Quite a work-out – and it can be easy to strain muscles or hurt your back doing all this work. So when you are involved in activities such as gardening, be aware and remember what you have learnt in Alexander lessons. Don’t rush into things but pause, take a moment to think about how you are going to use your body when doing the next job. Give yourself directions, remind yourself not to tighten everything up ( tension is not the same thing as strength). Avoid pulling your head back but to allow your spine to lengthen into all your movements, so that you protect your neck and back.
Ella Fitzgerald’s ‘Tain’t what you do but the way that you do it’
Marilyn Monroe may well have learned the Alexander Technique!
University of York Research Finds Yoga Aids Chronic Back Pain
More good news for back pain sufferers and for complementary therapists! Another interesting research trial at the University of York, funded by Arthritis Research UK, has found that yoga helped people with back pain more than conventional GP treatment.
These results were then compared with the findings of the ATEAM Trial into treatments for chronic back pain (in which the Alexander Technique was found to be more effective than either massage and GP treatment) and it was found that:
‘The results suggested that the 12-week yoga group programme may improve back function more than exercise and manipulation, cognitive-behaviour treatment and six sessions of 1-to-1 Alexander technique, but not as much as 24 sessions of 1-to-1 Alexander technique’.
Interestingly, the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique Scientific Research Committee have pointed out that the ATEAM Trial also found significant reductions in pain experienced by the subjects having Alexander lessons, whereas the Yoga Trial did not report a significant level of pain reduction.
It is good that a body of research into the Alexander Technique and other disciplines is growing and that the findings are very encouraging and support our work as Alexander teachers.
As the comment below describes, people who just rely on drugs become habituated to them and then the drug don’t work. Learning techniques such as yoga and the Alexander Technique gives people tools that they can use throughout their lives to improve their body use and to lesson problems such as back pain.
‘A Modern Torture’ is how Polly Vernon describes the wearing and ‘Invasion of the Killer Heels’ in The Times Magazine on 22.10.11. It’s a excellent article to read, with graphic illustrations of famous women falling off their high heels in public.
Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement
Richard Price Memorial Lecture 2011 ~ 28 September
Switch Off to show you care about Climate Change
27 March 8.30pm
your habits and turn off all electrics that are not essential for one
hour. No lights, no TV, no music, no computer…. Have fun and create a different sort of evening for yourself, along with hundreds of people around the world that are joining this WWF campaign. Draw attention to the issues involved with adapting to climate
change and think about what life may be like without our familiar appliances available to us if there are power shortages in the future.
So why am I mentioning this here on my Alexander Technique Blog?
I aim to run my Alexander Technique teaching practise in an environmentally aware way and work towards being as energy efficient as I can, so this falls naturally into my field of awareness.
Also, in Alexander lessons, we are always learning how to let go of habits that don’t serve us and in many ways we all need to do exactly this – let go of many of our habits – in order to reduce our carbon footprints and energy consumption. How often do we leave the tap running, the lights on, or the the TV constantly on, just by habit, even though we are not even using them? What a waste of these valuable resources!
We can inhibit, stop these habits and make simple but important changes in our lives that will help conserve our fragile environment.
As the WWF says – Be Bright, Turn Off the Light!
Further info about WWF Earth Hour:
Dilys Carrington, one of the senior teachers of the Alexander Technique who had lessons and had trained with F M Alexander himself, died peacefully at her home on the 22nd September 2009.
Dilys Jones was born in Stourbridge, Worcestershire and later read Mathematics and Psychology at the University of London. For a short period, she was F M Alexander’s secretary at Ashley Place, where Alexander ran his teacher training course and his private teaching practice. Later, Dilys worked as secretary at the Physical Society.
Dilys began taking lessons with FM Alexander in 1938. In 1940 she married Walter Carrington who had graduated from Alexander’s Teacher Training Course in 1939. They had three children.
Dilys also started to train as a teacher with F M Alexander, shortly before his death in 1955. She then completed her training with Walter Carrington. Together, they developed and ran the Constructive Teaching Centre, which is still running today and is the oldest Alexander Technique Teacher Training Course.
Throughout her teaching career, Dilys was an active and influential member of STAT, the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique and was a member of the STAT Council for a number of years.
Dilys Carrington will be missed by many people.
‘Skeletons – London’s Buried Bones’
If you are interested in how your body works plus how your posture, the way you use yourself and live your life, can leave it’s mark on the structure of your bones, you may want to visit the ‘Skeletons: London’s Buried Bones’ Exhibition that has just opened at the Wellcome Collection.
The skeletons on display are from the Museum of London’s collection of 17,000 skeletons that have come from people who lived and worked in the London area over the last 16 centuries.
This exhibition looks at the events and health hazards of the day, that affected people’s lives and their skeletons. There will also be a day of activities for all ages and a public debate about why the dead are useful to study.
Perhaps seeing the wear and tear on all those bones, may encourage us to be more aware of our own body use, right now, so that we change some of our unhelpful and even damaging habits and learn to do as much as possible to look after our own skeletons!
Venue: Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road
Date: 23 July – 28 September