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The following testimonials have been given in writing with full name and address supplied.
I had a few months’ of lessons chiefly because I had damaged my shoulder/neck playing the double bass. Where physio proved of some short term benefit, the relaxation techniques and postural awareness that I learned through my Alexander lessons, has given me a tool for life. I realised how much tension there was in my body and thus the lessons were of benefit not only as a musician but for life in general. Derek was clearly the best Alexander Teacher I had and I recommend him heartily.
Social worker referred by her GP: Knee Pain
Such was the swelling on my knees that my Orthopaedic consultant said I may need to have my knee caps removed at some point. However my GP advised that I try the Alexander Technique (AT).
The AT stopped my pain and swelling – so much so that I was able to resume playing badminton. What I like about the AT is that it puts me in control of my wellbeing, both physical and mental.
My motivation for starting Alexander Technique sessions was to heal my long standing and painful back condition, having tried physiotherapy and osteopathy unsuccessfully over a number of years.
Although my back condition was treated successfully, I continued to have Alexander Technique sessions as it maintained my general and specific wellbeing. I have found Derek Climpson to be an effective and excellent practitioner of the Technique.
Having suffered with back pain for most of my life, I started Alexander Technique lessons about 12 years ago on the recommendation of an osteopath. Since then I have not had any serious problem with back pain and if I do have any twinges, I know (from the AT) what to do to remedy the situation. Despite increasing age and the onset of arthritis I keep active including looking after my new grandson. I can thoroughly recommend the Alexander Technique to anyone in a similar situation.
NHS Psychologist – Shoulder and Neck pain
I developed shoulder and neck pain and poor posture through years of carrying bags and rucksacks. Physiotherapy made no difference. However within a few sessions of the Alexander Technique (AT), I was surprised to have significantly cut down my analgesic (painkillers) use.
What I greatly value is the principle of mind-body awareness which is central to the AT and which resonates deeply with a mindfulness approach to daily life. AT seems to allow us to tap back into the body’s own wisdom about efficient movement and well being.
I would highly recommend it!
After straining my back using ladders to put up lights, I decided to try the Alexander Technique and mentioned it to my doctor who was in total agreement.
I immediately saw an improvement in my posture relieving the pain in my back.
I will be forever grateful that I went down the right road. It was certainly a good investment in my overall wellbeing.
I watched a Channel 4 TV documentary in 1985 on the Alexander Technique and decided to give it a try.
At the time I was suffering with chronic anxiety problems, which I had had for 11 years, but was trying to reduce my dependency on tranquilisers. The AT lessons enabled me to recognise the signs of anxiety in my body and showed me how I could become free of the resulting muscle tension. The positive nature of Derek’s lessons helped me to come off the tranquilisers after 6 months and start the anxiety free life I have led since.
When I was working and had to give lectures or had to speak in public, application of the Technique improved my presentation delivery and my confidence in answering questions.
Perhaps a further benefit has been much reduced occurrence of back problems. These are rare for me nowadays whereas prior to starting AT lessons I would be off work or in severe pain for a few days every year.
To summarise, Derek’s lessons in the Alexander Technique have given me a much better quality of life than I would ever have thought possible 30 years ago.
After years of tension and pain in my neck and right shoulder brought on by the daily teaching tasks of marking exercise books and writing on boards( first blackboards then whiteboards), a few lessons in the Alexander Technique caused these problems to disappear. I did not however stop lessons since I wanted the overall feeling of wellbeing to continue. I honestly believe that had it not been for my AT Teacher I would have retired from teaching very early.
I had just turned 60 when I developed severe constant neck and shoulder pain when sitting at my desk at work. I became desperate thinking that I would have to retire early from my job, which was important to me.
I described the problem to a friend who had a similar experience. Without hesitation she said: “What you need is Alexander Technique!’’ and told me how it had helped her.
Within weeks of starting lessons with a local (AT) teacher I found I was able to manage the pain. A few months later it was no longer an issue and I was able to keep on working for several years beyond retirement age.
