What the pupils say
I have really benefited from the Alexander Technique lessons with Charles over the last two and a half years whilst caring for my Mum at my home and later suffering from fatigue.
I am now a happier, calmer person — in tune with myself, more flexible, not constantly driving myself along.
My posture has greatly improved, better than it has ever been since child hood. For example, after I had been gardening my back used to be stiff and ache, but now it doesn't trouble me as I have learnt to be aware of how to use my body in the right way. I am so pleased that I can do so many things now, comfortably and at ease.
I find each lesson with Charles is always varied and interesting with something new to learn and think about. He is a skilful, patient and understanding teacher and you leave his lesson feeling far better than you did when you first walked in.
I find it helps to write down brief notes later on points which have impressed me and what has been advised to practise — I keep referring back to these to refresh my memory.
Give yourself time to learn, persevere and you will find it well worth the effort. You will feel more confident to cope with the challenges of life and enjoy yourself.
If ever you feel you are slipping back into “old ways”, it is so helpful to be able to book a refresher lesson with Charles and put yourself back on the “right track” again.
Angela R. (age 61)
It is both a learning and unlearning process. The Teacher uses his expertise through touch to ascertain the students needs, then through instructions, repeated often, the student comes to understand at his own pace how he can allow improvements to take place. This learning is without criticism and without reaching for goals.
This is my Golden Wedding Year and my Alexander lessons are an anniversary present from my husband.
Having the life enhancing benefits of the Technique is worth more to me than a gold watch.
Get more done
Charles Tully's approach to Alexander lessons is great. He explains Alexander principles and physical processes clearly and enthusiastically. His gentle, good humoured style makes the lessons relaxed and fun and make learning easy. Would definitely recommend you give it a try to find out more about how Alexander Technique can help you get more done with less physical and mental effort!
Elizabeth McManus, founding partner Development Alternatives consultancy
I feel more feminine
Thank you Charles for the experience of the Alexander Technique. I now take life at a gentler pace and feel more feminine.
Charles is an excellent teacher, patient and caring, making you more aware of yourself and the way you go about life.
I was introduced to the Technique by my son who was concerned about my poor posture which I am now happy to say is much improved.
I was told by a friend (whom I hadn't seen for 6 months) that I looked 10 years younger - that is thanks to the Alexander Technique and Charles. The lessons learned will be with me for the rest of my life.
If you are anxious and struggling with life give the Technique a try - you will become a much calmer, happier and confident person.
Barbara Jones, Retired secretary and Champion crown green bowls player
During the last two years I have been seeing Charles Tully and he has been incredibly supportive, helping me to understand and listen to my body. I have had Parkinson's for a long time now and have had to cope with many ups and downs. I have seen many practitioners, both mainstream and complementary, so I feel as if I am qualified to identify useful therapy (and therapists!).
When I first met Charles I was on an apomorphine pump, which left me with dyskinesia and spasms. He helped me cope with these. Then, at the beginning of this year, I went back onto Madopar in preparation of a Deep Brain Stimulation operation. Charles then helped me enormously, teaching my body to work with my “new brain”. Charles and the Alexander Technique have helped me through two difficult years and throughout all of this he has been cheerful and witty — a good teacher.
I'm in a good place now, and he has helped me get here. I am more relaxed and I can definitely recommend the Alexander Technique for Parkinson's as it is very practical and has improved both my posture and movement.
Lindsay Whitehead, 59, suffering from Parkinson's for 22 years
A letter from one of my pupils to the editor of "Osteoporosis news:"
After reading “learning from the Alexander Technique” in the summer 2008 Newsletter, I decided to find a Teacher in an effort to improve my own situation. I am 78 years old; have sustained multiple spinal fractures as a result of osteoporosis, and I have polymyalgia rheumatica. Constant use of a TENS helped with the back pain, but I could find no relief from the intolerable ache in my midriff region which prevented me standing upright. Standing and walking were serious problems that restricted my life.
There was no Teacher in my home town so since August last I have been travelling to Bolton each week for lessons. Initially, these weekly sessions left me feeling very tired with little noticeable improvement, and it was not until November that the midriff ache (and breathlessness) began to respond. The ache has now gone entirely and my posture is much better. I no longer use a TENS; I am now able to sit and stand without support, and I feel liberated. It is my intention to continue with the lessons in the hope of further alleviating the painful and uncomfortable effects of my conditions. I hope this letter is of help to any of your reader contemplating Alexander Technique lessons for themselves,
After 30 years in IT I had my second case of crippling pain from repetitive strain injury. Research among fellow sufferers led me to believe that the Alexander Technique could offer a permanent cure, and I started lessons with Charles Tully in summer 2008. I have now had about 20 lessons.
