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Thread: Alexander Technique

  1. #1
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    Dec 2008
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    Alexander Technique

    Hi all,

    I'm wondering if anyone has tried the Alexander Technique. I teach this technique in NYC, and I've taught several people with scoliosis. The ages have ranged from 9 to 55 years old and all found it extremely beneficial.
    It doesn't seem very well known in this community. Has anyone tried it?

    Best,
    Mark

  2. #2
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    Jan 2008
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    Yes, I have and it is FANTASTIC! I've been taking lessons now for about 9 months and it is the one thing I can say has really helped me deal with my pain. It has improved my posture so in general my pain levels have decreased. It has also helped me deal with the pain mentally - I'm not quite sure how this works, it may be something to do with feeling more in control of your life again. The pain was making me very depressed, and I have AT to thank for getting me out of that frame of mind.

    I still have pain, and I do still have days when it gets to me. But I feel the Alexander Technique is helping me manage the pain and get on with my life. I can't recommend it enough!

  3. #3
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    Alexander Technique

    Hi Carolad,

    I like the way you described what the Alexander Technique has done for you as 'feeling more in control of your life again.'
    That's exactly the way I felt when I was in severe neck pain. I felt more control of my life after a few sessions of the technique. It got me out of my pain because it taught me how to make a little more room for myself. It's almost like it helps you apply your own gentle traction for yourself, 24 hours a day.
    In the case of scoliosis I believe it helps people 'lengthen through the curves.'
    I also can't recommend it enough!

  4. #4
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    Mark, what board governs you?
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  5. #5
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    Alexander Technique

    Hi txmarinemom,

    Thanks for asking.

    Alexander Technique teachers are certified (or should be certified)
    I graduated from ACAT, The American Center for the Alexander Technique which is licensed by New York State. It's a three year program with a lot of outside of school work. The classes alone were 3 hours a day, five days a week for 3 years. Once you graduate you are certified by AmSAT- The American Society of Alexander Teachers. http://www.alexandertech.org/
    If you go there you could get a list of certified teachers. There's also a link to a major scientific study completed August '08 which was on the front page of the British Medical Journal proving how effective the AT is for back pain. It was a year long study, where they followed 597 people, some having AT lessons, some not.
    Thanks!
    Mark
    http://www.markjosefsberg.com

  6. #6
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    Jan 2008
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    Hi Mark - yes, its amazing how it has this positive effect on your outlook. I'm still not entirely sure why or how it works - but then I reckon I don't need to know, as long as I'm getting some benefit from it!

    What I found very different from other therapies was that my AT teacher didn't make any claims that he would 'fix' me or cure my pain - a very different approach from all the physios and chiropractors I've seen who all start out saying they can help me, but then all give up in the end, leaving me no better off with regard to my pain (but financially much worse off!) In fact the pain is almost a side issue in AT, it is more important that you concentrate on the whole body rather than focussing on the 'problem' area.

    Very hard to explain to someone who hasn't done it, but it really is worth trying if you've exhausted other forms of pain relief.

  7. #7
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    Alexander Technique

    Hi Carolad,

    Thanks for writing about the Alexander Technique. Yes, I've never told anyone I can fix or cure them. In fact, I know of no Alexander teacher who would make that claim. As I said before, I've only worked with a few people with scoliosis, and they both have changed their habits and just feel better.
    They both email me once in a while. I currently am working with someone whose has neck is partly fused, and has had 3 operations so far.
    Mostly people take lessons to improve their 'posture' or to relieve neck and back pain.
    Yes, it's hard to explain without experiencing it yourself.
    It seems like you understand some of the main concepts. It also seems like you have a good teacher.
    To me one of the biggest differences between this and other modalities is that this is a tool you learn to use yourself.
    Anyway, thanks again. Because of what you wrote perhaps someone will check it out.
    Best,
    Mark

  8. #8
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    Mar 2009
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    Can anyone explain the difference between the Alexander Technique and Rolfing? I have an appointment next week with a Structural Integration Practitioner who does work based on the Rolf Method. It sounds similar to AT. Any thoughts? I'm not expecting a miracle, but apparently, my 25+ years post-harrington rod surgery pain in being caused by tight muscles, etc. PT is helping a little, but I really believe it's poor posture that got me into this chronic pain mess (not intentionally, but I didn't know any better). I'm hoping that by carrying myself day in an day out in an appropriate way will help take the stresses of the structures that are causing pain.

    Thanks

  9. #9
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    It's not your fault!!!

    I really believe it's poor posture that got me into this chronic pain mess (not intentionally, but I didn't know any better). I'm hoping that by carrying myself day in an day out in an appropriate way will help take the stresses of the structures that are causing pain
    .

    ugej

    None of the above. Visiting a scoliosis specialist with experience treating prior fusions is your best bet for relief. There are many forum members who got help and another forum with issues like yours called flatbackers.
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  10. #10
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    Jan 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by ugej View Post
    Can anyone explain the difference between the Alexander Technique and Rolfing? I have an appointment next week with a Structural Integration Practitioner who does work based on the Rolf Method. It sounds similar to AT. Any thoughts? I'm not expecting a miracle, but apparently, my 25+ years post-harrington rod surgery pain in being caused by tight muscles, etc. PT is helping a little, but I really believe it's poor posture that got me into this chronic pain mess (not intentionally, but I didn't know any better). I'm hoping that by carrying myself day in an day out in an appropriate way will help take the stresses of the structures that are causing pain.

    Thanks
    I'm afraid I don't have any experience of Rolfing so can't comment on that. But the Alexander Technique is not a 'treatment' in the way that Rolfing is - it is more a state of mind than a physical therapy. The Alexander Technique teaches you to be more in tune with your body and be aware of muscle tightness that is 'holding' you in the wrong position. By learning to let go of this tension, your body will naturally come into a better alignment. I know it sounds a bit airy-fairy, but there is good evidence that it works for all sorts of chronic pain conditions. Having said that, I'm not sure how your surgery would affect the effectiveness of doing AT - it might be worth chatting to a reputable teacher to see what they say.

    I hope you find something to ease your pain x

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by anna_maria View Post
    i'm interested too about alexander technique
    Why?

    Do you have scoliosis?
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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