It’s all ruined – time to find the Alexander Technique teachers!
My career was in tatters. Everything hurt. I was grumpy, angry, and seriously out of love with my own body. I started to resent it when people didn’t understand my pain. It felt like just because they couldn’t see it, they didn’t believe me. They probably didn’t.
And things weren’t getting better. In fact they were getting a lot, lot worse.
In 2003 I’d started to get pain in my arms. After a while it spread to my shoulders and back, and before long I was struggling to do my job.
As a well-paid IT consultant, I was used to spending long hours sitting at a desk. But the pain was something new to me. What was going on? I went to see my doctor, who suggested I had repetitive strain injury (RSI) . I took a little time off work to get better, and, full of anticipation, went back to work.
But to my anguish, the problem came back. Even worse. I was ruined! Let me reassure you – I know what it’s like to be in pain. I have the book, the t-shirt, the film, the tea-towel. I know what pain is! So I cashed in my health insurance and travelled down to Harley Street to see a specialist.
A very pleasant man, with a tendency to jut my chin forward?
The doctor described me as a very pleasant man with a tendency to jut my chin forward. I’m not sure how I took that, but fair enough! He diagnosed a work-related-upper-limb-disorder (WRULD), declared me unable to work, and handed me a list of therapies to try. Right at the bottom of the list was “The Alexander Technique”, and as he looked me in the eye he pointed to this and meaningfully declared “This is the one that will help you. But it’s not a therapy. Go and find some Alexander Technique teachers!”
I’d never heard of the Alexander Technique. Ever. So for several months I spent my dwindling, sorry fortune taking trains from Leicester to St Pancras to visit a specialist physio. I tried osteopathy. I tried massage. I tried chiropractic. I learned yoga. And tai-chi. I took up running. Strange people in hairdressers wiggled my feet. I bought foul tasting tinctures and herbs and pills. I bought tinctures herbs and pills that tasted of nothing too. And guess what? None of it really helped. Sometimes my symptoms would go down a bit, but a day or two later I’d be right back where I started.
“Alexander’s work is of first class importance and investigation by the medical profession is imperative” – The British Medical Journal
Right at the bottom, the words were still staring back at me…
So I went back to my list, and there, right at the bottom, the words were still staring back at me. “Alexander Technique”. And I remembered the specialist saying “Go and find some Alexander Technique teachers!”. Why hadn’t I found any Alexander Technique teachers by now? I don’t know. Alexander Technique teachers aren’t very common, there really are very few of us. And I hadn’t heard of it before. Had you?
So I looked for Alexander Technique teachers and found a Doctor in Leicester, where I lived, who actually taught this unheard-of thing. On the bus I jumped and found myself in front of a bubbly, smiling Doctor/Alexander Technique teacher. At once she saw my problem. I was using my body terribly. I was standing badly, one shoulder lower than the other, with both rounded forward. I was slumping. In sitting, I was a collapsed heap. And I was was stressed. Very, very stressed. Dr. Miriam Wohl, thankyou soooo much, for your patience and skills, you life-saver! As far as Alexander Technique teachers go, Miriam is a superstar.
Learning the Alexander Technique was a revelation. I soon began to feel a bit better, and each session left me feeling positive. My RSI was taking a long time to heal, I’d hurt myself so badly with my bad posture, bad habits, and bad attitude. But I was on the road to recovery. Something just felt right.
I’d fallen in love…
I’d fallen in love with the Alexander Technique. At last I’d found a way to crawl out of the hole I’d ended up in, a way to be free from the pain and posture problems that had dogged my adult life. And it felt great! I wanted to join the other Alexander Technique teachers who were experts in this field. It just felt right.
So I decided this was for me, and I signed up right away to learn to join the other Alexander Technique teachers in this fascinating career. That way, I’d absolutely have to be an expert in this technique – there’d be no avoiding it. Well, I’m sorry to say, I was a slow learner at first. Clumsy and stubborn, much to the dismay of those poor Alexander Technique teachers trying to help me. But gradually it started to make sense. A lot of sense. And my sense of well-being grew and grew. I felt great!
It was a full-time Alexander Technique teachers training course, for three full years, in Kendal in the beautiful Lake District (well, it’s beautiful when it’s not raining, those lakes don’t fill up by themselves you know!), and over time I learned to teach this fabulous method. Now I’m an expert, and I like to think that because I learned slowly at first, it means I can help you learn better – because I’ve already made all the mistakes and can spot them a mile off!
