and Other Medical Conditions
Alexander Technique teachers are not medical providers. We cannot diagnose medical conditions or prescribe medical treatment. We do teach people how to release tension and how to learn to move in the est way possible to reduce pain or prevent it in cases where pain in being caused by stress or certain activities.
Since the technique avoids any physical force, it is generally safe for most people. However, people with certain types of physical or psychological conditions may have to consult a physician or mental health practitioner before studying this technique.
The Alexander Technique can help with many medical conditions like osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis, tendonitis, fibromyalgia, TMJ, carpal tunnel syndrome, muscular sclerosis, lupus, Parkinson's Disease and others that can cause chronic pain, stiffness and fatigue resulting in a reduced ability to function.
For an example of how AT can be helpful, see this article on The Alexander Technique and Parkinson's Disease by Ruth Rootberg
After you are injured, performing your daily tasks of living becomes more difficult. Initially you may have to rest for long periods. During this inactivity your body will lose elasticity, tone and liveliness. Then, you may move unconsciously in ways that actually increase your symptoms. If you brace yourself to avoid pain, your movement becomes tense and uncoordinated and may put force into certain parts of your body. You may exert too much force to move your body and increase your pain. You may get very tired and slump too much. When you slump, you tighten muscles in the front of your spine and let the ones in the back go slack. This imbalance distorts the spine. The curves in your spine that are supposed to be gently sloped become too exaggerated. This results in extra pressure on discs and nerves. Sometimes when we slump, we compress ourselves more on one side than the otherm, making one of our shoulders appear lower,and throwing off our gait and other movements. Victims of whiplash often repeatedly stiffen their necks during activity long after the initial injury. People may favor a sprained ankle long after it is healed.
Studying the AT can help you become aware of your destructive movement habits and give you a process for changing these habits. You can learn better body mechanics for lifting things, doing whatever work you do, practicing your exercises correctly, moving without increasing your pain. You can reduce the effort you are using to move and conserve your energy. You can learn not to lock parts of your body together or push them to the end of their range of movement. You can move your whole body in a less effortful, more flowing coordinated way. You can learn to rest in constructive ways (sitting and lying down) and bring new awareness to your body so it can heal.