Case Study: Taking Care of Yourself at Work
All the reasons that people typically have for taking up Alexander lessons, aches and pains, recurrent neck, shoulder, back pain, tension, stiffness, breathing, postural issues, are relevant when at work, maybe even more so than any other time.
A researcher in Spain has completed a study of the benefits to organisations that Alexander Technique training brings for occupational risk prevention. She looked at implementation of AT in companies and organisations around the world, including here in Australia. Rather than individuals seeking out an Alexander Technique teacher, the organisation provided the teacher and a program for its staff to participate in, at the workplace.
“Those business needs that show positive results are: the reduction in working hours lost annually through illness (mentioned by 45% of the companies), in the relationship between costs and profits (15%) and in others such as the reduction in the funds for employment insurance, the reduction in accidents in the workplace, the reduction in the incidence of fatigue related to errors, and optimising the performance of their employees (10% respectively).
• Those physical needs that show positive responses are in the improvement of musculoskeletal disorders (mentioned by 50% of the companies), the reduction of pains (20%), the reduction in muscular tension (20%), the improvement in body posture and resistance in the torso and back (5% respectively).
• Those psychological needs that show positive results are in the improvement of stress management (50%), improvement in the capability to speak in public, the control of disproportionate reactions, improvement in the environment, team working, creativity and concentration (10% respectively).”
“A common factor in the majority of cases where, in spite of good results, the implementation does not remain ongoing, is that the person responsible for the implementation of the Alexander Technique within the company changed roles or companies. As a result, the link between the company and the Alexander Technique training is lost.”
(This was my experience in more than one Commonwealth Government department. In one department, I ran 2 or 3 courses per year over ten years. By the end of this period there were no new compo claims and the compo premium had been halved! However, a change of personnel saw the end of this approach to OHS.)
“The organisations involved in the process of implementing the Alexander Technique as a Health & Safety training tool for workers, have reported that the Alexander Technique is efficient – from both the workers’ and the managers’ points of view – in obtaining effective changes in the behaviour and attitude of the employees towards their own health and, by extension, towards the health and safety policies.”
Victorinox, the Swiss company which produces the Swiss Army Knife, reported not only a reduction in injuries of its workers but also a 42% reduction in absenteeism. “‘The company considers the Alexander Technique to be a main prevention tool in the area of workplace health, as well as for preventing musculoskeletal disorders’. Paul auf der Maur, head of a department where the workers have a large component of manual work says, ‘At the beginning of the implementation, the workers had a lot of problems with tendonitis, as well as excessive muscular tension. I thought about how to solve the problem and the Alexander Technique seemed like the appropriate solution, given that it involves a process of learning, and encourages the autonomy of the people in taking charge of their own health. Our experience is that if the employees LEARN, it works’.”
Recommendations concluding the report included:
“• Consider the Alexander Technique as an effective preventative measure against risks of a musculoskeletal and/or psychosocial nature, whether applied as tertiary, secondary or primary prevention…
• Use the Alexander Technique as an ergonomic tool to assess the worker and company regarding external aspects [workplace set-up etc] and train employees in internal aspects (such as physical habits, muscular tension, patterns of movement, perception, mental attitude and others).
• Remind those responsible for H&S that the adaptability and flexibility of the Alexander Technique offers a wide range of implementation options”
I have a copy of a program that can analyse the likely financial bottom line efect for an organisation of running an Alexander Technique program, taking into account size of organisation, participant numbers, their dollar worth to the organisation, etc. Contact me if you would like any more information or if you are interested in finding out about a workplace program for your organisation.
Tip: Paying Attention
In learning to use yourself better, ie, how to improve postural support, breathing and movement, paying some attention to how you do what you do is inescapable. How to pay attention? How do we remember to remember? The first thing is a decision that it is worthwhile doing so! Often pain triggers this decision. Pain is a reminder to pay attention to how you are doing what you are doing. And fundamentally, whatever you are doing, postural support, breathing and movement are always part of it! It’s easier and less uncomfortable to pay yourself some attention and not be in pain, than not to pay attention and end up in pain. I am, of course talking about attention informed by the sort of sensory-motor information which you get through Alexander lessons.