From the very first lesson I have really enjoyed my experience of learning AT. Charles is an excellent teacher; patient, but persistent, making sure you have done (or not done!) what is required before moving on. Despite being a rather slow pupil, I always felt encouraged to keep trying, and have now achieved much of what I wanted to from the course. And throughout there has been a sense of lightness and fun, so unlike my other experiences of physiotherapy and other exercise regimes.
By the end of the year my RSI has now gone and I am back to working fulltime on the keyboard without discomfort. I look at my new approach to working; and I very much doubt that I will experience RSI again. This is what I hope for, but I have actually benefited in many more ways. I feel calmer, more confident and much more in control of my life. I deal with stress more easily, and don't load myself up with stress without knowing it. This shows itself in interesting ways - for example I no longer rage at other road users, and find, when I look down that I am cruising at the speed limit, rather than 10% over. My car does a few more miles to the gallon as well!
I cannot recommend the Alexander Technique and Charles Tully's teaching too highly. My lessons have made a significant and positive difference in many aspects of my life. And nothing beats the feeling of walking out from your lessons feeling an inch taller, a stone lighter and in control.
Richard Spencer, RPS Limited
I've really enjoyed working with you this year and have learnt an awful lot that will set me in good stead for the future. Whilst the Technique still isn't second nature to me, whenever I do take the time to practise it always amazes me how it lifts my mood and loosens me out. Giving purpose and direction to my stretching and movements is also an invaluable lesson I've learned so I shall persevere still!
Thanks again for everything
Becky Lyne, European 800m Bronze Medallist and Britain's Female Athlete of the Year 2006
Posture and Change
What the Alexander Technique did for me!
I worked in a factory for a number of years and developed repetitive strain; therefore I have been searching for something to ease the constant pain and tension in my neck and shoulders for years. After trying Chiropractic, Bowen treatment and medication by my GP I decided to try the Alexander Technique.
Through trying the Technique I discovered a number of bad habits I have had for years i.e. throwing my head back, twisting my spine, tensing my shoulders and lower back.
I think about the way I do things, discovered and improved many bad posture habits i.e. hunching my shoulders, sleeping with head thrown back, peering at computer screen through the lower half of my bifocals.
I examined and made a positive effort to change things I was not happy with in my life.
I try every day to live in the present and not worry about things I have no control over.
I speak up for myself in an assertive manner instead off inwardly fuming causing more tension and emotional turmoil.
I experienced pure relaxed bliss after gentle manipulation with the A.T., which proves this state is achievable.
The Technique is a skill I have been able to take away, develop and use for the future.
Looking after ME!
Rita K. (age 52)
After 15 years of physio and osteopath visits, doctors and pain killers, I realised that my back pain was simply due to tension. I decided to try Alexander Technique and have not had a day's back ache since. Charles is patient and calm and taught me how to think about and take control of my own actions to avoid building unnecessary tension. I wish I had started Alexander Technique years ago!
Cath J., Teacher
Stress and Posture
Just a little note to say thank you for all your help and support during the past year. It has meant a great deal to me. I'm sure I must have bored you rigid at times but you never reproached me!
I feel better and taller now than before and know that if I keep up the good work I will have a straight back eventually.
Stress - Another Teacher
We're all suffering it to some degree and it's probably the single greatest cause of teachers leaving the education system. But what are we doing about it? Our present culture of blame and compensation insists that someone else must be responsible for our ills and, while I do believe that the stress factor should be recognised with awareness and coping strategies built into teacher training, prevention really is better than cure (no matter that it's a cliché) and we should all be prepared to take responsibility for our own well being, avoiding crisis management and dealing with problems at source.
So how does stress manifest itself? Anybody recognise headaches, fatigue, back pain, irritability, mood swings, sleep disturbance, depression? Where does it come from? The endless paperwork, teaching to targets, the constant stream of new directives, managing difficult children in oversize classes.
For myself when the pressure gets too much I find myself struggling with depression and debilitating back pain. But I discovered a way to deal with it - a way that began as a means of curing the back pain when physiotherapy, osteopathy, acupuncture had all failed, I went to a teacher of the Alexander Technique and by the third session I had become aware of a range of unexpected mental and emotional benefits.
Following a series of lessons in the Technique I now have better posture (I'm at least an inch taller), I gained relief from the back pain and it changed my way of life. I am calmer with a greater sense of well being and self-awareness. Through the process of Inhibition I have learned to separate myself from difficult and stressful situations; I am able to stand back and make choices, take the initiative and exert a greater degree of control. I have learned to release muscular tension and maintain this despite the stresses and strains of the working day. Most importantly I have learned to take time for myself and not feel guilty about seeking self-fulfilment.
The Alexander Technique can be both life changing and life affirming - I've made my first microlight flight and I'm going to Peru; two long held but unrealised ambitions - so why not give it a try. Suffering stress isn't a compulsory part of a teaching career.
Carol S., Special Needs Teacher, Bolton
Thank you for introducing me to “Alexander” and your wise words of guidance.
Both will help me through my African Adventure.