Gill came to learn about the Alexander Technique at a time when she needed it most. Having suffered from years of holding onto tension in her body, albeit unwittingly, which caused her pain and stress, and having had an attack of vertigo which had left her feeling quite vulnerable.
Gill was fortunate enough to meet Elaine Bernard; Elaine was a teacher of the Alexander Technique and had trained under Walter Carrington and Margaret Goldie, both of whom were students of F.M.Alexander himself. This meeting changed Gills life for the better and she started having lessons in the Technique.
Going for an Alexander (Technique) lesson (AT) was completely different from anything Gill had ever experienced before. The Alexander Technique is not a therapy or a treatment...it involves the pupil participating in their lesson but not in a ‘doing’ way. AT is all about ‘non-doing’ and that was a concept that was completely new to Gill, but one that changed her life completely.
Q&A with Gill Adams
What qualifications do you have?
I have spent the last three years (1600 hours) training in the Alexander Technique at the East Anglia Centre for Alexander Technique (EACAT) in Chelmsford. I qualified on 22nd March 2018.
What to expect in a lesson?
Lessons are taught one to one. There is gentle hands on and verbal guidance through simple everyday movements such as standing, sitting, walking etc.
No manipulation is involved in the hands on guidance. It is simply to encourage the release of excessive or unnecessary tension you may be carrying.
It is not a treatment or a therapy. An AT teacher will not diagnose or treat, but will work on the whole body through chair and table work.
There are definite therapeutic benefits from having lessons, in that you will feel lighter, taller, your body will feel aligned and good posture and balance restored, stress and anxiety reduced, pain relief felt and your sense of well-being regained.
Why do people come to you and what are the typical complaints your lessons can help with?
They come if they have pain; have problems with back, neck hips and other joints. Some come if they are experiencing stress or anxiety. They may be a musician, dancer or an actor wishing to improve their performance. They may be recovering from illness, injury or surgery. They may have problems with balance.
Do you have any specialisms?
I enjoy working with people from all walks of life as the Alexander Technique can benefit everyone young and old. As someone who has suffered from stress, anxiety and tensions myself, I’m interested in how the technique can help with these complaints.
What complaints can you help with that many people may find surprising?
The technique came into being due to the fact that F M Alexander was an actor and public speaker and he kept on losing his voice. So voice work is what I would say is the surprising complaint that the technique can help with.
Can you tell us a surprising fact about The Alexander Technique?
It takes 0.2 seconds for the body to react to a stimulus. The Alexander Technique teaches us to stop and to stretch that time just a fraction, thus enabling us to not react with our usual bad habit.