A healthy posture is particularly important for free and painless movement as we age. Some years ago I had a very stiff and sore neck. CT scans showed that the neck was ‘wrecked’ in that it had a great deal wrong with it, and couldn’t be fixed. I tried a myriad of things to alleviate the pain and nothing brought relief. I had massage therapy, neck injections, acupuncture and osteopathic treatment for some time but nothing worked. I was beginning to think I’d have neck pain for the rest of my life.
I had heard of the Alexander Technique and I thought I’d try it as a last resort. The Alexander Technique was devised by an Australian named Frederick Matthias Alexander who was born in 1869. The Alexander technique is a natural therapy which teaches painless body movement. It shows how we put pressure on our bodies by the way we move and sit and stand. It teaches how to take pressure off the joints of the body so it can move freely and painlessly. It took me about 6 months to master this technique and for the pain in my neck to disappear.
The posture taught by the Alexander Technique is nothing like the posture we learnt at school, e.g. “Sit up straight, shoulders back!” In fact it is quite the opposite. I recommend this technique because it is natural and beneficial. Whether you have an injury or not, you will find that if you become familiar with it you will move more and more freely and have less pain for the rest of your life. The Alexander Technique made me very aware of where I was holding tension in my body, for instance I discovered I was holding tension in my toes when I cleaned my teeth.
Until experiencing The Alexander Technique I was totally unaware of the unnecessary pressure I was exerting on my body. Every now and again I slip backwards into my old way of sitting and standing and straight away my neck reminds me to release the muscles around my neck and shoulders and I am instantly pain free.
As you become more aware of how The Alexander Technique works you will start noticing how others are contributing to their pain by the pressure they are exerting on their bodies simply by the way they sit, stand and walk.