Once we have made that decision, which is a sort of commitment to oneself, we may need to find triggers, e.g. transport, whatever form it takes. You can use every time you get in the car, or when you walk, or ride your bike, as an opportunity to include yourself, as well as your environment, in your attention. Regular activities like eating a meal, brushing your teeth, exercising, putting on makeup, or shaving present another opportunity where you have plenty of “processing power” available to pay attention to you self and your manner of doing whatever it is. As you train yourself to approach a trigger activity with an attitude of attention, then attention gradually becomes easier and you can extend it further. Initially it requires a lot of thought, and gradually it becomes easier to continue to be present with yourself in the act of doing other stuff as well. You are working on the way you are using yourself; postural support, breathing and movement are the basis of every activity.
Case Study: Scoliosis
Over the years we have given lessons to many people, usually women, who have some degree of scoliosis (a lateral twist in the spine). Recently 2 women, each with a strong scoliosis, have commenced Alexander lessons. Why? The spinal changes involved in scoliosis are not generally considered amenable to change. However, as we have seen so often in pupils without scoliosis, apparent “structural” or “postural” or “shape” –based analyses ignore the long-term effect of Use upon structure. Bones may gradually change in response to the long-term stresses placed on them.
Kim, 38 yo, has severe scoliosis. Kim is now learning the Alexander Technique, realizing that she can make better use of her postural processes, and improve her breathing and movement. Her way of managing her general coordination (“Use” in Alexander-speak), ie postural support/breathing/movement, is of course influenced by the particulars of the twists in her spine. Severe scoliosis notwithstanding, Kim’s first lesson revealed that there was a surprising amount of “give” in the muscles of her torso, including the ones running up and down her back, her intercostal and her core muscles and that she could, with attention, control this. The compensations and adaptations which she had entered into unconsciously to deal with the extra spinal twists, turned out to include much that was unnecessary and which was actually generating a net downward pressure along her back, something that she definitely did not need.
Starting in the usual way with considering how she balances her head, Kim is learning to “re-jig” a pattern of muscular tension which she had grown into and therefore felt normal. It is a more complex pattern than average, but no less amenable to improvement using the Alexander Technique. The result is less downward pressure through her torso in general, and therefore less exaggeration of her spinal curves. She is learning to “collect” herself in a way that results in an integration of postural support, breathing and movement (as opposed to trying to have them work as disparate functions). Kim may always have a scoliotic spine, but she is learning a way of using it, and herself, that does not add to what she is already dealing with. She is managing her “posture” better, breathing more freely as well as moving with greater freedom.
Case Study: Singing and Postural Support
Chris is an up-and-coming classical singer. His teachers could see that he was having challenges with posture, but neither he nor they could improve matters. His way of supporting himself in the upright, which was of course “normal”, automatic and habitual, involved a pattern of tension in his neck, chest and legs. This not only ruined his posture, but also restricted his freedom of movement generally, and in particular it restricted the freedom in his breathing. The neck and chest tension also had a negative effect on his jaw and tongue.
After working with Chris in his first lesson, I asked him to sing, paying attention to not disturbing the ease and balance he had achieved through the lesson. The improvement in general bearing and breathing were very apparent. What was also interesting was the effect that this had upon his tone. It was richer, more resonant, and the voice was clearer and more flexible.