It’s amazing how you can apply the technique to so many things, from working with a computer to being a top golfer, to simple pleasures like gardening without pain, or playing with the grand-kids. It’s all about working and playing with less tension and much more self-awareness, so you get fantastic, light, easy-feeling movement, which means you’re left with stacks more energy at the end of the day. Think of it as mindful movement rather than autopilot drudgery. Think of it as a skill you can learn and repeat, so you don’t have to rely on anyone else to fix you.
The results were amazing…
Armed with my Alexander Technique teachers graduation certificate from three-years full-time training, and full of excitement, I settled in Heaton Moor near some friends, and opened my doors for the flood of new patients. Day by day, week by week, no-one came. I fell further into debt and started selling off my belongings. But then gradually, people started to come to see me. Many of these people still come and see me today, for refresher sessions a couple of times a year. I’m sooooo grateful to them, and to the friends they still recommend to come and see me. You can find many of their testimonials around this website. Then a study was published in the British Medical Journal. A proper, randomised control trial funded by the NHS and the Medical Research Council. The results were amazing. People with chronic back pain halved it in just six sessions. People who took more dropped it 86%. And it was clinically proven. Soon after, the papers were declaring it brilliant, the best cure for back pain, and articles about stars like Victoria Beckham started to pop up all over the place. Hooray, at last!
“I find the Alexander Technique very helpful in my work. Things happen without you trying. They get to be light and relaxed. You must get an Alexander teacher to show it to you” – John Cleese, comedian and actor.
That was way back in 2007. Since then, all I’ve done is be a full-time Alexander Technique teacher. It really is a full-time commitment for me. Many Alexander teachers keep another full- or part-time job to pay their bills, and don’t build a big enough practice to switch to going full-time. A few others don’t really need to work at all, thanks to independent means or rich spouses. Oh if only I were one of them! I don’t know many other Alexander Technique teachers who do the work full-time, like I do. It’s a big commitment, teaching all week, but I love it. And the satisfaction of guiding people safely to a better quality of life is priceless. I wouldn’t change it for the world. Unless I won the lottery, in which case you wouldn’t see me for dust!
I’ve found my vocation – time to join the other Alexander Technique teachers!
So now I enjoy training people of all ages and all kinds of backgrounds, both privately and in groups. Now I helping people with back pain, neck pain, sciatica, headaches and many other problems caused by bad posture and bad habits. At long last, I’ve found my vocation! And to this day I’ve never regretted joining the Alexander Technique teachers. Every. Single. Session. Is Fun.
Many people come to me to reduce back and neck pain. Others to improve their posture or to look slimmer. Some just want to learn a fun new skill. Many want to be more mindful. And some are just curious. Everyone leaves satisfied.
And it’s not just pain and posture that I can help you with. More and more people are taking an interest in mindfulness, meditation, and consciousness – which are massively enhanced by learning Alexander Technique, which means less anxiety and stress! Alexander Technique teachers are usually happy, confident people. We’re really into mindfulness but we don’t need to sit chanting or meditating to be mindfully aware of ourselves all the time. It comes with the job.
How Does It Work?
It works by increasing your self-awareness and improving your posture, so you know how you’re sitting, or walking, or playing golf around Cheshire, playing with the kids, or simply using a computer at work. Whatever it is you do. How could you benefit from moving with less pain and effort, and being much more aware of your posture and actions? Being self-aware like this feels really good, and it stops you mindlessly slumping in front of the computer or TV – so you’re sat well, poised, pain-free and ready for action. My clients talk of feeling ‘poised, light and graceful’ which is the opposite of ‘tired, slumped and in pain’ anyway you look at it! Which one of those are you right now? Are you going to stay like that forever? Really?
Much less effort…
You’ll learn to put much less effort into everyday tasks, rather than stomping around like a bull in a china shop (with a bad back, bad posture, and stressed – a bad combination!). I’ll gently and safely guide you into better posture and then teach you to keep it going whilst you’re active. Easy but effective!
Learning to move freely, poised and in balance takes no physical effort at all. You don’t have to wear jogging bottoms and sweat away at the gym, you don’t have to be able to do a daft handstand on your head, and you don’t need to work out. We’re not in the ‘no pain no gain’ camp here! It’s all in your thinking. And because thinking takes no effort, you’ll soon be moving smoothly and working effectively to relieve your pain, improve your posture, look slimmer, and feeling better than ever.
Try out a session, and feel the benefits there and then, or pay nothing at all. No obligation! I’m so confident you’ll enjoy and benefit from your session I can happily offer you this guarantee. You really have nothing to lose (and no-one has ever needed to take advantage of this, so it’s easy for me to offer, but it’s there if you want, you’re free to choose!)