By Margaret Rakusen
Lisa was 48 years old and came to me for an introductory session in early December 2000. She had decided to try the Alexander Technique to see if it would help her ongoing back problem.
Lisa had been having pain and discomfort with her back for approximately 15 years. Her lower back was very painful. She would get sharp pains from it at night that woke her up and was in fairly continuous pain during the day. A canoeing accident seven years ago had led to neck problems which she still suffered from, although she had been for physiotherapy at the time which had eased it somewhat, but the problems returned and her neck was always prone to stiffness.
I explained to her that in the Alexander Technique we would be looking at the way in which she was carrying out all her daily activities and that I would teach her the best way of doing these, so that she would no longer damage herself. I noticed that she held her head in an attitude that was causing a lot of very harmful pressures on her spine and discs.
Lisa decided to come for a course of 20-30 lessons with seven lessons fairly close together at the beginning so that we could get some improvements fairly quickly. After that she would come for weekly sessions, changing to fortnightly when she was ready to come less often.
Lisa began her lessons and soon started to improve. In the lessons I showed her a different way of sitting, standing, walking, writing, lying down and how to turn her head without damaging her neck. We also looked at ways of improving her breathing and how to bend and lift without any strain.
Lisa applied everything that I taught her when she was carrying out her everyday activities and soon built up confidence in her ability to move freely without triggering off her back problems. She told me that on occasions when she forgot and her back gave warning twinges she was able to quickly put everything right because she knew what was causing the problem. This has given Lisa confidence in her own ability to look after herself.
Conclusion – two months later
Lisa continues to make steady progress and is now coming fortnightly. Her neck is much less stiff and her lower back no longer gives her the continuous pain during the day or the sharp pains at night. She has recently completed a ten mile walk at the weekend without any painful after effects whatsoever!
[boxibt style=”gray”]About the Author
Margaret Rakusen B Sc. PGCE MSTAT.
I decided to become a teacher of the Alexander Technique after taking lessons in my early twenties for help with poor posture and stress, and finding it tremendously beneficial. After a three year training with Walter and Dilys Carrington in west London I qualified in 1982 and moved to Yorkshire.
I run a private practice in Leeds, West Yorkshire and for the past ten years I have also been running a training programme for teachers of the Alexander Technique. I have demonstrated the Alexander technique on two television programmes and also give talks and group sessions. My interests include many aspects of complementary health care, meditation and all aspects of personal development.
I am currently taking a three year training with a Chinese teacher called Jason Chan to qualify as a teacher of his method of T’ai Chi. I am also a practitioner of Spiritual Human Yoga which is a unique healing method that uses the energy centres of the body for healing.[/boxibt]
[boxibt style=”success”]Contact address
3 Hanover Avenue,
Leeds LS3 1BG
Tel: 0113 2449713