A couple of years before I left New York I started taking lessons in the Alexander Technique®. I had no idea what was going on. I don’t remember much about it now, but I remember my teacher placing her hands on me in various ways in various places, looking for changes, or asking me if I noticed changes. I never noticed anything. It was frustrating, but I had heard good things about the Alexander Technique®, and I desperately needed help, so I kept going back.
Eventually my teacher departed from the Alexander Technique® and introduced more fundamental ways of getting me to be in touch with my body. I rolled around on the floor, and we used pads and balls and rollers and I don’t remember what else. I did get improvement in my range of motion from this.
I left New York after less than two years of lessons, so I didn’t get far. When I left, my teacher told me she couldn’t believe that I had kept coming back, since I seemed to have no idea what was going on (which I didn’t) and I didn’t seem to get much relief (which I didn’t). My response was that I knew that things were happening that were beneficial. I just wasn’t able to identify them with my mind.
I should have told her that the real determining factor that kept me coming back was that she gave reduced rates to performers. I could tell somehow that I was learning something (I had no idea what), but it was slow. Because my teacher, herself a performer, wanted people like me to have the opportunity to learn, I could actually afford to come back, again and again, even though I didn’t get much in the way of concrete results. What a gift she gave me.
Many years later, when I had gradually built upon the foundation my Alexander teacher had given me, after I had found several ways to work with my body that were beneficial, I started to find greater range of motion, and some pains began to ease. I knew more about my body, and I had finally discovered that things could improve.
One day when I was working on my range of motion, a “knowing” hit me of the direction that a specific part of my shoulder should go. Then it went there of its own accord (I sure didn’t know how to do it myself). Perhaps even more interesting to me was the fact that I recognized that this came from my lessons in the Alexander Technique®. All that time, my brain had been working with everything I had learned those many years ago, and when the time came that I was able to recognize its accomplishments, I did. I still have instances where I am informed about myself because of what I learned from the Alexander Technique®.