Then the hard work started. In order to make these changes his own, Chris had to begin to observe himself in a new way. He also had to learn to “direct”, that is, to send himself messages for the new relationships between the different parts of his body, and to send these messages in a non-doing way. First Chris spent time catching himself when he tightened his neck and pulled back his head. He learned to associate releasing this tension with also releasing undue tension in his back, and with finding a better balance through his legs to his feet. All this resulted in his posture (the original perceived problem) gradually improving. He was practicing his ability to free the muscles of his neck, such that his head was more freely balanced on his spine, and such that his spine was able to decompress out of the shape he had habitually squashed it into. He also started to build a more extensive picture of his breathing, in particular gaining a new appreciation and experience of his whole torso as a three-dimensional “tube” which can be elastic in every dimension. With greater freedom for his head and neck, and with an orientation towards de-compressing rather than squashing down, his breathing became more responsive to his singing needs and reinforced the freedom which made this possible. His movement generally became easier and lighter and less constrained by his old postural habits. And of course his posture was transformed.
Tip: Are You Paying Attention?
Last time we talked about the quality of your attention and asked, “Have you ever noticed the 2 typical modes in the way we use our attention?” In the one mode, discussed last time, we tend to be heavily and exclusively focused on a particular task, often to the exclusion of all else. The other extreme is when we “mindwander”. Our attention is definitely not “on the job” and we are operating on auto-pilot. An example: You decide to swing by the shops on the way home to get some milk, but then find that you are pulling up at home having followed the usual (habitual) route and having not visited the shops. This exemplifies a sort of “absence” of self, you are not really in the “driver’s seat” but rather operating out of blind habit. This may work, as long as nothing out of the usual crops up, but it is not really conscious or awake.
This is often how we perform many habitual activities, eg how we sit at work, or in the car, or how we respond in a particular situation. It becomes completely automatic, and curiously, it has a corresponding physical correlate. Your body becomes “heavy”, “dead”, un-responsive. (Again, this scenario, repeated day in and day out for years has an effect on the postures that become fixed into our way of being as we age).
Rather than this lack of focus, we want to cultivate a light, active, diffuse field of attention which is more inclusive (of our environment as well as ourselves), in which we are interested in information around us. This allows us to be more present in ourselves as well as in what we are engaged in. Eg Rather than either your field of awareness shrinking to the size of the screen in front of you, or else just drifting on auto-pilot, take an active but non-doing interest in the space around you, and the physical contact you are making with the chair. You can cultivate this much more useful, responsive and awake quality of attention.
Case Study: Misuse in a Musician, Leading to All Sorts of Problems!
Mitch started having AT lessons because of technical difficulties and inconsistency in his playing which was interfering with his career as a violinist. He had studied at the NSW Conservatorium, played in the opera and ballet orchestra and was on a scholarship doing a postgrad performance degree when these problems brought him up short. Mitch had a powerfully held “sway back” (diligently but unconsciously developed through years of music practice in this sort of posture – knees locked, hips thrust forward, with his entre upper body bearing heavily back and down onto his legs) as well as an awkwardly balanced head. These elements of Mitch’s use of himself were associated with various unconscious tensions and adaptations needed to continue to function, at a high level where playing the violin was concerned, but at a cost elsewhere. As he continued having AT lessons these other issues came into focus. He was only half-aware of them, and in a very disconnected way. It turned out that he had since early teenage years suffered from LBP. More recently, headaches had become more or less continuous. His feet hurt and he had considerable neck and shoulder tension. In having AT lessons (on account of technical violin-playing hurdles) he gradually came to understand that these other apparently disparate symptoms all led back to his general misuse of himself, and were also connected with the technical violin-playing challenges. He worked on the basic relationship between head and spine such that there was more freedom and less tension in his neck; his back started to be able to relax for the first time in years and his respiratory function was able to work under less restriction. Very quickly his headaches stopped and his feet improved. Over about a year he rehabilitated his playing and was able to resume his career in music. The lower-back tension was a deeply held part of Mitch’s pattern of use of himself and so it took longer, but the more Mitch worked on improving the basics, the freer of LB pain he became and indeed he gradually developed a “good” back. Interestingly, Mitch noticed a huge change for the better in his breathing, and how it went with more freedom in his arms. Concomitantly, his violin playing subtly changed, becoming more reliable technically and developing a freer sound.
