December 1, 2014

Your neck, the cell phone, and sitting posture

Hello my friends!

More and more, research shows that good posture is connected with well-being, both inside and out. The way you feel, your mood, and your health, are intrinsically linked.

It turns out that it's not so easy to unfold after sitting for hours, slumped and compressed. In today's Wall St. Journal - Your sitting posture carries over into your standing posture!

Similarly, recent news shows that the hours you spend texting creates forward head and neck posture.

Posture is a habit; it becomes ingrained in the body. Change your posture, change your destiny! If you are like most people real change takes conscious awareness and some help. Alexander Technique is a very good place to start.

In 2008, the British Medical Journal published results of a large scale study: 86% less back pain after 24 lessons in the Alexander Technique, alone. BMJ 2008;337:a884

And in the news: Alexander Technique is being investigated in a large scale clinical trial for neck pain

I'm a fully qualified Alexander Teacher in private practice in the Mt. View/ Palo Alto area of the South Bay since 2002 and a Member in good standing of the American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT). Contact me if you'd like to talk and see if this could be helpful for you.

Namaste,

Dana

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November 21, 2014

Heads Up! on Cell Phone Use!

Hello my friends,

If you use a cell phone, heads up - literally! If not, you may be creating damage that will be with you for your lifetime.

Imagine swinging a kettleball by the end of your neck. Tiring, right?

But spin a basketball on the end of your finger, and you won't feel the weight in the same way.

That's your head, 10 pounds or even more poised up on top of your spine. Balanced well, we don't even feel it. Let it fall forward and your entire system will suffer.

The study reports on damage to the spine that increases with the angle of your head and neck:
http://www.lohud.com/story/news/health/2014/11/19/texting-bad-spine/19248031/

"...the cumulative effect of years of that stress can lead to degeneration of the spine itself."

Dr. Kornel recommends the Alexander Technique as "a form of training that makes you aware of optimal body positioning."

I'm an AmSAT Certified Alexander teacher with well over a decade of experience. In the Mt. View/Palo Alto area, contact me for a no cost phone consultation and I'll gladly answer your questions.

Namaste,
Dana

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July 23, 2014

Can You Wear Your Posture to Work?

Hello Friends,

Have you seen the new posture shirt?

Wouldn't it be great if you could get dressed in the morning and wear your posture to work?

Whose responsibility is your posture, anyway?

Is it okay to take over your own back muscles with a shirt, so that your muscles can relax and not be used? What will happen to them if you never use them?

I agree that support is helpful as a reminder. However, it's not a substitute for the body we're born with and are supposed to be able to use, right out of the box, nothing added.

Here's an article in today's Wall St. Journal: Scientific Evidence on Posture Shirts

I agree with some of the ideas, and not others. I do think that such a shirt is a good reminder to be upright.

From the article – yes, to this: "While the shirts may help provide a boost for some,

Continue reading "Can You Wear Your Posture to Work?" »

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August 21, 2012

British Medical Journal: Introduction to the Alexander Technique

Hello friends,

Who comes for Alexander Technique lessons?

The British Medical Journal gives an overview:

If you have back or neck pain, or if you are a dancer or musician and would like to improve your performance, I encourage you to take a look at this video.

To your health!

Dana

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July 11, 2012

Scientist's Experience with the Alexander Technique and Back Pain

Hello my friends!

Do you have back pain? This is a brief video with one scientist's view of the Alexander Technique. Sharon Gourdji came for lessons because of low back pain that had persisted over a number of years. Half a dozen lessons later, she is feeling better.

She is also a dancer and has some insights on unexpected benefits that she found:

Come and dance! Come gain freedom from back pain. The British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a large scale study on low back pain and Alexander Technique. Results showed dramatic reduction in pain with long-lasting results and zero - Zero - serious adverse effects. Patients went from 21 days of pain a month, down to 3 days of pain a month, with 24 lessons in the Alexander Technique, alone.

Come out of pain and into life again.

