1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Alexander technique

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by allinthemind, Jan 13, 2016.


is the Alexander technique helpful for TMS?

  1. yes

    0 vote(s)
  2. no

    7 vote(s)
  3. maybe

    3 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. allinthemind

    allinthemind Peer Supporter

    What are people's thoughts?
  2. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

  3. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I voted 'no' because it is a physical activity and the body isn't the problem. However, if you find that it helps calm your mind or helps you be more mindful, then it could be helpful. TMS healing is all about getting your mind in the right place, and if it helps with that, so much the better.
    plum, Tennis Tom and IrishSceptic like this.
  4. Edmond

    Edmond New Member

    Just half a year before knowing about TMS (10 months ago) I learned Alexander Technique and became obssesed with it. Back in november 2014 I went to a treatment called AtlasPROfilax (adjusting the first vertebra of the neck, C1) somehow that treatment did something to my neck, my posture improved drastically and instantly, I couldn't slouch anymore and all my symptoms started to vanish immediately, even my eyesight improved. At that time I believed that C1 was the cause of most health issues. But I began to get worse again, I began to preocuppy, one day my neck got tensed and cracked very bad, immediately after that, my posture got very bad again and I couldn't sit straight anymore. Alexander Technique, supposedly has to do with the same are of the neck where that vertebra is located, so I had confidence that, with Alexander Technique I will achieve the same results. First 2-3 months I had improvements (because I was confident), but then I got so obssesed with my posture because it didn't work everytime and I ended up more tense than ever, didn't know what was wrong, why Alexander Technique didn't work anymore, one night I couldn't look down, couldn't move my neck, the tightness was extreme and my posture was perfect all the time. That is when I found about Sarno book, read reviews on amazon, in just 10 minutes I was able to move my neck again, following day I bought the book and experienced the book cure for a week (I'm not recovered yet). Atlasprofilax, Alexander Technique for me, they were a placebo effect and it was very hard for me after finding TMS to put them aside and break the obsession with the posture. I think bad posture is due to tight muscles and emotional balance as I had improvements in my posture when my back and neck muscles became very relaxed a few times since I know about TMS.
    danielle likes this.
  5. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    It was placebo
  6. cax

    cax New Member

    I do not know much about the Alexander technique and did not vote in the poll, but looking at the Wikipedia entry, it sounds like maybe:
  7. alexandertech1

    alexandertech1 Newcomer

    How Alexander Technique works…

    Habits such as stooping, slouching, general stiffening inevitably put us off balance and increases pressure on our joints and internal organs. This can lead to disorders relating to digestion, circulation and breathing as well as backache, sciatica, headaches and stress.
    Good poise is our birthright and does not require any special aptitude or skill. This natural instinct for healthy poise is with us all our lives and this is what we tap into with the Alexander Technique. As FM Alexander said, by preventing the wrong ‘use’ of our muscular co-ordination, the right thing will do itself. It takes no perceived effort and by learning to take conscious control over ourselves we can inhibit harmful postural habits and encourage a much improved overall use of ourselves that helps our posture, balance, movement and that enables us to function healthily without strain. We effectively eliminate the habitual tendencies that cause premature deterioration and ageing. By restoring healthy co-ordination that is both free and expansive in stature we bring about the conditions for improved healing and functioning.

    Our natural instinct can be revived by means of the Alexander Technique as the principles are based on nature and how we should ideally be. We address the root cause of majority of painful symptoms such as backache or neck tension, while also increasing our self confidence, our ability to concentrate, as well as our vitality, flexibility and athleticism.
  8. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    "Easy to learn with expert hands-on guidance."

