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By: Jeffrey Glazer

Recently, I realized that it’s been years since I’ve spent a dime on efforts to get myself out of pain.

Before I learned the Alexander Technique, I went to practitioner after practitioner in an effort to find a solution to chronic pain in my arms and neck. But really I was just trying to manage it. In addition to the psychological and emotional cost of having chronic pain, my inability to manage it myself was costing a lot of money.

I went to a great number of medical and nonmedical practitioners. I went to two different neurologists, two different physiatrists, a Lyme disease specialist, massage therapist, multiple physical therapists, an occupational hand therapist, a chiropractor for active release therapy, multiple acupuncturists, a craniosacral practitioner, and an MD for trigger point injections. While I would often feel some relief in the short term, the debilitating pain would always come back.

At first it was similar with Alexander Technique lessons, I would walk out with less pain, but it would eventually come back. BUT, what separated the Alexander Technique from the other things I was trying was that I wasn’t being treated; rather, I was being educated. I was becoming aware of what I was doing that was actually causing my own pain.

For the first time, I made a connection between my use (how I carry myself and react to life) and my pain. And all my teacher, Judy Stern, was doing was bringing my awareness to how I was moving, pointing out areas of excess tension and distortion, and giving me the experience of carrying myself in a radically different, and almost freakishly easier way.

Once I had enough Alexander Technique experience under my belt, I became adept at creating change in myself. I learned to identify when I was doing an activity in a way that would eventually lead to pain, so that I could then use my Alexander Technique skills to make a change. Now, when I start to experience pain, I am self-sufficient in dealing with it, no longer dependent on someone else to make me feel better.

Did years of Alexander Technique lessons, including teacher training, cost money? Of course!

But, the money I’ve spent on learning the Alexander Technique has been an investment, rather than a sunk cost.

And I am now reaping the return on that investment, not only in the form of greater ease and enjoyment of life, but the economic return of savings on health care costs.

As the saying goes, “health is wealth”, now I know that can literally be true.