A great story about back pain and practice…

Percy and His Back
By Jeremy Chance 

Percy was a friend of mine, but he never tried Alexander Technique. “I don’t understand what you do”, he said, “and besides, my back is not too bad.” Then one day Percy’s back got bad. Really bad. He was in a lot of pain. The doctors recommended surgery and that’s when Percy finally called me: “Can you help with my back?” he pleaded. “It’s hurting all the time now.”

Percy was a clever guy, he was a manager of a post office and successful at his work. But right now, he could not pick up a suitcase, and sometimes it took him 10 minutes to get out of bed. We only did one lesson. And Percy’s back got better. Not immediately, it took time.

But Percy videoed my lesson, and for the next few months, he watched that video every morning. He practiced and practiced what I showed him, he thought about it every day, and watched his every move. I think I learnt more from Percy that he ever learnt for me.

Percy helped me realize that Alexander’s discovery is actually quite simple. You don’t need a university education to understand it. But that doesn’t mean it is easy. It takes a lot of practice. Often musicians make the best pupils, because they understand the importance of practice. You can also learn how to play a chord in one session, but to play that chord easily, and in the right way every time – you need to practice every day.

Most physical pain is a result of not co-operating with your body’s design. It’s like wearing your shoes on the wrong feet: you can still walk, but eventually your feet will hurt. because you are not cooperating with your shoe’s design. It’s was like that for Percy: he could get away with doing terrible things to his back for a long, long time. But then one day his back presented it’s bill: excruciating pain. So it was lucky for Percy that he knew a teacher of Alexander’s discovery!

Last time I heard, Percy was off on holidays but this time, he carried his own bags!


Jeremy From AT Success   (Japan)