Susan and doctor

Dr. Don Lendle
Retired family physician
“I started playing piano about four years ago. I got injured pretty quickly and it made me stop for a while. But I wanted to try again. A piano teacher encouraged me to try the Alexander Technique. It is really a process of releasing tension, of not tensing up muscles that are really not needed, of relaxation. It is a mental as well as physical difference. It is not foreign to any of the principles used by medical professionals. It fits nicely with standard medicine or chiropractic treatment. It correlates well with yoga and meditation.

The principles extend to many other things I do. One day I was working in the garden, and I began to feel soreness in my back. I realized I was not moving my body in the best way. I stopped and applied the Alexander Technique principles to move more appropriately, and that solved the problem. The Alexander Technique can be useful to all of us as we get older and are more likely to experience pain and soreness, and for many people who sit in cubicles and at computers all day.”

Susan and young man from side

David Holter
Pianist, piano teacher, administrative assistant at the Salem College School of Music
“I came to Winston-Salem soon after I graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont, where I had majored in piano. I attended the preventive injury workshop for pianists at Salem College, and met Susan when she did the Alexander Technique segment of the training. At the time I was full of muscle tension. I had a tight neck and tendonitis in both of my arms, to the point I couldn’t play the piano at all. Susan and the Alexander Technique have helped me recover and made a profound difference in my life. I have learned very direct methods for dealing with physical discomforts, many of them stress-induced. Instead of having to take days off from playing, I have learned how to deal with the muscles directly. It has had benefits in other areas of my life, too, such as helping me remain calm under stressful circumstances.”

Susan Perkins (left) correct her posture.

Peggy Jenks                                                                                                Music teacher, pianist, race walker                                                “I first learned about the Alexander Technique when I took a two-week class on injury-preventive technique from Barbara Lister-Sink at Salem College. As a lifelong piano player and music teacher, I had come to believe that I had to just suffer through pain in my hands. … Now I not only am without pain, but I am so much more aware of my body. I have a kinesthetic sense of posture and the way I carry myself at all times. Even when I am race walking, I am thinking about releasing tension in my muscles and carrying myself upright.”

Jesse McKenzie
Pianist and piano teacher
“I have been playing piano since I was 9. By the time I In a fast-paced world, people of all ages suffer from the effects of tension and stress. Our work, lifestyles, and even the way we hold ourselves as we sit, stand, walk and go about our daily activities can lead to headaches, backaches, stiff necks and shoulders, carpal tunnel syndrome, and soreness in many other areas of the body. Susan C. Perkins is a nationally certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, a totally natural process that helps people identify and correct the unconscious tensions, movements and postures that lead to pain, stress and fatigue. Through a series of one-on-one consultations, students are coached in how the body is designed to move -- and how to unlearn habits, developed over a lifetime, that run counter to that natural design.was in high school, I had a lot of pain in my right arm. The Alexander Technique has been so important in opening up my body. I was extremely tight everywhere. My shoulders were forward, my head was down, almost as if I was curled into a knot. I have learned how to free up my body and prevent the pain I used to feel. I have learned how to stop some of the impulsive reactions to stress and anxiety. I’ve learned how to use the principles of the Alexander Technique to find new ways of doing things, to lengthen my spine and free up muscles in my neck. It is really an internal process, of learning to “direct” or use your mind to consciously project how you want your body to move.”