It’s hard to understand long-lasting pain until you’ve experienced it yourself. It might feel like you’re always putting out fires, chasing pain from your back to your knees, to your neck, etc. Even during a lull in the pain, it still might feel like living atop a volcano where you’re always waiting for the next pain cycle to begin.
Conventionally, we are presented with 2 choices of responding to pain that doesn't go away:
- The classic, “Deal with it.” (Usually offered with an unsympathetic, what-can-I-say-life-sucks kind of shrug)
- Take your chances with a pain reliever, opioid, or surgery. (These can help but patients are sometimes concerned about side effects.)
If you want to try a different route with the experience of someone who’s had chronic pain, I offer a conservative approach that is gentle and lasting. It’s not passive, however; in our lessons you will participate in the process of waking up your body’s natural vitality and health. The Alexander Technique is a set of skills to better help you manage your life.
You can change the nature of your situation – and grow from struggling to put out fires to learning to respond sanely and skillfully to pain. One of your first steps will be learning how to calm your nervous system. As you are aware, the mental effects of pain are often increased anxiety, vigilance, and sometimes withdrawal. In my experience, improving the state of mind is a good start to improving the body. It’s a satisfying journey as you learn to access the well-being and richness that is never far from the surface.
And as a major study by the British Medical Journal demonstrated, the Alexander Technique was more effective at treating back pain than massage or exercise, and participants reported “no adverse effects.”
More information about the Alexander Technique including research, videos, and podcasts, can be found here.
I use the ideas that I learned from Dan in my everyday life and I highly recommend people to work with Dan who want to improve their well-being.