COMPANION

Health & Medicine

Back problems, Pregnancy & Birth

Hypermobility here refers to Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (JHS) and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome – Hypermobility Type (EDS-HT), also known as Hypermobile EDS (hEDS). Writings ‘Hypermobility syndrome’ by Julie Barber; on the importance of early diagnosis, describing the typical hypermobility symptoms and stating that the Technique can help.[1] ‘A poignant Friday afternoon in Limerick in August’ by Annie Hogan McWilliams is a personal story by a teacher of the Technique with hypermobility syndrome.[2] ‘An investigation into hypermobility’ by Andy...
Inclusion body myositis (IBM) is an inflammatory muscle disease characterised by progressive muscle weakness and wasting, especially affecting the arms and legs. Writings ‘Teaching a student with Inclusion Body Myositis’ by Lauren Hill, Dennis Chada; a teacher and a pupil writes about how the Alexander Technique affects IBM.[1] References [1] ‘Teaching a student with Inclusion Body Myositis’ by Lauren Hill, Dennis Chada in AmSAT Journal Journal no. 5, Spring 2014, pp. 36–37.
Also mental disorder, mental illness, psychiatric disorder. Writings ‘Working with retarded people’ by Yaara and Gal Ben Or; notes from three case histories.[1] See also Psychology, and under individual conditions. References [1] ‘Working with retarded people’ by Yaara and Gal Ben Or in The Congress Papers 1996, Back to Basics edited by Shmuel Nelken (Shmuel Nelken, 1999), pp. 120–24.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition which can affect the brain and/or spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance.[1] Writings ‘Multiple Sclerosis and the Alexander Technique’ by Jennifer Tweel Kelly is a teacher’s autobiographical case history.[2] References [1] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/multiple-sclerosis/. Retrieved 16 November 2018. [2] ‘Multiple Sclerosis and the Alexander Technique’ by Jennifer Tweel Kelly in AmSAT Journal no. 7,...
Research ‘Alexander Technique Lessons or Acupuncture Sessions for Persons With Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Trial’ by Hugh MacPherson, et al. The conclusion of a large randomized controlled trial with 517 patients with chronic neck pain is that lessons in the Alexander Technique led to significant reductions in neck pain and associated disability. Study evaluated clinical effectiveness of Alexander Technique lessons or acupuncture versus usual care for persons with chronic, non-specific neck pain and found that both are effective.[1] ‘Preliminary evidence for...
On general aspects of pain. F. M. Alexander F. M. Alexander wrote in several places how behaviour causing pain can be habitual, e.g. in MSI: To those who have studied this curious phase of mental and physical phenomena, it would almost seem that they derived a form of satisfaction or pleasure from such suffering; otherwise, one would conclude, they would not continue to repeat the acts which, in their experience, have been followed by actual pain and discomfort.[1] He repeats this view in MSI,[2] [3] [4] and CCC.[5] For example in CCC he writes: In Man’s Supreme...
Parkinson’s is a progressive, neurodegenerative movement disorder. The benefits of the Alexander Technique for people with Parkinson's disease (PWPD) were first highlighted by Chloe Stallibrass’s research in 1997 (see below for research papers). Several teachers have reported on working with PWPD. In 2016 Monika Gross started The Poise Project, a nonprofit organisation, with an initiative for bringing the Alexander Technique to PWPD. Also in 2016 The Walter Carrington Educational Trust (London) has sponsored the special training, including obtaining practical experience, of...
Also called early reflexes, baby reflexes, retained or unintegrated primitive reflexes. Persistent primitive reflexes (PPR) are reflex actions that are exhibited by normal infants, but not neurologically intact adults, in response to particular stimuli. These reflexes are suppressed as a child grows, mostly within the first 18 months of birth. These primitive reflexes are also called infantile, infant or newborn reflexes. Examples are rooting reflex, sucking reflex, moro reflex, asymmetrical tonic neck reflex. The theory is that such primitive reflexes may not entirely disappear, and...
F. M. Alexander In UCL Alexander quotes from Anthony Ludovici’s book, The Truth about Childbirth (1937), where Ludovici writes about the importance of Alexander’s technique for pregnancy and childbirth. For example, on the consequences of faulty coordination and wrong use of self: Suppose that, through faulty coordination and wrong use of self – and Alexander leaves us in no doubt about this – we get a general shortening of the trunk so that cavities are distorted, organs dropped, respiratory function hampered, and the abdomen made to bulge and sag. Can a gravid...
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) and associative trauma disorders, also known as work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs), are umbrella terms used to refer to several conditions that often are associated with repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, mechanical compression, or sustained/awkward positions.[1] Books Working Without Pain – Eliminate repetitive strain injuries with Alexander Technique by Sherry Berjeron-Oliver and Bruce Oliver.[2] Articles ‘Information for Alexander teachers with pupils suffering from “diffuse RSI”’...
Sex
F. M. Alexander Sir George Trevelyan’s diary entry of Wednesday 27 January 1937 records Alexander talking about sex: Many of the failures in marriage, F. M. contends, are due to the failure on the part of the man to inhibit and hold back. In response to his excitement he stiffens, therefore often enough preventing the connection and response from a sensitive woman, and, again, he often finishes far too soon for her satisfaction because there is no adequate control. CCC [constructive conscious control] and the ability not to tense himself should in no way modify his strength of...
Sexual abuse, also referred to as molestation. Writings ‘Hazards and hope’ by Wendy C. Morris reports on how the Technique helped – and didn’t help – in recovering from childhood sexual abuse.[1] ‘We are sexless, not!’ by Nicola Hanefeld; on the subject of sex being consciously or unconsciously part of lessons, and of her own experience of being abused by a stranger as a 15 year old.[2] ‘Surviving’ by Sue Isaac; on the difficulties of being touched during lessons and training as a teacher, and concluding that the Technique has...
F. M. Alexander In CCC F. M. Alexander relates the story of an author who suffered a breakdown: A pupil of mine, an author, had been in a serious state of health for some time, and had at last reached the point where he was unable to carry on his literary work. After finishing his latest book he passed through a crisis which was described as a ‘breakdown,’ with the result that even a few hours of work caused him great fatigue and brought on a state of painful depression. From the outset of his lessons, therefore, I expressly stipulated that he should stop and make a break...
Writings ‘Preparing for and recovering from surgery using the Alexander Technique’ by Debbie Rittner; a pupil of the Technique relates her experiences of using the Technique before and after undergoing a hysteroscopy operation.[1] Research ‘The impact of the alexander technique in improving posture and surgical ergonomics during minimally invasive surgery: Pilot study’ by P. Reddy, et al. is a pilot study which found that surgeons who underwent instruction in the Alexander Technique experienced a significant improvement in posture and surgical ergonomics as...
This entry covers trauma, traumatic injury, and grief. Articles ‘Grief’ by Vivien Schapera; on bereavement, grief resulting from a death, and how it affected her use.[1] ‘Effects of childhood trauma’ by Rachel Mausner with Jano Cohen argues that Alexander lessons may awaken suppressed trauma memories, because it releases tension; it explains the different levels of reactions to trauma: dissociation, psychogenic amnesia, post-traumatic stress disorder.[2] ‘From the known to the unknown – Using the Technique at ground zero’ by Kim Jessor;...

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