The Alexander Technique
The Alexander Technique is a way to 'unlearn' harmful lifetime postural habits in order find relief from and solutions for chronic pain. It is a powerful tool that can be used in anything that you do, whether you are sitting at a desk, playing golf or playing an instrument.
The Alexander Technique addresses the root causes of spinal compression and pain by teaching you to become aware of your postural habits and guiding you toward better use of your body. With the Alexander Technique you will receive an education that will shift the way you use your body every day and empower you to make better choices for the long term health of your body.
An Alexander Technique lesson consists of learning a new way of approaching your every day movements (sitting, walking, lifting objects, sitting at your desk at work, sleep, etc). Heather will help you to recognize how your movement patterns are contributing to your recurring difficulties and pain. By analyzing your overall movement patterns instead of only the symptoms Heather goes right to the root of the issue and helps you change those patterns so you can find relief from pain. As Heather is also a yoga and pilates teacher, she will also give exercises for you to do at home to support the changes you are making.
Here is a great animated video describing The Alexander Technique!
Applying The Alexander Technique
Chronic pain is the most common condition that brings people to the Alexander Technique. Whatever the cause of your condition – herniated disc, muscle tension, arthritis, carpal tunnel – the discomfort you feel is directly affected by the way you use your body. If you compress your spine when you walk, work at your computer, or engage in your favorite exercise, you aggravate your condition on a regular basis and perpetuate the pain cycle.
Pain is your body’s signal that an illness, injury or tension needs your attention. Although chiropractic adjustment, massage, or pain relieving drugs can be helpful in reducing the symptoms of your pain, unless you change the movement habits at the source of the pain, the benefits of these other therapies will be temporary.
The Alexander Technique can teach you how to bring lifelong awareness and education to your physical habits in daily activities that are contributing to your pain. For example, if you slump, strain your neck as you look at your computer screen, or compress your back while typing, the discomfort you experience will continue unless awareness and education are brought to the situation. The pain and discomfort does not have to be there, but you must first learn what is causing the pain to know how to remedy the situation. When you get right to the source of the problem and a greater understanding of the way to use your body is achieved, there is relief from pain and an ease and comfort that is brought back into your movement.
We are constantly told that pain, lack of mobility, and a decrease in overall functioning are to be expected as we age. The list of age related problems seem endless and includes difficulties with movement, breathing, coordination, circulation, lack of energy, and on and on. The truth is that most of these problems are not a result of aging. They are a result of years of misusing our bodies and living with harmful habits that, when accumulated, cause serious problems. All too often, harmful habits of coordination and movement that may have been an inconvenience in one’s 30s and 40s become serious impediments to physical functioning in later years. The good news is that we have a choice in how we age. The Alexander Technique addresses these harmful habits and teaches the skills and awareness needed to change them. A habit that has been present for years will not change overnight. However, it will change within time if you are taught how to identify the cause of the problem and make better choices in the way you move. Aging does not have to mean a steady decline in the way our bodies function. When living your life with the ideas of the Alexander Technique, aging can be an opportunity to grow, learn and improve yourself every single day.