i-am magazine July/August 2015 DISTINCTIONS

Page 24

achieve |

the alexander technique • • •

Pain Management Just Might story | Andrea Fedele


ow many doctors, therapists, or instructors have you consulted in your attempt to eliminate nagging pain and discomfort? Do you find that the pain returns between appointments? Each of these healers may play an important role in helping us feel better, but often the relief is temporary and doesn’t solve a very common underlying problem: the way that we move, sit and stand during our daily lives is often a major contributor to our pain or discomfort. That’s right, our habits are persistently undoing our therapist’s good work. Between massage appointments your shoulders tighten again; between chiropractic appointments the lower back pain returns. Maybe you are concerned whether these therapies can keep you comfortable and mobile as you age. The Alexander Technique is a method that specifically addresses what is working against you between therapy appointments or yoga classes: the habitual way you move, sit and stand in your daily life. It helps people with a wide variety of physical discomforts or challenges, interests, hobbies, and workplaces. The Alexander Technique is able to benefit almost anyone because most people today spend a lot of time slouching, which hurts them. Even when people appear to have good posture, they are often tense and uncomfortable. Lessons in the Alexander Technique improve the way a person uses her body, no matter what she’s currently doing, resulting in poised posture that feels effortless and in fluid, easy movement. The benefits of the Alexander Technique are now becoming more widely realized with the general public, but it is already well-established in the performing arts. Frederick M. Alexander, who developed the Technique around 1900, was an actor who overcame problems with hoarseness through the changes he made in his body mechanics. Many schools, including the Juilliard School, offer the Technique to their students. Well-known performers have studied the Technique, including Hilary Swank, Paul Newman, James Galway and Sting. REPLACING BAD POSTURE HABITS Good posture is essential to feeling your best and moving efficiently. When people learn I’m an Alexander Technique teacher and that it has to do with improving posture and body mechanics, they always comment that their own posture isn’t great. We all know that good posture is supposed to be better than collapsed or tense posture, but we find that when we try to have

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