Overcome Stress-Related Disorders With The Alexander Technique

 

The Alexander Technique is a mind-body educational process for chronic pain, trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and other mood disorders as well as addictions (both chemical and process addictions). It teaches a person to become aware of a habitual response to stimulus that is not healthy for the person, to inhibit that response, and release their energy to move in a new direction. Those three parts of the Alexander Technique–Awareness, Inhibition and Direction–give the person a new skill with which to manage their response to stimulus, whether it is an addiction, a physical pain, or an emotionally challenging situation.

 

Working Past Trauma

alexander technique stress related disorders

When a person experiences trauma, it is natural to react with guarding (contracting part or all of the body, which is a natural tendency when one is injured). This acts as an anesthetic preventing the person from feeling. The pattern of guarding often becomes a new, defensive postural behavior. It desensitizes them from pain; physical, psychological and/or emotional. This disconnection in their body will have repercussions down the line.When you have patients that are not comfortable in their bodies, it makes it harder for them to engage in their therapy sessions. When people achieve a state of comfort in their bodies as I guide them in their Alexander lessons, they also become better able to engage in their therapy.During these last four decades of private practice, I have worked with medical doctors in a clinical setting. I see the Alexander Technique as a wellness modality that integrates well with treatment for both physical and mental/emotional problems.

Here are some real-life testimonials from students of Sherry Berjeron. Note how important the mind-body integration has been in giving each of these students a new skill for managing a behavior we tend to think of as predominately mental.

Overcoming addiction and mood disorder

Fifteen years ago I was directed by my psychiatrist to Sherry Berjeron as a highly qualified therapist for the Alexander Technique. My doctor said it should help me both physically and psychologically. I had been disabled by severe chronic pain and mental anguish due to a Bipolar disorder. For years I had sought many approaches to help my condition such as acupuncture, acupressure, chiropractic, massage, the Bowen method, and others. Doctors sent me for pain management. I had minimal improvement, and I ended up addicted to pain medication. The Alexander Treatment has helped me with my addiction and with my mood disorder. I’ve learned to be tranquil. I’m aware of the connection between mind/body and how to function naturally. The Alexander Technique with Ms. Berjeron has alleviated my suffering. I feel composed and serene when I employ this method. My quality of life is better than I would have hoped for. I highly recommend this therapy to fellow sufferers.

—Danice Garrison

Keeping bipolar disorder under control

I studied the Alexander Technique with Sherry Berjeron at the Pacific Institute for the Alexander Technique for a year. It was truly one of the most eye opening, wonderful experiences of my life. I am 57 year old and was diagnosed with bipolar syndrome 14 years ago. I was told I had it all my life but the major bouts of depression my entire life were never associated with bipolar for whatever reason. By the time I began my work with Sherry, I had been on over 15 medications in many different combinations, searching for the correct combination to control the incredible ups and downs and mood swings associated with the syndrome. Using the Alexander techniques I learned: finding and maintaining my Primary Control, keeping my neck free, finding and maintaining my Advantage, I was able to slow down and become aware of patterns of stress that would precede a manic or depression episode. Slowly but surely, I was able to recognize and change the patterns and ward off or definitely minimize the episodes. With the techniques I learned from Sherry, and under the care of my doctor, I was able to greatly reduce my use of medication. I am on, according to my doctor, less than a child’s dose now. As a result of working with the Alexander Technique and Sherry, I have lifelong tools that have given me control of my health and well being back. I enjoy a quality of life now that I did not have before. I am and will remain forever grateful to Sherry for her most effective teaching style that made it possible!

—Teresa Day

Managing PTSD and depression

I had suffered from PTSD and Depression and always felt like an intruder when I entered a room. I now feel integrated with my environment can respond in a confident manner to the environment rather than reacting. Also, by practicing the sequence of Directions that Sherry taught me, my brain now “smiles” and I feel much more in sync with others and much less judgmental.

—Carol