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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.
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.
What impact did you hope for by having lessons?
Not a lot
I have been to two teachers and they have both been different
I do Active Rest daily and the directions “ease, space, release” are very helpful (especially ease and space).
I have been reading “The Space Within” by Michael Neill which also helps to be quiet and listen to “space”
I have had over 20 lessons now
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 need to relax before any physical pain is to disappear.
What difference does ease, space and release make?
I am not sure
I do meditation too.
I felt active rest and the directions were not enough. I needed to relax more which was why I started meditation.
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.
I like stretching and I am developing my own routine
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 – not everyone wants that
Was there anything unexpected with 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”
Directions and non-doing seem different yet are directions “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
Anything else about “thinking”?
No – Not yet got my head round it
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
I am less tense with Alexander technique
I think my thinking has changed
I thought Alexander Technique was posture and now: thinking and the brain = decreased tension
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