How The Alexander Technique Can Help People With Chronic Pain

Alexander teacher Dan Cayer tells Robert Rickover: “I developed a repetitive stress injury in my mid twenties. I went from being a healthy young man within a few months to not being able to type at all on my computer because of severe pain. I couldn’t hold a book for a year and a half or carry a bag. I was using my toes to dial my phone. I was disabled and unable to work. I tried a lot of different treatments and therapies and the Alexander Technique was a consistent thread throughout those years helping support my recovery.”

“I slumped. I didn’t have good posture while I typed. I was under a lot of stress. I was applying to graduate school to be a writer and was unable to type or read for two years afterwards.”

“I would rise up early in the morning and write for an hour and a half before work. At work, I used a computer. Then I’d come home and either write or do more reading. I was at the computer a lot and there was a lot of intensity there. I had a stressful time at work.”

“I didn’t know how to do the things in my life any differently than the way I had been taught. I didn’t know how to sit differently, how to use my phone differently or carry my backpack differently. So I either had to not do those things at all or I was having to do them and be in incredible pain. The Alexander Technique was an inroads to learn how to be different. It was calming. My nervous system was constantly elevated from stress. I had a worker’s compensation case. It was hard being in my mid-twenties and not know whether or not I’d be able to use my hands again.”

Dan writes on his blog: “Powered by self-flagellation, I pinball back and forth between slumping and overarching. This is physically exhausting and disappointing since I never arrive at the ideal of ease uprightness brandished on the cover of yoga magazines.”

Robert: “Whatever our habits have been, no matter how bizarre or distorting, they do tend to feel right to us.”

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