“I think the Alexander Technique is a useful tool for balance.”
This 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
During the course of lessons, Alice’s teacher gave her a CD on active rest (where you lay on the floor with your knees bent and head on books) to complement the activity taught in the lesson. Alice said that she finds active rest relaxing and that it helps ease her back pain when she gets it. Initially she did it every day but now does it from time to time, sometimes daily, but especially if her back is painful.
I also asked Alice if there was anything unexpected about her lessons and learning AT?
- Alice said she didn’t expect to learn things to do when she was sitting down, such as being on her sitting bones.
- Alice also found the lessons on going up and down stairs using the Alexander Technique very useful because she has a lot of stairs to go up and down where she lives.
The final question I asked was what do you know, now you have had AT lessons? Alice replied:
- I think it is a useful tool for balance and falling.
- I think it would suit most people.