Preventing Crippling Tension Headaches

Crippling Tension Headaches

I have been attending Alexander Technique (AT) sessions with Hilary King since January of this year. I had been suffering from quite crippling tension headaches on and off for several years and wanted to explore natural methods of preventing the headaches from occurring. Being a busy mother of three children and a primary school teacher I had developed some poor habits, particularly when it came to connecting with my body. I had heard about the Alexander Technique before but had little understanding of what it was other than a technique that involved correcting your posture (more about this later). As i read case studies online I realised that AT was something that I wanted to explore further. I found a local weekend workshop and this is what led me to Hilary, who was the course leader. 

The course was eye-opening and I discovered that AT was much more than a method of correcting posture. It is a programme of lessons that takes a holisitic approach to improving your health and well-being. It enables you to discover new ways of thinking about your body as a total system, incorporating the physical and mental and emotional. I was convinced that my headaches were not only being caused by mental stresses but that I was causing my body unnecessary physical stress.  After the course I decided to undertake individual lessons with Hilary and explore things further.  

Individual Lessons

From the very first lesson Hilary made me feel that she understood exactly what my issues were. We talked through my well-being history and then I allowed myself to be guided through the lesson. One of the first things that I learnt was to have a free neck. Now after ten months of fortnightly sessions the concept of having a free neck has become almost second nature. I think about my neck when I’m driving, doing housework, sitting at my desk or running around after the children. It’s amazing how much I had neglected my neck prior to these lessons. The neck is not the only area that I have learnt to free up but of course this was important in order to reduce the occurrence of my headaches initially. As a former model I had developed a habit of standing tall and thinking that this was good for my posture. What I have learnt is that being stiff and too straight is actually not the best posture for my body. I was contracting my muscles and not allowing them to relax. I am now allowing myself to stand tall like a rooted tree (growing upwards) instead of a statue. Hilary has shown me that my body needs to be flexible and ready to move in a fluid manner rather than a series of stiff, jerky movements. I have started to unlearn some of my poor posture habits though my lessons and I feel as if my body is beginning to thank me for it.

Exploring How To Pick Up My Baby 

One of my children is a baby of thirteen months and I have on occasion brought him along to the sessions. He enjoys the environment and I am certain that he benefits from being there too. Much of my day is spent picking him up and handling him. By bringing him along to the lessons with Hilary I have been shown how to incorporate the Alexander technique into everything that we do together. Hilary and I have explored how to hold him, pick him up and even play with him in a manner that allows my body to be free and flexible. This has been extremely useful as I am tall and used to suffer from lower backache. I cannot remember the last time I had a problem with my back and I am seven years older than when I had my first child! Alexander Technique has shown me that aches and pains in the body are not an inevitable part of growing older.


So what of the headaches? Since the end of February I have not had a single tension headache. Not one! I can only attribute this wonderful development in my life to my lessons with Hilary. I believe that anyone can reduce pain and enhance their well-being if they change the way in which they think about their bodies. Our bodies are so much more than just bones and muscle. They are living, breathing organisms that deserve our attention and need to be considered in a more holistic manner. When we are able to do this we will notice many positive changes to our emotional and physical well-being. Alexander Technique with Hilary can help you to do this. An Alexander Technique session with Hilary will leave you feeling physically and emotionally replenished. Hilary is in touch with my individual needs and her personal touch makes me look forward to our sessions together.

Sheya Michaelides 2015