Marketing experts always recommend speaking to prospective clients' ‘pain points’. This is entirely reasonable when you’re seeking to attract those who would benefit from your services.
“What is their problem?”
“How can you help them?”
“What will be the wonderful outcome?” And whether your ‘target’ client is suffering literal or figurative pain, promising to make it go away seems oh, so appealing...
I have several testimonials that do actually include descriptions of pain disappearing after students start thinking differently about the way they're moving (which is fabulous of course, and I can’t help what my students say, can I, ahem?).
BUT I’m afraid I must now declare:
The Alexander Technique is NOT about pain management. There - that should take care of most of the readers who were considering coming to see me! So why am I telling you this - especially when, back in the day, I myself started lessons because I was looking for answers to my own pain?
Well, first of all, I simply cannot promise that if you have lessons with me all your pain will go away. I’d be breaking the law if I did, for one thing. The fact that students often experience partial or even total disappearance of pain in lessons does not make it the central point of what we are doing. But I’ll come back to this.
Another good reason I can’t promise you pain-busting magic-wand waving is that if you have a medical condition (an injury or disease), the Alexander Technique won't and can't fix or cure this. It can’t ‘cure’ anything.
Thirdly, if all that matters to you (you can't stop thinking about it) is whether your pain is or isn’t there, you’re quite likely to be living in a ‘pain-preoccupation loop’; you need a different thinking process to get out of that. We’d all love to be pain free, of course. I know I would. But absence of pain isn’t the whole deal of evidence that you’re doing better. This is why you need patience. Most people want something to make their pain go away right now, so they can go right back to doing things the same old way that created the - oops…
So, if you want to try the Alexander Technique because you're secretly hoping for a pain solution, join my club by all means - but please DON’T expect direct results.
Being all bound up in whether or not you're feeling pain is nothing to do with this work; if you're busy with that, you're not keeping your eye on the new processes that can lead you out of that damn preoccupation with pain.
So, that's what the Alexander Technique can't do.
What can it do? It can help you learn how to:
A. stop creating unnecessary tension by changing the way you think;
B. ameliorate your medical condition/s by helping you respond to them in a more helpful, constructive way, rather than exacerbating them by adding unnecessary stuff (see A) that only makes things worse;
C. get better at everything you want to do, by getting out of your own way. You don’t even need to have any problem or pain at all, to benefit from the Alexander Technique. People talk about illegal performance-enhancing drugs. How about a legal, performance-enhancing technique for living?
And finally, the Alexander Technique can:
D. be the most tremendous adventure into the unknown; because to change for the better you must think and do things differently from your usual old ways. Scary, but infinitely rewarding and exciting, because it means growth, development and continual improvement, at any age, in any condition or at any stage of competence.
Who knows? You could actually end up with less pain than before (if it is self-induced) as an indirect result of studying the Alexander Technique... after all, I can't promise you that your pain won't go away, any more than I can promise you that it will! But just look at all those other things it offers. They make 'having pain or not' far less of a determining factor in your life. Remember how life was when pain wasn't the big deal? How long ago was that, now?
If you’d like to find out more, please feel free to get in touch for a free fifteen-minute phone call, Skype or Zoom.