Asymmetrical Use in Recovery

Posted by Jeanne Barrett on December 13, 2009 in Uncategorized

The Alexander Technique does not impose a form or a set means of function, but instead proposes using the entire Self well with any condition.  A balanced elastic use of the entire person involves including asymmetry in structure with best possible use.

I am experiencing a condition of self that is dramatically asymmetrical.  One leg is hugely strong, and the other remains atrophied, painful and less functional.  This does not mean a diminished use of my entire self,  just a need for  more attention to a wider view of overall balance and elastic response.

My legs cannot respond equally to weight bearing, flexion needs or movement.  Although I could attempt to create an equal response, this would involve end-gaining and a management of parts rather than a whole intention of self.  My best intention has to be to the overall elastic condition of self, with my physical limitations as a consideration, not a total view.

If I indeed attend to a larger view, rise to my larger thinking potential, and see the wider world, then I limp less, experience reduced pain, and find surprising means of invisible and interior support.  If, instead, I pay primary attention to my knee and to the asymmetry of support, I become more fearful, I twist physically to the injured knee, pain increases, and I limp with increasing urgency.

This is not in any way to suggest that attending to the big picture is easy.  The tools of intention and attention that the Alexander Technique offers are simple, but also indirect, and thus different and less conceptually available than other more direct means of recovery.  Experience, rather than concept, is required.  The temptation of “making” myself symmetrical is huge, but the experience of allowing an overall elastic response provides evidence of value.

If I think largely, calmly and quietly, my experience improves.  If I pull down to attempting an equal leg response,  my experience narrows and shortens.

No amount of Alexander thinking will heal my knee more quickly, but I do have a choice in response to pain, mobility challenges, asymmetry of use and recovery impatience.

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