Another alternate therapy is the Alexander technique. It helps fibromyalgia sufferers improve posture and enable the body to function with the minimum amount of strain on the joints and muscles, helping to relieve muscular tension and pain. A study in the British Medical Journal in 2008 reported that practicing the Alexander technique provided significant long-term benefits for people with chronic pain.
The technique was devised in the 1890's by Australian actor Frederick Matthias Alexander, after he realized he was tensing his muscles and adopting an unnatural posture in response to physical and emotional stress before a show. This simple process was having a negative effect on his performance. We can all identify with this. How do you feel when you are stuck in a traffic jam? Do you tighten your shoulder and neck muscles? Even brushing your teeth can cause unnecessary strain if you grab the toothbrush too tightly. This can cause tension in the arm, shoulder, and neck muscles. The Alexander technique teaches you to become aware of tension in your body, as well as your posture, movement, and thinking. This helps remove unhelpful habits and encourages you to focus on living in the present.
According to practitioners, poor posture affects bone alignment, puts unnecessary stress on the joints, ligaments and muscles, and leads to pain. This technique focuses on restoring the correct positioning of the head, neck, and back - the core of the body - and the areas where the pain and tenderness of fibromyalgia are frequently felt. This involves learn how to free up the spine, neck, and head, by imagining the spine and neck lengthening and softening, and allowing the head to rise up.
To ensure you are practicing correctly it is best to learn the Alexander technique from a qualified teacher. A teacher will assess your posture and movement then show you how to rectify any bad habits so that you can move more freely and naturally. You will learn how to perform everyday tasks such as turning on a tap with minimum force to reduce strain on the muscles. Check out the videos below that offer a brief glimpse into how you may be inviting pain into your body each moment.