Body therapies

DannyL

Wild Horses
Not really the two discussion I was hoping for y'know: "post the most titillating bits of your experience for my gratification"
 

luka

Active member
Staff member
Not really the two discussion I was hoping for y'know: "post the most titillating bits of your experience for my gratification"
that's what's on offer today. you'll struggle to get anyone to take you seriously if you are vague about results.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
And you'll struggle to get an answer when you bring nothing to the discussion beyond prurience.
 
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baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
To wheel back...that "The Body Knows the Score"book is indeed great, partly because the range of possibilities presented is so wide, and partly because the author is so human in his approach. Only drawback I would suggest is the sense the book gives that trauma is only applicable to those with a relatively narrow spectrum of incredibly bad experience (and I wouldn't argue that this is necessarily intended by the author....just a feeling I got while reading it, the focus upon war veterans and young people leaving care) - whereas I would argue that a huge number of people are traumatised to a lesser or greater degree. Almost everyone would benefit from body and mind therapies, in other words.

Popularity of mindfulness definitely an attempt to deal with the overwhelming amount of stimuli we're subjected to these days. Pity practitioners are often so invested in the 'lifestyle' and assuming the 'mindful character' (reflexive project of the self, as Anthony Giddens would - very usefully - frame it) rather than concentrating on the pure therapeutic aspects....but obvs everything under capitalism is mined endlessly for its social status. That Andy Puddicombe interview with Russell Brand is very good because he's clearly not doing that. I recently took a mindfulness course with another former buddhist monk who could have been confused for a Sacha Baron Cohen pisstake of mindfulness.

Did anyone see the documentary 'The Work'? I thought it was incredible, even if by its very nature it's hard to see how there wouldn't have been ethical issues in making the film (but perhaps less than for many other documentaries). So powerful, reduced me to tears by the end. Must watch it again, I'm thinking as I write this. It really captured the linkage between mind and body, in trauma as in everything else.

Alexander Technique is very interesting though I only know the very basics so far, picking apart the automatisms of everyday life where a lot of us barely notice that our bodies exist cos we're so lost in our minds...but even as this is so, the body cannot help but tell the story of what is going on in the mind.
 
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luka

Active member
Staff member
And you'll struggle to get an answer when you bring nothing to the discussion beyond prurience.
it's a strange way to think of it. i wasn't assuming the insights you got were all sexual or even predominantly sexual. i was just suggesting that given it's something none of us know anything about you may need to be a little more focussed and specific rather than just going woah man. then we can participate
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
I reckon this thread crosses over with the psychedelic drugs thread, with the increasing mainstreaming of the idea that MDMA can be used to combat PTSD. But frustrating that the insistence is upon talking therapies (as valuable as they can be) as the inevitable partner to ecstasy...seems like not enough people have read Bessel van der Kolk's book
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
It's been widely read I think - it seems to me to be a coming trend in therapy, riding the wave of interest in embodiment, mindfulness etc. Though in reality the real battle probably is with funding issues, and the short-term, easily quantifiable treatments that end up being prescribed in the new austere environment.

Busy with work stuff for next few hours so a longer response in a bit.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Oh absolutely, funding is the underlying reason for most policy decisions, but usually talking therapies are jettisoned for these reasons , as well as not lending themselves to quantifiable results - unless I'm misunderstanding and by 'talking therapies' they mean 6 weeks of CBT rather than psychotherapy.

Was thinking of the chapter in BKtS where a variant of yoga showed itself to be a potentially more effective initial counter to PTSD than talking therapies...and would also be cheaper.

Cool, I'll check back later.
 
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luka

Active member
Staff member
its funny cos i just thought alexander tech was about the spine and since i started spending all day sitting down and typing like the rest of you i've had minor back issues and ive found lying down on on my back like im giving birth as in alex tech and yoga is very helpful. but dont know what it has to do with prurience. so weird paranoid and defensive.
 

Matthew

FKA Woebot
I'm very into Alexander Technique. From what I understand, there are a number of rival schools - I go to a group that's teaching principles from the ITM (International Teaching Method) which was set up a guy called Don Weed. They seem to me to be very close to what Alexander originally taught and make great use of his books. Don writes somewhere that he found pupils who had studied the texts progressed quicker than those who actually had hands on work. It's a really deep discipline - there's nothing quite like it - it's the only thing that puts me into a similar space as to do Reichian bodywork.
i did it for a while - and it was good as far as it went. alexander is an interesting guy. interesting to hear your view on that danny.

