Lucia Mateo

profession: double bass Academy Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
reason: pain in hands, arms, neck, shoulders

Alexander Technique lessons with Maaike are being so crucial for me since I was already some years having pain in hands and arms while I play double bass; with the pain the confidence on my playing decreased a lot since I could not trust my body anymore. Neither teachers or physiotherapists could give me the key for the muscle relaxation.

By changing my old habits for new ones, AT lessons are the best way I found till now to solve this issue. From the awareness I learnt to instantly reduce the tensions I created in my body; I said “I created” because I realised I was the one doing the most for the tension to appear. A big part of that awareness is to learn to stop (the old habit) and to think twice how is my body acting.

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Thanks to the new habits I learnt in the lessons, my way of practicing is also changing which makes me get less tired when I play.

From the very begging of taking lesson I could notice the state of relaxation after the session just doing nothing and following the teacher’s words. Because I don’t find that state very often in my daily life, I quickly felt that was something good for me. Already in the middle of the year, I began to feel my muscles releasing immediately after listening the teacher directions. I started to understand it was most about listening, persistence, willing and the main ingredient of the let it go without judgment.

AT is also a meditation for me, during the lessons and when I do it at home I only think in the directions, so my mind is already busy giving instructions to my body. I keep busy and clear mind while I release the body, sounds good!! Let’s say while I do AT is easier for me to be in the present moment.

The lessons are also good for my posture health as I work on my back length and strength which was pretty bad since I spent so many hours in my life playing this big instrument. Not only for my playing also for my well-being, I am very glad I went into AT lessons. Now I can go through the directions at any time on my daily life which makes me find myself quickly. I have the feeling I am always in touch with my body so I feel life much more enjoyable.

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