What is the Alexander Technique? Forget everything you’ve heard about posture

Alexander Technique basics

The Alexander Technique a different model

If you were told to stand up straight, pull back your shoulders, brace your back or hold yourself up, it may be time to ignore those instructions. People have been told all kinds of things about posture. Unfortunately, much of information can be misleading or confusing.

Alexander Technique provides a very different model for upright posture and movement. It’s an evidence based technique, where you learn to observe your body in movement and come to understandings about how that movement affects you. It involves reduction of effort and allowing the body’s balance to work correctly.

 

Overcoming poor habits with new ones.

Poor habits of movement and posture can not only make you look awkward, they can, also, have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing. Learning to prevent poor habits improves your movement and leads to you developing  “body awareness”.  Body awareness allows you to discriminate between unhelpful damaging habits and useful movement habits.

Ease and Coordination

Poor movement habits can interfere with your body’s overall health.It can lead to mal-coordination where one body system works against another. That can lead to a wide range of health issues.

On the other hand, allowing the body’s systems to work easily, in coordination, can have cascading positive secondary benefits. Many people have reported lessening of pain conditions, incredible increase in ease of movement, reduction of stress and stress related health conditions.

Greater body awareness and use of thinking

The Alexander process develops skills in thoughtful movement. It’s not exercise and it’s not meditation. Movement is informed by a practised consideration of human design and functioning.  This leads to a profound increase in ability to execute fine motor skills.  The development of Alexander skill has significant benefits for people who use repetitive or rehearsed movements to achieve outcomes.  The musician gains a finer control of bowing, plucking or hitting the keys. The dancer becomes more aware of their points of movement. Singers and actor are able to control their breath and vocalisation.

Complementary benefits for people carrying injury or pain conditions

Alexander demonstrates the interconnectedness of all the body and mind systems through sensory based learning. A consistent practice of preventing interference with the body’s unified coordination has secondary benefits.

The indirect influence of movement and posture may have greater health outcomes than just improved movement. These can include alleviation of chronic pain, increased mobility, breathing and other types of condition.

While Alexander Technique should never be considered a replacement for medical treatment, it can be helpful in achieving positive health outcomes that supplement medical treatment.

Learning Alexander Technique

Qualified Alexander Technique teachers have trained for many years and have employed Alexander principles in their own life.  They have developed great skills in diagnosing movement and posture disfunction and in training people to overcome this circumstance.

You can just come for one lesson but it is more usual to have a series of lessons to build up skill.

Learning Alexander Technique is usually profoundly insightful for students as they learn about themselves from a totally different perspective.

Teachers are trained to provide learners with a series of movement experiences that are outside of the normal habit. Quite often your teacher will ask you to describe  with words the sensory experience that you have had. This process of movement and description allows for the development of discriminatory (heightened proprioception) skills around movement. The learner begins to make sense of  structural relationships such as,for example, what their spine is doing ; how their pelvis is moving; where the leg joints are and how they move.

It is a very different self-awareness that utilises proprioception and kinaesthesia and evolves to an extraordinary body awareness over time .

 

This photo shows someone who isn't unified
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Alexander Technique SME

Let me answer your questions around Alexander Technique. I’ve spent years studying and teaching Alexander Technique.  Let me stimulate the conversation and open your thinking about FM Alexander’s discoveries around human movement, reaction and behaviour. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the blogs, send me a question on the form below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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