Namaste,

Dana

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July 10, 2012

One Student's Experience - Dealing with MS and Alexander Technique

Hello my friends,

One of my students came because of posture, and discovered that Alexander Technique helped her deal with a much more serious issue in her life...Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

In fact, the MS Foundation does recommend Alexander Technique for people dealing with MS. Here is an article that the MS Foundation published. It was reviewed by the Multiple Sclerosis Advisory Board. Three AT teachers were interviewed (Jane Kosminsky, Robert Rickover, and myself) as well as two more of my students.

I hope that anyone with MS has an Alexander Teacher nearby and tries this.

Namaste,

Dana

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January 24, 2012

Good Posture for Better Fitness

Greetings!

As January is well under way, health and fitness are on many of our minds. Good posture helps with whatever you do. You will instantly look more confident and more slender. It helps with body mechanics and improves your workout results.

According to the current issue of Harvard Medical School Health Beat Extra:

"Good posture trims your silhouette and projects confidence. More importantly, it lessens wear and tear on the spine and allows you to breathe deeply. Good posture helps you gain full benefits from the effort you put into exercising, too."

It's true! Proper form helps you use the muscles you are targeting when you exercise. You will get better results if you use yourself correctly rather than compensate by momentum or using some other body parts.

Learn how the Alexander Technique helps you put your mind into your body. Putting your "sole" into the gym gets you started. It takes consciousness to reap the benefits.

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If you're going to put in time, you may as well reap the benefits!

Drop me a line and I will offer a free, 20 minute phone consultation.

Let's get fit and look younger in 2012!

Dana

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December 2, 2011

ABC News: Freedom from Back Pain without Drugs/Alexander Technique

Hello my friends,

Did you drop in because you saw the news on ABC television, about how to be free from back pain without drugs?

Or are you an old friend who visits now and again?

Charlotte Keenan, a researcher for ABC Action News was looking for a way out of back pain. She came across a report about a method that promises to be drug free and free her from pain. It's called the Alexander Technique. It is moving into the mainstream. Come find out...

She investigated with a reporter's inquisitive mind and she found that it is connected with awareness and retraining how we move.

Easy, right?

Not so simple if you've ever tried to do it on your own. Have you ever tried to change your golf swing? Or maintain good posture while you sit and text from your phone? It's not so easy to do on your own. After all, if it were that easy, we'd all be doing it. Get some input from a pro and your progress will be faster.

Here's a video from ABC Action News
Ali Gorman, R. N., reports that a method is becoming mainstream and appears to be effective:

I am an Alexander Teacher. I help people out of pain. Are you a little bit curious?

Give me a call! I'll give you a free, 20 minute telephone consultation.

Here's to a life in Joy and out of pain!

Namaste,

Dana

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October 11, 2011

International Alexander Awareness Week

Hello my friends!

The American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT) Gains National Visibility

Over 600 teachers nationwide, and 3,500 teachers internationally, are reaching out to help people understand how this work helps relieve back pain by 85%, help balance, reduce tension and help people relieve stress, both mind and body. This is the 8th annual International Alexander Awareness Week!

Find an event near you!

I will be speaking at Jenny Craig in Mountain View. The way you carry yourself impacts how you feel inside. Walk Tall! Be Light!

Carry yourself well and feel a sense of your spine in every meaning of the word. When you are centered in yourself, it is easier to make better choices.

Come look 5-10 pounds thinner instantly by improving your posture.

See you at Jenny Craig!

Dana

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September 12, 2011

Dental Hygienists (CDHA) - Learning to Work Pain Free - the Alexander Technique

Hello friends!

I am very happy to share an article in the current Journal for the California Dental Hygienists' Association (CDHA).

Click on this link to download the article: Working Pain-Free: The Alexander Technique

Dental hygienists often crouch over people, work under time pressure and are often in pain. This article is about a way of working pain free. Please feel free to read - and share!

Cathy Draper, RDH, MS, and editor of the CDHA Journal, also writes:

"The focus of this issue of the CHDA Journal is pain. Whether you are a clinician, educator or a student, you will find timely information on anesthetic options, techniques and ergonomics to incorporate into your daily practice. Our ability to provide effective pain control can improve the outcomes in the care we deliver and ultimately change the public’s perceptions about oral health and dental treatment. "

Download the full issue of the current (Summer 2011) CDHA Journal. For your convenience: the article on Alexander technique is on pages 22-23.

