Using a cane with Alexander principles

Posted by Jeanne Barrett on March 3, 2009 in Uncategorized

Although I can weight-bear just fine on the injured leg, the immobilization  of the knee, which changes my balance, makes a cane a wise accessory.  Thus, I have been noticing how to utilize a cane with good use of myself.  I have worked with pupils over the years in using their canes.  Now, I have direct experience to further inform me in guiding others.

As stated previously, my beautiful maple cane is not necessary for support, but is a reassuring tool for balance as I proceed on daily snail walks.  To use myself well, and to continue with my direction of  “on the ground springing up”, I think of the cane as an extension of my arm to the ground.  I loop the connection to the ground through the cane all the way through my entire back and to my feet again. An elastic connection is thus created.  My leg may be stiff, but I can have an elastic response with what is available to me.

I don’t lean on the cane, just as I wouldn’t lean on a leg.  It is a reference point, and a connection, to the ground from which I can spring up.  Since the cane is made of wood (maple), I think of it as a lively connection.

If my injured leg goes into sudden spasm (all the muscles are being used is a strange and demanding manner), I can use the cane for needed stability in the moment.  The contraction (narrowing, shortening) of fear is eased in this way.

Tomorrow, I graduate to a brace that will allow a slight increase in knee flexion.  I am eager to shed the heavy, huge, solid splint, with all gratitude for the protection it offered post surgery.  I am hoping to proceed to being a tortoise, having learned from being a snail.  The cane may still be a welcome tool, but hopefully with further learning and improved use!