The Alexander technique has helped Julie deal with her neck and back pain
Having suffered from chronic back pain and neck pain since her teenage years, Julie started learning the Alexander technique six years ago. It's made a dramatic difference to Julie’s life, reducing her symptoms and allowing her to return to the activities she loved but had given up because of her pain.
Julie, now aged 53, explains: "Learning the Alexander technique has had a massive impact on my life. Before I started the pain I was in put me off doing many things I enjoyed. It wasn’t just that I wasn’t able to exercise anymore, I didn’t want to go to the theatre or to a restaurant with friends because it hurt so much to sit down.
"Today I’ve just come back from a seven mile run – I could never have imagined that seven years ago. It’s really amazing; the world has opened up to me rather than closing down.
How the Alexander technique works
"Alexander technique isn’t a treatment someone does to you. It’s learning a practical method to increase awareness of how we move in our everyday lives. My teacher has helped me to identify long-established harmful habits and shows me how to use my body in a more natural way."I’ve found making the smallest changes to the way I move has reduced my pain."
"During the lessons the teacher highlights when movements are inappropriate and corrects you, but over time you learn to recognise this and make changes yourself. We all get into bad habits, with the way we sit, we walk, even how we pick up a glass. Repeating those movements day after day can have a negative impact. Alexander technique makes you much more aware of what you’re doing and I’ve found making the smallest changes to the way I move has reduced my pain.
“It’s a lifestyle change. I realise it may sound like hard work, but it’s a positive change which has helped me to get rid of my pain and allowed me to get back to doing what I enjoy. I’d definitely recommend trying it if you're looking for an alternative way to manage back or neck pain."