Tel : 07817 409192
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Southampton Body Stories
Listening to the Physical and Emotional Body
Southampton / Lyndhurst / Totton
Tel : 07817 409192
Living & Working with Dystonia
Dystonia is a neurological condition that sets the muscles into continuous spasms in the upper body. The condition can appear at any age and often goes misdiagnosed for a long time. The contractions do not stop at night – they are relentless and painful and cannot be hidden and cause postural disorders. Furthermore, the condition often causes feelings of anger, shame in social settings and therefore isolation, loss, fear, and guilt. So sufferers need both physical and emotional help.
The website of the Dystonia Society is an enlightened source of advice with many insights that are close to Alexander’s philosophy and practice. The main difference is that the Alexander Technique offers the sufferer hands-
I was contacted by Val Cross a dystonia sufferer in the last quarter of 2009. We have worked since then and engaged in a process of working with the condition. With Val, we achieved a lot for many reasons. We mainly worked on the core thesis of Alexander’s of “non-
Interestingly, on the website of the Dystonia Society one can find ‘sensory tricks’ in order to cope. For Torticollis the help for the sufferer is to touch their head, neck and chin to counteract the spasms -
Val’s improvements have been considerable. She says:
“The work with the AT allowed me to become more aware of myself as a whole being. It has taken away the feeling of being identified as a ‘dystonic person’ by accepting all that I am and who I am. It helped me to learn new ways of breathing, posture, movement, thinking and focusing on what my muscles are doing and then learning to breathe through the spasms. Whilst I still have movement and pain it is not as severe as it was all of the time. I am not taking strong painkillers on a regular basis. My sleep pattern has improved and I am not waking up every morning with severe neck and head pain. My confidence has increased and I don’t feel so much of a social freak. I concentrate on allowing my body t to work less in all the positions that each part is placed and this seems to release the tension in the muscle. If spasms come on I breathe out through them. I learned to stand and bend differently, and slowly I am learning to send these right messages back to the brain. I went initially for any help with coping with the symptoms of Dystonia. This has been achieved, but also I now have no arthritic pain in my hips and my legs have become stronger, this has been an added bonus."