Chronic Health Problems: What Role Does the Alexander Technique Play? — 17 Comments

  1. Yes, yes, and yes to your three questions! A collapsed posture can keep the body in a state of flight or fight which leads to excessive wear and tear (allostatic load) and chronic illness. Had my first Alexander lession yesterday. Really like it!

  2. I think they do make a difference. I know when I have tension or stress, it goes right to my back. And I feel a difference when I make an effort to be aware of my posture.

  3. As the organizer of the Hidden Causes event, I am very interested to learn more about this technique. Perhaps, if you attend this month, you can introduce it. My main goal is to present any information that might help the group move closer to optimum health.

    • Angel, thanks again for putting on this event. I know everyone there greatly appreciates all your work and dedication in the cause of “optimum health.” I would love to have the opportunity to introduce the Alexander Technique later this month. I’ll contact you directly and see what might be possible.

  4. Some day we will have much more knowledge–at least knowledge accepted by a wide range of professionals–about how integrated all of the body is. Of course tension and posture likely affect some chronic conditions! We scrunch our body over in poor posture, and how could our breathing not be affected? Tension affects the muscles and probably the immune system. It would be great to have more hard evidence about all of this and how the Alexander Technique could help.

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

    • I too, would love to see more “hard evidence” on how the Alexander Technique helps a variety of conditions, but the British Medical Journal back pain study is a great start. There have been other studies on ways it can help various other conditions, but nothing on the scale of the one in the BMJ. I do know, from my personal experience, and watching how it can help my students, that it is effective in helping various things. In fact a student earlier today told me she felt happier since she’d been practicing the Alexander Technique 🙂

  5. I’m sure the Technique can reveal some “Hidden Causes” behind chronic conditions. By definition chronic conditions involve habits. These are often unhelpful habitual reactions to challenges like pain.

    This event sounds a very interesting attempt to bring holistic practitioners together. As Alexander Teacher and yoga student , I’ve been recently reading news about both the benefits that yoga can give to back pain sufferers and about the -sometimes severe- injuries, yoga can cause. Here, definitely, a basic understanding of the Alexander Technique would shed light to how this seeming contradiction is possible.

  6. Absolutely Imogen! The way we hold ourselves & our posture (or lack of!) definitely plays into chronic pain. And I agree that slouchiness (or they way we hold ourselves when we’re sad or feeling insecure) can also play into digestive issues — it makes sense to me!

    I hope you get a chance to speak up at your next symposium.

    Heidi & Atticus
    “commentary to give you paws…”

  7. There does seem to be an increase in consciousness within parts of the medical community. However I’m concerned that Alexander Technique will continue to ‘fall between the cracks’ of modality-discernment. The refined sensing-abilities that people develop through our work not only brings about improved health, but it also brings about improvements in being a patient. Every medical practitioner should be so lucky to have AlexTech students or practitioners in their office. Their reporting will be more accurate and useful. And these patients hold the possibility of being active participants in their healing.

    Now…..if only the medical practitioners could have more reliable, more refined sensing abilities, AKA ‘listening’!

  8. I’ve been an AT pupil for 11 years and would agree with you Imogen, it makes so much sense. Healing isn’t a science, it’s an art and that’s what some of the medical community don’t understand yet, hopefully in time they will. It may challenge them to step outside their comfort zone, not an easy thing to do, Alexander Lessons would help show them the way.

    A quote from F.Matthias Alexander, a little book called ‘Aphorisms’ p74.
    ‘They may teach you anatomy and physiology till they are black in the face – you will still have this to face: sticking to a decision against your habit of life’

    Love reading your blog, thank you.

  9. Hi Imogen,

    I agree!
    I was a little surprised when I moved to the US from Germany how everything (in the US) is run on pills only (talking about regular practitioners that are supported by the entire system). It’s weird that so many think that this should be the only truth..
    It also surprised me that my insurance doesn’t pay for my chiropractor?!?

    I love the Alexander Technique and I am a great supporter of your topic!

    Franziska San Pedro
    Flavor Designs

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