Case Study: Chronic Neck Pain
Carrie is a 35 year old public servant who keeps herself very fit with a wide range of exercise. However, she has struggled with neck pain over the last 8 years. She has seen various practitioners with little result. In her first 3 Alexander lessons Carrie started to recognise that she needlessly tenses and contracts her neck much of the time. She didn’t realise that she was doing it. It was part of her habitual posture and it was this that hurt. It was very much a part of the way that Carrie sat, for example. For most of us, sitting at school is followed by sitting at Uni, followed by a sedentary job. We sit a lot, including in leisure activities. Whatever we do when sitting may not be comfortable, yet it is “normal” (read “habitual”).
Recognising this misuse and starting to become sensitive to it is a step towards correcting it. In Carrie’s case, the pattern of use of her neck extended into her chest. Her front was generally shortened and her ribs were not free to move in the way that nature intended. Thus Carrie’s breathing was compromised, leading to further strain in the “anti-gravity” system, the muscles which keep us up, lightly. The downward pull through Carrie’s chest was dragging on her neck and the back of her head, contributing to the pressure on her neck.
Carrie has been getting into the new habit of observing herself, without forcing “correction”, but rather with a clearer idea of how she could be using herself. This “picture of possibilities” includes how her head balances on the top of her back whatever she is engaged in, how her torso can lengthen, and how her torso includes her neck. She can take this picture into any activity: working at her desk, paddling the Murrumbidgee, or cycling to work, or using her camera.
Carrie is in less pain and is starting to be able to control pain in activity. She can see that there is a pattern of misuse of herself over which she can take control, redirecting tension into useful energy.
Case Study: “Slipped” Discs
Angela, former elite athlete now in her late 50’s, had a history of back pain, and an apparently unresolved tear in her piriformus muscle. She had two bulging discs and she had had to put off overseas travel because she couldn’t sit without agony.
She had regular AT lessons and steadily improved the way she moved and used herself. She learned to recognise her habit of compressing her spine whatever she was doing, and she built confidence in her ability to turn this around. In the process she resolved the old piriformus sports injury.
In applying the AT template (we define good use as expanding use: characterised by a free neck, a torso that is elastic in its length and also three-dimensionally, legs that balance rather than brace, and arms and hands which are free of grasping) we immediately encountered various habits which Angela had, completely unconsciously of course, and which prevented all of the above: her neck was caught between the need to keep her head up, and the downwards drag exerted by her entire torso; her chest was more or less collapsed, creating downwards pressure on her upper back as well as her neck; her hip joints were functionally absent – tension around the hips obliged her to hinge in her lower back, while generating pressure down through her legs, and making them harder to move.
Angela had practised mindfulness meditation for years and after the first few lessons said she was now getting “body-mindfulness”. She was able to attend to her neck with the non-doing intention for it to release, (with the back lengthening and becoming more spacious). The more she practised this, the more her troublesome lower back was settling. She realised that the muscles affected by her old sports injury had not relaxed for years. The piriformus problem was dissolving. Getting to know her hip joints anew, while allowing more length and “up-ness” through her torso, allowed a rebalancing over her hips, which revolutionised the everyday act of walking. After 20 lessons, quite intensively over 8 weeks, Angela was delighted and was able to travel to the UK.
