As anyone who has been asked to select from the adjectival menu at a Pain Management clinic, you know that pain comes in many flavors: burning, sharp, throbbing, tingling, dull, achy, intermittent, roving. It’s like a torturer’s crossword puzzle!
Regardless of its unique characteristic, we almost universally try and stop the pain, stuff it back down, or mute it somehow. It’s only normal – it’s only human to want to feel less pain. However, most of our knee-jerk reactions to pain involve some kind of tightening, bracing, or stiffening. This makes a great deal of sense if 1 million years ago on the savanna you had sprained your ankle running away from a predator. By immobilizing the joint you are able to limp off into the forest. But as a long-term response to chronic pain, this immobilizing response puts our body out of balance and creates additional physical ailments.
The Alexander Technique teaches us how to unwind the knot of tension and fear that forms around pain in injury. Students learn how to lengthen their spine naturally and free up their joints. This allows our body’s natural mechanisms for discharging muscle waste and inflammation to run their course. The pain becomes not trapped only in one local area but is allowed to mingle and disperse in time as part of the energetic makeup of our body.