THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE
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Having spent the last 15 years with a chronic pain syndrome (RSI, Fibromyalgia & Arthritis), I have tried many things to help alleviate my symptoms but ultimately felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall as if I got any relief, it was very short-lived (believe me, I tried almost anything, including being frozen to -110ºC three times a day!)
However, last summer I was introduced to the Alexander Technique. I had been aware of it but had never actually had a lesson. It has been a revelation! Because of being in pain for so long, I now realise I am 'holding' myself up in a detrimental way. There is so much tension in my upper body but with my AT teacher’s help, I am beginning to recognise when these bad habits creep in and rectify them.
The beauty of the Alexander Technique is that it's not like going for a massage, where you feel relief afterwards but the effects don't last, it is a constantly evolving process. It is not a 'band aid', it's not fire-fighting, it's fire prevention! I NEVER feel any worse for applying AT, onły ever better, and what an incentive that is to keep it up in my daily life. I found it quite difficult at first to change my postural habits but it gets easier and easier week by week because I don't have to 'do' anything, simply 'undo' - a difficult concept for someone like myself to get to grips with initially but I do believe the penny is finally dropping and I am truly reaping the rewards.
I cannot tell you how different I feel, particularly after a lesson. I feel physically and emotionally lighter, less dragged down by the constant draining pain and as a consequence, I have more energy.
Driving used to be so painful to my neck, arms and spine. It is now so much easier. My sitting and walking tolerances have also greatly improved by applying the technique and I generally feel more energised.
I've never had results like this before and truly believe that the Alexander Technique is the way forward for me. I really am progressing in re-training my muscles and the way I use my rather battered body! I am now convinced that I can feel so much better, despite having many different treatments over the years with the diagnosis that the damage is irreparable. For the first time ever, there is light at the end of the tunnel!
I would recommend that anyone try an AT lesson, whether it is to help with an existing problem or just to gain an awareness of how we use our bodies and how we can prevent damaging them. How I wish I’d tried it years ago and saved myself further pain and emotional distress!