Alexander technique, Pilates ?

Good morning ladies and gentlemen,

I was wondering if any one had any experience of Alexander technique or Pilates they could share with me?

I need to do something to help myself as I am finding that my muscles don't seem as strong as they were, my body is so uncomfortable I could literally scream. I was diagnosed in April with, in my consultants words 'aggressive' RA and I feel I have gone down hill ever since, I am a foster carer and have a 19 month old in my care, I find it really difficult to lift her in and out of things and it is worrying me ,

So if any of you have any top tips for keeping your strength up I would appreciate you input, thanks everyone x

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20 Replies

  • What I did was ask my GP for a physio referral. Exerecise is important but we need to protect our joints too and a physio will take that into account

  • Hello BOB here

    The Alexander Technique, The Maxwell TechnIique are both relaxation techniques that are taught at a Pain Clinic.

    Generally I was instructed in both, the Maxwell Technique was instructed in a Mental Health environment.

    Now in Pain Clinic they are training a wellness system and I have just forgotten its name. All are about the same


  • Hey Bob thanks for that, I have not heard of the 'Maxwell' , did you find them beneficial ?

  • I have that covered pb, I have a physio appointment booked for November 20th, you are so right , we need to be careful, I am trying to think of ways to be proactive as I feel I am so low in mood, I cry every day!!! Yoga is something else I was thinking of..

  • Hello BOB here

    The Maxwell Technique was instructed in Mental Health hospitals. It allowed the patient to relax in an environment that was less than perfect to relax in say noise, The technique was replaced by the Alexander Technique although the former was nearly the same, patients could relax far deeper than the latter.

    I still use the Maxwell Technique as a preference.This system was instructed about twenty years ago

    Now I have remembered the new system it is called MINDFULNESS ..

    All the best


  • Cheers Bob , I really appreciate that

  • If you can find a properly trained tai chi instructor that is the basis for many of the other exercise regimes like Alexander, pilates etc. It is recommended for people with RA as it is gentle, but builds up your suppleness. I've found it very beneficial, but my instructor (in Edinburgh) is also training as a physio so he is very well informed.


  • Thanks Cathie , that is good to know you had some benefit ,

  • I have practised Pilates for many years now and it has truly helped with the stiffness and pain. I would advise you though to go to a small class preferably run by a physio (as mine is) so that she/he can adapt exercises to suit your limitations. I use wrist splints in the class and they are really useful. Nothing is going to be easy with RA but stick with it and I am sure you will find benefits.

    Hope this helps.

  • I appreciate your input, thank you .

  • Hi I have been doing Pilates almost since the diagnosis and although it has been difficult at times I am now so much stronger because of it. A good teacher (mine isn't a physio but excellent) makes sure you work within your limits and will also limit the size of the class. Mine works with an absolute of 8 but prefers fewer people so she can really check what you're doing.

    The basis of it is strengthening the core in the body to help with balance and posture and also strengthen the muscles which in turn protect the joints. I feel it has helped give me my life back - well with the biologic drug too.

    I have also done Alexander Technique which was also about posture - I found it really good to help with neck and shoulder pain but prefer the greater all body toning of Pilates.

    hope this helps and give it a try

  • I have a Pilates instructor coming to see me in 2 weeks so we can talk about my needs and how she can help me, exciting ,

  • i have done Pilates, Yoga, Alexander and many others over the years, all helpful. I hope you are on good medication which is the most important thing and you should improve over time. I do Nordic Walking and this has been the most helpful for me, I try to walk at least two miles a day and the poles give me confidence and stability as being an excellent exercise regime. You need a proper instructor so see if there is a class nearby. However, you must be such a busy lady so I do hope you find time for yourself xxx

  • I am busy it's true, I would hate to think what I would be like if I did not have my little girl with me, I have to keep going for her, buts it's not at all easy, that's why I need to do something to help myself and not wait for medication alone to fix every thing x

  • Bless you, you sound a very strong woman. I do so hope you find something that helps. The thing about these therapies suggested is the tender loving care they will give which you so deserve xx

  • Hi there.. as a now retired physiotherapist, I would obviously recommend you see a physiotherapist. Also I would try to get some hands-on gentle myofascial release. I do something called restorative yoga, which is very gentle, no crazy postures or weight bearing through the wrists (impossible for us). Pilates is also very good, but I would probably recommend you are taught by a physiotherapist who will check you and make sure you arent injuring yourself too. Sorry you have a tiny one to look after, I have such problems even pulling up my own undies etc, I cannot imagine even dressing a wriggling little one! I hope you find something that helps. I would say Alexander technique is good but its really more about posture, its great for musicians and folk who do repetetive movements

  • Thanks Canada, you will be pleased to hear I am seeing a physio in a couple of weeks , appointment made and I am looking forward to it, I really appreciate your advise x

  • I got taught Alexander technique with the type of work I was doing (sitting at a work bench using tools) as it was recommended to avoid repetitive strain and other injuries. I then later got taught some further exercises when I went to an osteopath about spine and neck problems, and it really helped with posture. I think its a great technique for those of us whose bones and joints aren't behaving well. I haven't done pilates myself but I've had it recommended by people with similar problems as its very gentle. I'd also say that a good physio can be wonderful too. Ask about resistance exercises as well for improving strength - you can use things like those big rubber strips to do exercises with that increase resistance but don't put too much weight on joints.

  • Earthwitch , thank you , I have physio appointment booked, and Pilates instructor coming to see me, I am hoping I will be able to improve my spirit aswell as my strength, I have to do some thing x

  • Hi there

    sorry not been back in touch before - how did your session with the Pilates instructor go?

    best wishes


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