“I started seeing Anne because of persistent neck pain and limited range of motion. Physical therapy had reduced the pain, but the stiffness always returned and I just couldn’t get beyond pain. From the initial Alexander session with Anne I noticed a difference and, in two months (8 lessons), the improvement and reduction in pain has been incredible.
Anne is an excellent coach in raising awareness for how we hold and use our bodies. I had been completely unaware that the ways I moved were having such a large (and negative!) effect on my posture and ultimately creating very real physical problems.
Anne is an extremely gifted teacher who listens carefully to questions and provides thoughtful, illustrative answers. I leave Anne’s sessions feeling relaxed, looser, and taller. My legs and arms feel longer. What amazes me is that she is able to affect such change in the most noninvasive of therapies. The Alexander education with Anne has been one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.”
Catherine Weiss, Philadelphia
I had the opportunity to attend a two day workshop led by Anne at the 10th International Alexander Technique Congress in August 2015. Anne has a gift for creating a safe environment in which to learn—which in my book is the most important job of any teacher. Her innovative approaches to exploring habits, both of thought and action, made the workshop very engaging. I have been studying the Alexander Technique for 20 years and teaching for 12 years and went away with some new and profound insights about my own habits that have been fodder for further exploration and learning ever since.
Lauren Hill, MN
I have a curved spine, fibromyalgia, and stenosis of the spine. I took an Alexander Technique class with Anne Johnson. I kept coming back because I can manage my pain as I practice with Anne.
Anne is a gem. She makes each lesson meaningful. Anne is caring, enthusiastic and prepared to work on/with my particular needs. We laugh deeply at some of our thoughts as we learn together. With Anne’s guidance I have experienced healing of mind, body and soul.
Mona Daily, Philadelphia
As a teacher of the Alexander Technique, I really cannot praise Anne enough. Though the Alexander Technique was completely new to me when I attended Anne’s workshop, her approach to teaching was very comprehensive, very helpful & very enjoyable all at once. With her help, after just one session I became much more aware of my body, my posture, and my approach to many everyday situations. I feel freer in movement with thanks to her instruction, and some of her teachings have taught me immeasurably valuable ways of dealing with stress & inner body tensions. I would highly recommend working with Anne to anyone wishing to self improve in everyday life – You won’t regret it!
David Nagle, Limerick Ireland medical student
I first met Anne when I had back pain. A friend recommended that I have a lesson with her. I drove myself and could barely get out of the car and into her house. I had never heard of Alexander Technique. I was relieved from a few lessons because Anne taught me how to correct pitching my head forward when I walked or sat, to increase my awareness when I sculpt in clay, or write at a table when I must lean forward.
A couple of years later, at age 70, I had a fully torn rotator cuff and partial bicep surgery. (Had I known the repercussions I never would have agreed to it.) Three weeks later the chronic pain day and night, resulted in a frozen shoulder. The surgeon ordered immediate physical therapy. I went for several weeks until I hit a wall. I simply could not bear the pain. I called Anne. Anne assured me that she would never move my arm in a way that caused pain. I knew I could trust her. Anne’s sensitivity, her sense of humor, and tender, loving care was what sustained me. Every lesson of the Alexander Technique with Anne feels so good and comforting. I recommend one experience over 100 massages. It took about a year, twice a week, to get the use of my arm back, combined eventually with physical therapy. Today I play tennis again.
Lynda Skaddon, Philadelphia artist
I attended an introductory workshop on the Alexander Technique with Anne at the end of a weeklong seminar of the Taubman piano technique. After Anne worked with me at the piano, I felt my arms were free to incorporate the techniques we had been learning all week. Especially from the shoulder joint, my arms felt wonderfully free to travel across the keyboard. There was no more tension in my arms which, in turn,made my hands and fingers feel a little more free. The other most profound thing I experienced, was feeling I could hear my music coming out of the piano in a whole new way. It was like someone had taken earplugs out of my ears all of a sudden. I’m not sure why this happened, but it was beautiful. These two things combined, when I experienced them, briefly brought me to tears.
Additionally, over the last 14 months I have experienced some back pain and I don’t really know why. It comes and goes. As Anne was working with me, I was feeling those lower back muscles relax. She helped me re-learn how to move in more efficient ways. It is crazy to think that in my 26 years of life, I have incorporated useless bad habits with my head and neck and overall posture with simple tasks like standing up or sitting down. As Anne was gently guiding my head while I sat down on the piano bench, I was pleasantly surprised to realize, for the first time, that I don’t actually need to crane my neck or use my head in the act of sitting down or standing up. It felt like such a silly, yet wonderful, realization.
Grace Evelyn Spicuzza, Arlington, Va. pianist
With a genetic predisposition to poor posture and a back that is no stranger to various aches and pains, I had intended for several years to explore the Alexander Technique. A newspaper article had mentioned that the long term positive outcome for people with back pain was better for those who practiced the technique as opposed to patients who had been treated by Physiotherapists.
It therefore felt like a happy chance that the 10th International Alexander Technique Conference was being held in Limerick and that the organisers had scheduled two morning workshops for the general public. So, with a measure of nervousness and no expectation other than that I would be pummeled into the ‘correct’ posture, I toddled along.
Initial impressions were good. The teacher was warm and smiling – but we Irish expect that of Americans! The first surprise came when I decided to admit that my first response to a simple exercise was fear that I would get it wrong. To my great surprise, the teacher did not dismiss my confession as insignificant. Rather she used it to explain that the Technique is far more than a way of getting the body to work more efficiently and gracefully. It involves, she said, the whole person and how he or she functions in the world.
The second surprise came with the realisation that the gentlest ‘fixing’ by the teacher made me feel immediately taller and relaxed. Normally I get tired from trying to ‘stand up straight’ but now I felt that I could move and stand effortlessly. Observing how each member of the class seemed to morph into a similarly taller and more graceful walker confirmed that my experience was not just a freak accident.
No question was treated as irrelevant or stupid. In fact, each was used to demonstrate some finer point of the technique. Even the fact that only one of the Japanese students in the class spoke English was turned into a plus rather than a minus. We were simply encouraged to use the translation time to slow down and allow the information to be digested.
I suffer with Restless Leg Syndrome –which makes it difficult for me to lay on my back in the constructive rest exercise without my legs jumping uncontrollably. Although I came close to kicking the teacher several times, this session brought another surprise. I wasn’t asked to delve into the origins of the problem or look for solutions. Teacher simply asked if I could keep my head, neck and shoulders relaxed and allow the legs to do their own thing. She even suggested that I could imagine myself as a ‘Can Can’ girl and enjoy the dance.
Because life is busy busy, I seldom manage to read a whole book in a short time span. But my enthusiasm for the Alexander Technique after only two lessons was such that I finished Michael Gelb’s Body Learning in the two weeks after the Conference. I am now committed to investing some money in further learning but hastening slowly so that I will find the right teacher. My brief experience has demonstrated that the right person for you is worth waiting for. I only wish that Anne could be detained in Ireland.
Jennifer Rice, Limerick Ireland