Mindful Alexander Technique solutions

Mana

Mindful Alexander Technique (MAT) evolved out of my healing from severe neck/spine pain, and neuropathy caused by a diving accident at age 13 in which I almost broke my neck and back.

For decades I lived with severe chronic pain and anxiety, and became dependent on pain pills, tranquilizers, and antidepressants prescribed for panic attacks and other symptoms of what was later diagnosed in 2009 as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). 

Desperate for help, I resumed lessons in the Alexander Technique, an evidence-based mind/body practice utilized by Integrative Medicine providers such as Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School, and Johns Hopkins.

The Alexander Technique is best known in the performing arts, taught world-wide in music, dancing and acting schools such as Juilliard, Yale School of Drama, and the Royal Academy of Music.

Outside of lessons, I integrated the Alexander Technique as a daily, in-the-body mindfulness practice into all my activities whenever possible.

I focused on developing mindful awareness of mind and body
that are central to a practice of the Alexander Technique.

Other “embodied mindfulness” practices that I incorporated into my daily recovery included labyrinth walking, as well as meditative walking practices that I could do anywhere, from parks to outdoor/indoor tracks.

Still dealing with chronic pain and anxiety, I had to develop a 24/7 practice of Alexander Technique-based, mindful movements in order to live in my own skin.

I named these practices Mindful Alexander Technique (MAT).  Daily MAT practices enabled me to cope with the chronic pain, anxiety and trauma symptoms to the point that, with a physician’s supervision, I was able to taper off the pain pills, tranquilizers, and antidepressants.

MAT practices also helped provide more awareness, ease and coordination in movement, as well as helped me change habitual patterns of holding tension in basic daily activities such as sitting and using a computer, walking, and standing.

I’m not as hyper-vigilant and triggered from sudden movements and noises, and can respond better to stress, anxiety and pain. When a stressful event occurs,
I respond more calmly, and then disengage and “reset” back to a neutral level.

Daily MAT practice continues to help me in dealing with chronic pain, PTSD issues,
and other health concerns.

More information on MAT is available in other sections of this website.

 

Mana   30″ x  22″   Mixed media and gold leaf on paper. 2006.
Rebecca Keays.  Private collection.