Chronic back pain, shoulder pain, neck-pain, or other body discomfort, are situations that require medical help. Sometimes the cause of the problem is detected and treated. At other times – the cause is unclear, or the prescribed treatment does not seem to solve the problem. People ask me how the Alexander Technique can help in such situations. One had told me he had taken a set of treatments with his chiropractor, but unfortunately – it did not help even though it was supposed to. When I said to him that with the Alexander Technique he’d be able to understand first what was going on with his back – he immediately replied that he knew exactly what was going on there, describing to me the situation with his vertebrae in the stiff, painful area. The Alexander Technique actually gives one a different type of knowledge and understanding. It’s the knowledge of what your muscular habits are, what your habitual movements and tension-habits are, how they contribute to the pain, and how one can observe them, follow them, improve them, change them, or replace them with better habits.
For example – a dancer comes for an Alexander Teacher with a hip problem. Observing the dancer’s movement might reflect a repeated unbeneficial over-tension in the back, that contributes to the pain in the hip. Additional observations will require looking at the whole body pattern of movement, including especially the neck, head, and back. The work, therefore, will require the teacher’s observation, together with the student self- observation of the whole body during daily movement, in addition to the specific dance-movements, in the case of the dancer, to find the indirect cause, in addition to the direct cause of the imbalance that creates the discomfort.