Health & Well-Being
Improve the quality of your life by learning to use yourself more effectively.
Whether you spend time sitting in an office, working on a computer, driving, walking, running, playing a sport, dancing, working out, playing a musical instrument, or performing, learning to efficiently move or vocalize can improve your performance, lead to fewer aches, and less stress.
Study Can Help You:
Decrease strain on your muscles and joints
Find Effortless Balance
Move with Ease
Create a Sense of Physical and Mental Well-Being
"As a music educator… as a drama director… (and) as a neurologic patient… I continue to live the life I want."
Arthritis and Joint Issues:
“With Diane’s guidance, the relief I have achieved seems almost miraculous.”
~Muriel Kowlessar, MD, ballroom dancer
Improve your physical use and coordinate yourself in a way that puts put less strain on your muscles and joints. Lessons will not change structural conditions brought on by arthritis, cartilage degeneration, or disc degeneration bony changes are not changed through study, putting less pressure and force through the joints can help issues of discomfort and mobility.
Back and Neck Issues:
“97% of people with back pain could benefit by learning the Alexander Technique – it is only a very small minority of back pain sufferers that require medical intervention such as surgery.”
~Dr. Jack Stern, spinal neurosurgeon and founding partner of Brain and Spine Surgeons of New York
“Diane helped get me onstage and perform without back pain… Diane is more than a compassionate, intuitive teacher or mentor, she's a lifesaver!”
~Amanda Holston, Actress, Alignment Educator & YogAlign Instructor
Access postural reflexes and balance so that your spine is less compressed and your movement muscles are more relaxed and available to move. Study will not change disease or structural changes, but it will help you recognize when you are making things harder on yourself than need be.
“Working with Diane and the Alexander Technique brought me to a deeper understanding of how my posture and breathing are connected.”
~Roberta Gumbel, actress/singer - Lincoln Center/ Broadway
Efficient breath is dependent on fluid upright use of the torso and adequate support from the entire body. Learn to organize yourself so that your breathing is fully supported by the coordinated use of your entire body.
Balance and Neurological Issues:
“Diane found innovative ways to keep Jenna’s body limber and mobile even after she began using a wheelchair.”
~Melinda Kremer, founder of American Dance Wheels
Lessons can be very helpful to people who are living with balance or neurological issues. While the study does not cure the underlying cause of these issues, lessons can improve awareness of how you habitually function, provide a method to help you release tension, and establish a kinesthetic understanding of how the body most easily co-ordinates. Lessons can improve your physical organization, alleviate some undesirable symptoms, and provide a feeling of choice and control as you go about your daily life.
“The work I've done with her has changed my conception of how I play and is the primary reason why I'm still able to make a living as a musician.”
~Dan Blacksberg, Trombonist/ recipient 2012 Pew Fellowship in the Arts
Since how you coordinate yourself determines how well you function if you learn to use yourself more effectively, your results will be better. The study will not change your underlying structural or neurological issues, but it can help you recognize where you are compensating, help you organize yourself with less strain, and maximize the coordination, endurance, strength, and flexibility you have.
“I came to the university with decades of professional acting experience. I can say, without reservation, that (Diane) had a great and positive impact on my craft and my life. Her insights helped to look at my work and, by extension, the way in which I relate to the world around me, through a new and exciting lens… She has my absolute highest recommendation. You cannot help but be transformed after working with Diane.”
~Charlie Del Marcelle, actor/educator/ recipient of two 2014 Barrymore awards
Habitual physical patterns can be accompanied by habitual patterns of thought. Vocal and physical learning helps us be more open to exploration and discovery. Develop creativity by learning about how you most effectively work, so that instead of pursuing the right answer, you’re exploring options, discovering what they do, and choosing the situations in which your options work best.
“I had daily migraines, which were a huge inconvenience in both my school schedule and personal life…Diane released tension where I did not know it existed. I was in complete awe and to this day, I have not had any migraines.”
~Jose Guilherme Proença, BM Music Education, Westminster Choir College
Lessons can help you if your headaches or TMJ (temporomandibular joint) issues are exacerbated by postural habits, compensation for orthodontic discomfort, or life stress. You can learn to help yourself by using your body in ways that alleviate and or eliminate muscular tension.
Mindfulness and Self-Knowledge:
“Diane’s unique insights and ability to listen at a deep level combined with her caring way enabled a new integration of mind and body, which was a critical step on my healing journey.”
~Pamela Proscia, Ph.D., Certified Jin Shin Jyutsu Practitioner and Wellness Researcher
Develop a deeper relationship with your mind and body while learning to be present in activity. As you increase awareness of your habitual reactions to everyday situations, you will learn to undo the reactions you consider not useful and choose new strategies to help your self.
Mobility/Range of Motion Issues:
“After only a few sessions… What people called my "frozen shoulder" was no longer frozen…I even accompanied my grandson during his senior cello recital. Everyone was amazed, esp. myself.”
