An AT student's experience of coping with back pain and long term illness.

Alexander Technique – My Experience

I worked in a college where a colleague told me that Alexander Technique had changed his life.  He managed a congenital skeletal problem through Alexander Technique.  I was moaning about my bad back – I was spending more time at the computer than in the classroom at this time, and despite having a good chair, I could hardly get out of my car at the end of some days without eye-watering pain.    I had seen osteopaths for years for my back (a car accident injury ) but only got short-term relief.  Then my legs began to ache …

So I thought AT couldn’t hurt.  Compared to osteopathy or chiropractic, it seemed a very minimal approach involving almost tiny adjustments of muscles.   But this is what worked.  Over a few weeks my back hurt less and less until I could sit at a meal in an ordinary chair and not notice my back.  I practised at home:   easy to lie on my back, listening to music for 20 minutes or so.  Not every day – my life was packed - but great before an evening out or after a long difficult day.  I no longer had back ache.  At all.

My aching legs, though, were the precursors of a more serious, long-term endocrine condition.  My energy, memory, and stamina were affected and I had constant muscle pain.  I continued with AT which helped me to cope with the worst.  Lying in the AT position made it less necessary to take pain-killers and helped me to be more calm and not to panic about the future of this illness.  Hilary helped with tips for finding rest and respite in difficult situations.  For instance, in hospitals, concentrating on having a free neck really helps in avoiding getting sucked in to the chaos and frustration evident all around in staff and patients …

I am better than I was, though had to leave work and live a reduced life.  AT sees me through difficult days and is a pleasure in the not so difficult days.  I still leave Hilary’s house feeling lighter and freer and am so grateful to her for her insights and practical care she has given me over all these years.

Try it.  It can’t hurt!

Maggie

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