Monday, January 20, 2014

Aha, so that's how you apply Alexander Technique – a testimonial

This testimonial is from Mary, pathology worker. It illustrates the self-help that Alexander Technique offers with support from a teacher. She explains her approach to reinforcing new habits.

"I have been having ongoing spasms and pain in my neck, shoulders and upper back for the last year with regular visits to physio and follow up stretching and exercises only giving temporary relief. In frustration I came to the realisation that I needed a different approach. I had been introduced to Alexander Technique many years ago in a pain management program after a diagnosis of fibromyalgia (see definition below). I remembered that it was helpful and very gentle.

So I dug out an old book on the subject and began the “lying down exercise” once a day. Within a week or two I had some improvement. Using the internet I found my teacher Jim.

I have had nearly 8 sessions now with the pain mostly disappearing in the fourth week. I felt so good ,in control and relaxed, that I forgot to do the things I was doing that got me here and the pain started to return. Mostly it’s being aware as you are doing something; “meditation in movement” is a phrase I remember a teacher describing it. For me if I forget during the busy day before I go to bed I do the lying down exercise for ten minutes then when brushing my teeth and applying night cream I focus on how much effort is going into these actions. Usually too much...using the whole arm shoulder and down to the back.

The most difficult thing about it is that it requires you to stop and think about how you are going to proceed with an activity, so that you “may find” another more efficient way (easier, cause less pain).This takes time and brain effort and in reality we are all so busy we just mindlessly want to get on with the job.

So for me it will be an ongoing process, with lessons from time to time to keep me on track."

Tip. While you are working at the computer, why not check out one of my older blog posts, and apply the tips. Mary does this - not every day but quite often.

What is fibromyalgia? It involves widespread pain and muscle stiffness. It is often accompanied by extreme tiredness but also difficulty in sleeping. It has been found by researchers that the body may become extra sensitive in the way it signals and processes pain. Symptoms vary greatly between people, and it affects mostly women.

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