"It's not the LIFTING, it's the LEANING", said Anne Lenert RN. At that time she comprised twenty years' worth of forcibly retired nursing skills. She said, "Lifting is a consciously-planned operation into which much thought and experience has been put. But leaning over beds is what you do all day long. It damaged my back, wore it out."
She was told she would never be fit to return to work. But Anne trained as a teacher of the Alexander Technique (ATE). As such, she has become an accomplished leaner, putting more thought into this crucial aspect of her job, so that now no occupation threatens her physical well-being.
She knew intimately what her problem was in leaning over her patients. She was tilting her body forward from the hips, to reach across and down to her patients. Having lost her infant skill of redistributing her body weight efficiently in bending, she would lean across the beds and hold-on- for-dear-life, over-contracting her muscles, straining her joints, even stretching the tough protective walls of her spinal discs - all this on a daily basis as she did her normal rounds. It was the same when she got home and leaned some more over the cooker, the workbench, and the sink; and at the weekend while shampoo-ing the family's long-haired guinea-pig in a bucket. The constant in this variety of activities was her poor balance.