Now at 70 I am retired and have more time to pursue my musical interests – choral singing and playing classical guitar. I find my knowledge of Alexander Technique helps me in a remarkable way with both music practice and performance, and it has greatly improved my enjoyment.
Many years ago, I suffered recurrent attacks of acute back pain and sciatica, caused by osteo arthritis. My ability to work as a nurse, and lead an active family life, was severely affected.
I started classes with Derek, who patiently helped me to become aware of harmful habits of movement and stance. Through him I learnt to manage and control my pain, and prevent recurrence.
I continue my regular classes as I am sure that my ability to make the best of my arthritic condition at the age of 75yrs, is due to the awareness I have gained from them. I always leave smiling, feeling lighter and more positive.
Following an incident in which I damaged my left arm and neck, I was having problems with many everyday activities. As a violin teacher, it was also affecting my playing and I was experiencing quite a lot of pain. I had heard about the Alexander Technique through my musical connections and decided to give it a try.
Although it needed a certain amount of dedication the rewards were well worth the effort. Not only did I become pain free but I found that my violin playing actually improved and ordinary activities required much less effort. I have found the Technique to be so beneficial that I continue to have lessons periodically some 25 years later.
I am in my 70s and was suffering with widespread muscular pain in my body including neck, shoulders, arms and hands, and had sleeping problems. The GP and Southend Hospital physio diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia.
I had read in a hospital leaflet that self management of the symptoms was the preferred option and so I decided to look outside the NHS and try the Alexander Technique – a method which shows you how to go about your daily activities with less muscular tension.
For me the benefits have been considerable. I sleep better now and seldom experience the sort of pain that sent me to my GP.
My neck requires regular, active maintenance to keep it flexible. The problem came to light several years ago at T-Junctions where I could not look to right or left without pain or strain. One day a large newspaper illustration caught my attention. It was of a human being from the back and showed how skeleton, nerves, muscles etc interact. The text explained the kind of guidance that the Alexander Technique could give. As nothing else I had tried had really helped, I decided to give the AT a go. I’m very glad I did. Now daily attention from me and a monthly session with Derek , my Alexander Teacher, each bring together physical care with attentive thinking – a sort of down-to-earth spirituality really!
I had my first Alexander Technique lessons with a view to improving my organ playing, and was able to refine my playing technique, making the movements of my hands and feet more supple and economical, thus enabling me to deepen my concentration and make my playing more controlled and musical.
As an Organist and Director of music in a church, I train a choir and find that the posture cultivated in my Alexander lessons enables me to demonstrate authoritatively, without tension, to the singers, as well as helping me to conduct them with suitably fluent, uninhibited, communicative movements.
And in my spiritual life, the Alexander Technique is indispensible in making myself calm, relaxed and attentive before prayer.
I sustained a serious back injury in my late twenties whilst working as a nurse. Despite years of doing the rounds with various Doctors and Specialists, physiotherapy, osteopathy, acupuncture and massage, I remained severely debilitated and unable to work.
I came to the Alexander Technique when I realized that my problems were very much related to the way my body was standing/moving. I began lessons with Derek in my early thirties and very quickly saw significant change in the degree of pain and the way I was moving. There was improvement in my mobility and capabilities. I gained some degree of control over the debilitating muscle spasms. I also used the technique throughout my pregnancy and the birth of my daughter.
I am now in my early fifties. I have continued to have regular lessons and see the Alexander Technique as a very important part of my life. I feel that it has given me the ability to make the best use of what I have physically and it has given me a focus for self development and an improved way of life.
After a close family member was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I started suffering from severe anxiety. This resulted in the muscles in my back, neck and shoulders to become stiff and painful. Over time, I was convinced I had a physical problem with my back which then made the anxiety symptoms worse. Over the past 3 years I have visited doctors, consultants, physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, massage therapists and hypnotherapists. I was also sent for an MRI scan of my whole spine which came back normal.
So I decided to try the Alexander Technique. I look forward to my lessons each week and feel so much better mentally and physically. I am now beginning to see certain situations I come across in life as a challenge rather than a stressful problem.
