(The material below is taken from two emails from Lynda, a Toronto student, to Robert Rickover. She had one Alexander Technique lesson with Robert in 2007)
Before the session I had with you, I read a few websites about it. I took four or five books out of our local library, read them, and practiced as they suggested.
After my lesson I read the book I bought from you (How to Learn the Alexander Technique - A Manual for Students) read a lot of information from your website, and practiced every day. Now, my neck pain is completely gone, and, if it does crop up after a night of marking on the computer, I can get rid of it with a few minutes of concentration on the proper technique.
I found the book very helpful, and then went to your site - the self study section - and read several of the articles there. The one I found most helpful was “Where is the Alexander Technique's 'right brain'? or Use and the Use of Imagery” by John Appleton. This one really helped because it provided, as it says in the article, the missing link between reading about it and getting it to happen.
I practiced in the car, while walking, and while marking and working on my lessons. As I worked on it, I added more images relating to the light and fluffy dorsal. The article, on page 6, mentions soft, fluffy, furry, cotton balls - I added things I could relate to myself, such as my kitten's tail, a bunny's cottontail, clouds, bubbles, etc.. I also imagined the 3D idea on page 7, and the combination of these made all the difference.
Until that point, I was having a lot of neck pain, and I would have to ask my husband to massage my neck several times a week to allow me to sleep and work. The lessening of neck pain came quite quickly at that point, and I was able to work, sleep, etc. without pain. Now, I'm able to do it without concentrating on it, and I only have to think about it consciously if I've been working for an extra long period and I feel some pain. In this case, I can concentrate on it for a minute or so and the pain goes away.
So, although I may not be doing everything right, it's working for me and I'm very happy with the results.