When I was diagnosed in 1995 with Parkinson’s Disease, I needed to learn as much as possible about the disease and the effects P.D. would have on me. I researched the medications, alternative remedies and therapies and realised that exercise would be necessary to maintain muscle tone and to help brain coordination. I had seen a programme on television about children with Neurological Problems attending Conductive Education classes at the Peto Institute in Hungary. I had also read an article in the PDS magazine about a CE class in Amersham, run by Maria Henie, a graduate of the Peto Institute. I joined the Amersham Class in September 1995 and have continued to attend each week whenever possible.

I believe the more often the exercise regime is repeated the more one can benefit. When the opportunity arose, I therefore joined Maria’s Classes at Hatfield which are held fortnightly, and organized by the Welwyn/Hatfield PDS Branch. The classes provide a disciplined intensive repetitive approach to special exercises. Even when I am unable to attend the classes I carry out the set tasks at home or on holiday. I have also participated in residential courses organized by Maria. I have always admired Maria’s complete dedication to CE and her commitment to her students, for whom she is always available and extremely supportive at any time. I have total belief in this intensively disciplined approach to these special exercises. By the learning and repetition of unfamiliar tasks and integrated movements, the brain is forced to create alternative paths to make the desired movements, and thus exercising brain and muscle.

Through my maintaining regularity with this disciplined approach to the exercises, I am sure that I have been able to maintain a greater degree of movement and have achieved a greater level of independence and a better quality of life while minimizing medication and the inherent side effects. Over the last 10 years that I have practiced CE, I can see that I have achieved a far better state of movement control than man of my contemporaries who have not had the opportunity of CE because of the lack of access and availability.”


Dear Maria,

“I thought it would be helpful if I let you have some of my observations concerning J.S. and Conductive Education. As you know J.S. has been attending Conductive Education Sessions for many years. As his partner for many years, I too have experienced it’s beneficial effects upon him and us.

The clearest and most marked result is noticeable during the holiday periods, when there are no CE Classes. During those periods J.R.’s physical functioning becomes more impaired than is usual for him. His speech and movement is more restricted and for longer periods. Also his concentration is more effected than it otherwise would be and his memory lapses are more frequent. As you know, J.S. has been working with Conductive Education for many years and although his Parkinson’s Disease has become more severe, the deterioration during the breaks from CE are regular and marked. Also, to varying degrees he has increased mood swing difficulties, during this time.

Interestingly enough, within the first two or three sessions of CE beginning again, following the breaks, I do notice a marked improvement all around and a general return to J.S.’s more ”normal” level of functioning, by his standards. So much so that we do try to plan around J.S.’s CE Sessions when arranging any holidays or other commitments which would affect his being able to attend.

 Keep up the good work and please feel free to show this note to anyone who may express an interest. The beneficial effects of Conductive Education have helped not only J.R. to live with Parkinson’s, but me too.

With very best wishes,

Dear Maria,

I am 63 years of age and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in June 2006. The benefits of Conductive Education classes were first mentioned to me by my local Parkinson’s nurse on my initial meeting with her in early 2007. I immediately made contact with the Conductor and arranged to observe my first class. Apart from enforced absences, such as holidays and illnesses, I have attended weekly since that time. There are two main reasons for my continuing attendance at the classes:

1. Physical Exercise.
The specially-devised exercises are of benefit as they consist of co-ordination, balance and fine-movements. It is a proven fact that regular exercise slows down the onset of Parkinson’s.

 2. Mental stimulation.
I live by myself, and whilst I have a small circle of friends whom I can rely on to assist me if need be, there is much benefit and camaraderie within the class. Although we do not speak continuously about our condition, there is the opportunity to discuss helpful tips on coping with related problems. There is also the opportunity to undertake a short period of Speech Therapy each week.

I am fortunate in that I do not suffer from mood-swings, although some days are obviously better than others, as is the case for everyone. I feel that the Conductive Education classes are the reason I am able to keep matters in perspective. I am certain that I have gained an enormous amount of confidence over the years from the exercises and the conversations within the group.

I make sure that I go for a walk every day and try to do some of the class exercises, although I must confess that I need to do more. The benefits of exercise were shown to me recently when I attended an external, intensive Voice Therapy course. This resulted in my using a much louder voice, which was noticed and commented-on by the Conductor and friends alike. It is greatly important, therefore, that I continue to utilise the exercises to provide me with the two topics highlighted above.

Best Regards,

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