What is the Alexander Technique ?
The pace and pressure of modern life can be unrelenting.
The Alexander Technique provides a way of reducing the strains on our bodies and our being, to optimise our performance of the everyday, as well as of special skills.
Movement and postural patterns, comprising a person’s way of applying themselves in all their activities, may encompass compensatory maladaptations to earlier injuries, or other on-going (mal)adjustments, that generate strain and injury. It is precisely in unravelling these patterns that the Alexander Technique of neuromuscular re-education is invaluable.
The Alexander Technique helps us to organise body awareness in a way that is useful to ourselves. It provides us with the knowledge we need in order to implement our good intentions.
The Alexander Technique uniquely combines the discipline of paying attention, with regard to our physical bodies, with non-doing intent.
The Alexander Technique has been helping people with a range of chronic and “intractable” problems since 1894. Research carried out over the last 50 years in the U.S.A., Great Britain, Denmark and Australia has confirmed subjective and empirical evidence that the Alexander Technique helps to reduce effort in movement, improve breathing efficiency and improve posture. It is a widely-used method, providing:
- Control, reduction, elimination of pain
- Self-directed long-term approach to muskulo-sleletal problems
- Movement therapy/re-education addressing posture, breathing
- Unique assessment of current movement patterns, and a unique, tailored program.
- Improvement that becomes part of everyday life
- a foundation for all fitness and therapeutic activities
- A route to self-knowledge
How does it work?
Over the years most of us build tensions and distortions into our habitual way of being, which slip below the level of our conscious awareness. These produce ongoing restrictions to the working of our natural postural reflexes.
The role of the Alexander teacher is to use gentle manual guidance to help unravel distortions and encourage the natural reflexes to work again. As well, the teacher uses verbal instruction to help students become aware of their own pattern of interference and how to deal with it for themselves.
Hence the work can be described as educative.
Jackie M, a 47 year-old pharmacist, started Alexander Technique lessons hoping to reduce pain levels, especially in her neck. She had suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for 10 years. She found that she was indeed able to influence her pain levels and to be more...
Recent research bears out our observations. When we did a survey a few years ago about what our pupils valued the most about their Alexander lessons, the top answer was “getting out of pain” and the second answer was “knowing how to stay out of pain or get pain-free...
Bob is an IT expert, 36 years old, educated and well-travelled. He has suffered from chronic pain-inducing muscular tension for about 15 years. He has tried various approaches… all to little avail. I wondered whether he was approaching his situation from the wrong...
Michael Stenning taught me Alexander Technique principles. Within a week I started feeling more at ease and I have continued to benefit …and most importantly, I don’t have the pain I did before.
Michael knows what he’s doing.