~Nienlung Liu, pianist
It could be that the way you are using your body in everyday activities is affecting your mobility and range of motion. Lessons help you recognize where and when you are unconsciously tensing and limiting your movement possibilities.
“With each passing day, the shoulder and neck pain I thought were just going to be a fact of life has been dissipating… I can’t begin to express how grateful I am for her help.”
~Brian Duane, cyclist/singer
The study will not change disease or structural changes, but it will help you learn when you are putting a strain on your structure – when you are unconsciously using your body in ways that tax your muscles and joints. Improved physical use can help you alleviate or even eliminate pain that is caused by poor posture, tension, muscular imbalance, and muscular tension.
“Diane Gaary gave incredible support, guidance, and thought-provoking exercises that helped finely tune my audition material and prepare me... I felt confident walking into any audition room whether it be for an acting or musical theater program.”
~Brooks Inciardi, actor
Confidence comes from experiences of success and knowledge that you have tools to handle the challenges of performance. Lessons help you develop and test these tools so that you can focus yourself to perform at your best.
“The Alexander Technique can help relieve pain and prevent recurrences by correcting poor posture and teaching proper patterns of movement.”
~Andrew Weil, MD
Learn to recognize and release unintentional postural habits that shorten stature, overwork muscles, and joints, stress the vocal mechanism, impair balance, decrease speed and coordination, cause unnecessary aches and pains, and generate a general feeling of unease.
Rehabilitation from Injury:
“The very positive results have persisted long after our work was done…I came to see her as a resource for a wide variety of physical issues from back pain and the fear of reinjuring myself to sitting at the computer and peak performance training for surfing and backpacking. She is a force.”
~Ira Orchin, Ph.D./surfer/Hiker
Lessons can be a useful supplement to physical therapy and an invaluable tool to successful rehabilitation. Learning how to put less strain on your body in everyday situations can help you recover faster and make you an active participant in your recovery process. By increasing your awareness of how you are using yourself in daily life, and empowering you to make informed choices that improve your function, study can improve the quality of your life and be a supportive complement to your medical care.
RSI /Repetitive Strain Issues:
“I suffered from chronic shoulder pain… it's a wonderful feeling to be able to produce a larger, more resonant tone without suffering pain the next day.”
~Carol Vizzini, Cellist, cello teacher Westminster Choir College Conservatory
A hobby, sport, or a profession that requires repetitive motions puts you at risk for repetitive stress injury. Lessons in the Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais® Method, or Lessac Body Work System can help you notice when you are putting undue strain upon your body and give you tools to help you recover and stay injury free.
“I came to Diane … with plenty of habits--many of which stemmed from a severe scoliosis, which had been operated on/fused in my youth… Some 7 years later, I've gone on to train as an AT teacher myself, yet I often recall morsels of knowledge and insight gleaned from Diane which--considering how many teachers I've had at this point--says volumes about the depth of her teaching.”
Lessons teach you how to recognize and undo unconscious muscular tensions that compress the spine and cause discomfort. You will also learn to access natural postural reflexes that support spinal health and flexibility. While study cannot alter scoliotic changes in the bony structure of the spine, they can help you learn to put less pressure on the spine and decrease or reverse functional scoliotic changes that are caused by muscle tension and habits of postural use.
“In my personal life, the Alexander work has enabled me to be more focused, at peace, and overall more productive.”
~Julie C, actress/educator
Our bodies tell our brains when we are stressed. Learn to integrate the functioning of your body and mind to find calm, not only in moments of quiet but also in activity throughout your day.
Self-knowledge and Personal Growth:
“Diane has inspired me to discover and accept my body, and the beautiful physical place in which it exists.”
~Leah Walton, actress
Work with yourself to notice your every day responses to people, situations, and thoughts. Learn to choose physical and mental responses that work for you.
Trauma can leave you habitual responses that are not helpful in your current life. In lessons, you can develop a calm awareness of habitual thoughts and physical reactions and learn the means to choose which ones you find are useful which ones are not useful.
“Diane's instruction has enabled me to overcome serious vocal dysfunction… I find not only my singing much improved, but my whole approach to life.”
~Pamela H. Pilch, Soprano, B.A., J.D., M.M.
With a holistic vocal approach, you can organize your whole self to produce a healthy, resonant, articulate, and expressive voice.
How Do Lessons Help Health and Well Being?
Lessons in Alexander Technique, Estill Voice Training ™, Feldenkrais ®, Method, and the Lessac System, are not medical therapies or treatments, nor are they substitutes for medical treatment where it is warranted. They are educational approaches with proven track records of their effectiveness. These methods increase your awareness of how you function in daily life and teach you to more effectively work with yourself. Study cannot change underlying structural or neurological conditions, but it can give you tools and strategies that help you make the most of what you have. By increasing your awareness of how you are using yourself in daily life, and empowering you to make informed choices that improve your function, study can improve the quality of your life and be a supportive complement to your medical care.
For More Information on Study Options:
The Lessac System of Voice and Body Training
People Have Studied to Address: