Alexander Technique lessons with Mona Sulzman in Ithaca, NY

Sitting with comfort and poise

“Go see Mona, she saved my life.” There’s no telling how many times I’ve said this to all sorts of friends and acquaintances over the last 15 years. At that time, in addition to the stress of starting a new business, my work had suddenly switched from the life of a busy building contractor to my new role in marketing and sales. Severe pain resulting from pinched nerves in my neck and resultant referred pain in my arm was approaching unendurable levels. I could barely walk, couldn’t sit for more than a few minutes at a time and was making phone calls lying down.

My doctor pointed to my x-rays and suggested that I had arthritis and though I was a candidate for risky surgery, he advised against it, as follow-up studies indicated that I’d be in similar condition ten years down the road. In addition to my physician, I began seeing a chiropractor and physical therapist and was on muscle relaxers and painkillers, but nothing helped, until I began seeing Mona for Alexander Technique lessons.

I stopped taking pills, quit PT and over a period of about 8-10 weeks, I managed to heal myself, with Mona’s guidance. 15 years later, every day I still use the Alexander Technique lessons I learned, and I’ve only seen Mona once in all that time, for advice on another spinal problem I suffered from briefly.

Kent Diebolt, Founding Partner, Vertical Access LLC

I came to study the Alexander Technique with Mona after having experienced years of back pain. I had been visiting a chiropractor two or three times a week and was in almost constant discomfort. Within a few weeks of working with Mona, the pain eased and within a month it disappeared completely. But I continued with the Alexander lessons because I realized my back pain had been due to a lifetime of ingrained habits that were negatively influencing how I moved, held myself, even how I breathed and spoke. Through AT I have learned to move with great freedom and comfort. I walk differently now, I sit differently, run differently, and feel lighter and more coordinated in everything I do. I find I am able to dispel tension quickly in almost any situation – at work or during an intense workout, speaking in public or even singing. It’s no wonder that so many gifted athletes and performers use the Alexander Technique to perfect their skills, but it really is a technique from which anyone can benefit and I highly recommend Mona as a master teacher.

Jeff M., Fundraiser

I started Alexander Technique because of chronic pain in my neck and shoulder, accompanied by occasional loud crunching sounds, like rocks rolling over rocks. The cause was osteoarthritis, for which physical therapy and massage had provided only minimal relief. After several months with Mona, the pain was gone. I continue with Alexander Technique to improve posture, relieve neck tension, and learn to move without placing undue strain on hips and knees. I would recommend Mona to anyone who works at a computer or who wants to learn to move with their body rather than against it.

Carla M., Sr. Staff Scientist, ATC-NY

I first went to Mona after attending a conducting workshop. Joe, the movement instructor at the workshop, whispered to me, “You need body work” and recommended the Alexander Technique. That is when I phoned Mona.

Since working with Mona, I have changed in many ways. Not only has my violin playing and conducting become more fluid, effective and efficient – I now breeze through a ten week opera season that used to hurt by week five – but there have been other changes. My voice has opened up, my back problems have become less acute and my parents think I am taller.

Before I studied the Alexander Technique, much of what I was taught was external. If something looked right (“Stand up straight”), it was right even if it did not work well. But after studying the Alexander Technique, I am aware of how learning can be internal. Having become aware of the myriad number of ways in which I can use my body to lift my arm, I can now choose the way that works for me rather than what is familiar or what looks good to someone else. And Mona has continually looked for ways to address these issues in a way that works best for me.

The proof is in the results. Several years after attending that conducting workshop, I attended another conducting workshop and worked with Joe, the movement instructor, again. After working with me he said, “Tell Mona she does great work.”

Ubaldo V., Violinist, Conductor

I began learning the Alexander Technique with Mona after developing several postural dysfunctions related to repetitive muscle and spinal stress associated with my profession. This included body rotations and neck compression. Symptoms included numbness in my extremities and breathing difficulties, which developed into asthma.

With Mona’s expert guidance I have learned to free up my neck, align my spine, and breathe in a much more natural way. I no longer experience any numbness and my breathing difficulties have been greatly reduced.

As I have progressed, I am rewarded in leaps of progress in my recreational activities. I am a serious and competitive golfer. I also am an avid alpine and Nordic skier, as well as a life-long swimmer. The Alexander Technique has allowed me greater mind body awareness, which has allowed more balance, rhythm, and relaxation in all these activities. In addition, the improvement I have experienced in performance of these athletic activities has been so exciting. The process of integrating the Alexander Technique into my leisure and work has been extremely rewarding for my growth and well being.

Larry B. Wallace, O.D., PhD
Doctor of Optometry, Immediate past President of the College of Syntonic Optometry and the International Light Association

In just a single session, Mona created comfort in my body and ease in my spirit. Her touch is both sure and delicate. Her work had powerful and lasting effects. I recommend her highly, and look forward to doing more work with her.

Jenna Milner, Massage Therapist