Friday, February 17, 2012

Intelligent Self-Care in Education

Intelligent self-care should be taught as an integral part of any educational process.

As a certified Alexander Technique teacher and active professional musician, I see far too many professionals suffering from unnecessary chronic pain and stress, both of which interfere with optimal performance and threaten career and personal fulfillment.  A huge percentage of students and professionals experience tendinitis, back, shoulder, and neck pain, performance anxiety, burnout, and blockages in the development of their technical skills and creative expression.   After a student graduates and takes on the pressures of a demanding job, it can be very difficult to remedy these types of issues, and quite costly once the discomfort becomes severe enough to seek out therapeutic attention.

I strongly believe that stress and pain prevention should be addressed and taught early on as part of the formal educational process.  Students need to develop an array of self-care tools in order to recognize when pain and stress are threatening well-being and optimal performance, and learn how to change the unhelpful habits of living and using mind and body that cause these problems, so that they can enjoy their full potential without falling into the downward-spiraling traps of overuse and misuse of themselves.

The Alexander Technique is a resource that is recognized the world over for improving well-being,
health, and productivity.  Over a century old, it is used by performing artists and people from all walks of life to improve mind-body coordination, prevent pain and stress, and to increase constructive, conscious control of the individual.

Having my feet firmly in both the professional world of the arts and in the educational wellness arena of the Alexander Technique, I have a unique perspective on the issues that face students as they prepare for a career after graduation.  It is my wish to bring my knowledge of the Alexander Technique to as many people as possible, to encourage a new culture of intelligent self-care which will help students ease into healthier and more joyful ways of living, with successful, fulfilling careers.

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