Alexander Technique in East Yorkshire

#anxiety

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Alexander Technique, eyes, anxiety and safety

The eyes have it

When I go out to a restaurant or cafe, I need to sit at the furthest corner to the door, with my back to a wall. Apparently I have that in common with ex service personnel with PTSD. I also prefer to sit at the aisle seat in all sorts of venues. My husband knows this about me and when we go out together he is very happy for me to sit where I feel safe. Yes, it’s about feeling safe.

If the only option is a table in the middle of a restaurant, I can feel the anxiety rising and the dilemma of where to sit at the table. Then I probably chose the spot through gut feeling, though it will be facing the door. I’ve no idea when this need started. I’ve read it’s not a bad thing and that I am security minded. It’s not consistent because I prefer to sit at the front of a classroom, though that might be to do with vision.

Thinking about vision: running the “More Alexander” courses keeps me on my toes. The courses are different every time and are built around the wishes of the group. These opportunities are fabulous as I learn as much if not more than the group in the process of meeting their needs. I am very grateful for them. One of the requests from a course participant this time was to think about eyes and the Alexander Technique.

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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

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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