About the Alexander Technique:
The Alexander Technique has been practiced around the world and has been around for over a hundred years. It is both gentle and effective, helping to arrange a range of health issues as well as manage a balanced lifestyle and improve performance. It has been widely researched by the NHS with successful results, including the 2008 research into solutions for lower back pain – see the British Medical Journal.)
The Technique can be described as a ‘tool for living’. Wherever you are going, it can help you on your journey and not only achieve your chosen goals, but more to get more enjoyment as your fulfill those ambitions. You don’t need to be in pain to benefit from the Alexander Technique, but here are some of the conditions that can be helped:
- Back pain and discomfort
- Neck pain, whiplash
- Recovery from injury / illness
- Breathing issues
- Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
- General stress including sleeplessness, worrying and lack of confidence
- High blood pressure
- Reduced mobility
- Recovery from injury / illness
The Alexander Technique helps you develop optimal ways of looking after yourself, using principles that are effective in relieving any unnecessary effort or strain.
The person as a whole must be taken into account – so any mental/emotional patterns may need to be addressed to encourage change and development.
The Technique can be likened to a ‘tool for living’ as and is used increasingly to help prevent the onset of certain conditions such as RSI. If symptoms have already developed then it is a good idea to use the Alexander Technique to prevent the problem worsening and avoid further injury.
The other major field where it is used is for enhancing performance and is widely used in the fields of DRAMA, MUSIC, DANCE and VOICE click here for more details.
Benefits – an overview
Over time, the repeated stress and tension of everyday life can leave the muscles ‘fixed’ and unresponsive. By opening the vertebrae of your spine you will benefit the funtioning of your body organs as all the organs are linked via nerves to the spine.
As well as the obvious advantages of improved cardiovascular, respiratory and digestive functions, increased blood and cerebro-spinal fluid circulation, there are many other beneficial effects from supporting yourself in optimum posture such as increased confidence, better breathing and increased energy and alertness.
The aim in an Alexander session the aim is to take into account any underlying issues that may be contributing to the problem, as well as how we can increase our awareness to take best care of ourselves.
What is involved?
An Alexander session will involve gentle touch and verbal guidance to facilitate the release
of tight muscles, as well as to address issues of imbalance within the body structure.
With a process of ‘undoing’ patterns of holding, we can achieve a more lengthened stature. Our body alignment greatly improves, but not through effort and holding. It is rather that we have stopped doing the things that put us wrong.
In this way, this is also a method of working with the mind, not only the body. Changing our thoughts and actions with increased awarenesscan mean that we are no longer at the mercy of unhelpful habits.
After lessons in the Alexander Technique, clients report a range of benefits – not only the relief of unpleasant symptoms. Here are some of them: Improved balance & coordination, better posture increased confidence, ease of breathing and improved alertness.
Most music and drama colleges include lessons in the Alexander Technique as part of their curriculum. Because the Alexander Technique improves balance, co-ordination and flexibility; applying it to the things that you enjoy like swimming, dancing, art, sports of all kinds or computers is a great way to improve your skill.
Many famous people use the Technique to improve their performance; John Cleese, Joanna Lumley, Sting, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ruby Wax to name but a few.
A ‘Well-being Lifestyle’
The Alexander Technique can help you to:
* Recognise and release patterns of tension
* Achieve a calm and balanced outlook
* Regain appropriate balance of tone in your body
* Develop greater focus and awareness
* Free yourself from unwanted habits
* Increase Personal choice in activity
prevent back pain
The Alexander Technique offers you a means to increase awareness in activity – to raise your general standard of health, body balance and co-ordination and then maintain it during day to day life. In this way the Technique is a ‘Way of Being or Living’ not just exercises which are done say once a day.
As you learn to change the way you move and hold yourself, you can prevent strenuous mis-use that can in the long term be harmful. Its a great way to improve your levels of functioning, mobility, as well as your vitality and well being. What is more, the idea is that there will come a point when you will no longer need the assistance of your teacher and you will be able to take your health into your own hands and take good care of yourself to maintain good health.
Can the Alexander Technique help resolve emotional problems?
The Alexander Technique is taught on a basis that the mind and body not only influence each other but are part of the same unified whole. muscular distortions can serve as a filter against psychological pain and distress. During Alexander sessions, pupils become aware of this mind-body link and become more able to reduce this filter. This process includes emotional insight, and can lead to psychological growth and healing. The ability to handle stress and anxiety is enhanced and the Technique can also be described as an effective means of stress management.
Where did the Technique Come From?
F M Alexander (1869-1954), an Australian actor brought the Technique to the Uk just over 100 years ago. As a young actor with a promising career, Alexander came across a stumbling block. He found that he frequently lost his voice during performances.
When doctors could not help him, he embarked on a process of self-discovery to determine the cause. His problems arose from bad postural habits that were difficult to change. He created a way of saying no to habit, allowing other possibilities to become available. He also realized that his discovery was universal – anyone could use it and apply it to all situations. Alexander moved to England and taught his technique widely during the first half of the twentieth century, later training others to teach it.