Chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain is often treated with repeated interventions that frequently do not address the underlying cause, and thus the problem resurfaces.
The causes of our problems are often accessible to the realm of our own control. The Alexander Technique helps bring the nature of the cause to our attention, and gives us a tool to manage our problems.
For example, muscular imbalance shows itself in either a collapsed or rigid posture, or often a combination of the two. The resulting over-arching and compressing of the spinal vertebrae can cause harm or pain, especially in sustained periods of sitting. In struggling to sit comfortably, many people alternate between hunching and stiffening. These manners of use are not constructive, especially when accompanied by sudden and harsh movements, and jerking and twisting. This puts increased pressure on these imbalances, leading to strain.
The Alexander Technique gives you an understanding of the body’s fundamental design, along with a kinaeshetic sense of what you are doing and how you are moving. It shows you a way to be and move that will help you feel better; providing long-term relief, increased mobility, and better balance. It is thus also a tool to prevent injury.
Your Alexander Technique teacher is a highly-trained professional who will lead you through a one-on-one learning process tailored to your abilities, needs, and challenges, and assist you to identify and replace unhealthy habitual patterns of being, that are the underlying cause of many problems.
For an overview of the results of research on the value of the Alexander Technique, for example for minimising back pain, please click on these links to the American Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique and the UK Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique.
When we suffer from pain, trauma or injury, such as a sore back, broken leg or even resulting from having an operation, we often compensate for not being able to use ourselves in the normal way, quickly developing a new pattern, or habit. However, when the injury has healed, we do not automatically go back to our normal way, and some trace of the compensation pattern remains, even into the long term. This in turn can result in ever-growing levels of “abnormality” in our movements, creating misalignment and chronic strain.
An Alexander Technique Teacher can help you to identify these patterns and reverse them, allowing you to return to optimal functioning.
It is preferable to address these patterns early, if at all possible, but the Alexander Technique can still help even after decades of using yourself poorly.