I would thoroughly recommend Derek to anyone with similar problems to mine. I just wish I had known about this technique before wasting my money on other therapies, which were helping, but not dealing with the root cause of my problems.
My singing has improved since I have done the Alexander Technique because I am now able to be more relaxed when singing.
I have entered a number of local music competitions and in my second year won the trophy in the classical song class.
When I began lessons in the Alexander Technique at 70 , I had a lot of stiffness in my knees and found it almost impossible to get down into a squat.
Almost three years later, I find myself squatting with ease. I don’t even have to think about it.
What pleases me is the realisation that the body can return to ease of movement, even in the elderly.
Sue (Age 73).
I have been using Alexander Technique for several years, originally for low back pain, but more recently (for over 3 years ) for the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. After a session I feel overall more flexible, relaxed and upright, more balanced and less subject to tremors and tension. In between sessions I use ongoing Alexander Technique self-help methods to improve my daily well-being. I think it is a beneficial activity for Parkinson’s sufferers like myself.
I can confirm that it (Alexander Technique) is a real help in easing the symptoms of muscular tension, distorted posture and shuffling gait of Parkinson’s disease and also improves the characteristic low mood.
12 months after my diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, I decided to try the Alexander Technique (AT) because I had a problem with standing , walking and moving generally.
With the AT I have found that I am moving better, my posture has improved and this has been remarked upon by many people including my Parkinson’s nurse and friends who haven’t seen me for months.’
I suffer from sensory seizures which produce severe muscular tension in my body which was exhausting and used to take me weeks to recover from, in spite of osteopathy or chiropractic. So I tried Alexander Technique lessons instead.
The Alexander Technique has exceeded my expectations. In it I have found an effective method of preventing the build up of physical tension on a daily basis. This has had the effect of lessening the frequency and intensity of the seizures and thereby reducing the time it takes me to recover from them.
Derek Climpson’s thoughtful and patient approach has helped me learn to apply the Alexander Technique in my everyday life which I have found invaluable.
Musician: School Teacher/ Head of Music/ RSI
I had RSI in both wrists whilst I was a viola student at the Royal Academy of Music.I tried physio with no success. I next tried Alexander Technique (AT) which solved the problem.
These days I also use the AT consciously when conducting – and I find that the choir sing in tune!
Horse rider – recovery from injuries
Having Alexander Technique has helped me recover from horse riding injuries and my riding instructor has also commented on my improved position whilst riding.
The Technique has helped me understand that holding tension in my muscles adversely affects my riding and how my horse performs. Being more ‘up’ (free from unwanted muscular tension) and relaxed has allowed me to become a better rider, have a more harmonious partnership with my horse and ultimately receive better dressage scores!
Regular Alexander Technique lessons have been instrumental in improving my riding style. Because I can now move in unison with my horse, this has resulted in a happier horse that is now able to carry herself with her natural elegance and grace.
I would highly recommend Derek’s Alexander Technique lessons to anyone who wishes to become a better and more sympathetic rider.
Yoga Teacher – migraine, neck and shoulder pain.
I was introduced to Alexander Technique at a yoga seminar by a colleague who teaches both disciplines and who felt that Alexander Technique would be of benefit to me. On returning home, I began regular sessions with Derek.
When I began lessons I was regularly taking strong painkillers for migraine and to ease pain in my neck and shoulders with associated ‘pins and needles’ in my arms and hands. Very quickly, things began to change and it is now increasingly rare for me to need painkillers. When I do have symptoms I can manage them by using the Technique and relaxation. I also find that AT compliments my yoga practice. My awareness in yoga postures (asana) and seated breathing practices (pranayama) is enhanced with a greater sense of ‘space’ in the body and a corresponding feeling of fluidity of movement and breath.
There are tangible benefits in other areas of my life as well. For example, after a long day of driving to and from yoga events and meetings I arrive home less tired and with more energy. Applying the Technique to my driving position has made a huge difference.
I thoroughly recommend the Technique as being one with lifelong benefits and applications. It is a very worthwhile long term investment and a practice which I intend to continue.
Copyright © Derek Climpson – Alexander Technique tel: 07702 631259