Posts Tagged "Alexander Technique Lessons for Pain Management"

Pain Management: How Alexander Technique Lessons can help

Did you know that your thought process can have a positive effect on your physical well-being? This is one of the skills you develop with the Alexander Technique, an educational method with over a hundred-year track record.

The Alexander Technique gives you a way to better understand how your body works. Through a course of one-on-one sessions with a certified Alexander Technique teacher, you will learn to:

  • how to recapture the ease, and freedom of movement that we enjoyed as young children.
  • how to release the stress so that it doesn’t compound your condition.
  • return your body and mind to balance and gain a sense of control over your tension and stress responses.

Basically, The Alexander Technique empowers you to self-manage your conditions. It offers practical, proactive methods for dealing with the acute onset of pain and the challenge of getting through daily activities.

The Alexander Technique helps you find long-term relief without the side effects of drugs or the physical cost of surgery. Since you activate this process on your own, you know how to perpetuate its beneficial effects, long after your sessions are over.

And, once you have greater control over how you feel, your focus naturally swings to other areas of your life – to exercising, playing your favorite sport, going through a workday in greater comfort, or savoring a long walk. Rather than tuning out the constant static of pain, you re-awaken sensation and access a new reservoir of energy and enjoyment.

“The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act, not react”  — George Bernard Shaw.

One of the many famous people who have benefitted from lessons in the Alexander Technique was lucky enough to study F.M. Alexander himself, and started having lessons in his 80’s.

Special Needs

While the title “Special Needs” does not begin to cover all the many different sorts of labels that currently exist for people, it is a very useful umbrella. Having a music therapy degree as well as thirty years of teaching experience, I have developed many ways to help these people engage in music-making that is deeply rewarding for them.

A major requirement is to suspend all the usual criteria for musical excellence, ie sings on the pitch, remembers the words and rhythm accurately, practices regularly, and is continually getting better.

I believe that we all love music, but many of us have lost that love along the way, often in very sad ways.  People who have “Special Needs” have a very strong and obvious love of music, and the challenge is to find ways in which they can learn to make music themselves.

While listening to music may be fun, it is the act of making music that is the most therapeutic and therefore meaningful. It becomes something that they can do, instead of the opposite. So Christmas day 2020 was profoundly highlighted for me by two of my long time students with Special Needs wanting their music lessons because Friday is one of the two days a week that they do music.

The basis of music learning is singing, moving, and playing the drums, so every music lesson I teach includes all three activities in different proportions. As the student progresses in all of these areas, other types of musical possibilities may open up ie playing the piano.

For students with Special Needs who are able to read, I have developed special song sheets that not only have the words of the song, but also the letter names of the pitches involved in the song over the correct words. This allows the student to learn how to co-ordinate the pitch with the words.

“… music empowers them in a way that nothing else can, because music has no boundaries, has no race, no creed, nothing.” Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Detroit News, Oct 19th, 2017

 

AT for Pain Management

Back pain is a common condition managed in primary care and one of the commonest causes of disability in Western societies. Drugs and surgery are the traditional methods to deal with pain.

For over a hundred years lessons in the Alexander Technique have taught students how to activate the principles that govern human functioning. The genius of Alexander’s discoveries, is that we all can learn as adults how to recapture the ease and freedom of movement so beautifully demonstrated by young children.

Lessons in the Alexander Technique are very frequently used for Pain Management. Going beyond regular treatments for physical problems, students gain long term relief from such aliments as:

  • Back and neck problems
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries
  • Scoliosis

It can be used to accelerate recovery from surgery or injuries caused by accidents. Alexander Technique works holistically. It not only helps alleviate physical suffering but can also help to improve overall health, both physically and psychologically.

The fact is, the mind cannot be separated from the body, so that what happens in the body affects the mind and vice versa. Even “gym rats” notice that after an intense workout they feel better not just physically, but also mentally. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, prolonged stress from work, home life or other situations can contribute to physical ailments, like high blood pressure and circulation issues, and, in severe cases, put some people at a heightened risk for heart problems.

“Lessons in the Alexander technique offer an individualized approach designed to develop lifelong skills for self-care that help people recognize, understand, and avoid poor habits affecting postural tone and neuromuscular coordination.”

−British Medical Journal