Walking with John Pepper

John Pepper has just completed a New Zealand tour to give people living with Parkinson’s a first-hand look at his methods of conscious movement and high intensity walking. His visit here to Christchurch filled the venue and inspired many people to explore a new way of walking. He has written a book – Reversing Parkinsons – which details his story and learning and is available direct from his website.


John and Jeanette Pepper with the Christchurch Feldenkrais practitioners group

The NZ – wide tour has been organised by Kapiti Feldenkrais practitioner, Fergus Wheeler, who says the official description of John’s method of enabling people to learn ‘conscious movement”, is somatic education. During this trip John trained a number of New Zealand Feldenkrais practitioners how to teach his walk.

I was lucky enough to have John and his wife stay with us for a few days during his visit to Christchurch. John is passionate about sharing his experiences and lessons. I was impressed by his endless energy and how he works tirelessly to help others. He is a very warm and generous man, and I saw him make a difference for a number of people while he was here.

John Pepper, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1992, but whose symptoms go back to 1963, is a fit and active 81 year old who travels virtually full time. His case history has been written up by best-selling neuroplasticity author
Norman Doidge, and has caused some controversy in the Parkinson’s world.

During his Christchurch talk John Pepper demonstrated his fast walking style, and gave practical advice to deal with common Parkinsons problems. He explained to his audience that to begin with, his walking speed was very slow, but using conscious movement and the support of a walking program, he was able to gradually build up his abilities.

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