Alexander Technique in East Yorkshire

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“The Alexander Technique has been an eye-opener and I wish I had done it sooner.”

This is the 9th interview in a series of interviews I carried out with people who have had Alexander Technique (AT) lessons. This interview is with Tanya (real name changed for confidentiality).

Tanya started out with weekly lessons and gradually spread them out and at the time of our interview was having them monthly. Tanya has also attended two workshops on running.

Here are some of the benefits Tanya told me she gained through learning the Alexander Technique:

Decreased pain

Improved:

sleep,

digestion,

breathing,

posture,

horse riding,

running and

stamina.

Tanya also said she improved mentally, which she did not expect.

 

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“I think the Alexander Technique is a useful tool for balance.”

Road going off into distanceThis is the 8th interview in a series of interviews I carried out with people who have had Alexander Technique lessons. This interview is with Alice, who is a retired health professional living on her own.

Here are Alice’s answers to a simple set of questions I asked her about her experience of having lessons.

Firstly I asked Alice about what drew her to have lessons. She told me that she had experienced a few trips and falls where she injured herself. For example she broke her arm and hurt her back. The falls made her feel down and she had become frightened of walking and felt she had to plan every single journey. Alice also noticed  that her posture had become stooped, especially when she compared it to her friends.

Alice had a taster session, of Alexander Technique and liked the session and the advice given. After a while, Alice decided to have  a course of lessons in the hope it would improve her balance and posture. When we had our chat, Alice thought she had been to about 10 lessons over the course of the year.

I asked Alice what impact did having lessons make? This is what she told me:

  • My balance has improved.
  • Learning the technique helped me enormously with my confidence in walking and I am not frightened of falling over.
  • My walking is also quicker.
  • I see more around me. I have confidence when I am walking. I now know I don’t need to look at the ground immediately in front of me because I have already seen it coming up ahead, and unless a hole suddenly opens up in front of me which is unlikely, it will be just the same as it was up ahead.
  • I am not sure it has changed my posture so much as I have osteoporosis.
  • Alice also added that she thought that AT was simple but that it’s necessary to incorporate it in daily routine

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“The Alexander Technique is making me healthier and more aware”

 

 

This is the 6th interview in a series of interviews with people who have had Alexander Technique lessons. Here are Jocelyn’s answers to a simple set of questions I asked her about the technique.

Jocelyn is in her late 60’s and had about 20 lessons when she did this interview.

 

What drew you to the Alexander Technique?

I had heard about it as I am interested in complementary medicine. Also a friend talked about Alexander Technique (AT) and posture. Then an orthopaedic surgeon mentioned my problem was posture related so I looked into AT and found a teacher.

 

Was there anything unexpected about having Alexander Technique lessons?

The body awareness

It is like having a massage but it’s not massage

I do see the sessions as lessons, not passive therapy

It is harder than what I thought it would be.

It is contradictory – “You’ve got to think and it’s non-doing”

I always feel really good when I have a lesson

I didn’t think that thinking about parts of the body can be so relaxing

 

What impact did you hope for by having lessons?

(At first) not a lot

I do Active Rest daily and the directions “ease, space, release” are very helpful (especially ease and space).

AT has helped me release tension in my body. It has got me more interested in the mind-body and how anxiety started off the tension. Conventional medicine cannot help with this.

I believe it is “all about tension” of body, mind and spirit.

I think I might be overdosing because I could do active rest, meditation and exercise all day.

I have had physiotherapy, exercises, massage, ultrasound, medical acupuncture. It helped and also helped in understanding of chronic pain. However, the benefits did not last.

The Alexander Technique makes me more aware. I notice my pain (when I am out and about) and then I become more body aware (of what I am doing), then I use inhibition (stopping and thinking) then I use directions (neck free, head forward and up.)

 

What differences have you noticed through doing the Alexander Technique?

I think there is less pain.

I think I can work on the pain.

I feel more in control of the pain.

I feel more optimistic.

It has given me back control.

 

Anything else about the “thinking” in learning the technique.

Not yet got my head round it.

I think my thinking has changed.

I thought  Alexander Technique was posture and now: thinking and the brain = decreased tension.

I can incorporate Alexander Technique into everything I do e.g. I use direction and inhibition in exercise.

I originally learned to do exercises with tension. I am concentrating on no tension – Alexander Technique has helped.

I still do not understand it – this ‘thinking and not doing.’ I am an over-thinker and Alexander Technique says think.

I can feel energy – I need to understand it…and yet do I need to understand it?

Alexander Technique fits with energy work

 

And anything else?

I am less tense with Alexander technique.

Active rest – brings about a state to do meditation, it is calming and settles my body and mind and I can do exercises in a less tense state.

It is changing me.

It is making me healthier.

I believe it is a way of looking after myself.

 

 

 

Interested in having lessons? Contact me?
Jane Clappison MSTAT

01759 307282

https://www.janeclappison.co.uk

“I was totally pain free, having been in pain for years, that was something!”

