Alexander Technique and Dystonia

I found an article about the Alexander Technique and Dystonia.

Here are a couple of extracts:

"The various classifications of dystonia seem to describe not different conditions, but a similar problem of control and co‐ordination in different parts of the body. The Alexander Technique teaches the same general skill to everyone. Restoring the general control of the whole organism often removes the causal factor of a localised problem.......There are descriptions of improvements to sufferers of torticollis following lessons in the Alexander Technique mentioned in The Universal Constant in Living by F. M. Alexander, The Alexander Technique as I See it by Pat MacDonald, and Postural Homoestasis by Dr. Wilfred Barlow published in The Annals of Physical Medicine, July 1952...."

There are various videos about the Alexander Technique on Youtube such as here and hereand here.

It would seem that the Alexander technique could well be of help to people with dystonia. I spoke to Yoana Browning who runs this site.

On her site she writes:
"The Alexander Technique is a set of skills which teach you how to release tensions held in your body, allowing greater movement and freedom. Because it is based on training the mind to regain control of the body - the ‘self’ - it is a powerful technique, often leading to a greater sense of well-being."

Yoana has never treated anyone with dystonia BUT, nonetheless, it seems clear to me that in the hands of a skilled practitioner someone with, say, spasmodic torticollis, would gain a lot.

Stephen HAS treated people with dystonia and helped them control/reduce/cope with the symptoms. He also runs evening courses:

"There will be two courses in the spring, starting on January 18th and February 15th (both falling within the University term).There will be two further courses during the summer term"

These courses are INTRODUCTORY but nonetheless, may be of interest to those with/care for those with dystonia.

About ten years ago Stephen gave a talk to the Oxford branch of the Dystonia Society

A brief testimonial:

"I have had spasmodic torticollis on the left side of my neck for a long time. CAn anyone suggest a type of yoga or other ways of releasing the tension thru therapies, sport and also any suggestions re diet on this condition? i have found swimming and alexander technique have helped so far. thanks!"


If you're thinking of exercise then Alexander Technique is incorporated into the Base Conditioning phase of all exercise programmes with the Chek Practitioner system but his is only the "base" and must be built upon.  Problem with Alexander Technique is it's not teaching people how to be functionally strong at the same time and R.Schmidt shows that in his work, Motor Learning and Performance.

More about Base Conditioning here...

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