I am relieved to be out of pain and to have found a technique that works for me. I hadn’t appreciated when I first started lessons how much of a positive impact the Alexander Technique would have in other areas of my life. Considering I only started Alexander Technique lessons for back pain, this has been an unexpected bonus!
I'm a 40 year old man who works as a support worker. I was suffering from sciatic pain for a few years. I had tried many methods to alleviate the pain, including various exercises, but these only brought short-term relief. One day when I was looking for some natural medicine to ease the pain, I came across the Alexander Technique. I initially booked a course, which relieved my sciatic pain, and I now have regular sessions. I recommend the Alexander Technique, especially to anyone who has suffered from sciatica or posture difficulties. It has helped me to be more mindful how I move around, and how I sit and stand. I see a big difference with pain relief since I’ve started lessons in the Alexander Technique.
It is a challenge to try to summarize the experience [of the Alexander Technique], as I find it (and it finds me) being the constant change, not there to be grasped. The most measureable is the sharpening of all the senses. My violinist ears react to the most subtle nuances in the sound and the experience is that of all the senses 'working' on the sound (and the means that are producing it), when I play. This has made possible the greater awareness in the moment present. [A musician] is only able to do something about the sound (the moment) that is being produced, nothing past nor nothing to come. With all that, of course, comes freedom. The breathing, the freedom of movement, the freshness, the spontaneity, the creativity, the joy of it all. Through the Alexander training I am becoming more whole: as a person, as an artist.
At about the age of 45, I began to experience severe pain in both of my knees. I was told I had damaged the cartilage, initially caused by the use of a kicking strap on a sailing dinghy, and made worse by many years of beagling, and to stop beagling or risk ending up in a wheelchair. A few years later a friend suggested the Alexander Technique. At first I was very sceptical, but had also reached the stage where I was ready to try virtually any means to solve the problem. A few weeks after my first lesson, I had gone out beagling, but only walking. Some hounds had separated from the main pack and the Master asked a friend to go and bring them back. As the friend ran past me, he asked me to accompany him in order to help him. I was amazed I could run without any pain whatsoever. My back pain had also almost completely disappeared although it remained a small problem for a while. If the pain recurred, I would almost immediately lie down to apply the Technique. It is now many years since I last had back pain. I am now 75 years old and still go out beagling.
The advice and coaching from my Alexander teacher during training for a London to Paris bike ride transformed my experience immeasurably and I am pleased to say that I was really able to enjoy the event without suffering as many of my co-participants did. I would urge anyone who is considering any physical challenge and is interested in, or, practising AT to seek some specific AT tips and advice.