I experienced whiplash after a bad fall, leaving me with persistent neck tension and very painful lower back pain following a long-term vestibular virus in my inner, so my balance was affected when I walked. I was to continue to fall quite a bit in the future too. I followed the doctor's advice to have cranial osteopathy and indeed sought treatment from two osteopaths, a chiropractor as well extensive homeopathy, however over time came to realise that I was still very much in pain following treatments.
Whilst the pain I found myself in was the immediate reason for taking lessons with Noël Kingsley, I had also developed very shortened and narrowed shoulders, to the point where my left shoulder was so shortened that it had badly turned in on itself, not to mention a scoliosis I'd had since childhood, seriously downward head balance and a stoop. Reasons for my shoulders being as they were for sure included carrying a heavy bag of books at secondary school, however there were also emotional reasons. I came to appreciate that all unconscious reactions are so closely connected with our postural habits in all of us, and our response-ability is first and foremost to do with ourselves, our own thinking when it comes to our head, neck, back relationship working together as a unity, which in turn informs everything else because everything connects.
Whilst having lessons with Noël I restored 5cms to my height and, importantly, discovered I never encountered any criticism, even thought I was aware my habits were always being observed. I don't think I really appreciated the enormity of what was occurring, although I certainly noted an improvement in terms of the pain and my shoulders were showing signs of beginning of widen. I do recall feeling a sense of lightness and indeed relief as I walked out of my lessons, for me I think it was very much a gradual learning process along a path which I hadn't expected. Just a year into taking lessons, I underwent a thyroidectomy to remove a benign goitre, thankfully all went well without any vocal loss.
I went on to train with Ruth Murray and Alan Philps at The Constructive Teaching Centre. I began to develop muscle tone and outgrew my wardrobe several times as a result. My left shoulder especially and my shoulders in general broadened out, I still remember how grateful I was about this, I still am to this day. I began to appreciate that the very act of stopping to observe what I was doing with my body gave me the space and time I needed. Working with the Technique continues to greatly help me when it comes to head balance especially, no doubt my reactions above as well as those when it came to having lost my father when I did played a part.
Following my teaching terms, I have continued to attend The Constructive Teaching Centre to further develop my teaching as well as my own understanding of the Technique as well as teaching private pupils both at Alexander Technique Imperial Wharf and Brighter Spaces, London N1.
I have previous experience of having worked at LAMDA, ArtsEd and the City Lit with performing artists and know that the regular voice work I've received has also improved my own voice.
I have completed the first part of the Developing Self Alexander Technique for Children training course.
I am a fully insured and certified member of The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT).