My Alexander Technique Story – Part 3: Transformation
If you’ve been following my story, you’ll know that I dealt with chronic neck pain for years until I finally came across the Alexander Technique and had my first lesson.
From that point I had weekly lessons for several months and experienced many gradual changes as I began to incorporate what I was learning into my life. As well as a gradual reduction in my neck issues, one of the first, unexpected changes I noticed after a few months was that a callous I’d had on my left foot for at least two years (I’d tried on and off using those medicated bandages to get rid of it to no avail) had completely disappeared. I could only attribute this to Alexander Technique. I was beginning to feel so much more balanced in my body, and I believe the pressure going into my feet had completely changed and my weight was now much more evenly distributed. More importantly I began to feel in control of what was going on and that my relationship to my neck pain was gradually changing. I was not so fearful anymore, and felt generally more optimistic and able to take on new things.
During my son’s first year of Kindergarten I decided I would like to train to be an Alexander Technique teacher. I could not imagine anything better than a job that required you to use your body with no excess tension! And, I would be teaching people how to solve their own body problems too. The nearest training course was in Charlottesville, Virginia, so for the next three years I commuted 70 plus miles each way for three or four days per week. Despite the commute the experience was truly wonderful and I felt myself transform on many levels. I had more energy, I felt younger and more positive, and, needless to say, my neck problems were receding all the time.
I graduated from the Alexander Technique Training Centre in Charlottesville in June 2006. Less than a month later I moved with my family to Wilmington, Delaware. Since then I have been teaching the Alexander Technique to a variety of people in my home studio in north Wilmington and at other locations throughout the Brandywine Valley area of Delaware and Pennsylvania. I continue to learn more about the Technique every day; I still have lessons for myself occasionally, and I attend post-graduate courses for Alexander teachers regularly. As with any skill there is always something new to learn if you want to, and I love bringing this unique method into the lives to other people.
Do you have something in your life that has been transformational? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below.
Fascinating story about how you are now living doing what you love, especially with your “Healer, Heal thyself” story. I love hearing the expected result of your callous disappearing! For me, I have been very moved by Alexander technique which I first encountered when doing a trade with one of my older qigong students. She had been teaching and practicing it for years and we had fun comparing the overlaps and differences.
For me, qigong has been transformational over and over ahain for the past 42 (!) years. I keep thinking I should “grow up and get a job” but then something transformational happens in my life or work where I fall in love with it all over again.
How lovely that qigong has proved transformational many times over for you. While I am not at 42 years yet, I do see a similar trend happening with my experience with Alexander Technique.
It’s wonderful to hear your story. And I think it’s great that you’re sharing it here on your blog. It helps people know who you are and relate to you. And who better to teach and treat than someone who has been there! I’m sure you are an amazing teacher!
A Picture’s Worth
Glad you enjoyed the story, Susan. I do, absolutely, believe that my own personal experience helps me relate better to people with similar problems. Thanks for your kind words.
Thanks Imogen, I had a couple of sessions with the Alexander technique – we had a practitioner join our BNI chapter for a while. She had a very enthusiastic following.
If you get a chance, give it a try some time (you don’t need to be in pain to benefit!). It can be quite eye-opening!
I have been curious about the Alexander Technique, so was most interested in your story. I have not had the greatest relationship with my body in general, and then a few years ago after some trauma and surgeries I was left with a great deal of pain. Although I didn’t come across Alexander Technique then, I did seek out some body therapies. I am happy to say I am pain free now and I consider it an on-going project to develop balance and strength in my body. I have become very devoted to my exercise routine and work with an amazing trainer. I can imagine seeking out more advanced body work at some time, so I appreciate reading your story.
The Reflective Writer
Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing
I’m so glad to hear you found a way out of your situation too. It sounds like you would appreciate the Alexander Technique (and it could actually enhance your exercise routine!!) and I hope at some point you are able to take a few lessons and see what it’s all about for yourself.
I love working with the body because it is so amazing. Seeking body therapies for my own aches and pains led me to my profession in holistic medicine. Each time my body was transformed I learned something new about what was possible which also facilitated change in others. Body alignment is key to good health.
Maureena Bivins, PhD, LAc
Acupuncture & Somatic Therapy
Curious. Committed. Compassionate.
What do you look for in a health care provider?
Completely agree, Maureena, that body alignment (posture and the way we move and go about our daily tasks), is often overlooked, like nutrition, by the medical profession – but both are key elements to good health.
Reading the personal story of your healing and then education along that same path is inspirational. Even with the training time commitment and your move, you have continued on the path to better health. My own health transformation was not quite as dramatic, but I can see similarities to your journey. Once you experience the impact on your life – feeling better with more energy, being more positive and feeling younger – it is hard to even think about NOT continuing to do it. That’s true even if your old self would have thought it was too hard, too much work or not worth it. It’s great that you have continued on your own journey and are helping others to feel better, too.
Interesting to hear that you had a somewhat similar experience. And it’s true, I never even considered NOT continuing with the Alexander Technique. It’s helped me so much, and continues to do so in new ways all the time.
the Alexander Technique is more effective than other more traditional approaches to back pain.!!!
Absolutely! There was even a large-scale study published in the British Medical Journal that showed that lessons in the Alexander Technique had long-term benefits for the relief of back pain – see http://www.bmj.com/content/337/bmj.a884.full
For me, the tranformation occurred and continues to occur with the Reconnective Healing. Major tranformation took place with the Reconnection. After my reconnection, I fetl a core strength inside me I had never felt before and for the first time in my life, I felt whole.
Always from the heart!
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That sounds amazing, Julieanne! I will have to find out more about reconnective healing. Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂
I am fascinated by how doing something that we discover, changes us and not only transforms us but lights us up. I have been on a journey of transformation, with so many steps. My last big change was a few weeks ago with an incredible breakthrough coaching experience. I got to connect to pain from my past, feel, touch, cry all over it and release it. Walls came tumbling down. I feels so powerfully good.
Enjoyed your story!
Effortless Elegance living for the Moderne Femme
Author of “Le Chic Cocoon”
Yes – transformation doesn’t usually happen all at once – it is an ongoing process. And while Alexander Technique was and is a major factor for me in enabling change to take place, transformation can indeed from many different places and in many different forms. One break through just opens up something that can lead to the next one! So wonderful to hear about your experience – thanks for sharing.
When I began Alexander Technique, it was because I thought of it as awareness training that would change my consciousness, evoke “Flow” states and indirectly provide psychological insights. I did not imagine it would also straighten out my long-standing congenital limp.
Transformational examples and opportunities have come from many obscure people I have met in all walks of life (some of whom were “diamonds in the rough.”) So – I’ve learned it pays to be paying attention to not allow these opportunities to whizz over my clueless head!
I was attracted to Alexander Technique in 1975 by noticing how effortlessly a classmate in college moved to tie his shoe – because I’d gained an appreciation of efffortlessness being an expression of consciousness by watching Aikido. It’s curious how such mundane things spark what later developes into years of fascination – that’s still happening decades later.
Fran – it sounds like you started out with Alexander Technique from almost the opposite point of view from me – but got, in addition, what might be thought of as more practical, postural help. I wanted practical postural help – and got so much more… I find it fascinating that your first attraction to Alexander Technique was from watching your classmate perform the “mundane” task of tying his shoe! I’m so glad you saw him! Does he know that he inspired decades of interest?
Wow- your story is very inspiring and really makes me want to find out more about the Alexander technique. I am betting that, with the advent of computers etc., that more and more people can benefit with a technique such as yours. I know for me personally, sitting at a desk working on the computer, slumped forward, neck crunched, shoulders tense, that it takes me a while after I get up to get back into some semblance of body order! I’d love a post on how your technique could help with all us computer users!
http://www.ourlittlebooks.com ~ Little Books with a Big message
Candace, using the computer (cell phones, laptops, etc. etc.) causes many people a lot of problems. What you describe about yourself is an almost universal problem, and I help lots of my clients with this specifically. I know I couldn’t spend all the time I do at my computer without the help of the Alexander Technique! I will definitely be posting on this subject in the future, so stay tuned!
The whole last two years has been transformational for me as my blog has recorded. For me it started with a PBS TV show – I saw Wayne Dyer talking about “If you change the way you look at things the things you look at change” and since then I have attracted nothing but GREAT opportunities like the chance to coach SNCC and now my own coaching programs are starting to develop. I have an action packed 2012 planned and I am loving this sense of purpose. I feel it is my purpose to inspire and help other women to overcome their fears and limiting beliefs in life and business. Love it!
Breaking Through Frontiers
Louise, I love hearing about the changes you have been making. I didn’t know that it was a PBS show that got you started! It’s interesting what can inspire us to change, and the knock-on effect from one change to the next.
I love your dedication to making the journey – literally and figuratively, and how you believed in it and so prioritized your training. It goes to show you that the right modality gives so much more than the effort required to attain it. I have had breakthroughs throughout my life with various modalities at various times – Alexander, Acupuncture, NMT, NLP, EFT…. so many ways to heal!
Shayla, you make a great point that no one thing is going to bring us everything. While Alexander Technique has been the key thing in my life that has enabled big changes for the better, there are many other things that enabled me to make other changes. I’m glad Alexander was one of the modalities that helped you have a breakthrough 🙂
I love your story of discovery, change, healing and how that led to a new career – and your dedication and determination to making that happen! I have experienced some Alexander Technique and as a previous Chiropractor I can totally appreciate the value of body awareness and positioning. It doesn’t surprise me at all that the callous on your foot healed – makes total sense! Thank you for sharing your journey 🙂
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