Testimonials

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Testimonial:

Ana Simeon (vertaalster)

I am a translator by trade and as such dependent upon being able to sit upright for hours pounding computer keys and performing mental acrobatics in a state of intense concentration. I'm also a perfectionist and do everything the hard way, with far more effort than it really requires. So far, I've had two brush-ups with intense pain - a very dramatic episode of sciatica in 1997, when I lived and worked in almost constant pain for nine months, and a much milder, but still very scary and unpleasant, case of carpal tunnel syndrome in 2002, which lasted for about five months.

The sciatica episode was frightening - the doctors were baffled and I was daily faced with the possibility of losing my livelihood - causing me to deploy every resource at my disposal to find a solution. Even after I started doing Alexander work, there was no visible improvement for months, but there was something about the work that I trusted and that helped me persevere.

The Alexander Technique is all about HOW - how you do what you do, in painstaking physical detail. And how to allow a new, different way of doing it. Some teachers are more visually oriented than others and will work with mirrors a lot, which incidentally makes you face your body image issues (I still find that aspect of the work quite daunting). Others have a great knack for finding a phrase that vividly captures the "new configuration" and can be used as a key for finding it again and again. ("Coming into your full uprightness" is one such phrase of Hildegarde's which works wonderfully for me.)

It's also about "losing it" a lot and making your peace with the fact that you will fall back into doing things "wrong" (and then right yourself again) for the rest of your life. New situations constantly challenge you, while the organism's inbuilt preference for stability makes old patterns very persistent.

One of the most difficult work-related habits for me was (and is) straining to concentrate, which I accomplish by training the eyes upon a fixed point, holding the neck rigid and fixing the breast bone. That mental activity requires repression of movement is a cultural belief we are taught almost from the cradle (Einstein, who furnished his study with a couch for laying down and a large rug for pacing, knew otherwise!) Another tricky one is the rapid scanning eye movement we use such a lot in diagonal reading or otherwise searching for visual information (net browsing!) which also tends to go hand in hand with a fixed head-neck configuration. And I'm currently looking into what happens in my throat, neck and jaw when I speak in public, and how I physically shrink into myself when using my thinking function to solve problems.

Living with the Technique seems to progress in a spiral movement: pain pushing me to find new ways and me responding by growing as much as I have to (or as little as I can get away with) and then I stopping for a while, until some new impetus gets me moving again.

At its best, the Technique is for me a daily gentle reminder of what is possible. The primary control affects every system in the body. It affects the whole spine and all the joints attaching to it. It affects the elbows, knees, ankles, wrists, toes and fingers. It affects the breathing. The breathing in turn affects the emotions. When I come up into my full uprightness, I access the natural support of my whole body and I'm no longer so hemmed in by all my tight and fearful places.



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Djessy van den Dries (violiste)

Door het toepassen van principes uit de Alexandertechniek kan ik makkelijker zien waar in mijn lichaam precies het probleem zit wanneer iets viooltechnisch niet lukt.
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Marc van Wageningen (pianostemmer en zanger)

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Daniel Vecht (zanger)

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Wolf Govaerts (dancer)

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Aimar Pérez Galí­ (dancer)

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Judith (beleidsadviseur, amateurzanger en roeier)

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Anamaria Klajnscek (dancer)

It doesn't only help me as a professional dancer, but even more importantly, changes the way I perceive myself in everyday life. It gave me access to an awareness I didn't know of before. 
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