With appreciation to my dental hygienist who always provides me with compassionate care, and to all dental hygienists everywhere.

In health,

Dana
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August 22, 2011

Podcast: Conscious Living - Introduction to the Alexander Technique

Hello my friends,

Have you tried Alexander Technique and struggled to explain it to your friends and family?

Have you heard of the Technique but haven't been able to figure out what it is?

Here's a podcast for you - you can listen online or download it to your iTunes.

Pull up a chair, have a cup of coffee and listen in... 825001_bridge.jpg

Continue reading "Podcast: Conscious Living - Introduction to the Alexander Technique" »

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May 10, 2011

Huffington Post - on Back Pain and Alexander Technique

Hello my friends,

Today's Huffington Post has an article by blogger, *Dr. Loren Fishman: The Ten Commandments of Back Pain.

Amongst her recommendations, Dr. Fishman recommends Alexander Technique. She said that her patients say that it "works wonders for back pain."


Take a look...give me a call. Living pain free is a worthwhile goal.

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Peace,

Dana

*Dr. Fishman is the Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in New York City.

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February 7, 2011

The Alexander Technique - Inspiring Story - Ageless at 84

Hello my friends,

Here is the amazing Ann Matthews, giving an Alexander floor lesson at 84 years old.

She is amazing and as she tells her personal story, she's an inspiration:

Be inspired! Learn to use the tools we are given and live better!

Peace,
Dana

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March 9, 2009

Twin Cities Live: Back Pain and the Alexander Technique

Hi there!

It's so nice to see you again!

The Applied Alexander® blog is all the Alexander Technique (AT, for short), life musings and interesting tidbits, and an exploration of how AT is relevant to the entire mind-body continuum.

Today's post is about the Technique, from a different point of view.

Dr. Craig Bowron only had one lesson from my colleague, Lauren Hill. He did the best one-lesson job I have ever heard of communicating clearly about the way it feels.

He was interviewed on Twin Cities Live, KSTP Channel 5 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Here's what he had to say:

Thanks so much for stopping by; come back again soon.

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February 9, 2009

Bottom Line's Daily Health News Reports on Alexander Technique for Back Pain

Here's what came into my Inbox this morning. It's from the e-newsletter, Bottom Line Health. "100-Year-Old Solution to Back Pain -- Alexander Technique Body Movement Method Works Better than Other Therapies for Back Pain, Even a Year Later "

Media/journalists: Dana Ben-Yehuda is the Media Spokesperson for the American Society for the Alexander Technique. Contact her at dbenyehuda(at)comcast(dot)net

Wishing you a happy day!

Dana

Bottom Line's Daily Health News
February 8, 2009

In This Issue...

100-Year-Old Solution to Back Pain

Alexander Technique Body Movement Method Works Better than Other Therapies for Back Pain, Even a Year Later

Special from Bottom Line's Daily Health News
February 9, 2009

If you suffer from chronic back pain, you may want to consider a century-old, non-invasive, drug-free treatment method called the Alexander technique, which reeducates people on how to support and move their bodies. Recently an English study involving 579 patients with back pain put the Alexander technique to the test and demonstrated that it was effective and provided sustainable relief.

THE STUDY

Researchers established four groups of patients -- one took six Alexander technique lessons... another took 24 lessons... a third group had massage therapy only... and the fourth group had what the study team called "normal care." (Normal care was defined as care that would be offered by a general practitioner, and could include pain medications, non-mandatory referral to physiotherapy, etc.) All four groups were further divided in half, with one half walking briskly for 30 minutes a day and the others not exercising at all. Participants answered questionnaires about pain and function improvement at three months and one year. Results: The two Alexander technique groups reported significantly reduced back pain and improved functioning, including after 12 months, while there was little change in the massage and normal care groups. Among those who took just six lessons but who also did brisk walking, improvement was almost as great as those who took 24 lessons but did not exercise.

