A word from Lauren:
After a seemingly minor car accident during my freshman year
in college my late teens and twenties became defined by chronic pain. I went
from one practioner to another looking for a diagnosis and a cure. Not finding
either, I looked for someone to at least provide me with some type of relief
from my symptoms. I tried one thing after another not finding adequate relief
from the pain. I became frustrated and angry and a feeling of helplessness
gradually overwhelmed me.
For many years I looked upon my constant pain as a problem I
needed another person to solve for me. I thought the answer was to find someone
who could fix me. This put all the responsibility on someone else. No wonder I
felt helpless! What I really needed was to learn what I could do for myself.
When I began Alexander Technique lessons in 1995 I was
confronted for the first time with the fact that perhaps I was part of my
problem. My Alexander Technique teacher took a different tact than other
practitioners I had encountered. She did not set out to treat me as a passive
patient. Her approach was active and educational. Together we discovered what
habits I could change in the way I used myself that were putting excess strain
on my body.
In order to help myself I had to accept some of the
responsibility for my problem. However, taking
responsibility and being willing to learn what I could do gave me a sense of
empowerment that had been non-existent up to that point. What a wonderful gift
that was! The sense of empowerment that learning what I could do for myself gave
me was what really helped to turn me around and steer me in a new direction.
When people ask me how the Alexander Technique has helped me
my first response is that it hasn't stopped helping me. Every day I use the
principles of the Alexander Technique to make intelligent choices about how I
move and use my body and respond to stress. This allows me to continually manage
my pain so that I can do the things in life I love to do.