Case Study – The singer
Lucy, a voice student at ANU, is in her early twenties. At her age, she has the advantage of fewer years spent establishing misuse of herself (but the disadvantage of less life-experience). Her singing teacher suggested that Alexander Technique lessons may be useful to her for reducing unnecessary tensions when she sings. In Lucy’s first lesson, it became apparent that there are two key elements in her use of herself that are contributing to compression in her torso generally and limiting the freedom of her breathing in particular. The first is Lucy’s particular version of interfering with the freedom of her head on her spine, ie neck tension. While the details vary from person to person, we all have to grapple with this; it is something that warrants attention for everybody. In Lucy’s case, locking her head back interferred with her tongue, jaw and throat, all places where tension adversely affects the singer’s sound. The second element is Lucy’s tendency to lock her knees. Again, most of us manage to push unnecessary pressure down through our legs, in a way which renders us less balanced and responsive. In Lucy’s case, bracing her knees was connected to tension in her lower back, which reduced the capacity of her ribs to move freely. (It also caused lower back discomfort.) Freely moving ribs are essential for a singer! Lucy found that she had enough “processing power”, ie the ability of pay attention to herself, to monitor her head balance and her knees, as she was singing. Both Lucy and her singing teacher noticed an immediate positive change in the sound of her voice – it became fuller and more resonant. Further lessons will deepen Lucy’s understanding of how her voice is an expression of the state of her whole body, and will help her to fundamentally improve her manner of use of herself.
Case Study – Degenerative Changes in Neck Vertebrae
Cathy is 57 years old and had degenerative changes in her cervical spine. She had 3 vertebrae surgically fused ten years ago, and initially this eased the neck pain that she was experiencing. However, the pain returned, along with a slew of other pain symptoms (shoulders, lower back), and tingling down her left arm and hand. When Cathy came for AT lessons, she had been given time off work by her doctor. Work in her clerical job had become problematical due to pain and she frequently had to go home early.
We started with first principles, identifying where and how she was generating a compressive force in her body, paying particular attention to the upper part of her spine. Cathy was indeed misdirecting muscular tension in her neck and shoulders into a compressive pattern which was pressing her head back and down into her shoulders and restricting her freedom to turn her head left or right. It was also creating rigidity thoracically – her breathing was depressed and her ribs were not moving freely. This pattern undoubtedly included an element of protection against pain as well as adaptation to it. However, Cathy could immediately perceive the positive difference when I helped her to lessen the neck tension. The job was then for her to cultivate an awareness of it in her everyday life, and practice releasing the tension as she was going about her daily activities. In effect, she was working on “catching herself out” when cranking up the unnecessary tension and compression, and letting it go. This was easier away from work so this was where she began; in activities like driving and walking. Gradually her sensitivity to how she was approaching her daily activities increased, and as she progressively reduced the habitual old protective patterns, her pain lessened. She successfully moderated her old “misuse” of herself. She also gained confidence from being more in control of the whole pain cycle herself.
Case Study – Good Use or more of the same old..?
Georgia is a lady in her 40’s who had a sore neck and a recurrent back issue.
She had been managing it by seeing a physio, who massaged her and showed her some remedial exercises. However, the same underlying tension problem which was causing the neck and back pain was still there when she did the exercises. Unsurprisingly, the pain did not go away. Georgia was performing her exercises diligently, but she was inevitably and unavoidably coming out of her habitual co-ordination. While performing the exercises she was tensing up in all the same wrong ways that had caused the problem. Using the AT, she learnt how to constructively change her movement pattern. We started with Georgia’s neck, learning about the correct relationship between head and torso, then moved onto the support that was available, but not being correctly accessed, from her back for her shoulders and neck. Finally we looked at how Georgia could carry these “body-thinking” insights into everyday activities like sitting at work, or doing sport and leisure activities, including walking or gardening. Georgia’s pain issues rapidly resolved. Furthermore, in better movement/use of herself, she has a resource to use for all of life, and she does not need to do the remedial exercises.
Case Study – Exercising with Good Form Over 50.
I want to talk to you about graceful aging, and active, healthy living.
