About Back to Active
Most methods to help pain only focus on your body OR your mind, but they don’t help you use the connection between the two.
I help you to use all aspects of your body and mind and nervous system in your recovery from long standing pain.
- How to change postural habits that can perpetuate your pain.
- How your thinking and emotions influence your pain, how that interlinks with your body, and what to do about them.
- The missing steps you need to take to help any movement, even everyday activities, be therapeutic rather than aggravating.
Hi, welcome to back to active! My name is Mireille. It’s pronounced Miray, but I answer to most things beginning with M.
I live in Norwich, UK, with my partner and a loony border collie. I was a veterinary surgeon, for 10 years, most of them as a farm vet. Although I’m no longer a practising vet, animal welfare and the natural world are still important to me. I’ve spent most of my spare time in the last 3 years fighting a local road project which would affect endangered species.
Movement is such an important part of life, and so is fun, so if you can combine them that’s the ideal! For me, that’s dancing. Although I haven’t got to the salsa clubs much lately, I still enjoy a regular dance about. Luckily, I don’t worry about being good at it!
Why listen to me about your pain?
I’ve lived it. I went through the mill of treatments: pain clinics, medication, physiotherapy and most of the alternative treatments you could possibly think of.
I did the exercises every day: I had stomach muscles of iron! But still my pain worsened to the point where I was forced to give up work as a vet.
I finally found something that worked for me in Alexander Technique.
I had thought I would never be able to do anything again without having to push through pain. But by learning Alexander technique skills I eventually could climb a mountain again without pain being an issue. I could go to the pub and see my friends without worrying about how long I could tolerate sitting. Life opened up again.
But I’m just one anecdote. I wanted to know why Alexander Technique worked for me when all those other ways failed, and was it likely to work for others?
So, I looked into the science of pain.
What were the best clinicians in chronic pain doing? I found that their approach had many similarities with the Alexander Technique. In fact, I think Alexander technique is a much more evidenced- based way of helping pain than most of the more familiar therapies.
You can shift from being buffeted by pain you don’t understand, to having confidence in being able to manage and change it. And most importantly, get back to what you love to do, be it running, yoga, or just playing rough with the dog.
How I work
I believe strongly that you should be in charge of your recovery. ‘passive’ treatments – where someone does something to you that you can’t replicate for yourself – can be lovely, and temporarily helpful. But far too often they only serve to delay people on the way to finding a real, lasting solution for their pain. Elements of what I do, are relaxing and may feel like a ‘treatment’, but I am always looking to how I can hand over the reins to you. So that ultimately you don’t have to rely on me, or anyone else, for your wellbeing.
I will believe you. If you have pain, you have pain. It’s sad that this has to be said, but I know many of you will have had your pain minimised or disbelieved in the past.
I will treat you with care and respect. Having been to many different medical professionals and alternative therapists myself in the past, I know how important this is.
I don’t know everything, and actually, no one fully understands pain, but I try to be as accurate and up to date as I can.
I won’t over promise. We can only know that change in your pain is possible, and to keep drip feeding the right things into your system. My experience is that I can help the majority of people I work with to make a significant change, but I’m not pretending that everyone recovers completely. If you haven’t had pain for that long or you have a relatively simple ‘pain puzzle’, you may easily move out of pain for good with the right help. But sometimes if you have had severe pain for along time, or you have an underlying condition, then perhaps becoming completely pain free is not as likely for you. But a shift? That’s very possible. And perhaps a very big one, that really changes your life.
Feeling in control, with a range of tools to settle your pain. Learning to move with ease and freedom even when you have pain. Regaining pleasure in movement again. These are things that can massively improve your quality of life, even if you still live with some pain.
I’m not a doctor or a physiotherapist. I can’t diagnose or treat specific conditions. But I will listen to what you tell me about what your condition means for you, and adapt what I teach and how I support you accordingly.
Quality help for pain should not be just for those who can afford it. Good pain care is not necessarily more expensive. However, because conventional care has not always caught up with the science, often people have to go private to get what they need. I offer concessionary sessions for people on low incomes and I have also taught at Under1Roof, which provides support for homeless people. I also provide free resources for people to get started for themselves.
About my Qualifications and Experience
I have 7 years experience as an Alexander technique teacher. I trained at the internationally renowned Brighton Alexander Technique College. This is a 3 year full time course.
I have been teaching both in person and online since qualification with people with a range of conditions. I have had specific training in working with people with hypermobility. I keep my training refreshed and updated regularly.
I am fully insured through my professional body the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique and I have an enhanced DBS.