●Got neck or back pain? Try the Alexander technique – It’s seriously POWERFUL!

10Jul08

The Alexander Technique a method of personal education which involves self awareness and releasing muscular tension. This excessive tension
slowly accumulates over many years of stressful living and often starts in childhood and if left unchecked, can give rise later in life to common ailments
such as arthritis, neck and back pain, migraine, hypertension, sciatica, insomnia and even depression. Vast amounts of money are being spent on the treatment of these illnesses, to say nothing of the pain and discomfort that is felt by the patient, yet every year the number of patients carries on increasing.

With the right education, however, many people could be helped to understand the causes of their problems and be taught how they can help themselves, so that their aches and pains would diminish or are avoided altogether. The Alexander Technique can help us to become more aware of balance, posture and co-ordination while performing everyday actions. This brings into consciousness tensions throughout the body that have previously gone unnoticed and it is these which are very often the root cause of many common ailments….

read on LINK
photo by Beefus – Teaching A Young Sapling The Proper “Sunset Posture” (flickr)
Photo LINK

● I knew the pain in my neck had something to do with not knowing which position I needed to hold my head in. I was right!
I used to hold huge amounts of tension in my neck and shoulders. It was a complete revelation to me that I often am holding my shoulders up by at least 2 cm! The energy that I’m using just doing that isn’t sustainable!

I had heard of the Alexander technique [AT] way back in the 70’s, I recalled it had something to do with posture.
Late ’80’s I went for some lessons to sort out my head neck discomfort

It’s one of the best things I’ve done in taking care of my body, bad posture habits – which have caused me pain and it has taught me what to do as soon as I can sense anxiety and tension making me stiffen in my shoulders and neck

TRY THIS
Do NOT DO it – just THINK it – keeping your eyes open…..

Become aware of your neck and think it free/loose/soft, feel it sitting at the top of your spine – become aware of yr shoulders and let them widen and your back lengthen – the small of yr back – the back of your knees – soft etc etc
did you feel yr shoulders drop as you thought your neck free or shoulders widen?

Alexander teachers have taken years to learn how to teach us about using our bodies correctly with out telling us how or what is correct. They never tell us that we are doing it “wrong” or “do it this way” or that

It’s a revolutionary way of teaching – they teach us to become aware of our bodies

I really hope you try it
It’s truly amazing………

[In putting the above together I noticed I was holding my shoulders up about 10 times! – and I wasn’t even feeling anxious – maybe just a little – got loads of urgent things to attend to!]

My teacher Pat O, in Cape Town is just Brilliant! I owe her a big debt of gratitude.

Thanks to her I’ve discovered all kinds of strange things I do with my body with out being aware of them! Such as – when I talk – lying flat on my back, I’m nodding [tinny movements]. This is an unnecessary habit, which involves a whole lot of muscles [neck, eyes, brain!]. All that is required, is to move the jaw!

Each week’s session, I learn something or two new, which I immediately try to implement. With out Pat’s genius, patience and playfulness, I would never have become aware of my body/posture habits.
I love to learn so I can change the things that are infective and darn right energy consuming!

The inseparability of mind and body is indeed a profound thing.
.

●Here are some links so you can find out more

LINK – BBC article on AT & 3 min video AT lesson with presenter

LINK – Research Aug ’08 – results on back pain – AT comes top

LINK – diagram of back and neck muscles

South Africa
http://www.alexandertechnique.org.za

South Africa – Find a teacher in your area
http://www.alexandertechnique.org.za/teachers.htm

United Kingdom
http://www.alexander.ie/usefullinks.html

http://www.alexandertechniqueworldwide.com/

http://www.alexander-tech.org.uk/index_files/Page401.html

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2 Responses to “●Got neck or back pain? Try the Alexander technique – It’s seriously POWERFUL!”

  1. 1 Pat Oliver

    Nice article! And what a wonderful photo!!
    I want to also point people to our local South African website: http://www.alexandertechnique.org.za
    Thanks!

  2. This is a great post! I think I need to relax my shoulders too. I’m often feeling a bit of tension like what you have described.


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