An exciting and recent study published by the British Medical Journal in August, 2008, found that having Alexander Technique lessons was by far, the most effective alleviator of chronic and recurrent back pain, as compared with massage or therapeutic exercise as prescribed by a doctor.
Its effectiveness in supporting women through each trimester, labor, recovery from labor, breastfeeding, and caring for newborns is quite extensive. Given the dramatic changes and compression in women’s bodies as they accommodate the developing fetus, many women may develop such problems as neck pain, lower back pain, sacroiliac pain, carpel tunnel syndrome and numbness in the hands.
Study of this technique has proven to help women utilize their core structure and move with more intelligence, efficiency and comfort. This is especially beneficial in skills such as walking, sleeping, sitting and bending. During labor, this method has a calming effect as the student practices awareness, directions of expansion, and inhibiting their fear reflex.
The healing process after birth is accelerated as mom incorporates the Alexandrian principles of leading with the head and allowing the rest of the body to follow in sequence. In the hectic first days and weeks, new parents learn to feed and carry their newborn with ease and without the common head, neck and upper back strain.
AT’s presence in the fields of childbirth and midwifery is much more established in Australia and England, where its founder originated and later set up a training school. It continues to gain momentum here in the U.S. A practice over 100 years old, it is commonly referenced in books, articles and websites as an extraordinary method that helps mothers gain poise and relaxation through the discomforts of pregnancy, and increase control and presence of mind through labor. I have even been invited to speak to Breastfeeding Moms’ Groups at North Suburban Hospital in Thornton, Colorado, as well as doulas in the Greater Philadelphia area.
While my teaching practice includes private lessons in the Philly area, I also offer specialized classes designed for pregnancy and beyond, as well as workshops for midwives, childbirth educators, and doulas.