Back Pain Solutions – A Chat With Author Bruce Kodish

Physical therapist and Alexander Technique teacher Bruce Kodish is the author of the book Back Pain Solutions.

Luke: What are the differences between physical therapists and Alexander Technique teachers?

Bruce: “Physical therapists tend to be more cut and dried. They’re oriented towards the sciences and factual information and evidence. People who get into the Alexander Technique tend to be more from the arts. There’s a different mentality. I skirt those two worlds. I’ve always been a round peg in a square hole.”

Luke: “Was F.M. Alexander an original thinker or did he primarily synthesize other people’s ideas?”

Bruce: “Yes. He was an original thinker and he also did a great deal of synthesis, perhaps not acknowledging some of those sources as some of us would wish. He obviously read a lot.”

Jeroen Staring, a Dutch writer who’s done a great deal of work looking into Alexander’s background and sources, has pointed to many areas of commonality between what Alexander was teaching and with what other people had been teaching with elocution and [voice].”

Luke: “I’m struck by how much Jeroen Staring loathed F.M. Alexander.”

Bruce: “Yeah… [Staring has] done extremely important work that has not been adequately recognized by the Alexander Technique community. The people who I tend to hang out with such as Ron Dennis, an esteemed veteran teacher [of Alexander Technique], and Ed Bouchard in Chicago, and both are favorable to Staring as I am… If there is any tendency in the Alexander Technique community to over-idolize F.M. Alexander, Staring’s work would serve as a useful antidote. Of course the treatment might be a little painful but sometimes a little pain is necessary to have an effective treatment.”

Luke: “I’ve noticed a similarity between the way the Alexander world talks about F.M. Alexander and the way any New Age cult talks about its founder. It’s all F.M. Alexander discovered this. F.M. Alexander taught us this. It’s similar to the way Scientologists talk about LRH (L. Ron Hubbard).”

Bruce distances himself from my remarks.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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