Pain Science for AT Teachers (February 2024)

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“This is a fascinating course and I would say essential for Alexander Teachers wanting to get an up to date insight into pain and how the technique can help.”

“I can’t recommend this course more highly. So much thought and effort has gone into creating an accessible introduction to such wide ranging subject matter.”

This course has surpassed my expectations. I´ve learned a lot, and I can approach the needs of my students with a lot more knowledge and empathy. Thank you.

Modern Pain Science Tailored for the Alexander Technique

Many clients come to the AT with pain issues. And often the AT can be helpful. But there are many unanswered questions:

What causes chronic pain anyway? What are the common misconceptions about pain? How does the AT help? Are there ways of teaching that can help our clients in pain and improve their learning of the AT? How does chronic pain change the nervous system? What should we say to clients and doctors about pain?  When should we refer out, and to whom? There are many more questions…

There is no formal training about pain in the AT, but we think it can be invaluable. This webinar aims to be that class. In the past few decades the science of pain has changed. Modern pain science is much more relevant for us than it used to be. Understanding the significant advances in pain science can help to develop optimal strategies for working with the unique challenges of a person with persistent pain. 

In this webinar we systematically approach modern pain science in a way that is specifically tailored to AT teachers. It is taught by two AT teacher-scientists who have a lived experience of chronic pain. We’ll delve into the biological, psychological and social factors that contribute to pain in a systematic way that looks at the whole picture. We’ll focus discussions on how Alexander Technique relates to a modern understanding of pain science as well as pain management and recovery. We will look at how emerging interventions are treating pain with greater success and highlight the unique contributions the AT brings. And we will address as many of those pertinent unanswered questions as possible.

Course details:

Dates and times:

  • February 9 – March 29, 2024
  • 8 weekly live sessions with two available section times.
  • Section A meets Fridays at 7:30-9:00 am GMT, London (6:30-8:00 pm Sydney, Australia)
  • Section B meets Fridays at 7-8:30 pm GMT, London (2-3:30 pm Eastern Standard Time, USA)

This 8-week course includes:

  • 12 hours of live class time involving instruction, discussion and Q&A
  • 10 Modules with pre-recorded video lectures
  • Live classes will be recorded, so if you miss something you can access the recording.
  • Prompts for reflection and contemplation relating AT to pain science
  • Quizzes to test your knowledge
  • Case examples to apply your learning
  • Optional reading recommendations
  • Copies of the lecture slides and other handouts
  • On completion of the course you’ll receive a course completion certificate (counts toward AmSAT CE credit).

What you’ll learn:

  • What pain is and how it works (including the neuroscience of pain)
  • What causes persistent pain 
  • What changes when pain persists 
  • How pain impacts a person’s life
  • How posture relates to pain
  • How your knowledge, beliefs and advice impact a student’s pain
  • How cutting edge interventions address pain
  • Best practices in addressing persistent pain

Click for a list of course objectives

Some questions we will address:

  • How does the AT decrease pain?
  • How does the AT relate to a modern understanding of pain?
  • Is chronic pain a disease in its own right?
  • What are some common misconceptions about pain?
  • What do current cutting edge interventions do for pain?
  • What do the studies on AT and pain mean?
  • Are there ways we can be more effective working with people with pain?
  • How can you incorporate a better understanding of pain in your teaching?
  • When should you refer a student to another discipline?

Who should take this course: This course is directed toward Alexander Technique teachers and trainees. If you work with people dealing with pain, if you deal with persistent pain, or if you’re curious to learn more, this course is for you. This course will complement the main AT Science Fundamentals course; however the pain course is self contained and does not require any prerequisites or scientific knowledge. We are excited about offering this course together – the comprehensive format allows us to go much more in depth than our previous pain seminars. 

Time investment: Please expect to spend approximately 2-4 hours per week on the course material outside of live classes.

Your course instructors: Full bios available here 

Tim Cacciatore, PhD, MSTAT is an expert in the neuroscience of postural tone and its relationship with movement coordination. His two decades of research and numerous peer-reviewed publications about the Alexander Technique makes him a leading expert on how the Alexander Technique works from a scientific perspective. He currently collaborates with Dr. Rajal Cohen at the University of Idaho, Moscow.