    How much does this cost ?
  9. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    I looked up the link Alexandertech1 recommended to TT on another thread. The explanation is about the physical. When I read about the "delicate" interelationship of hundreds of muscles I paused. That could easily be a nocebo for us TMSers. There is nothing delicate about the neck, shoulders and back according the Dr. Sarno. Excepting the spinal cord I guess, which is pretty well protected, by the very same neck and back. I think it would be a setback to follow this therapy.
  10. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Exactly, well said! The Good Doctor says the body is strong--you can't hurt it by standing, sitting, sleeping, or jumping off tall buildings wrong--well, maybe if you land wrong off the tall building--don't recommend more then two stories without a firm mattress below.
    Edmond and Nzombro like this.
  11. Edmond

    Edmond New Member

    Talking about posture, is 100% due to personality and TMS, I have no doubts about this because I am almost recovered from TMS and now I have the posture of a ballet dancer, which I never had before. I changed so much that everybody notices me and treat me differently. I went from a very depressed posture (slouching a lot constantly, very stiff with a lot of pain) to a an excellent posture. This happened as I began to calm down, stop frustrating myself, change some of the thoughts and feel more and more happy. My muscles began to relax, joints became more loose, even my face, voice changed and my eyesight is better now. I feel more centered and balanced, my flexibility improved like crazy and I feel like there is no weight to my body right now. All this happened to me because I changed how my mind worked. I stopped thinking that my symptoms were everything in this life and began to change.

    Most of the things Alexander Technique describes and says about the body are true, but the cause (bad posture) is not. For me, the price was 35 euros ($42) and the classes were 45 minutes. The practitioner showed me how I need to keep my neck aligned when doing certain activities such as sitting, walking, getting out of bed and a lot more. I really believed Alexander Technique was effective, I read books, watch videos and talked about it with a lot of people. This is why I had a strong placebo effect for about 3 months. I continued practicing for almost a year without improvements. When I discovered about TMS, it took me a year more to decondition myself completely from what I learned with Alexander Technique.
    Just by looking at the posture and how someone moves you can tell what type of personality he has. All this happens subconsciously. You will never see a confident and happy person with a slouching posture and you will never see a depressed and anxious person with a good posture. When you feel happy inside, automatically you have more energy, more vitality, you have more strength to sit up straight, your muscles, nervous system responds much better.

    The placebo of this technique could be very powerful and improve your posture due to the fact you believe your neck is in good alignment while your moving and that means your body is getting better, your spine is getting longer, your body is expanding, you are free and light. They use those kind of beautiful expressions. It may boost your confidence a lot sometimes. Unfortunately, like every placebo effect it will not last a very long time and it is difficult to accept what Sarno taught us about TMS because ego is too resistant. It is more easy to accept things that sounds nice and doesn't involve our personalities.
    danielle, Lizzy and Tennis Tom like this.
  12. thecomputer

    thecomputer Well known member

    I read a couple do Alexander technique books and know people who have used it a lot.

    As much I do think it goes a bit far in its claims about posture, I don't think that's the core of it. He talks alot about what they call 'end gaining', basically doing something to get some end result. A lot of it is acting without ' end gaining', basically just moving, speaking, sitting, standing etc. But being fully present, and not just trying to achieve a result. I think this overlaps with many ideologies and is a good basic principle to live by.

    Posture can change over time too. I have seen people who spend 14 hours a day slumped over a computer, and no doubt their posture is caused by that. I don't believe pain comes as a result of bad posture though, unless maybe it gets really extreme!

    I don't think everything should be disregarded because some parts of it conflict with some parts for TMS. I think we can find many common factors too, and also learn something from different ideas. I don't plan to take up Alexander technique, but I got something out of the books and ideas
    danielle likes this.
  13. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle


    many of my neighbor in Thailand are rice farmer and their wife selling food at the town's wet market. They stooping and slouching everyday all day long. Most of them live a long and healthy life without many of the illness that we in the West suffer. Alexander practitioner wouldn't make much money there.
    Edmond, Lizzy, Sonic and 2 others like this.
  14. honeycombby

