Dealing Effectively with Pain using the Alexander Technique.
If you’re suffering from pain, learning the Alexander Technique is a great way to manage or remove many problems.
It works by teaching you how to go about everything you do with less tension and less effort. My clients are often delighted to find out just how easy it can be. By moving with less effort, you’re putting a lot less strain on your joints and muscles, so everything feels lighter and easier. That’s the trademark of a good Alexander Technique session – you feel a lot lighter and everything takes less effort.
After six sessions I can feel a positive change and look forward to further sessions. Conditions improved: increased awareness, reduced pain, reduced stress, improved happiness and improved energy – Alan (and wife) come from Marple for Alexander Technique.
A Skill for Life
You can learn a new way of going about your daily life -so this is something that you learn, rather than something that’s ‘done to you’. It really is a skill for life.
If you’ve tried physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropracty, drugs, massage, surgery or acupuncture, and still end up in the same old fix, and you haven’t experience the Alexander Technique then you’re missing out! In a series of zero-effort sessions, you’ll learn to sense the muscular tightening that naturally accompanies pain. I’ll show you how to release that tension, so you’re not making the issue worse by tightening up and stiffening around the pain.
“I didn’t believe that I could be saved from the pain, I had tried so much and it hadn’t made any difference. I thought I would just have to live with the pain and just deal with it. When I left the lesson, I was so shocked, I was left feeling like I was on cloud 9. My body was like a blank canvas and I was starting from scratch with how to do everything. I began crying outside the surgery as all this stress and tension that I myself had created in my body was released, the feeling was incredible. I feel annoyed that I have wasted so much time being in pain when I could have sorted it earlier.” Edie Moss, Stockport.
There’s no quick fix here, although often I’ve helped people to ditch back, neck, hip or knee pain, sciatica, and headaches after just a few sessions. Sometimes it happens quickly, and for other people it takes a lot longer. The only way to find out if you’ll learn it quickly is to try a lesson. It’s important to realise that if there’s a significant injury or physical problem, I may not be able to help at all. But if your pain is just a result of bad habits, as in the case of most back and neck pain, then there’s a good chance I can help. Make sure you’ve seen a GP to ensure you don’t have a serious underlying condition.
97% of people with back pain could benefit by learning the Alexander Technique – it is only a very small minority of back pain sufferers that require medical intervention such as surgery – Jack Stern MD, Spinal Neurosurgeon.
Your body adapts to habits – sitting, standing, driving, using a phone, using the computer and so on, or even just sitting and watching TV. The Alexander Technique looks for the ways you act and move, and teaches you to avoid the bad habits, or to do them with a lot less tension. So a lot of the causes of the pain and malfunction are removed, which means a lot less pain.
An alternative therapy used to improve posture is more effective at treating back problems than conventional treatments, research has found. Those who received 24 lessons of Alexander technique experienced 18 fewer days (per month) of misery. In addition the Alexander technique group reported improved quality of life. Telegraph, 19th August 2008.
Personally speaking, I learned the Alexander Technique to help me get over RSI (repetitive strain injury). It took me a while, but I got there. So now I get to do all those things the pain had stopped me from doing. And I really enjoy life to the full. With the Alexander Technique, minimum effort = maximum results!
You can’t learn it from a book or CD, you really do need to come and try it out for yourself. You can find me in Manchester, Wilmslow, Stockport and around Cheshire giving home visits and group courses and workshops.
Hello James, I am one of your clients from the Wilmslow clinic. I seriously can not believe what I am writing to you here…. from Friday I have had NO PAIN in my hips!!! I have slept through the night with no pain disturbing me, no shooting pains in either hip. How can this be so soon and to be honest I don’t know what you did, but it seems to have worked so far. AMAZING…… can’t wait for more treatment on the rest of me now – June, Weight Watchers leader, Cheshire.
Pain Clinics Learn to Benefit from the Alexander Technique.
Substantial NHS cost savings have been shown for Pain Clinics offering Alexander Technique.
More than half of the service users who took part in a service evaluation project halted or reduced the medication they were taking between the day Alexander Technique lessons began and for the following three months. This meant that the NHS saved on medication costs. St Michael’s Hospital Bristol
The high quality clinical trial carried out at St Michael’s Hospital Bristol, in 2010 and 2011 focused on patients with chronic or recurrent pain. They were fortunate enough to receive six weekly one-to-one Alexander technique lessons with STAT registered teachers. It was funded by the Avon Primary Care Research Collaborative and aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the Alexander Technique service, the experiences of the service users and their clinicians, and to highlight the potential of the service to the NHS.
It was very effective. They found it led to a substantial reduction in the use of pain medication and other NHS pain related costs. Dr Peter Brook, the lead consultant at St Michaels Pain Clinic (University Hospitals Bristol, NHS Foundation Trust) said “The fact that there pain is the same or slightly better on half as much medication is an enormous improvement.”
Key findings of the evaluation are:
- An Alexander Technique teaching service in a pain clinic can make a difference to how people manage their pain and reduce their pain related NHS costs including medication, tests and investigations and consultations with GPs and hospital doctors.
- Most patients liked the Alexander Technique lessons and benefited in terms of their day-to-day relationship with pain.
- Awareness and increased understanding of pain also led to some behaviour change and changes in self-knowledge from the patient.
- The result was a recommendation that Alexander technique lessons should be considered by NHS commissioners who are interested in providing a useful, cost saving addition to pain clinic service provision, particularly as a useful service for those who are seeking a long-term educational approach to chronic pain.
Full PDF report: SEAT REPORT FINAL June2012
I recommend the Alexander Technique as an extremely sophisticated form of rehabilitation. Professor N. Tinbergen in his Nobel Prize Speech for Medicine
In another study in a pain management clinic the patients rated the Alexander Technique the best of 13 activities used. Fisher K et al. ‘Early experiences of a multidisciplinary pain management programme’ 3:47-56, 1988.
If you work in a pain clinic or use one, contact us now, call 0161 4316977 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about providing this effective cost-saving service in your clinic.
“I first went to see James’ because I had been suffering from painful sciatica. My doctor had prescribed pain killers but although these helped a little with the pain they did nothing to cure the underlying problem. I had heard of the Alexander technique but knew very little about it but it seemed worth giving it a go! James explained the principles and worked on stretching ,relaxing and loosening my tensions, aches and pains. After 2 sessions there was a noticeable difference and after another two the pain had completely gone. In these sessions I also learned to be more aware of my body and my posture improved.” Barbara Horne, Heaton Mersey.
And if you don’t feel the benefit from your first session, you don’t pay, so there’s nothing to lose. Seems like a no-brainer to me!