I gave up a desk job at the age of thirty because of back trouble and to have a family. I have a narrowing of the spinal column (stenosis) and was prescribed pain killers and a daily exercise regime. Over the years my back problems deteriorated. Disillusioned with NHS care I attended a one day introduction to the Alexander Technique. I decided to have weekly individual lessons for six months. I did not know how profoundly it would change my life. In that time my use improved so much I was able to turn the clock back fifteen years, reducing my painkillers to once a day.
After a further six months of lessons, I decided to train as a teacher so I could help others. I still have the spinal stenosis but I cope with it so much better. I have a BSc Hons in Liberal Studies in Science, an MSc and a Further and Adult Education Teaching Certificate. I have completed a three year, full-time training course as an Alexander Technique Teacher at the Manchester Alexander Technique Training School www.alextechteaching.org.uk
I am a member of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique, MSTAT. All members adhere to the code of professional conduct, are covered by their insurance and undergo a programme of continuous professional development www.stat.org.uk
My hobbies include hill walking, gardening, singing, visiting tea shops and giving illustrated talks.
When I first saw Gillian she could scarcely walk. The improvement is phenomenal.
Gillian Pierce with the late Elisabeth Walker who was trained as an Alexander Teacher by Alexander himself. The last of that generation. She ran a training school in Oxford for many years, and latterly just worked on Alexander teachers and trainees.
Gillian Pierce with Richard Brennan, teacher in Ireland, at the Limerick Congress. Richard is spearheading the campaign for better chairs in schools.
Gillian Pierce with Kathleen Ballard at the Limerick Congress. Kathleen supervised the back pain trial and has been representing the technique at discussions with the NHS.