Benefits of the Alexander Technique...some personal testimonials
Alexander Technique for the Feelgood Factor
Since I've been studying Alexander Technique, I feel so much freer with a real sense of vitality, which I didn't have before.
Gail's teaching combines a warm, practical approach with a deep understanding of how the body works and this has helped me make important changes in my life. It's been fantastic.
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Beverley, Celtic Artist
I had used to be so insecure and shy. I had built myself a wall so that I always had an excuse for not making changes in my life. I just about feared everything. I thought I would fail at anything I wanted to do in life, e.g. learning to drive. I didn't think I'd ever do that. I found it hard to go into a group situation and make contact with people I didn't know.
With Alexander Technique, not only did I start to improve my lifelong physical problems, but I found myself also wanting to break down that wall piece by piece. When I started driving lessons I couldn't believe I could do it! I was DRIVING and passed my test first time in six months! Every lesson was exhilarating and I couldn't wait for the next lesson. That feeling of exhilaration was a hitherto unknown feeling for me.
Through the Alexander Technique I had confidence to get out and about and was meeting a lot of people. I got into a happy relationship and now have two lovely children. My confidence is sky-high and I welcome every day instead of struggling through it.
Gail's gift as a teacher is to make everything look easy and attainable. She is encouraging, very supportive and makes the sessions fun. Alexander Technique transformed my life in every way and I was so grateful to Gail for her unstinting support that I named my first baby after her.
Margot, Retired Nurse
Alexander Technique has given me more self-confidence and less backache and I have learned to use my body in the way it was meant to be used. On Sunday someone at church said, "You walk beautifully, don't you?" At 76, it gave me such a boost!
Gail makes me feel I can do things that I wouldn't have thought I was able to do. She gives me confidence and her enthusiasm is infectious.
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Sense of Wellbeing
Caroline L, Farmer
I've got a lot out of the Alexander Technique and all the different sessions we have had. I can see it as a whole now and can practice at home. I feel the benefit over my whole body and have a real sense of well-being.
Because Gail's sessions are relaxed and informal, one isn't really aware of how much one is learning. Only when you get home and work on it do you realise how much information you are gaining in a session. I think Gail looks for clues in people and presents the information to match each individual's requirements.
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Mark G, Geography Lecturer
Alexander Technique with Gail helped my neck problem and it also made me feel more relaxed in my life. It made my body feel much more in tune with itself. I hardly had any sessions with her before I moved towns 18 months ago, but it's really helped and I haven't gone back to the same problematic posture.
Gail is relaxed, friendly, positive and helpful. Her hands are very soothing and very warm as they release tension and put the body into the right shape. This 'unspoken' teaching reminds me of the position different elements of my body should be in and then, when I'm on my own, I can imagine Gail's hands there. So, in terms of relaxation and poise, they have become an "invisible tutor" ever since!
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Jacqui W, Further Education College Vice-Principal
Already, after only two sessions I feel lighter and as though the chains that were holding me to the floor have been released.
Gail's personal approach and sensitivity, combined with her professionalism, made me feel at ease immediately.
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Dave Je, Research and Development Officer
One of the biggest benefits I have had from my Alexander Technique work is to be able to sit in such a way that my concentration at work has increased significantly. Before we did that in the sessions, I would have said that our concentration level was impossible to change.
I find the Alexander breathing very calming and, again, I feel a lot more alert and able to concentrate - it's a great stress-buster. With this breathing, I also lost the tension in the small of my back, which had been constantly uncomfortable, even painful at times. The Alexander breathing builds a framework which connects all the other aspects of the work.
Essential also to the Alexander Technique process of change is the 'hands-on' help in terms of easing movement, particularly in the head/neck joint for me, and it's quite enlightening to feel just how much movement and fluidity can be achieved in a part of my skeleton that has probably not worked correctly for close on 50 years!
Gail's hands are wonderfully relaxing and she is a very clear and logical teacher with a great sense of fun, which makes learning easier.
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Michael, Retired History Lecturer
I used to get lower back problems, which made walking difficult, with occasional bouts of sciatica too.
In the mid-nineties, I did some Alexander Technique group work in the UK and in France with Gail, which has enabled me to prevent a recurrence of my back problems ever since. I felt younger once I was more mobile and life was more pleasurable. It has stayed with me, even though it's ten years ago now since I worked with Gail, so although I am that much older, I feel confident that I can do more physical activities without doing myself any damage.
Alexander Technique helps you to be more confident because the way of doing things is more confident and balanced. I liked the way the course involved some simple anatomy because it helped me to understand the Alexander Technique principles and gave me the confidence that it would actually work. The best thing was that I felt empowered and so, if I went back into bad habits, I started to realise straightaway and could work out myself what to do about it.
Gail is a person-centred teacher, so she deals with each person in the group very individually. She is inspiring, interesting, responsive to questions and has the gift of making learning 'fun'. Her gentle hands enable you for instance to find a new stance, which you wouldn't have thought of putting your body into.
Marie A, Civil Servant
I used to get back pain and it stopped me doing things I wanted to do like exercise. Housework, driving, even just standing were all a problem for me because I could feel my back hurting.
In the mid-nineties I went to Gail for Alexander Technique and that changed everything and has remained so ever since. My back is no problem at all and I can do all the activities I want to plus I can stand, do my housework, drive, sit, bend etc effortlessly without thinking about it.
I've got more energy and I feel so much better in myself.
If I don't sit properly and go back to my old ways, it does feel very uncomfortable and so now I know what to do about it and I feel straight again. I feel empowered because I have the tools to "treat" myself!
Gail is unique and is relaxing to be with. She simplifies everything so you feel you can be yourself and get on with doing the work. She is not at all intimidating and is very easy to get on with. You don't feel stupid if you get it wrong because she doesn't make you feel stupid. She is very supportive.
With Alexander Technique, I learned four years ago how I could help my body help itself. From being in a lot of pain, I am now much more supple and I am free of pain.
Four years after my Alexander Technique course, I understand what I need to do and therefore I can apply the Alexander Technique principles to anything I want to do at any time. I don't even have to think about it much of the time - my body knows how to bend, sit, walk, etc. It's very empowering.
For me, Gail is the best. Her teaching ability is brilliant, her hands are warm and quietly confident and each session became another exciting challenge on my journey.
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Clare, Potter / Landscape Gardener
Although I didn't have any structural problems, I did have a tendency to fatigue, dating back to childhood glandular fever.
I've been practising the Alexander Technique for twenty years and came to Gail in the last five years for the occasional "reminder" session. Alexander Technique causes a sea change in your modus operandi, allowing a far more harmonious interaction between self and world.
I am interested in the depth of the work, which has given me more integrity in accessing my own energy. I find the Alexander Technique helps more than anything else in understanding the challenges human beings face in terms of when to start and when to stop; also in terms of ends and means.
Gail has a very rational and explicit way of teaching and, at the same time, her instinctual sensitivity in the hands allows the unspoken subtle process to continue.
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Gail Barlow is the Director of Dolphin Alexander Courses, which she set up in 1990 after completing the three-year full-time Alexander Technique Teacher Training Course and qualifying as a Teacher of the F M Alexander Technique.
Gail trained as an Alexander Teacher in the eighties and has now worked with over 2,000 people in the UK and Europe. She is now a very experienced teacher and is able to 'tune in' and work with each person in a method and at a pace uniquely suited to their individual needs.
She is a Member of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT), which was founded in 1958 and is the oldest and largest professional body of Alexander Technique teachers in the world.