How it all began
Personal perspective on the AT
Reflections of students
How it All Began
I found the AT serendipitously!! I had been a physical therapist for about 18 years and was very skilled at making people feel better. My specialty was back pain. One day, my cousin, a musician in New York City, called to tell me her excruciating and debilitating back pain was gone. She credited her miraculous recovery to Deborah Caplan, a PT and ATT. I was amazed by her story and wanted to know more. Within a month I flew to New York to meet this woman.
I observed Deborah giving my cousin a lesson but I was unable to discern what she was DOING! She was getting miraculous results. I asked her what she was doing and she explained by putting her hands on me. I remember the moment - I was standing there reorganizing under her hands. It was a “new” and amazing kinaesthetic experience. I turned to her and exclaimed “You’ve got to be kidding. It just cannot be this easy.” Debby started to laugh. She was a remarkable and inspiring person, and I remember thinking to myself, “If it can be this easy, why am I working so hard in my PT practice?”
With my new awareness of the AT and its effectiveness, it was hard for me to return to my traditional PT practice. The AT was compelling and I felt I had to learn to use it. Four years later, I moved to NY to train to be an Alexander Teacher, specifically to work with Deborah, who became my teacher and mentor. I completed my 3 year training at ACAT (the American Center for the AT) in 1987. My Alexander Practice specializes in back pain and significant medical problems. My last 20 years have been spent teaching the Alexander Technique to patients with these kind of problems.
I have stopped practicing traditional physical therapy, but my PT background in anatomy and physiology has helped me in numerous ways in my AT practice. I have become convinced that a basic understanding of spinal anatomy and physiology makes the primary pain syndromes associated with low back pain more understandable and therefore more treatable.
Debby introduced me to what I like to call my ORIGINAL SOFTWARE PACKAGE - my own unique ability as a human “animal” to be upright in gravity. It is clear to me when observing children that no one is taught to roll, sit, crawl, or stand. We humans come to upright as the central nervous system matures. All of the physiology which supports upright is programmed into our systems. These programs are our POSTURAL MECHANISMS, our genetic inheritance, developed over thousands of years of evolution, and are a part of Man’s Supreme Inheritance.
Man’s Supreme Inheritance
- F.M. Alexander