Credit: Jo Welch Photography
What is the Alexander Technique?
By looking at our habits of misuse, we can consciously begin to change our old patterns of doing things and find a way to work more freely, with greater poise and co-ordination. One of the main principles of the Alexander Technique is how we ‘use’ ourselves in how we move, think, react and respond. This affects how well we function. This ‘use’ is often habit bound and unconscious and leads to muscular tension. This then translates to back pain or a stiff neck, poor posture and other physical and/or emotional ailments.
The Alexander Technique, developed by F.M. Alexander over a 100 years ago, shows us that life need not be like this.
With the guiding hands of a teacher following simple day-to-day activities, it’s a skill we can all learn. The Technique can enhance our general well-being and change the vitality of both body and mind.
Alexander Technique Lesson
A lesson typically begins with looking at our everyday acts such as sitting, standing and moving. There is no forceful manipulation of any kind, guiding hands and verbal instructions will support you through suggestions of ways to try moving, and to bring your attention to unnecessary tension habits which you may not realise that you have.
There is evidence to suggest that the Alexander Technique can benefit you by:
• Reducing long-term back pain by an average of 86% *. Lessons may lead to reduced back pain-associated disability for up to a year or more
(*source British Medical Journal)
• Reducing long-term neck pain by an average of at least 31% * . Lessons may lead to reduced back pain-associated disability for up to a year or more
(*source Annals of Internal Medicine)
• Managing Parkinson’s Disease (in the NICE guidelines). Lessons may help you carry out every day tasks more easily, improve balance and how you feel about your condition
• Increasing breathing capacity and energy
• Improving balance and co-ordination which may help to prevent falls in the elderly
• Managing stress and general unease
• Providing a method for self-efficacy and self care for long term conditions