It’s time to show gratitude to all the Doctors referring to us, particularly those at Basuto Medical Centre in Parsons Green, Street Medical Practice in Sloane Square and the Basil Street Practice Knightsbridge. Now that the Government have given the go-ahead to all the close-contact professions, we are welcoming new referrals with open arms. Over the past decade the joy of working with Doctors is not just the lovely patients and interesting cases they send our way, but their appreciation and understanding of what we do. They are equipped to spot when a person’s postural habits might be the ongoing source of their pain. We have learned so much from them, so here’s to coming out of lockdown and the growing confidence we are starting to see.
Yes it’s the P word. It’s almost a dirty word to some Alexander Technique teachers, but why? It’s the word that resonates most effectively with the general public, and improved posture is certainly a lovely side effect of learning the Alexander Technique. One problem is that when people think of “good posture” they see someone stiff and upright, and stiffness is precisely what we are trying to UNdo when we’re taking lessons in the Alexander Technique. Perhaps it’s also the problem of implying that there is a “right way” to stand and sit and move. Searching for perfection will just create stiffness. FM Alexander said there’s no such thing as the right position, only a right direction. I have no real problem with the word posture myself, or with friends admiring my posture. It should be good. And I look around in London and see plenty of examples of what people quite reasonably could refer to as bad posture, like slumping in a chair in front of a PC all day and hyper-extending the lumbar spine until the discs have no option but to start slipping. There’s no avoiding the word, so why not embrace it? And then when you do have the opportunity to actually teach someone the Alexander Technique, there is your chance to get them used to all the language we use. But until such time, posture is just fine.
FM Alexander used to insist on his clients coming to see him 5 days a week for 6 weeks, total of 30 lessons. My partner Walter is the only other person in my household and therefore the only person I can put hands on, so…. lucky Walter is getting much more frequent than usual Alexander Lessons/Sessions (same thing) and we will see how this works out for him. Here’s a clip from his first lesson, which I hope serves as a reminder to anyone missing their lessons.
Susanna Scouller was interviewed by BBC Radio London 30 May in a discussion about a new book #Mum’sNottheWord picturing women who don’t have children. She is very grateful for how much the #alexandertechnique helped her with her first ever live radio interview. She writes that she “Was much calmer and more poised than I might have been without the AT”.
To listen to the podcast go to BBC Radio London Sounds. (The conversations starts about 9:40 in and lasts about 20 minutes. Available until 30 June.)
This Daily Mail article tells the story of an accomplished performance artist, Roxani Eleni Garefalaki, who is hypermobile (has Ehlers-Danlos syndromes), and of her difficulties before she discovered the Alexander Technique.
A quote from the article (‘Hypermobility: When being flexible may not be such a good thing after all’):
Dr Bull recommends the Alexander technique — which teaches improved posture and movement — for musculo-skeletal symptoms.
‘If you consider the body as a machine, such as a car, the physiotherapist is like a mechanic ensuring that all your tissues are moving normally, and the Alexander technique teacher is like a driving instructor, teaching you to move more effectively,’ Dr Bull says.
For Roxani, the Alexander Technique has helped her manage her condition.