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A Shy Adolescent

I recall a pupil I worked with at Sherborne School for Girls who first came to me aged about twelve. She had recently moved back to the country from the Far East and had been signed up for Alexander Technique classes because of chronic back pain.

She had a mysterious and highly troublesome problem in her lower back which so far nobody had managed to alleviate, or even identify.

This girl stood out because of her size - tall, sturdy and fully grown, whereas her peers were all tiny. It was clear that this caused her great embarrassment. She just couldn't hide and she couldn't snuggle in for conspiratorial girly chit-chats.

She evidently wanted to shrink herself and this was causing a considerable amount of muscular tension - tension which may have either caused or exacerbated the back pain.

She came to me for several years. The back pain vanished as mysteriously as it had come in the first place. The shyness reduced as her peers caught up with her in height.

Perhaps the best thing was the way she found confidence through identifying her strengths - she became school captain of her chosen sport and held key positions in various societies.

Lessons in the Alexander technique came for her just at the right time and absolutely enabled her to make the most of herself.

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