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 recognize 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.

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