To find out more about the Alexander technique, I called Hope Gillerman, who has taught classes at physical rehabilitation centers and had a private practice in New York City for more than 25 years. Methods like acupuncture can offer immediate pain relief, notes Gillerman, but people with back pain also need a long-term, self-healing regimen -- and that is what the Alexander technique is. Most back pain comes from incorrect posture, poor body mechanics and excessive muscle tension, which increases when people are fatigued, angry, upset or in one position for a long time. Under duress, tension automatically builds in the back of the neck and the shoulders, pulling the heavy head downward into the spine, which causes compression. The fact that the pain becomes chronic further exacerbates all of these problems, Gillerman points out... since pain is upsetting and stops people from doing things and moving as they normally would, people develop more harmful habits. The Alexander technique can be effective because it addresses and helps to correct not only the cause of the injury, but also those harmful habits brought on by the pain.

HOW IT WORKS

At the heart of the Alexander technique is learning to keep the spine erect and properly supported. Gillerman explains that most people are unstable and "collapsed" through their torso, and hold and move their limbs in a rigid and stiff pattern. Without proper muscular support, the spine compresses, harming joints and tissues.

Here are three ways Gillerman helps her students envision what to do...

Continue reading "Bottom Line's Daily Health News Reports on Alexander Technique for Back Pain" »

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February 7, 2009

MRI scans and Low Back Pain

Hello friends,

Here's news about MRI scans and low back pain.

Tara Parker-Pope reported on interesting information about low back pain, X-rays and MRIs. In her article, she reports that many people who have back pain undergo diagnostic tests that are not helpful. Sometimes, as a result of these tests, people undergo treatment that may not be necessary. It can be expensive as well as painful.

Ms. Parker-Pope cites a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. This study showed that 2 out of 3 people scanned with MRI showed evidence of disk problems. It concluded: Given the high prevalence of these findings and of back pain, the discovery by MRI of bulges or protrusions in people with low back pain may frequently be coincidental. Indeed; the people scanned were not in pain.

Ms. Parker-Pope also writes about another study, this one, published in The Lancet.

The report states in part: “Analysis of results from the 6 included studies shows that lumbar imaging for low back pain without features suggestive of a serious underlying condition does not, on average, improve clinical outcomes. This finding particularly applies to patients with acute or subacute, non-specific low back pain evaluated in primary care settings.”

At the same time, most people suffer with back pain at some point in time. According to Tara Parker-Pope’s article, that number is roughly two-thirds of us.

What is a person to do?

A study published in the British Medical Journal on Aug. 19, 2008, shows 86% reduction in number of days in pain per month following 24 lessons in the Alexander Technique. Patients went from 21 days of pain per month down to 3 days of pain.

Check it out: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/337/aug19_2/a884

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December 19, 2008

The British Medical Journal reports on cost-effective treatment for low back pain

Hello all my friends who may ever or have ever suffered with back pain.

The British Medical Journal recently published an article on the on cost-effectiveness of the Alexander Technique for people with low back pain. According to the NBC Nightly News, Americans spend $90 billion dollars a year on back pain. Compare that to 24 lessons in the Alexander Technique and 86% reduction in pain, lasting over time.

Download article from BMJ

One of the most wonderful thing about the Technique is that it teaches you to change your thinking, and therefore, change the response in your body. It is an empowering method for self-care.

Take a look....

Part one:

and see part two of the video

Continue reading "The British Medical Journal reports on cost-effective treatment for low back pain" »

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December 17, 2008

A way out of Back Pain without Surgery

An open letter to the NBC Nightly News, with Brian Williams.

re: NBC Nightly News: Back Story

October 6, 2008, "Back Pain Epidemic Outpaces Treatment Options."

and October 7, 2008, "Cutting Down on Back Pain without Surgery."

The videos from NBC's broadcast are at the end of this post.

In October, the NBC Nightly News published two videos and two broadcasts about back pain. In response to this story, I’d like to bring to your attention as well as the attention of Brian Williams and Robert Bazell, two articles recently published in the British Medical Journal that answer the questions raised on the Nightly News.

