What is the Alexander Technique?
The Alexander Technique is a method of learning to use your body in a more purposeful way without unnecessary muscular tension. Remember as a child we used to be able to bend, squat and run around with a natural balance and poise.
Then gradually we lost this as we developed all kinds of poor postural habits. The Alexander Technique is a practical way of improving posture by aligning the head, neck and back muscles. It can reduce pain and undo tension and stress. It’s a great leveller: creating self-awareness and development and improving overall wellbeing.
As we learn to undo these habits we find that we can move with greater freedom and ease and as a result experience less pain.
How does it work?
The Technique helps you to move with better poise and balance by teaching you to undo bad habits and re-discover how to use your muscles in a coordinated way to avoid poor posture.
Problems stem from overusing some muscles and neglecting others in various parts of the body. As the imbalance is corrected, you adopt a more effortless upright posture, whether you’re seated, standing or moving.
Sitting becomes more comfortable, and you stop slouching. When working at a computer wouldn't you love to have posture like this?
The Alexander Technique addresses problems by examining the cause and affecting a change, thereby improving function and preventing problems recurring.
What can it help?
Lots of things, particularly back pain and other ailments and disabilities. People who suffer with chronic back pain and have tried other therapies often wish they had come to the Alexander Technique earlier as it offered them the best long-term solution.
The Alexander Technique can be used in everyday life, improving performance in many professions including sport, music and acting. It is useful during pregnancy where it helps relieve complaints such as back ache and tiredness. You will also be taught how to improve your posture whilst sitting at a computer.
It can also be very effective in reducing the symptoms of computer-related work, including RSI, and has helped people who are living with MS (multiple sclerosis) and ME (myalgic encephalopathy).
Overall, the Alexander Technique boosts confidence, builds strength and stamina and stimulates self-discovery. People often appear taller and perhaps slimmer and their posture and appearance improves. Read what people have to say about lessons in the Alexander Technique.
What happens in a lesson?
I will use light hands on contact together with verbal explanation to help people to learn to adjust their habitual movement patterns to ones which are more beneficial and less harmful.
Lessons are tailored to the pupil’s individual needs but are applied to daily activities such as sitting, standing, driving a car or sitting at a computer. In other words lessons are very practical.
I will show you how to attend to head poise and lengthening of the spine. This is often applied to movement from sitting to standing and part of a lesson will usually involve lying on a table with the head supported.
During a lesson people find they can sit, stand and move with less effort and strain. Afterwards they feel taller, freer and more balanced and poised. These benefits are maintained after the lesson when individuals continue to apply what they have learned.
This newspaper article gives a good description of what is feels like to have an Alexander Lesson Description of an Alexander Technique lesson
For comfort normal loose fitting clothing is recommended.
Lessons usually last about 35-45 minutes.
How many lessons will I need?
It is very difficult to say but some people find that they start to see the benefits of reduced pain after 2-3 lessons but continuing with lessons is important as you are learning a life long skill and to notice your habits, this takes time. It is best to agree to come for 6-8 weekly lessons to see how you get on and then take it from there.