Applying good form to exercise and sport makes it fun and more enjoyable, and you can keep getting better. The AT helps you to do stuff better. I have been giving Alexander lessons to a man in his fifties called Nigel, a long-time practitioner of various Martial Arts. He is very strong and centred, but was having a few hip pain issues. These have fallen away as he has learnt to reorient and redirect unnecessary tension into poise, ease and grace. In his lessons, we worked on his becoming aware of the subtle bracing around his hips as he adopted his basic pose.As he paid attention to reducing this bracing, his Tai Chi became even smoother. He is physically more comfortable than he was. Best of all, the principles which he has learnt can be applied to any of the everyday things we all do. Nigel’s hip-bracing habit is a common one, acquired in the quest for grounded stability, and arises as a confusion between groundedness and downward-pulling tension.
Rachel, also in her fifties, visits the gym regularly to do circuits, weights and stretching. By paying attention to her breathing, and by approaching both the strength work and the stretches a little more gently, she found she was looser, less sore, yet still getting all the aerobic and strength benefits of her workouts.
Michael is in his mid-50’s, and had an absolute ball competing in a 42 km XC ski race at Fall’s Ck in August. He did a personal best and moved up the comparative rankings from previous years. Training is important, but even more important is good form – ie well-coordinated movement. (You should expect nothing less from a teacher of the Alexander Technique!)
The underlying theme here in Alexanderspeak is “Good Use”. The Alexander Technique gives us a generic definition of good form, and the means to acquire it. The AT is there to apply anywhere, doing anything. Applying good form in everyday living reduces unnecessary strain and it looks better! It helps you to live better for longer.
Case Study – Chronic Back Pain
John G, a senior public servant in his 50’s, had chronic back pain. He had been to his GP, an orthopaedic specialist, two physiotherapists and a Chinese-trained doctor. A cat scan had revealed two prolapsed discs. John had been particularly diligent with an exercise/stretching program, and with trying hard to maintain “good posture”. While previous treatments had resulted in some improvement, particularly in regard to flexibility, there was still lots of low back and hip pain; on walking, sitting or standing, in each case within minutes. As it turned out, a great deal of John’s pain stemmed from the excessive effort required to maintain his overly rigid “good posture”. John’s concept of “correct posture” involved lots of tension and rgidity.
Initially the Technique brought: (1) release from pain, and (2) a feeling of wellbeing. John also noticed a looseness/freedom in the limbs which was new. John learned how to be upright (i.e. good posture) without excessive tension or “holding up”. This meant he was in less pain, and movement was freer.
There was a positive reaction from others to both his general wellbeing and the fact that his posture had so clearly improved. “I now play tennis 2-3 times a week and ride my bike – these are activities which I haven’t done for 10 years, which I had been told I would never be able to do again. I couldn’t contemplate being able to do these activities even 3 months ago.”
Case Study – Chronic Neck Pain and Overuse Syndrome
Forty-six year-old Debra C started Alexander Technique lessons to see if it would help her chronic neck pain. She had bulging discs in her neck, and tenosynovitis extending back over three years.
Debra learned to make links between her (controllable) habits of use of herself, and the functioning which they affect. She was able to progressively reduce the vice-like grip her muscles had held on her neck, allowing it to find a less strained position. Neck pain, a constant companion for the preceding 3 years, gradually disappeared. Her arms became significantly less painful. She was able to sit comfortably for longer and able to write more freely. An unexpected further benefit was a very noticeable increase in energy, as she learned to not invest energy in unproductive and pain-inducing tension.
Case Study – Self-management – Rheumatoid Arthritis
Jackie M, a 47 year-old pharmacist, started Alexander Technique lessons hoping to reduce pain levels, especially in her neck. She had suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for 10 years. She found that she was indeed able to influence her pain levels and to be more comfortable in everyday life, as well as learning a procedure to help her when things were particularly bad. Of course, the Alexander Technique did not address the rheumatoid arthritis, but it helped Jackie to cope better. It helped Jackie to recognise where she had more power and control over her situation than she had thought. Jackie found there was scope for applying her lessons in all the activities of everyday life, with valuable pain-reducing results. Her back improved generally, particularly her neck and lower back.
