The Alexander Strategy for Dealing With Pain
Principles of the Alexander Technique
Deep relaxation, which is one of the fundamental principles of the Alexander Technique, has been found effective in helping to overcome pain by reducing muscular tension, a component of the vicious circle of chronic pain. Research has shown that relaxation also helps to free the patient from stress and anxiety, which aggravate pain by upsetting the body’s hormone balance. One of the most widely used A.T. methods is to become aware of and to visualise the central balance line whilst encouraging the postural muscles to relax around that central core.
Visualisation and Affirmation and the Alexander Technique
Other specific techniques that pain specialists are finding helpful include visualisation and affirmation. For example, someone suffering from a headache might picture his or her head in a vise that is gradually being loosened. Mental reconstruction of a pain-relieving procedure, thorough massage or a whirlpool treatment, is also effective. Repeating phrases that suggest feelings of warmth and heaviness in each body part, along with affirmations of peace and calmness, has been demonstrated to be valuable in pain control, particularly for vascular pain problems and migraine headaches.
Research into the Alexander Technique
Research has also shown that many cases of chronic pain formerly thought to require surgery can be corrected by a balanced program of physical conditioning. The resulting correction of postural and walking defects, as well as increased endurance, has been shown to contribute significantly to control of painful conditions. Walking and the postural improvement as taught in the Alexander Technique, can be especially helpful.
Research at the University of Miami and the Alexander Technique
Doctors at the University of Miami found that patients who prepared for back surgery by following a prescribed course of physical exercises often improved so much that surgery became unnecessary, according to US News and World Report, June 29 1987. This program gave an 86% success rate overall in treating more than 7,000 patients.
Further information on the Alexander Technique
Contact Details for Alex Maunder Alexander Technique Teacher
Mr. Alex Maunder has offices at 3 Siamese Mews, London N3 2LD
Tel 020 8346 9204