Pieter van der Grinten, an Alexander Technique Teacher

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Pieter van der Grinten Client Testimonials

Happy Pupils

These are some of the results of a recent questionnaire amongst my pupils, where not only did I ask what changes they had noticed since they started learning the Alexander Technique, but also how they would describe the technique.

Jeremy, medical practitioner »

"I came to the Alexander Technique as I'd had longstanding low back pain. The way I'd describe the technique is that it involves changing perceptions about how the body works optimally, it helps one to recognise and confront poor habits of posture and movement, and it provides a framework for a less stressful and more efficient way of moving and supporting oneself.

Since working with Pieter, I feel I have a better sense of position and balance, and I have more awareness of tension in my back and neck. In general my back pain is under better control as a result."

Sarah, research scientist »

"The Alexander Technique is the art of movement without inappropriate tension. This enables the body to move with ease in the most efficient way. As the body comes into better balance, the mind also follows. Thinking (inhibition) before moving allows us to make a choice as to how we will perform any given task. I decided to learn it not only to help with the persistent back pain I had been suffering from, but also to improve my horse-riding.

Since starting lessons with Pieter I have noticed a real increase in my core strength. I am much stronger through my centre. This has been really helped by the exercises in what's called 'monkey.' Squatting now comes much more easily to me and I now use this much more effectively to pick things up from the floor. Pieter has also really helped with my breathing."

Lynne, mental health practitioner »

"I started learning with Pieter to see if it would give me some relief from migraine, or the tension that can sometimes cause it. I'd describe the Alexander Technique as a method of understanding how the body works or doesn't work so well i.e. to sometimes explain pain, the impact of tension, 'holding' oneself when experiencing negative emotions. A means of becoming aware of movement and stillness in the body. A means of discovering how to become at ease with oneself.

I now have better posture and awareness of movement. I notice if I miss a lesson I carry more tension."

Fiona, fellow of the corporate institute of personnel and development FCIPD »

"It is a difficult technique to describe and therefore can sound 'mystical'. It is a hands-on technique that enables people to become more aware of how they are using their bodies and teaches them how to consciously use them better without so much effort and tension. I am now better able to recognise tension inhibiting free movement and make conscious effort to 'let it go'. Joints move more freely and less back pain."

Jehangir, aerospace engineer »

"I have been doing the Alexander Technique for many years, and there have been major changes in the way I use my body, and there have been substantial improvements in my health and well-being.

It's a technique that takes a holistic approach to correct body use, and consequently enables one to function with heightened effectiveness with minimal wear and tear of the body. It requires a cerebral rather than 'exercise'-oriented approach on the part of the student, with an emphasis on the avoidance of end-gaining. It is a long-term lifestyle approach rather than a specific cure, but its cumulative benefits can be amazing."

Cyrus, lawyer »

"I had a back injury and knew that Pieter's lessons had helped my dad with his back problems. Outwardly it is sometimes difficult to notice any change in what you are doing; some lessons feel like you are not moving anything at all. To me the Alexander Technique is more about understanding how to use yourself in everyday situations. The lessons are not the cure, they are the reminder to practise the cure all the time.

I am now much more conscious of how I use myself in day to day situations. Back feels much more robust. Maybe one factor in helping to deal with stressful situations well."

Stephen, administrative civil servant in central government »

"I started learning Alexander Technique to help me cope with the post-operative effects of heart surgery, including help with posture. I now have improved posture, awareness of my body and its movement, and better relaxation."

Kate, civil servant »

"I had the awareness of being stiff in joints, had poor posture, was generally unfit and disliked 'gym' exercises. The benefits I've noticed are better posture and movement; releasing neck and other joints. Awareness of 'directions' in the Alexander sense. Feeling of wellbeing, letting go, less end-gaining.

Alexander Technique can help deal with pain in the back, neck, shoulders and other joints. Breathing techniques lead to deeper, better breathing and the release of the muscles in chest and abdomen. It can help improve digestion. The result makes the pupil feel generally feel better and can be very beneficial psychologically as well as physically."

Jenny, chartered physiotherapist »

"The Alexander Technique shows you how to use yourself effectively and efficiently in your daily activities; leading to an improvement of health, well-being and coordination. It teaches you the relationship between mind and body, allowing the body to function correctly. The technique greatly improves the quality of our lives.

I feel now that in most circumstances I am using my body very much better than I was, leading to a calmer, happier outlook on life. It has also helped enormously with my rotator cuff injury and is now very advantageous for my rheumatoid disease."

Kate, hypnotherapist, coach and trainer of communication techniques »

"I find it very difficult to describe the Alexander Technique. However I would probably say it is a lifestyle system for maintaining a healthy body. The exercises promote balance of mind and body. Alexander Technique ensures longevity of quality movement within the body, it is also useful for recovery after an accident or operation.

As a rider I am aware of how the horse's body can reflect our own; any slight twist in me can result in poor balance for the horse. I can honestly say that the Alexander Technique plays a massive part in the quality of my riding which has improved dramatically. I can also centre myself more easily."

Pauline, bookkeeper »

"Alexander Technique makes one aware of the physiology of the body and, therefore, being able to attain the maximum potential of the body; i.e. minimising bad postural stances thereby reducing wear and tear and the pain and aches involved. I have better mobility, circulation, breathing, calmness and focus."

Brenda, archivist and postgraduate in archive and information management »

"I suffered a depression following several months of acute pain from a trapped nerve in the neck. A friend, also a pupil of Pieter, recommended the Alexander Technique. Others have commented that my posture has improved. I have slowly become aware of my bad habits, or 'misuse', and to recognise the need to stop sometimes. Pieter's lessons form a small welcome oasis in the week. I feel lots of repetition has been necessary to absorb what is (for me) a new way of learning."

Shirley, hairdresser »

"It teaches you to be aware of how you use your body, therefore reaching your true height and less wear and tear on your joints. I have greater mobility, less wear and tear, improved breathing and focus."

Peter, biologist PHD in natural science »

"The Alexander Technique helped me to stabilise my back problem by learning about 'inhibition.' This also improved the whole body posture which successfully improved my horse-riding. I have better controlled movement in relation to back stabilisation, better release/relaxation with inhibition and better body posture."

Nicola, manager »

"The Alexander Technique balances/aligns the body as well as brings about emotional balance: when I am stressed and disconnected a good AT session makes me feel 'whole' again. It allows me to be stronger with less effort. It improves posture. It is applicable in everyday life, useful in pretty much every situation. The Alexander Technique has become some kind of 'mantra' for me, making it easier to get through a difficult or challenging situation.

I have more awareness, using the AT directions in various situations e.g. the gym, the dentist, hiking or lifting. I use myself better, feel calmer and more in control (instead of being controlled by outside influences). Great tool for releasing tension."

Kate, marketing consultant »

"Its a way of linking movement, posture and breathing together in a more conscious way; allowing you to flow and do things with more ease. The benefits of Pieter's teaching, even after 3 lessons were noticeable, and after 6 I couldn't believe what a difference I felt. This feels as though there will be long term benefits of a stronger back with a lot less tension significantly longer lasting than I've found physio or massage for the same things as it's dealing with cause, not effect.

My shoulders feel as though they have dropped several inches! I'm breathing more deeply which is calming. Tension has been reduced in neck and shoulders. I feel more grounded."

Gillian, solicitor »

"It alleviates neck pain, improves posture and way of moving beyond recognition. Before I had neck pain and poor posture. Now I feel I have a neck."