An intelligent woman, Jackie had been doing her best to manage her condition, including paying attention to her posture. Like John and also Debra, her understanding of what good posture consisted of, how to achieve it and how to maintain it, were all based on a series of common but potentially dangerous misconceptions. Their Alexander Technique teachers were able to gradually correct these.
Retained Primitive Reflexes and the Alexander Technique
Why do some people find it hard to apply the AT? With some pupils, it’s really as if the spirit were willing but the flesh is weak.
They might be able to use themselves very well as long as they give their use 100% attention, but as soon as the demand goes up a little, eg talking, interacting, walking, doing anything at all, it’s straight back to the old patterns. It’s as if those patterns reside at a level in the nervous system that are not completely open to cortical control, or something else is also plugging in and steering the person’s responses.
I have seen this among pupils, trainees, and even among experienced and effective Alexander Technique teachers.
A primitive reflex is an unconscious stereotypical movement which has a role in developing an individual’s musculature and neurology. The sequence of primitive reflexes prepares and develops the foetus’ and neonate’s neuromusculature, leading towards integration and the capacity for free ego expression. The postural reflexes provide mature balancing, movement and behavioural responses. Their working rests upon the inhibition of the primitive reflexes. Free and responsive cortical control is not fully available when the effects of retained early reflexes echo through the neuromusculature.
This early developmental process often is not complete; it may be disrupted for a variety of reasons and in different amounts. Also, even if complete, trauma, eg a whiplash injury, may cause the re-emergence of a primitive movement pattern. (This can, by the way, explain the nature of on-going problems following a whiplash injury). This means that in order to function we may be obliged to enter into some sort of compensatory pattern. I believe that in some of our adult pupils, what we may often be working with are the adaptations that the individual has unconsciously been obliged to enter into, in order to function in a body which is being at least partially steered from this neurologically deeper level. Depending on the strength of any such influence, it may be difficult for the pupil to apply the basic principles of the AT.
Common retained reflexes, which are fairly easy to spot, include the Moro, TLR, STNR and ATNR. An individual with such retained reflexes will still learn to get up and walk and function within the normal range as adults, although they may indeed find some aspects of learning difficult.
But there is always a cost associated with a neural pathway which is not the simple pathway. The cost is greater effort physically and mentally – fatigue, stress, and tension aches and pains.
Some authors give the impression that reflex inhibition is the whole solution. However, both from an Alexander Technique point of view, and also from the the point of view of the Extra Lesson, I think it’s probably only part of the picture. Beware of anyone peddling simple solutions to what is probably a complex problem. It usually takes time!
Understand How The Alexander Technique Can Help You
We often get asked questions about how the Alexander Technique (AT) can help and how it relates both to effective pain management and to performing any skill better. Below are some answers to give you more insight into the AT.
Posture And Pain: Does Your Back Hurt?
We all know about the desirability of relaxation, flexibility, good posture and the absence of tension. Despite our best intentions, despite relaxation classes, fitness classes and Eastern disciplines, despite stretching exercises, posture exercises, taping and Californian know-how, we’re still tense and uncomfortable in our bodies, with aching backs, sore necks, stiff shoulders, injuries and named conditions. What information are we lacking?
Exercising but getting injured?
Who uses The Alexander Technique?
Freedom in Action has worked with Musicians, Sports people, Office Workers, New mums, Horse Riders, Gym junkies, Singers, Actors, Public Servants, Martial Arts specialists, Young men, Elderly Women, IT specilaists and the list goes on. The Alexander Technique is ideal for everybody who wants to do what they do better.
If you wear out your body – where are you going to live?
Sitting Without Strain
How do you get comfortable and stay functional and productive? If you can be comfortable, then you are more able to concentrate and be productive. Avoiding physical discomfort, also avoids a source of stress, since discomfort-tension demands energy and attention. Read more >