Doreen Faisca from SW2
I first came across the Alexander Technique as a Speech Therapy student many, many years ago. I don’t remember much about what we did in that taster class but what I do recall is leaving that session feeling at least 3 inches taller. Years later when I started working with adults who stammer I read how the AT could help with posture and breathing techniques. I became curious about how I could use AT in my work as a therapist and so I attended a weekend workshop run by Michelle which was the start of a very fruitful relationship.
Although my original intention was to learn about AT in order to incorporate into my therapy with adults who stammer, I immediately found many benefits for myself. I have poor posture relating to scoliosis and have suffered on and off from shoulder and back pain. Through AT I have learnt to be more aware of how I sit and stand and have gradually changed how I hold myself which has substantially reduced the pain.
In addition I’ve found my favourite exercise (lying flat on my back with my head propped up on two books and my knees bent) a real stress buster. I have recently also become a mother and had a few sessions with Michelle to look at how I breastfed and held the baby. This has also helped prevent RSI in my wrists and ensured that I am not turning into a hunchback!
In relation to my work Michelle and I have collaborated in running a joint session for the group of adults I work with. I use many of the principles from AT in discussions and group exercises. In particular I found that AT helps students to become aware of their habitual responses to stressful situations and teaches them the ability to stop responding in this way.