1) “Back Pain Epidemic Outpaces Treatment Options”
Brian Williams aired this story on back pain and treatment options. The numbers quoted were beyond belief: we spend $90 billion a year in the US on back pain treatments; $60,000 per surgery.

2) The following night, Mr. Williams showed the video, “Cutting Down on Back Pain Without Surgery.” He began by saying that they double-checked the numbers from Monday's broadcast because they were so unbelievable; it turns out that they’re real. Robert Bazell, NBC News Chief science correspondent, ends the video saying, "...but experts say most people should try a non-surgical treatment first."

In answer:
3) A recent study shows 85% reduction in back pain without surgery and with zero serious adverse effects, through 24 lessons in the Alexander Technique. The study results were published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on August 19, 2008; it is known as the ATEAM Trial. See: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/337/aug19_2/a884

4) On December 11, 2008, the BMJ published another article as well as an online video: "ATEAM Trial; the Economic Evaluation,” about the cost-effectiveness of the Alexander Technique as shown by the study. See:
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/337/dec11_2/a2656

The American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT) provides the following results from the study:

579 patients were involved in this multi-center clinical trial, which is one of the few major studies to show significant long-term benefits for patients with chronic non-specific low-back pain. BMJ, 2008;337:a884

One year after the trial started and following 24 Alexander Technique lessons the number of days in pain fell by 85% compared with the control group. The average number of activities limited by back pain had fallen by 42%.

In real numbers:
Control Group = 21 days of pain per month
After 6 lessons plus exercise = 11 days of pain per month
After 24 lessons = 3 days in pain per month

I am reaching out on behalf of the millions of people who have or will suffer with back pain. Surely this method offers sufficient potential to be investigated and reported on by the NBC Nightly News. If the results are as published in the British Medical Journal, then this is indeed an idea whose time has come. The Alexander Technique: a non-invasive, gentle, educational method for self-empowered care. The Technique is recognized in Israel, England, Australia, and many other countries from Switzerland to Brazil. It has been in continuous practice for over 100 years and is offered at over 50 Universities and Conservatories across the United States.

It is time to save money and save backs.

Please let me know how I may be helpful in providing information or pointing you to sources to investigate this further.

Respectfully yours,

Dana Ben-Yehuda
Certified Alexander Technique Teacher, M.AmSAT

Contact me at: dbenyehuda(at)comcast(dot)net

CONTINUE TO SEE THE VIDEOS FROM NBC NIGHTLY NEWS

Continue reading "A way out of Back Pain without Surgery" »

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October 8, 2008

NBC Nightly News: Back Story

Back Pain Epidemic Outpaces Treatment Options

This is the first of a series aired the week of October 6, 2008, by the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, on back pain and treatment options. The numbers are beyond belief: we spend $90 billion a year in the US on back pain treatments; $60,000 per surgery.

The following night they showed this video, Cutting Down on Back Pain Without Surgery. Brian Williams began by saying that they double-checked the numbers from Monday's broadcast because they were so unbelievable.

They're real. Check it out:

Robert Bazell ends the video saying, "...but experts say most people should try a non-surgical treatment first."

A recent study shows 85% reduction in back pain without surgery and with zero serious adverse effects, through 24 lessons in the Alexander Technique. It was published on August 19, 2008 in the British Medical Journal.

Contact me at: dbenyehuda(at)comcast(dot)net

Dana Ben-Yehuda, M. AmSAT
Media Spokesperson American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT)
and Certified Alexander Teacher

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September 13, 2008

Study Results Show 85% Reduction in Back Pain

The American Society for the Alexander Technique announced:

A clinical trial published in the British Medical Journal show Alexander Technique lessons are effective and provide long-term benefit.

As reported by the British Medical Journal on August 19, 2008, back pain sufferers who took 24 lessons in the Alexander Technique had 85% less back pain, one year after the study began. The number of days in pain fell to only three per month, vs. 21 days in pain in the control group. The average number of activities limited by back pain had fallen by 42%. Six lessons followed by exercise were about 70% as effective as 24 lessons.

There were zero adverse effects by any of the participants who received Alexander Technique lessons.