Mari Hodges, MScMed (Pain Management), TPS, M.AmSAT, M. AAPTA is a pain coach and pain educator. She has trained as a Therapeutic Pain Specialist at Purdue University, and completed her Master of Science in Medicine in Pain Management at the University of Sydney, a world-leader in pain science.

Registration: Limited to 30 places per section.

  • Early bird rate before 26 January 2024 – £245 (approx €283, $313)
  • Full rate – £299 (approx €345, $383)
  • Section A: 10 spots left
  • Section B: 2 spots left

For more information, contact us at: info@alexandertechniquescience.com

Testimonials

“This is a fascinating course and I would say essential for Alexander Teachers wanting to get an up to date insight into pain and how the technique can help. It’s so good to have the bio psychosocial model of pain explained in such detail. There is a lot of information to take in and digest but all really important to understand and to keep learning about our bodies and how they work.” – Caroline Sears

“I can’t recommend this course more highly. So much thought and effort has gone into creating an accessible introduction to such wide ranging subject matter. Best of all, they provide plenty of pointers if you’re wanting to explore further. Tim and Mari’s warmth and enthusiasm for the material, and for sharing their knowledge, made engaging what could otherwise have been a very arid journey. Now I’ve finished the course, I know I’ll miss the weekly sessions; even though that means no more getting up at 5.30am!” – Simon Fitzgibbon

I would highly recommend the course “Pain Science for AT teachers” to all AT teachers. It beautifully and empathically bridges the gap between AT and pain science, and contributes to explaining how AT works in relation to pain. I think this course should be offered on all teaching training courses. The terminology is a bit of a challenge for those of us without a science background, but a very helpful glossary of terminology is provided.” – Anonymous

“This has been a very necessary and wonderful course for me both personally and as an AT teacher. I have learned so much, which is invaluable for me on account of my own pain journey but will also be very beneficial in enlightening my teaching. It resonates with me on account of my chronic back and neck pain history but also while doing this course I received a diagnosis of hip OA. Only for the valuable education into pain I’ve learned, I think I’d have gone into a tailspin! So, THANK YOU!” – Margaret Maher

“I think, this is very valuable material and I would wish that more people get access to it so a general change in thinking can start.” – J.S.

“This course covers vital information on persistent pain that every Alexander teacher should understand. It brings our profession up to date with a significant paradigm shift in pain science that has taken place in recent years. The course provides valuable insights into the drivers and processes involved in chronic pain, and the most effective strategies for addressing it. The presenters explore the reasons why the Alexander Technique can help people in pain, revealing the huge potential the technique has to be part of an effective multidisciplinary approach to pain management and recovery. Mari and Tim have done an amazing job of consolidating and presenting an enormous wealth of material in a format that is engaging, understandable and enjoyable. Highly recommended!” – Loretta Manson

“I really enjoyed the course and learnt a great deal from it. I like the way it was organized – videos, then quizzes then applying the knowledge gained to my practice. It was also good to have weekly live sessions with a quick review and time to ask questions. Perhaps more importantly though it was having great confidence in the expertise of Tim and Mari.” – Bridget Barr

This course has surpassed my expectations. I´ve learned a lot, and I can approach the needs of my students with a lot more knowledge and empathy. Thank you.” -Laura Ossanna

“This was a thoroughly enlightening course. A complex subject delivered clearly and concisely, designed to lead you to new and interesting knowledge in a very accessible way. I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in the current scientific understanding of the process of the pain experience.” – Maria O’Neill

“This course was excellent. Thanks to Mari and Tim for organizing the technical content in a way that was easy to understand.
“I liked the specific, easy-to-understand explanations about how feeling pain is a different dimension than having organic damage to the body. I know that some of our students focus more on pain and some focus more on what is helpful to the body than on pain, but each of these objectives helps me as an AT teacher to think specifically about what I can and cannot do to help the students in front of me. It also made me think about preconceived notions I had about the effects of AT; I have long felt that there may be a variety of nonspecific effects of AT lessons, but the way you organized and explained them based on prior research was also very excellent.”
– Etsuko Yasukawa