Alexander technique (long posting)

Question: Have you tried the technique yourself? I have spoken to a local teacher – the fee is £40.00 a lesson at 20 plus lessons this could be very expensive Maybe it is worth investigating closer, I would like to hear from anyone with first hand experience of the technique and it’s success.

Answer: I have now had 18 lessons of AT. I pay 18 pounds per lesson in Norwich. I have heard that some health insurance policies pay out for lessons, but not mine unfortunately.  My teacher is experienced, kind and full of good advice for daily living. He visited to check my workstation set up and give advice. He has sat in the car to advice on my driving posture and watched me on my bicycle. My next lesson is in a swimming pool.  The commitment you need is very great to benefit from the lessons. I was desperate when I started, in pain and afraid of losing my job, so I persevered after advice coming largely from this list.  The lessons are very gentle. My favorite bit is the “AT lying down”! This is lying on ones back (in a particular way) while the teacher touches or moves the limbs in turn with the instruction to release that part of the body (always starting with the neck / head /back). It feels wonderful! The idea is to do this oneself at least once a day. It does help enormously. My family are used to finding me on the floor, and I also use the first aid room at work to lie down and do some lunchtime exercises. (When I get a lunch break!)  You learn that “released” and lengthened muscles are actually more powerful than tense ones. There is a way to do almost anything effectively WITHOUT wasting effort and tensing up. How to do this is what you learn. It gets easier as the better way becomes more habitual, however it does need you to be constantly aware and making decisions. In the early days my family would joke that an AT person would let someone drown in the time it took for them to work out precisely HOW to carry out the rescue without strain!  So, has it helped? I’m grateful to know techniques which will benefit me for the rest of my life, and which help on a daily basis.  It is a slow process if you are looking for a big improvement. I have had quicker results from finding a good osteopath (recommended by my AT teacher!) You still need exercise, but AT helps you find the right exercise for you which won’t cause further problems. I’m surprised Tai Chi isn’t mentioned more on the list as it is very good for shoulders and arms. Swimming HAS come up recently. I’m glad I went down this route, and have improved enormously. However, it hasn’t been the only technique I have been using by any means. Hope this helps.

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