Amongst other things I had continuing (about 9 years) pain in one knee. I consulted a few Doctors and tried strength training, yoga, resting, swimming, physiotherapy, and pain tablets. Since I did not improve and had so much pain that it was difficult to train, the Doctor considered that an operation was the only way out. Once in a while however, I had a problem with my hip on the same side and suspected therefore that they was something that lay behind the problem with the knee which would not be resolved with only an operation on the knee.
Instead of allowing an operation I started to take lessons in the Alexander Technique and gradually become completely free of the the pain in my hip and my knee. That took a while since it involves completely relearning ones behaviour. I noticed during that time how the body’s whole balance changed and I began to use completely different muscles for all my daily activities, such as walking, standing and sitting. I had had great difficulty with climbing stairs because of my knee but I noticed that there were muscles that earlier I had not known that I had that were much better adapted for climbing stairs. I was not able to find these muscles or influence them by my will power by, for example, training exercises, but they began to function completely automatically through the change in my body’s balance. Gradually the knee got better and better and now I do not have any trouble with it. That makes me very happy.
Unfortunately I had a car accident 18 months ago. and since then have had trouble with back pain and pain which radiates down to my leg. The whole of the first year I was not able to do anything at all but later I received treatment from an Osteopath and I even tried physiotherapy. It was however when I went back to take Alexander lessons for a period that I began to believe that I would be better again. The technique demands relative patience, since one must change ones way of thinking, and learn that there are better ways to work. But, in return, the result is lasting, as compared from a manipulation done by a physiotherapist or a chiropractor which lasts for a few days or a week but which then comes back and one feels worse than before.
I consider that Alexander Technique is unsurpassed in all problems concerning mobility and I notice that it influences even other functions in the body, for example breathing. I am very glad that this possibility is available and wish that more people could have the possibility of learning this fantastic technique.”
- Loe, Stockholm
I received great help from the Alexander Technique during my pregnancy and when I gave birth. It all began when I got lumbar pain in my 16th week. I spoke with my midwife who told me that back problem is a natural part of pregnancy. A few weeks later, after I had started to take Alexander lessons the pain had vanished as had also some swelling in my legs. ... After each lesson I felt happy, lively and could breathe deeply.
During the birth, the breathing exercises and directions I had learned were very helpful and I felt that I had useful tools that allowed me to go with my body through the birth. It meant that it all became a positive experience and that I had dared to trust in my own strength to give birth.
- Christine R, Stockholm
I have, as a freelance singer and singing teacher at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, taken lessons in the Alexander Technique with the Head Teacher at the Stockholm Alexander Teacher Training School, Steven Hallmark, over two lengthy periods in 2011 and 2012. I had earlier heard good things about the Technique from friends, colleagues and singing teachers, but I had not got as far as taking lessons myself. But when problems with hoarseness and headaches arose I contacted (at last) a teacher. ...
The lessons have given me a lot. My voice got better and the headaches disappeared almost immediately. A few times I came for a lesson with a headache and went away without pain. It was fantastic; it was not only helpful in the moment, but also I got the means to help myself both in everyday life and in my work as a singer and singing teacher. Both I, and others I meet, whether they are singers or teachers or students at the Royal College of Music, often get periodical problems with hoarseness or tension in the voice. With the help of the Alexander Technique, one can re-educate the body memory in balance, posture and movement in a way that the breathing and voice is much freer.
Several of my singing students have shown interest in taking lessons in the Alexander Technique when I have talked to them about it. I think it would be very good if the Stockholm Alexander Teacher Training School could be eligible for study loans. It would make it possible for others to be able to train themselves in this Technique and, in turn, help more towards durable voices and bodies in their working lives.
- Gunnel M, Stockholm
In my late teens and nearly ten years thereafter I had constant back pain. The strength training that I was told to do just made things worse. A visit to a Naprapath could sometimes alleviate the pain for a while, but it always came back with renewed strength. In the hope of dealing with the underlying problem, and not just of treating the symptoms, I contacted Steven.
With him I have learned a new attitude to my posture - a natural attitude that I could clearly understand was good both for my back and the rest of my body....In the beginning it felt very unfamiliar, which was an “aha” experience. This revealed the bad habits I had learned over the years, and that it was because of those habits that my back had not got better.
After a number of lessons with Steven, my back pain was gone. Besides this, the lessons have had many other positive effects, for example freer breathing and increased self confidence. The pleasure of learning to use my body in a better and more effective way has meant that I come back occasionally for lessons to learn more.
- Mattias R, Stockholm
I could not be more grateful for having had lessons with him. I originally went to Steven for a recurring flute injury and after our first trial lesson I will admit that I wasn’t completely convinced. I decided, however, to give the first set of lessons a shot as I was getting desperate for something to help my injury. Well, to my surprise, the injury did improve over a series of lessons and slowly the lessons for me became less about the injury and more about a fascinating process of self-discovery. ... My lessons with Steven have had an amazing impact on my flute playing but interestingly, the positive effects have permeated almost every area of my life, including my ability to be creative, my psychological well-being and even throughout pregnancy and the journey of motherhood. My flute injury has never returned and I will remain forever thankful of the fact that it led me to Steven.
- Elizabeth H. Stockholm
I came into contact with Steven Hallmark and the Alexander Technique for the first time in 1993 and recognised immediately that this was something for me. The Technique is both gentle, careful, and powerful all at the same time. The Technique has helped me towards better knowledge of my own body, better concentration and presence. Together with other important factors, the Alexander Technique has been part of the transformation of my life.
- Måns C. Nyköping