Click here to download a copy of the press release in PDF format.

Or read it here, online.

Continue reading "Study Results Show 85% Reduction in Back Pain" »

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September 12, 2008

Dr Peter Gott, Back Pain and the British Medical Journal study on Alexander Technique

Good morning my friends!

We have news again, about back pain and the Alexander Technique.
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Dr. Peter Gott writes a nationally syndicated column for United Media. Today's column is about low back pain and alternative methods for treating it.

Dr. Gott responds to a reader with sciatica and low back pain. He admires his reader's desire to avoid surgery and suggests several methods for non-surgical intervention. He correctly identifies the Alexander Technique in terms of postural issues, noting that it deals with the spine, and refers to the head, neck, and back relationship. However, he didn't discuss the significant implications of a recent study on low back pain, long-term relief, and the Alexander Technique.

I'm writing to call a very recent, large scale study on low-back pain and the Alexander Technique to Dr. Gott's attention. The British Medical Journal published research on August 19, 2008, titled "Randomised controlled trial of Alexander technique lessons, exercise, and massage (ATEAM) for chronic and recurrent back pain." This was a large-scale study with 579 participants, one of the few to show long-term relief from back pain.

The Pittsburg-Post Gazette quotes the study on September 11, 2008:

"...out of 579 subjects with lower back pain, the 144 who took 24 lessons in the Alexander Technique had an average 48 percent reduction in their Roland disability score, and an 86 percent reduction in their days of pain compared with the control group of 144 subjects, who had no intervention."

That's only 3 days in pain per month compared to 21 days in pain per month for the control group.

Click here to download a copy of the study directly, in PDF format.

These is a significant study and I encourage Dr. Gott to write about it!

---------------------------

Dana Ben-Yehuda is the Media Spokesperson for the American Society for the Alexander Technique. Download the AmSAT Press Kit by clicking here.

Contact her for further information or interviews, at:
dbenyehuda@comcast.net
650-964-4308

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April 16, 2008

Asthma and Alexander Technique

It’s spring and allergies are in bloom right along with all the pretty flowers. Do you sneeze, or do your eyes get a little red? 760466_nanohana.jpg
Allergy season can be miserable for many of us, but for people with asthma, it can be a real nightmare.

Sloan Miller writes about how tension is part of her life as an asthmatic, and how the Alexander Technique has helped her release tension associated with asthma.

One aspect that may not be obvious to people who don’t have asthma is that panic is also a part of the cycle. Sloan found that her Alexander lesson was helpful to create “a completely relaxed and conscious state” for her.

Read Sloane’s article here.

Sloane found this benefit in her first lesson and decided to continue. As she said, "resting takes practice." It’s not uncommon for people to notice significant changes after one or two lessons. Getting those changes to last typically requires a series of lessons. It’s like learning anything; if you practice it for some time, it starts to “stick.”

Continue reading "Asthma and Alexander Technique" »

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March 3, 2008

March is MS Awareness Month

Have you ever met someone with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)? It could be that you have, and don’t even know it; over 2.5 million people worldwide are living with MS. Some famous people who live with this include Montel Williams and Teri Garr.

Montel speaks about how he fights back and how exercise and an eating regimen play an important role, in an interview by the Seattle Times, January 23, 2008.

The MS Foundation is celebrating March as National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness and Education Month and the MS Society is celebrating MS Awareness Week, March 10-17, 2008. It’s all about education and assistance and empowering people with MS to live well.

Among the various types of exercise and movement awareness methods recommended for people with MS, the MS Foundation recommends the Alexander Technique. It can help improve balance and control, teach efficient movement and reduce fatigue, all of which are beneficial for Multiple Sclerosis.

Here is an article published in MS Focus about the Alexander Technique and Multiple Sclerosis, January 2006 issue. It’s called Come to Your Senses with the Alexander Technique. Posted here with permission. Download a copy of the article in PDF format.

In recognition of MS Awareness Month, I’m offering a special class focusing on MS and the Alexander Technique. It is free and suitable for all people, healthy or with MS. If you’re in the area, I hope to see you. You are welcome!

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