The first time I encountered the Alexander Technique was when staying on business in a small village just outside Abingdon in Oxfordshire, around 2007. The setting was stunning: not the usual bed-and-breakfast type of property; it was a lovingly restored manor house. The landlady was able to offer guests Alexander Technique lessons. At the time I thought it was well worth bearing in mind for the ext visit, which sadly never took place.
In May 2010, I remembered my brief brush with the Alexander Technique teacher in Oxfordshire, and found the information I had got at the time. Thanks to the Internet, typing `Alexander Technique in the Midlands` brought about the discovery of a website with a directory of teachers. In visiting the teachers websites, i found one Midlands-based teacher I was drawn to, a very important part of therapy, I feel.
Waiting to receive that first response call to my telephone message, I remember, felt different from most. It's hard to describe, but today, ten months on from calling this lady, I can only look forwards to facing each day in my life, which at the time was so hard to imagine ever doing again. On the second day of 2009 my world as I had known it stopped turning: I lost my adoptive mother that day to a series of strokes. This scenario was in fact the first of three. I was told a month later the results of an MRI scan by my GP and backed up by a letter of concern from my osteopath.
The last fourteen months of the decline in my elderly mother saw my own health disappearing: the loss of reflex feeling in the whole of the right side of my body, and very little on the left, had to be addressed. The way forward recommended by the medical profession was to get an MRI scan first; the results came one month after losing my mother. I was shown one slipped disc in the lower back, and another one which had started to move.
Working very successfully for myself with a transport training business, teaching men and women all over the UK from every walk of life to drive all sizes and type of trucks , was to be no more after being given the MRI scan results. Twenty-four years of pioneering as a female truck-driving instructor and breaking down the barriers in more ways than one - also being from an ethnic minority, British-born and educated privately in the male-orientated transport industry - ended. Going against medical advice, due to losing my mother, I continued to train drivers and eleven months down the line, the business was over, not just because of my medical condition, but also because of the economic decline in the country.
I started the Alexander Technique in May and ten months on, with lessons weekly, most of the time I have become confident and happy to rebuild life slowly and in a still manner; I had never experienced this prior to taking Alexander Technique lessons.
I owe so much to my AT teacher. A unique bond has formed over the ten months I have known her, and because the lessons are one-to-one and the setting being in a comfortable private home, it's just right for me.
The changes were made over a relatively short period of time, not quite forty lessons, I think at this point and in my case, forty-five minutes a week. The powers of this work are inexhaustible. Full belief and confidence in the world of the Alexander work and your teacher must be present in every sense of the word. Self-investment in re-education for the use of your own body,, mind and spirit coordinated to function as one, that's how I have now come to understand and experience the Alexander Technique.
The experience of having your body and mind looked at and examined in a whole new way by a stranger in their own home feels odd at first, it really does. The way I overcame my concerns and worries, if you like, of the work was to research the Alexander Technique, starting with the gentleman Mr F.M. Alexander's life and his fascinating discovery, to a point where I sometimes feel I have met this remarkable man.
The information from the Internet in the form of websites and watching YouTube, not to mention reading numerous books, all make this globally practised Technique clearer by the minute.
All that remains to be said is `thanks` to my teacher, who is worth her weight in gold. My life has been changed for good. If it's meant, maybe one day I will become a teacher myself, who knows?