About Paul

Doctors and physiotherapists sometimes recommend me if someone has difficulties with movement or posture.

In 2008 I qualified from a three-year teacher training course accredited by The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT).

I am fully insured and have enhanced DBS (previously CRB) status, for working with adults, vulnerable adults and children.

What brought me to the Alexander Technique?

In my late twenties I suffered from a lot of back pain and other musculoskeletal problems. I had to do lots of writing for my job but had reached a point where it was difficult to sit at a computer for long without pain and fatigue.

My back seemed to be in a more or less permanent spasm. Not only that but I had developed serious issues with my hands, one of which was often numb or tingling, and I had difficulties moving the fingers independently. Work colleagues were always warning each other sternly about posture, and the dangers of RSI. Now it seemed I had succumbed!

I went to the doctor, and went through all the usually recommended avenues for seeking a remedy. To cut a long story short, they didn't seem to work for me - in fact after a few months of doing remedial exercises things seemed noticeably worse.

So I was in a quandary, and on the verge of leaving my job and resigning myself to a probable future of disability and having to find some other way of making a living. I carried on doing things like swimming and running, but they never seemed to do me much good - I always left the pool or gym with an assortment of aches and pains.

At this point i came across Alexander Technique, often recommended by musicians and people in the performing arts world. It seemed an unlikely place to look for help with back pain, RSI and arthritis (as I then labelled the jumble of problems I seemed to have). But I had heard some very encouraging stories, about how it had helped other people who were in a mess.

I sat in a room, a bright basement in Holborn, London, with a young-ish woman, an "Alexander teacher" - an off-duty actress I learned - who seemed very wary of my enthusiasm, insisting that "this probably isn't going to be what you think it is".

She showed me that the way I was standing and sitting was actually slightly twisted off to one side, pointing it out in the mirror. This was interesting. Noone had mentioned this before. I was told that the way I interpreted my bodily sensations was off kilter, and she guided me with her hands into different ways of standing up out of a chair. The new ways of doing it actually didn't feel right. In fact I now felt like I was twisted to one side, when I had felt "straight" before.

But I came out of the first session intrigued - and delighted - by how light and free I felt, and the fact that I was able to leap up the stairs of the tube station without my knee joints or back complaining very much.

I was fascinated by how easily I could move for the day or so after I emerged from one of these sessions. The effect seemed to wear off after a while, and I was desperate to get back and see the woman for another Alexander session (or 'lesson' as I came to understand it).

Over time, and seeing other teachers, taking the various observations and principles I was being taught and applying them on my own, I found greater and greater levels of relief from my back pain, RSI and assorted aches and pains. After a few years I made the decision to train as a teacher of this approach, qualifying in 2008.

My experience with recovering from seemingly intractable musculoskeletal problems by changing the way I do things has made me fascinated with other people's difficulties, and uncovering the movement habits that might be producing them.

I feel pretty convinced that a lot of the problems we label as just "getting old" are actually a direct result of not understanding how the body is meant to be used in activity.

Since 2009 I've been helping others along a similar path. People come with all kinds of musculoskeletal and neurological ailments, as well as problems like asthma and anxiety disorder. Irrespective of the symptoms, I find that applying even just some of these principles seems to produce helpful shifts in posture, breathing and state of mind.

Please get in touch if you're interested in finding out more, or coming to one of my group workshops, or coming for a one-to-one lesson.

Tel: 07860 175615

paul at alexandertechniqueglasgow.com




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