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Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. (MOVEMENT THERAPY)
The Alexander Technique makes it possible for people with back pain to sit, stand, walk, or other activities with less or no pain and without wear and tear to their bodies, if they apply the Alexander Technique principles of good body use. An Alexander Technique teacher shows the person in back pain how to do whatever they’re doing with a sense of poise and ease.
What is it exactly that an Alexander Technique teacher does for the person in back pain that makes it unique? We teach the person in back pain to find the most effortless way to do whatever they’re doing. We teach the person in back pain that her whole body does an activity. If the whole body is balanced, and the techniques used make personal sense, the person in back pain will do the activity without sacrificing his or her body.
In the Alexander Technique the person’s well-being is paramount. If he or she takes care of him or herself with Alexander Technique principles, the person in back pain will find a way to move that so balanced, that they won’t sacrifice the body with contortions trying to stop the pain.
Alexander Technique teachers believe the means will take care of the ends. This means if the person in pain puts his awareness on his posture and use in an activity and chooses to find the easiest way to move with the least amount of work and with high energy, he will not wear his body out. (Use is the Alexander Technique term for how well you do what you’re doing. It means you find the easiest way to do something with mechanical advantage.)
With good use and posture, he will not create compression in his joints trying to maintain poor posture and simultaneously use too much muscle to walk, sit, run, play golf, or play tennis. A combination of using too much muscle to hold up a body off balance and using too much muscle to do the activity, make it nearly impossible to trust his body to do things without pain. This muscling of his body will keep his back hurting horribly and eventually leads to him becoming less and less active.
A person in back pain needs a set of tools to be able to move as painlessly as possible in everyday and specialized activities. What are these tools? They are conscious control, inhibition, orders, direction, renewing the thought, opposition, balance vs. position, grounding, and troubleshooting.
Conscious control is what F. M. Alexander called regaining control over the voluntary musculature of the body. If a client comes to me and says his neck and trapezius are hurting, and I tell him to just release these muscles, he’ll look at me like I’m crazy. The truth is he has lost conscious control over these muscles, and it seems to him there is no way to get them to release. It is the ability to tell your body what you want, so that it happens, that F. M. Alexander helped his students regain in everyday and specialized activities.