Alexander Technique
Mahopac, Putnam County, New York
with Laurie Currie, Teacher of the Alexander Technique
Let Your Body Be Your Ally
In This Issue
Research Findings
What Health Professionals Say
Quick Links
Laurie Currie
16 Red Brook Road
Mahopac, NY 10541
845 621 4677

Hello Everyone,


Welcome to the first e-mail version of Heads Up!


greeting squat
Planting gladiola bulbs.

 I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful early spring as much as I am. What a pleasure to be out in the sunshine working in my garden already! I don't know about you, but last year at this time I'm pretty sure I was out chopping ice.

Gardening is not an easy task. It requires a lot of bending, digging, squatting, raking, and a lot of pushing and pulling. And I'm 

garden roto
A strong push to the rototiller!

certainly not getting any younger! I know how challenging these activities can be for many people my age (54) and older (or sometimes younger). I also know that the Alexander Technique plays a huge role in the fact that I can still meet the physical challenges of gardening with ease and enjoyment. I have never considered it a luxury to have the Alexander Technique "under my belt"; I've always seen it as a valued necessity for living the healthiest possible life. It's wonderful to know how to use yourself well in activity, with lightness and ease, and to know that you are preventing yourself harm. And I do love sharing all I've learned over the years with all of you!


This past month I had the pleasure of presenting several introductory workshops in the Alexander Technique to large groups of people at various locations in the area. Some of you were there, and I thank you for your participation! Of all the people who attended, the most prevalent reason given for attending was because of neck and back pain. So in this issue, the focus is on BACK PAIN (though most of you know that this technique is not just for back pain). Even if you're not troubled by back pain, I think you'll find something of interest here. And if you know somebody suffering from back pain, perhaps you could forward this newsletter along to them!
Research Findings
Alexander Technique BMJ back pain study
Watch an excellent short video about this important medical study on back pain and the Alexander Technique!

A recent study published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) determined that back pain can be reduced by 85% through the study of the Alexander Technique. The major clinical trial also examined massage, standard medical care under a General Practitioner, and standard aerobic exercise, finding the Alexander Technique to offer the most significant long-term benefits for patients with chronic, non-specific low-back pain.

What Health Professionals Say

"The Alexander Technique stresses unification in an era of greater and greater medical specialization. Its educational system teaches people how to best use their bodies in ordinary action to avoid or reduce unnecessary stress and pain. It enables clients to get better faster and stay better longer. This is undoubtedly the best way to take care of the back and alleviate back pain."


Jack Stern, MD, PhD, Neurosurgical Group of Westchester, White Plains, NY

Practical Anatomy: The Waist Is Not A Hinge


Deborah Caplan, Physical Therapist, Alexander Technique Teacher, and Co-Founder of The American Center for the Alexander Technique in NYC (where I trained), says this in her book entitled Back Trouble: A New Approach to Prevention and Recovery:

"Think of the torso as one functional unit. Notice the considerable distance between the waist and the hip joints."

In other words, use your hip joints for bending, not your waist!
They (along with knees and ankles) are beautifully designed for that purpose.


"Like the unicorn, the waist is a mythical creature. It exists as a concept, but we get into trouble when we think of the waist as a real entity, with hinge-like qualities. Such faulty thinking leads to faulty use, and faulty use of the waist is respon-sible for many lower back problems.


There is nothing wrong with using the flexibility of your spine when it is appropriate, such as for dancing, exercising, or engaging in sports. But your back can be injured when you misuse its flexibility. It should not be misused by bending from the waist or by slumping, which keeps the waist bent continually."


Back Trouble addresses many back, neck and shoulder problems from an Alexander perspective. I recommend it highly as a source of information. But please keep this in mind: the Alexander Technique cannot be learned from a book. If you haven't yet had lessons, the hands-on guidance of a qualified teacher is essential for making any lasting progress in improving your use of yourself.

Did You Know?
Did you know that actor Paul Newman and his wife, actress Joanne Woodward, both studied the Alexander Technique? Here is what they said about it:

"The Alexander Technique helped a long-standing back problem and to get a good night's sleep after many years of tossing and turning." - Paul Newman, actor

"I was dubious about the effects of the Alexander Technique when I first went in to experience it, but I found out almost immediately that the benefits were total - both physically and mentally - and, happily, have also been long-lasting." - Joanne Woodward, actress 

I hope you've enjoyed this newsletter. Please feel free to let me know how you like it. Was anything particularly interesting or helpful to you? Any further questions about the technique? Topic requests? I'd love to hear from you. 
Laurie Currie
Alexander Technique