Don’t Make Pain the Enemy.

Don’t Make Pain the Enemy.

My friend Jeff once told me a strange story about a Japanese monk imprisoned during World War II. The Zen monk was being interrogated by the militaristic government for any possible information on antigovernment activities. To crack the monk, he was restrained on a table as water was slowly dropped on his forehead for many hours. Years later, during a reconciliation program in Japan, one of the guards who participated in the interrogation encountered the monk. Incredulously, he asked the monk, “You were the only one who didn’t break or fall apart. How…continue reading →

Video #8. Sanity & Smartphones: an Unlikely Pairing

Why do we feel so depleted after time on the computer or with our smartphone? These tools, which offer such promise of productivity and connection, can often feel as if they rule us and not the other way around. In this short video, my 8th in a 10 part series, you'll learn the third step of my three-step process for adding more health and sanity to the way you use your devices. This step is all about how we can make a "clean break" from sending emails, checking notifications, etc. so we can…continue reading →

Video #7: This Will Put You to Sleep!

Dear people who sleep, This seventh video in my 10 part series is my response to a student who's been having trouble going to sleep recently. She would lie in bed worried whether she would be able to fall asleep, and find herself cycling through tomorrow's activities with dread knowing that she'll be exhausted. My advice is to try using a skill taught in the Alexander Technique called inhibition (not in the Freudian sense), which helps to quiet our nervous system and take some of the pressure and tension out of a given…continue reading →

What Good Is Chronic Pain?

How is life with chronic pain different or the same as life without? Is it worse? Better? The first video in a 10 part series where I answer questions from viewers and students about the body, well-being, and the journey to greater health (in less than the time it takes to brush your teeth). Quote from the video: "Chronic pain is practice for being human."continue reading →
Raising Self-Confidence in Teenagers through the Alexander Technique

Raising Self-Confidence in Teenagers through the Alexander Technique

A couple years ago, a quiet 17-year-old who I’ll call Len, was referred to me by his mother for a course of Alexander Technique lessons. She had heard that the AT could improve his posture and help him focus. Nearly 6’4” – and still growing – he stood and sat with a pronounced slump, which was likely contributing to back pain. His mother also suspected that his slouch was, partially, an attempt to not “stick out” at school. Being reminded to “sit up straight” was not helping Len. He resisted an upright, healthy…continue reading →
Dispatch From an Inflamed Knee

Dispatch From an Inflamed Knee

This last weekend I creaked around on an inflamed pair of knees. The act of standing had gone from a neutral activity to a distinctly painful and exhausting one. I found my shoulders migrating up towards my ears, fleeing the natural disaster below. My feet and toes were tense as well, as my brain endlessly recalculated how to stand without sending any weight through the knees. I know this is impossible, but there’s this part of my brain (a very old part, from an evolutionary perspective) that responds to pain in the most…continue reading →
How I Ended My War with Pain

How I Ended My War with Pain

Seven years ago, I developed a mysterious chronic pain in my upper body that had me unable to type, hold a piece of paper, and relegated to the cool wooden floor of my girlfriend’s apartment for hours a day. I was 26, unable to work, and learning to dial a phone with my toes. From my floor-bound perspective, I stared for hours at the ceiling fan, imagining where this health trajectory was heading. I, who could not open a tea wrapper, began to resolve myself to leave New York and be cared for…continue reading →
Good Posture Means Connecting, Not Correcting

Good Posture Means Connecting, Not Correcting

I'm not against correcting our posture or body on principle. I wish all it took to rid ourselves of chronic pain and tension was figuring the right angle or position, and tapping our body into place. It's such a seductive offer; that we need only arrange our body and then get on with the rest of our day. I object to correcting our posture on practical grounds; it doesn't work. From my perspective as an Alexander Technique teacher and a person dealing with chronic pain for several years, 'correcting' posture tends to tie…continue reading →
Alexander Technique lessons in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

Alexander Technique lessons in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

Long a source of fresh pasta and biscotti, Carroll Gardens also has the Alexander Technique at a beautiful facility – Element Natural Healing Arts. I teach weekly lessons there. Here's my interview with Element about how I got into the Alexander Technique and what to expect from a session. Excerpt: Q: What makes your practice satisfying/fulfilling for you? What is the most misunderstood aspect of what you do? A: It’s hugely satisfying when students realize that they don’t need to reject themselves or try to be perfect in order to tap into their…continue reading →
Small Mindfulness & Alexander Technique Classes in Midtown!

Small Mindfulness & Alexander Technique Classes in Midtown!

I’m very excited to present a new format for group teaching which is ideal for students who would like more individual attention and hands-on, but may not be able to afford weekly individual sessions. Starting on Wednesday, April 8, I will be teaching a four week series for only three students at my new Midtown location on 55th St. and 6th Avenue. When we experience pain and stress, we often feel stuck. We might come to feel fearful and ashamed of our own pain. By learning a three-step process for dropping into the…continue reading →