Application To Rehabilitation

 

The Alexander Technique has been beneficial to people with a wide variety of neurological and musculoskeletal problems. The Technique provides an index for observing and improving human movement and a means to gain proficiency in basic movement skills. People can re-learn such daily activities as walking, bending, squatting, lunging, moving in bed or transferring to and from seated surfaces.

The Technique also addresses habits of muscular response by offering a unique approach to neuromuscular re-education. The result is a more upright posture and less muscular tension in the neck, back and shoulders. In the case of repetitive stress or traumatic injury, a primary benefit is that students learn proper use of the peripheral joints involved in the injury. Most importantly, they learn a unique self-management process which directly affects the function of those joints: an understanding of balance and dynamic postural control.

FOR WHAT CONDITIONS CAN THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE BE HELPFUL?

People with the following diagnoses and pathologies have found the Technique to significantly increase range of motion, reduce pain, enhance breathing coordination and improve overall functional strength and mobility:

Pain management

    * Lyme disease 

    * Chronic fatigue syndrome 

    * Lupus 

    * Fibromyalgia 

Traumatic injury

    * Orthopedic auto, sports & work injuries 

Back, neck and hip dysfunction

    * Spasm 

    * Disc herniation 

    * Post-laminectomy 

    * Stenosis 

    * Sciatica/rediculopathy 

    * Scoliosis 

    * Dorsum rotundum 

    * Scheuermann's disease 

    * Osteoporosis 

    * Osteoarthritis 

    * Rheumatoid arthritis 

    * Neck and low back syndrome 

Repetitive stress injuries

Typical stress/strain injuries of musicians, dancers, singers, industrial workers, aerobic and weight training exercisers

Neurological dysfunction

    * Parkinson's disease 

    * Dystonia 

    * Multiple sclerosis 

    * Stroke 

Respiratory dysfunction

    * Asthma 

    * Paradoxical breathing 

    * Shallow breathing 

Posture & balance disorders

    * Parkinson's disease 

    * Vertigo 

    * Traumatic brain injury 

    * Brain tumor 

    * Cerebellar dysfunction 

Idelle Packer, graduate of Columbia University Masters Program in Physical Therapy, teaches the Alexander Technique in her physical therapy practice in Asheville, NC. She is the author of the chapter entitled Alexander Technique in the Encyclopedia of Complementary Health Practices, Springer publishers, 1999. 

 

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