 

This is the 5th in a series of interviews with people who have had Alexander Technique (AT) lessons. Katherine is in her 60’s, lives with her husband and works from home. Katherine has had a course of several AT lessons over the period of a year and now has the occasional lesson. I asked Katherine a few simple questions about AT and here are her answers:

 

What drew you to the Alexander Technique (AT)?

I have a friend who is also a neurosurgeon who said it would help with my low back pain.

I was using strong pain killers or I was in pain, and I was not as active as I could be.

What differences, having learned AT, have you noticed?

Before, I was in pain or discomfort almost all the time.

Now it is rare and I know more or less what to do about it.

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Vogue your way into clothes

Flamenco groupPutting a sports bra on at any time can be a challenge! Here are some thoughts about that, and some Alexander Technique (AT) ideas that might help. For those of you that don’t wear them, you might find an AT nugget in here somewhere.

To get to the sports bra we need a few detours. The first is about bath bombs and Epson salts.

I am a Lush bath bomb gal. I love watching the effervescing ball dance around the thundering bath water as it releases colour and scent, and luxuriating in all of that. So the suggestion from a friend, of soaking in a bath of Epson salts, wasn’t that appealing. I was assured it would be good for my health. Plus, a huge tub of Epson salts arrived, as a present, and thus, I gave it a go.

Warning – do not try this bit at home! I have no idea if Alexander Technique in the bath will work for you! I could end up with my readers drowning in the attempt. Please don’t.

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Sick bed musings

Sick bed detritus

I used to believe that if I was ill, and in hospital, I would sit by the side of my bed, dressed: until I got real.

Being ill sometimes means my nightwear only gets changed after having been worn 24/7, and it’s beginning to smell.

Being ill means my sick-bed multi-tasks as a library, of books I want to read, but don’t have the concentration for. A roving dog bed, as snoring Kyra and I dance round the space. An observatory, as I delight at the wind blowing through the neighbour’s pine tree, it’s jostling branches playing a frantic game of tag. It also becomes a rubbish bin for tissues and other detritus.

Being ill is a challenging process on all levels, it’s different every time and we all navigate that as best as we can.

I am not in hospital, but I am ill.

I thought I would share some ideas, including Alexander Technique ones, that are helping me. They are not earth shattering. They come into my full focus and then wane. I do what I can. It takes perseverance.  They are not a panacea but they bring me joy.  They help me remember there’s more to life than feeling ill. They may give you some ideas to try out when you are ill? Even one will change the experience.

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Embrace the mystery of the Alexander Technique: bring balance to life on all levels.

This is the second in a series of Alexander Technique (AT) student interviews I carried out. You will discover, as I share these interviews with you in my blogs, how unique each person’s experience  of having Alexander Technique lessons is. Yet there are common threads you may also begin to discover.

These are highlights of Cathy’s experiences during and after Alexander lessons. They:

  • helped bring mental, physical & spiritual calm,
  • confidence, and pain relief,
  • comfort and alignment and understanding of her body,
  • balance on all levels,
  • appreciation of the present moment.

I have changed some personal details of Cathy’s story for confidentiality reasons.

Like many others, Cathy turned to AT, many years after originally learning about it. She was in her 40’s and had experienced a number of bereavements, plus pain and anxiety. She felt she was living in her head and running away from her body. Cathy felt sure AT would help with these issues as it addresses the whole person.

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Toothache, chicken little, anxiety and the Alexander Technique

I don’t know when I decided not take any notice of TV news. Nor do I remember when I consciously avoided reading the daily papers, but it was before the days of the internet. I imagine I was in my late teens. I just didn’t want to know how bad things were.

As I therefore knew less about the world at large, I marvelled at how my maternal Grandmother kept up with current affairs. One phone call got me up to speed. I am sure it kept her keenly aware into her 90’s and also extremely grumpy.

Despite an aversion to bad news, I did develop a liking for the Scottish Post as they seemed to be more about good-news stories. Their cartoons like the mischievous Oor Wullie and the family life of The Broons made for a  hilarious treat. I  now love a very un-PC paper for its brain teasers and TV guide, but my love of newspapers and bad news in general (isn’t it almost always bad now) and current affairs, ends there.

Maybe you feel this sense that most news reports are bad news?

Nowadays I can’t avoid death, destruction, vandalism, global warming, not global warming, air quality, plastic floating islands, mass extinctions, deforestation, wars, starvation, discrimination and on and on. As a result, I find myself being pulled into a state of irritation and anxiety. Like a nagging tooth pain, for which there is no cure. The internet, and particularly social media, seem to have got to me in ways my paper/TV news avoidance could not. Perhaps a remote cave might help, but I enjoy being in and of the world. So, I can’t avoid knowing some of the heartbreaking news we are bombarded with from all sides, today.

At times I feel like Chicken Little, crying out that the sky is falling in. Except he discovered it wasn’t falling in, and that all was well. My conclusion is that we are finely balanced at a point where we don’t know whether the sky will fall in or not.

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