Skype Movement Coaching

25119249_sThank you Robert!  With your patient help, I was able to finally let go of years’ worth of chronic neck pain from which chiropractors, PTs and massage provided only temporary relief. – Bill Jacks, Mining Engineer, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada

When I began my Alexander Technique teaching practice in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1990, I soon realized that there were quite a few people who lived hundreds of miles from me with an interest in taking lessons – and for whom I was the closest teacher!

This was very different from my previous teaching experiences in London and Toronto and prompted me to experiment with phone sessions.

Initially I used this method only for students who were occasionally able to see me in person.

The sessions were often useful, but also frustrating for me, because I couldn’t actually see my students in real time. That is quite a limitation when posture and movement improvement are the focus of the coaching!

When Skype and high-speed internet service became available, the process became a lot easier and far more effective.  Soon I was receiving requests from people who had no Alexander Technique experience and who lived not only in western Nebraska, the Dakotas, Kansas and the like, but in such far-flung locations as South East Asia, Croatia and northern Canada where there are no Alexander Technique teachers.

I began experimenting with ways of helping these people and over a period of years, I’ve learned some effective ways of helping people in that situation.  Out of that has come the on-line process I call Skype Movement Coaching.

Skype Movement Coaching is a process that helps you learn to improve your posture and the quality of your physical functioning. It shows you, in a very simple and practical manner, how you can sit, stand and move in ways that utilize the structure of your body and the effects of gravity on that structure. You will learn how to make specific targeted changes that will improve the way in which your entire body functions.

Skype Movement Coaching is not a therapy, or a substitute for medical care. It is not a “cure” for conditions such as back pain, repetitive strain injury and the like, but it does address posture and movement patterns that may contribute to these conditions.

Nor is it a substitute for hands-on movement reeducation processes such as the Alexander Technique and the Feldenkrais Method, or for activities such as Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates exercises etc. However, if you are practicing in any of these, Skype Movement Coaching can greatly enhance your experience.

WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED FOR MOVEMENT COACHING BY PHONE?

Skype, a high-speed internet connection and a way of using the built-in camera on your computer or smartphone to show you doing simple activities like sitting, standing and moving.

Skype is a free download, and Skype to Skype calls are free.

If it seems helpful, I can create MP3 files of the coaching sessions so that you can listen to them as often as you like.

HOW MUCH TIME AND EFFORT IS NEEDED TO BENEFIT FROM THIS PROCESS?

Apart from the 30-40 minute sessions, not a lot of time. Nor much “effort” in the usual sense of that word. What is important is a sincere interest in improving your posture and patterns of movement and a willingness to experiment with some very simple processes that, for the most part, you can do from time to time during your normal daily activities.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

You can contact me, Robert Rickover, by phone or email using this Contact Page. We can then set up a time for a free introductory session that will last about 20-30 minutes. If you feel that session has been useful and wish to continue, we can arrange additional sessions. I charge US$50 for a 30 minute session.

In general, I’ve found that scheduling a session a week for 3-4 weeks provides a good foundation for most people.

ABOUT ME

I have been a teacher of the Alexander Technique for over 30 years. During the past decade, I have devoted much of my teaching practice to helping people who, because of where they live, have only limited access to a teacher and who therefore need to rely heavily on themselves to make useful changes in their physical functioning.

I was fortunate to have studied and worked for many years with the late Marjorie Barstow, the first Alexander Technique teacher formally trained by F. Matthias Alexander, the developer of the Alexander Technique. Her unique teaching style placed a great deal of emphasis on getting  students to take responsibility for themselves by re-directing their thinking in order to make changes in their posture and movement. In her group classes, she also emphasized developing observation skills, both of oneself and of others in the class.

In my experience, Marj’s approach is ideal for working with students at a distance.

Years of experimenting have led me to the development of a series of simple, yet powerful, processes that can be successfully taught at a distance. Descriptions of one of these processes can be found at Up With GravitySM

You can also listen to several podcasts about using Skype for distance learning here.

You can read more about me at my Homepage.

There are no teachers anywhere near where I live and so on a lark I tried using Skype to see if your sessions would help.  I’m an amateur singer and do some public speaking for my firm and was always ill at ease in front of an audience.  You were able to guide me through some very effective methods that enabled me to feel at ease in those situations.  Also – a sort of bonus – my speaking and singing voice improved a great deal. – Suzzie Chu, Marketing Executive, Taipei, Taiwan

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