[for those people apart from danny who don't know] he worked up his theories because he used to be a professional gambler at the race courses and he learnt to figure out, by way of their posture, which horses were going to win the race. people started to realise he was on to something - he always won - so he became a tipster/pundit in that field - before realising the same ideas could be applicable to people.

from what i understood of it - cranial osteopathy (another one i've experienced - therapy whore innit) works from a similar position of physical "rectitude" and reverse mapping that onto psychological states. there's a big dose of traditional chinese medicine in that too i suspect (which is absent in alexander therapy)
 

Matthew

FKA Woebot
And you'll struggle to get an answer when you bring nothing to the discussion beyond prurience.
in think in fairness to luka he's already sold on the basic premise. see him like the gossip editor of "the sun" he's just trying to get the salacious stuff to hook other people into the matrix.:love:

plus it's always fun too.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
i did it for a while - and it was good as far as it went. alexander is an interesting guy. interesting to hear your view on that danny.

[for those people apart from danny who don't know] he worked up his theories because he used to be a professional gambler at the race courses and he learnt to figure out, by way of their posture, which horses were going to win the race. people started to realise he was on to something - he always won - so he became a tipster/pundit in that field - before realising the same ideas could be applicable to people.
He was also an actor who was losing his voice wasn't he (not sure if someone has said this upthread), so the Technique was his response to his perception that he was damaging himself in the course of delivering speeches, through positioning his body in the wrong way.
 

luka

Active member
Staff member
in think in fairness to luka he's already sold on the basic premise. see him like the gossip editor of "the sun" he's just trying to get the salacious stuff to hook other people into the matrix.:love:

plus it's always fun too.
thank you Matt.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
i did it for a while - and it was good as far as it went. alexander is an interesting guy. interesting to hear your view on that danny.

[for those people apart from danny who don't know] he worked up his theories because he used to be a professional gambler at the race courses and he learnt to figure out, by way of their posture, which horses were going to win the race. people started to realise he was on to something - he always won - so he became a tipster/pundit in that field - before realising the same ideas could be applicable to people.

from what i understood of it - cranial osteopathy (another one i've experienced - therapy whore innit) works from a similar position of physical "rectitude" and reverse mapping that onto psychological states. there's a big dose of traditional chinese medicine in that too i suspect (which is absent in alexander therapy)
I don't think that's right Matt! It's a good story though. Alexander was an actor and he started having problems with his vocalisation (I think he did solo recitations of Shakespeare) - voice getting hoarse when reciting. Normal medical treatment didn't seem to work so he resolved to cure himself which he did via a very long process of self-discovery. It's all detailed in the opening chapter of The Use of the Self (The Evolution of a Technique).

I'm between counselling clients at the mo, so can't write at length.

Luka, I've already mentioned at the top of the thread (IIRC) the most striking effect - sustained happiness arising out of the body. And just from the body, it's nothing to do with the mind or thinking or realisations at all. When I was doing Reichian work every week, it felt that I was moving around the underlying bedrock and this caused the neurosis that rested on top of this to just fall into line i.e. disappear or be radically diminished.

Alexander said something interesting to his niece, Majory Barlow - he said "you know, dear, I'm always happy". I think I know what I meant. Not that you never have a bad moment, but more that your responses to negatives are appropriate and you have a basic core of real happiness that you keep returning to.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
I've definitely heard that he liked a flutter so I imagine there's something in the story, though I'm sure that the origin points of the technique are with his difficulties onstage.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Bit more on AT - the thing that intrigued me about is that it isn't just about the physical. It's really about thinking - not going to go into that too much 'cos I've not got my head around all the material yet but there's the idea that's emphasised in the school my teacher is in (the ITM), that the mental disciplines you develop are applicable elsewhere in your life. An Alexander Technique lesson is one level a metaphor for the rest of one's life - and the skills you develop - observation/problem solving/inhibition of automatic response/direction of thinking/sticking to a "reasoned plan" - are all skills applicable elsewhere in your life. You can find this stated clearly in Alexander's writing. That was the initial hook of interest for me.

So you might have a dodgy shoulder - in the course of fixing that you might develop skills that map over into, say, the launch of a business. Sounds weird stated bluntly like that but it makes sense when you look at the material.

I quite like this women's blog - she's an ITM person. It might flesh out what I'm talking about: https://activateyou.com/blog/
 
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DannyL

Wild Horses
Talking about his work with a pupil, a writer, who'd just buggered himself up again by working too hard Alexander says "I wished to convince him that the gaining of control in the simple psycho-physical evolutions which we were engaged during the lessons meant sooner or later the gaining of control in the practical spheres of his daily life."

From Alexander, Conscious Constructive Control of the Individual.
 
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