AT journal: recovering from an injury — 13 Comments

  1. Great story, Tully. Our work is so amazing, and we benefit as much if not more than our students. What a gift, and so glad you are healing so well. Thanks for the shout out!

  2. Tully, Yours is an amazing story and beautifully articulated. Just as people who eat nutritiously and judiciously are able to deal with many illnesses more easily, you have demonstrated how having the skills of the Alexander Technique before an event can benefit in recovery from injury. Thank you.

    • I mention your book Living the Alexander Technique frequently, as it provides so many examples of older titans of the Alexander teaching community using AT in such gentle and enlivening ways to help them deal with the multiple challenges of advanced age and various health issues.

  3. One basic theory of Somatic Experiencing is that in trauma healing the body needs to complete what didn’t get to happen in the traumatic event. In animals it is common to observe tremor and shaking after the shock and death-like stillness are over; the nervous system moves the shocking experience and impact through the body by way of shaking. In the Alexander Technique we have not the most ideal access to completing the trauma response to this point, because our practice of inhibition as non-reacting can have the effect of freezing; parts of the the trauma experience can get stuck in the body. I am so glad you told this story! And that you healed so well.

    • A really interesting observation, Michaela! My brilliant Rolfer friend in Orlando, Robyn Martin, also mentioned how animals shake after a trauma, then seem to be free of it. That is certainly what happened to me.

      I’ve noticed that one of the things I get to inhibit (in the AT sense) is the tendency to over-control. Sometimes that means that trembling wants to emerge and I should let it. AT is indeed deeply quieting & can permit flow to emerge. I think the shaking can happen as a result of the deep quieting & opening the channels and should be permitted to manifest, as it wanted to during my tai chi. I gave it full rein then, as it was safe to do so. I credit AT with making me much more available for the ‘chi’ to do its work. (Frankly, I think the energy of AT direction & chi are closely related.) Later in a tai chi class, some shaking wanted to happen again and I could clearly perceive that I could either allow it or decide to not let it have full rein, and that it would be fine to go either way.

  4. Tully, thanks for sharing your insightful experiences so eloquently. You are a triumph! I think you did the right thing in continuing your tai chi through the shaking. What would you have learned if you had stopped? You made me think of a remark a commentator on TV made recently about the US swimming phenom, Katie Ledecky (sp)? He said that unlike the other swimmers, she doesn’t slow down when she feels herself near to bursting from fatigue and lack of oxygen. She just keeps going! The others slow down, essentially because of their fear. You kept on rolling, wonder woman!

  5. I am framing this: “staying present, asking myself not to tighten, asking myself to open to my full physical volume, asking for mobility and flow through my entire self.”

    Thank you, Tully!

  6. What an experience! As a new student of AT, it struck me as magical, inspiring and empowering. I was delighted to hear that one of your first goals was to form the Live Long and Prosper greeting!

    Lisa (The Borg) Borg

  7. Wow, I just read this after Tully wrote to me to thank me for my presentation on scoliosis Sept 7, 2023, and I cried too at her eloquence. The shaking happened to me after my first year of AT lessons in my viscera and her account has helped me reinterpret what happened to me. Mine was perhaps not a violent trauma but rather the strain of living in a culture, family, and body that had not known how to be free.

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