Alexander Technique Testimonial: Alexis

In this charming narrative, 28 year-old Alexis recounts her experience with Alexander lessons. Notice how this Alexander Technique testimonial illustrates the wide range of benefits of the work.

"Kevin Barber is a schoolteacher, but his twin passions are rock climbing and playing the guitar, accompanying himself to songs he has written.

"The discovery of the Alexander Technique was the beginning of a new chapter in my life - almost a rebirth. From a life of constant discomfort, and often pain, I am now - at 56 years of age - pain free and active. I am free to pursue my sporting passios with a degree of confidence that, for many years, was denied me.


"As a young man I participated in a number of sports: football, rugby, basketball and athletics. Skiing became a passion and I would holiday in the Alps as often as I could. I also ran to keep fit and this, combined with an old rugby injury, eventually led to the beginning of a recurrent knee problem which forced me to give up skiing and running when I was in my late thirties. This was a bitter blow but at least I was able to find a new passion: rock-climbing. My knee stood up to this new sport rather better and, as I had already been forced to give up all other sports, was an enjoyable way to keep fit and active.

Back pain

"Worse was to come, however, as in my early forties I developed a recurrent lower back problem which rapidly became a chronic condition. I soon reached the position of being in discomfort all of my waking hours and this deteriorated into pain for most of that time. I had sciatica giving pain in the leg and my back would frequently go into spasm and force me to become completely immobile. I couldn't even stand still without having to shift constantly in an attempt to relieve the pain. I don't like to take drugs and would only resort to pain relief when it became unbearable. Fortunately for me I was able to sleep quite well without too much discomfort and at least I was able to still climb!

"I tried osteopaths, chiropractors, conventional medicine and acupuncture - all to no avail. I resigned myself to a life of pain.

"About this time I met a climber who was training to become an Alexander teacher. She was loking for subjects on who to practice abd she invited a few of her climber friends, me included, to come along to the training course with her. This ws the start of my new life!

"At that first meeting I met Carolyn Nichols, now my Alexander teacher. The information I received at that first meeting immediately caused me to realize that the Alexander Technique offered me a lifeline. I was already aware of many of my bad postural habits but never realized the possibility for change existed. I began one-to-one lessons with John Nicholls. The first lesson was a revelation. I left the lesson more upright, relaxed and balanced than I had felt for years but even better news was just around the corner. Within three months of starting lessons I could feel an improvement in my knee. I tried a cautious visit to the dry ski slope. No pain. No swelling. I gradualy increased the frequency of my visits and I was back on the slopes that same year. I have been skiing every winter since. Sometimes I go two or three times a year with no adverse effects. My knowledge of the Alexander Technique even allowed me to improve my skiing technique.

"This was, of course, unbelievable news for me but I still had the back pain. Checking in the mirror each day I could see the characteristic imbablance in the pelvic bones and this persisted even after two years of lessons. I could manage my pain better but I resigned myself to never being entirely free of discomfort.

"After two years of lessons I found myself on holiday in Spain one summer. I was standing by the swimming pool watching my two daughters swimming when I became aware that I was not having to shift my weight from foot to foot in order to relieve my discomfort. I was standing, balanced equally on both feet and free of pain. I went inside and looked in the mirror. My pelvic bones were level. At that moment I genuinely felt as if I had been reborn. The freedom to stand and walk in a balanced reborn. The freedom to stand and walk in a balanced, pain-free manner is something I have tried never to take for granted since then.


"I have found the Alexander Technique a great help with my other passion - singing. I play the guitar and sing in clubs and pubs and the skills I have learnt through the technique have allowed me to manage my voice, posture and playing position effectively as well as helping me to manage the contradictory effects of rock-climbing and guitar-playing on my hands.

Body, Breath, and Being, a new guide to the Alexander TechniqueISBN 978 1 904468 42 4© 2008 Carolyn Nichols. You will enjoy her web site.(click here). Reprinted with kind permission of the publisher, D and B Publishing,

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An Alexander Technique Lesson

An excellent introductory video

Several experienced AT teachers discuss the work.

Sandy and Forrest Hawkins,
AmSAT Certified Alexander Technique consultants
Call us with questions or to book an appointment:
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"We can throw away the habit of a lifetime in a few minutes if we use our brains."
F.M. Alexander