Question: I’m new to this, am not incapacitated (yet?) but have constant neck/back pains and tingling/numbness in hands and more recently forearms. I reasoned that a GP was not going to do much for me unless/until my symptoms were acute and then it would be referred to a specialist. I got the feeling that it was more of a ‘general body’ problem – just too much computer work, piano, model making while stressed and tense (although I don’t consider myself to be particularly stressed – but I’m probably the worst to judge this?).
If things get acute I can still go back to my GP. So I’ve owned the problem. First thoughts were a physiotherapist but advice was to get one who knows something about rsi etc. The RSI UK association and other sources couldn’t provide a recommendation. There was much advice pushing me towards the Alexander technique so read the plethora of articles available on the Web and bought a book on the subject. It seemed to make sense and was based on experience. But it seemed that a teacher was necessary or at least extremely desirable.
So, thanks very much for a recommendation in my area. Went yesterday for what turned out to be a 2+ hour session. A bit of a cultural shock for me this – one to one hands on therapy so am still somewhat bewildered. It’s obviously too early to come to any conclusions but at least I think there’s hope down this route and I’m taking some action.
What are other peoples’ experiences of the Alexander Technique? How often is it advisable to go in the early days? Are the effects (assuming they’re beneficial!) lasting?
Answer 1: I have only mild symptoms, especially compared to many of you included in this list. Sometimes, compared to your stories, I feel almost like I’ve been ‘imagining things’ (even though I know I haven’t!).
Anyway…… When I was 16 I went to Music School, and Alexander Technique was included as part of the curriculum in my first year: A half-hour lesson, once a week. It was one of the best things ever to happen to me. During those lessons, I learned to know my body and how it all hangs together, and how to use it in the best way to bring out the best, rather than the worst. Of course, I was younger and thinner in those days. But as the years and the pounds have piled on, it has stood me in good stead, even now 25 years down the road. I would gladly take lessons again, if I could afford them.
But in the meantime, I still use the techniques learned then – I have found it to be like riding a bike – you never forget! I am not debilitated by my aches and pains. I still play the piano, and hold down a job. I believe the reason for this is that I learned to use my back, head, hands, and arms correctly all those years ago. So if you find Alexander Technique helpful in the short-term, carry on, and learn all you can. It’s benefits can go on lasting long after the lessons stop. I’m sorry I can’t offer any advice as to frequency or duration of lessons….. but good luck!
Answer 2: When I started, I had two lessons a week (a normal lesson is 40 minutes) for the first three weeks, then one lesson a week until I had had twenty lessons. Twenty lessons are about the average for someone learning the technique. You can then go on to advanced courses that last all weekend.