The Alexander Technique is a method for learning how your mind and body interact, allowing you to better coordinate your movements. Since its development over 100 years ago, many people have used the Alexander Technique to reduce stress, to change habitual posture and movement, to alleviate back and shoulder pain, to prevent repetitive strain injuries, and to enhance performance skills. By studying the Alexander Technique you gain better balance, support and flexibility in your body and you learn to use your body more efficiently in all daily activities!
Most children still move with great ease, flexibility and poise. They are naturally balanced and their spines are long and aligned. They embody a kind of interest and curiosity in the world. They are alive and present! As we grow older, we often find ourselves interfering with this quality of poise and balance. Many factors such as the demands of daily life, the constant flow of stimuli around us, high stress levels, repetitive movements, sedentary life-style or mental and physical traumas contribute to this imbalance.
Stiff Movements, Muscle Tension and Pain
Instead of moving freely and staying open, we find that our posture is poor, our movements are stiff, our breathing is shallow and our vitality is low. Without realizing it, we develop habits of using more force and tension than is needed. Excess tension has different presentations: We might look “like a slump”, we might “sit up straight with shoulders pulled back” or we might look like someone’s idea of being “cool”. Habitual movement patterns often cause or aggrevate physical ailments such as chronic back pain, neck and shoulder tensions, repetitive strain injuries, headaches and migraines or breathing problems.
The originator F.M. Alexander (1869 -1955) discovered something essential, that scientist have also studied and verified: This is that the dynamic relationship between head and body is primary in guiding and controlling the quality of our coordination and movement. Alexander also recognized that most people interfere with this balance and have a tendency to pull the head down toward the body. This leads to excessive tension and throws the whole body out of its optimal balance. The downward pull creates compression of the spine, impedes with natural breathing, hinders the free movement of limbs, limits expression and may create or aggrevate pain in the body.
Recovering Poise and Ease of Movement
The Alexander Technique teaches you to increase your awareness of your posture and movements. It enables you to make choices that create more ease and freedom of movement. This is communicated through the teacher’s gentle directive touch and verbal guidance. You gradually learn how to release muscle tension and recover poise and liveliness. Physical ailments and stress will be reduced and you feel more alert and focused, calmer and more energized!