How can Alexander Technique help you?
Benefits of Alexander Technique
Alexander Technique is a powerful tool for self-development. It can perhaps be best thought of as a skill for wellbeing in our overall condition.
It involves conscious awareness which can make a huge difference to how you feel and behave. Gradually your habits diminish and your normal condition changes.
- Poise, vitality and improved co-ordination
- Freer and lighter movement
- Easier breathing and speaking
- Stamina and strength
- Relief from pain
- Alert and focused, with less strain
- Balanced and relaxed, without stiffness
- More confident and self-reliant
- Calmer and more effective
- Less tired and fatigued
- Think more clearly
- Recover from injury and illness more quickly
- Deal with stress better
- Cope better with chronic illness, disability & life change
- Perform more easily and effectively
Applications of Alexander Technique
Although the benefits of Alexander Technique in relation to specific conditions are in fact just by-products of improvement in our whole self, many people come to the Alexander Technique initially to deal with a wide variety of specific conditions.
Applications of Alexander work include:
Back, Neck, Shoulder and Other Musculoskeletal Problems
These kind of problems are very often the accumulated results of habits of movement and can be relieved by the re-education learned with Alexander Technique.
Lessons in the Alexander Technique are lessons in self-awareness: the first step in understanding how we cause ourselves pain. By relearning proper body mechanics, you can relieve pain and learn how to prevent it recurring.
British Medical Journal Proves the Effectiveness of Alexander Technique
Exciting research has been published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that proves that the Alexander Technique is an effective treatment for long-term back pain – better than painkillers, physiotherapy, massage or exercise alone.
See links below for the full publication, newspaper articles and to watch a video made by the study team.
Link to the Science
Little P, Lewith G, Webley F, et al.Randomised controlled trial of Alexander technique lessons, exercise, and massage (ATEAM) for chronic and recurrent back pain. BMJ 2008; 337; a884
Links to the Headlines
Alexander Technique – most effective at reducing back pain
The Telegraph, 20 August 2008
An old cure for a modern malaise: Alexander Technique can beat chronic back pain
Daily Mail, 20 August 2008
Stress, Anxiety & Mental Health
Our poor habits of thought, posture and movement have a huge effect on our breathing and our emotions, so we may be over-anxious, timid and lacking confidence, or lethargic and depressed.
Collapse in stature can also put excessive pressure on our digestive system. Tension causes restriction of blood circulation, increasing pressure and putting strain on our heart.
Alexander Technique helps us challenge these poor habits; you learn how you create tension and how you can prevent or release it.
As Alexander Technique is concerned with challenging habitual reactions, it also helps you deal with stimulus more effectively. It teaches you to gain control over your reactions. In a stressful situation the Technique helps to organise your perception of the choices available.
Learning to apply the Technique in this way builds quiet confidence and emotional intelligence.
Vocal & Breathing Difficulties
The way we breathe is affected by everything we do, think and feel – and vice versa.
Alexander Technique helps restore your natural breathing rhythm. It allows efficient and easy movement of the whole ribcage. It is used to manage a range of breathing difficulties like asthma, as well as to improve breathing in exercise, speaking, singing and playing wind instruments.
Many performers come to Alexander Technique to deal with pain and discomfort, breathlessness and vocal problems, as well as helping them to develop confidence and fulfil their creative potential.
“…It gives you the confidence to be who you are up in front of an audience…”
MD Royal Academy of music
Goal Setting & Life Skills
Improved physical balance and co-ordination also bring about emotional centredness and confidence. This influences how we communication and interact with others and allows our full potential to be expressed.
Greater calmness and self-reliance comes with natural poise and also helps you achieve more in life and generally feel happier and more fulfilled.
Alexander discovered the essential role of the body in the development of conscious learning. The Technique is therefore a powerful tool for heightening self-knowledge to be able to achieve personal goals.
“…I find the Alexander Technique very helpful in my life. Things happen without you trying. They get to be light and relaxed. You must get an Alexander teacher to show it to you…”
Walking & Movement
Whether you have difficulties with walking, movement or flexibility, or would just like to learn how to do it more freely and easily, the Technique can help.
Most people have a side to side sway when walking which unduly stresses their back, neck and shoulders. The Technique shows us how we can let the legs to the appropriate work and how the body can work in an integrated way in all our movement.
Learning the Technique also improves breathing, reduces undue muscular tension, improves reflexes, balance and co-ordination, so that all your walking and movement becomes more efficient and enjoyable.
Modern Life, Computer & Mobile Use
So many of us spend a good deal of our day working on computers and staring at phones. Sitting at a desk, or hunched over a laptop on our knees, is not what we were built for. It’s why so many of us experience aches and pains, especially if we sit badly. Alexander Technique is very useful in alleviating many desk, phone and keyboard related problems.
Since it also leads to a greater clarity of perception, it can also help you be more productive in the workplace generally. It enables you to keep a cool head, think on your feet and represent your subject and yourself with poise and confidence.
Rehabilitation after Surgery or Injury
Learning the Technique reduces undue muscular tension, facilitates recovery, improves reflexes, balance, coordination, quality of movement and mobility.
It also reduces the risk of further injury by helping you to become aware of tensions, stresses and mis-use that might have contributed to your original condition or injury.
Noticing how we compensate for injuries is another important aspect of recovery, something an Alexander teacher can point out. As compensatory patterns settle in, often staying long after the injury has receded, secondary injuries can emerge. Alexander work enables us to recognise and change these learned habits and prevent further damage.
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