    honeycombby New Member

    On one hand this Alexandra Technique (AT) sounds like completely opposite from what TMS believe. But after I read the book written by Richard Brennan, I think there are something about this technique that is actually in line with the mind body syndrome theory. I believe so because of the following reasons: (1) there are many studies nowadays confirm that mind body syndrome works in both direction, that is, you can use mind to cure your body syndrome (what we TMSer believes). It also works the other way, if you tame your body you can calm your mind/rewire your brain activities. (2) By reading the 2 books written by Richard Brennan, I realize that the main focus of this AT is actually trying to rewire the brain neural network to abandon the bad habit. The emphasis is about not doing bad habit anymore, rather than forcing your body to maintain the 'correct' posture (as this is very often backfire and you are more likely to make new bad habit again). The book keep saying you only need to realize and not do the bad habit (like maybe tense up your neck joint when you sit down). By doing so your body, or I would say the brain will automatically relax and form the natural and perfect posture. (3) I learn that those typical AT activities (like semi supine lying position, learning how to sit down and stand up from sitting), are actually try to maintain a mental state that you don't fell back into the startled (fight or flight) mode and thus hunch your back again, so they are using physical exercise to reteaching the brain to break the fight or flight cycle. (4) The founder FM Alexander actually noticed/believe that there is an inseparable mind/body connection, and he called it Psycho-physical Unity, isn't this exactly what mind-body syndrome are all about?

    In my own experience, I had backache for almost 20 years, there is no 1 single week that I don't feel backache/tailbone pain with my office work. I too believe of TMS mind body syndrome, but so far I only managed to maybe reduce my pain episode by half by facing my pain/fear. I am up to the point that I am about the give up my job. I only started to try out the AT for 2 weeks up to now. But I can say that I am really surprised that I haven't felt backache and tailbone pain for these 2 weeks. I didn't attend any AT therapy, I only practice the idea and techniques from the books and some youtube clips. One of the AT main belief is you need to make sure your neck joint is free to move (located about behind your ears). So one of the first thing I did is just randomly slightly nod my head to make sure my neck joint is mobile. After I did that only I realize I was constantly placing my head too front (that is very common for all the office sitter) and my neck/shoulder are constantly tight. And I also didn't realize my upper torso was always tilted forward (slouched) and this pulled my lower back muscle greatly. Funnily I have heard from many therapists over the years (due to my past years fruitless attempts to ease my pain) that my neck/shoulder was extremely tight but I didn't pay attention to it as my main focus was pain in lower back. So after I managed to free my neck joint by just nodding my head to mobilize it, I realize my shoulder naturally drop and relax, and so does my whole lower back. Notice that I didn't purposely do anything to my shoulder, I didn't try to expand my shoulder blade intentionally or try to relax it or whatnot. The only thing I did is just a few nods, and the shoulder relaxation just happened by itself and I felt so relaxed. I believe this is really the natural neural pathway re-education.

    By attempting this AT for 2 weeks, what I tried is make sure my neck joint is mobile, learnt where the hip joint truly is located and use the hip joint to bend more and also the semi supine position. My posture (obviously one of the natural AT outcome) is better, my neck/back are much relaxed. My upper body is now more centered, not tilted front. I naturally maintain the good and firm posture that some of my past pilates/yoga/chiro teachers tried to teach me (but fail). Not only I didn't have backpain from the office hours, I could also quickly identify and recover from upcoming backpain when I started to cringed my back unintentionally due to a hectic day last week. Obviously I can't say 100% that I won't fall back into the pain cycle 3 months down the road like what Edmon from the previous post experienced. But I urge whoever that manage to read this post to have an opened mind and give AT a chance, because I feel that it is really about mind/body reeducation, not just about teaching you the right posture. If you are like me, believe with mind body syndrome, but don't know exactly how to rewire/reteaching your brain from breaking away from a pain vicious cycle, this AT could really provide you some practical ways to start. Also, I find reading the book from Richard Brennan as a starting point is probably important, if you just watch some youtube clip , you probably won't be realizing the core idea behind all these.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2022

Share This Page