Alexander Technique for Back Pain, The Alexander Technique for Neck Pain.
The Alexander Technique and Back Pain, The Alexander Technique and Neck Pain.
The Alexander Technique helps reduce pain, and I know this from personal experience. The Alexander Technique got me out of severe neck pain, and now I see the same results over and over as I teach Alexander Technique lessons to people suffering with back pain, neck and shoulder pain, and hand pain. Most of us don’t realize that we cause our own pain by the way we use our bodies (poor posture, added stress etc.) The good news is that we can use the Alexander Technique for back pain. The Alexander Technique starts with developing a sense of awareness.
Alexander Technique and awareness
Here’s a description of how unawareness can play a role in our pain or discomfort. This is from “Coming To Our Senses”, by Jon Kabat-Zinn:
“In teaching about the importance of attention in health and well-being, I have found it useful and illuminating to feature a model first articulated by psychologist Gary Schwartz that emphasizes attention’s pivotal role in health and disease. Consider the effects of not paying attention to what our bodies and minds are constantly telling us. For long stretches of time, of course, especially if we are fairly healthy to begin with, we can get away with not paying attention to anything. Or at least it seems that way on the surface. But if various signs and symptoms, even subtle ones, are ignored, left unattended for too long, and if the condition you find yourself in is too much of a burden on the body or the mind, this dis-attention can lead to dis-connection, the atrophying or disruption of specific pathways whose finely tuned integrity is necessary to maintain the dynamic processes that underlie health. This dis-connection can in turn lead to dis-regulation, where things actually start to go wrong, swing grossly away from the natural homeostatic balance. Dis-regulation can in turn lead to outright dis-order on the cellular, tissue, organ or systems level a breakdown into dis-regulated, chaotic processes. This dis-order in turn leads to or manifests as outright disease, or put otherwise, to dis-ease.
Awareness and pain
A simple example would be not paying attention to, say, neck pain that might first appear as sensations of stiffness or muscle tightness. That would be the first sign, or indication, especially if it persisted, of something that needed attending to, either in the form of seeing a doctor, or beginning a physical therapy or yoga program, or both. Ignored, it might gradually become more frequent and severe, turning into a chronic complaint, a symptom perhaps of something deeper going on. By that time, we might have gotten kind of used to it, and if the pain is not too bad, and if we are very busy, we might just write it off to tension or stress, and continue to ignore it. Over weeks, months, even years, if not attended to, such a condition will either go away on it’s own, or tend to worsen, especially in response to stress, and it might make us more prone to injury, say if we turn our head too quickly while driving, or even lie in bed ‘the wrong way’. By that time, it may have become something of a syndrome that we have gotten so used to that we have learned to ignore it completely or tolerate it, perhaps denying the potential importance of doing something about it. This disconnection on our part can lead to a gradual disregulation of the muscles and nerves in the neck in the form of chronic tension and even postural compensations that, in turn, can affect the bones and connective tissue over time to compound the condition. …Our neck no longer functions normally, and the pain and discomfort and physical limitations in range of motion and posture worsen. This in turn can predispose us to inflammation in response to irritation or injury, a further disordering of things, followed perhaps by an increased likliness of arthritis, a more serious condition that brings with it a great deal of dis-ease or discomfort.”
I wish the author had mentioned the Alexander Technique for back pain or neck pain. The Alexander Technique starts with awareness, taught in a very systematic, sympathetic, logical way. You start to feel better because you’re learning and applying the Alexander Technique to your life, lessening the time you’re unknowingly hurting yourself, while increasing the time for healing. The Alexander Technique is made for back pain. The Alexander Technique is made for neck pain.
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Mark Josefsberg-Alexander Technique NYC