Alexander Technique – who can it help?

Alexander Technique – who can it help?

Hampstead Garden Suburb News – Summer 2015

When Jonathan Pryce, who played Cardinal Wolsey in the BBC’s Wolf Hall, was asked in a recent interview which book had changed his life he said: “The one the teacher put under my head during the Alexander Technique sessions at Rada. I grew an inch and a half.”

Most people initially book a lesson because they are in pain. It can help with chronic or recurrent backache, a stiff neck, shoulder pain, tendonitis, sciatica, osteoporosis and repetitive strain injuries.

In 2008 the British Medical Journal published a study of patients with chronic back pain. The conclusion was that the Alexander Technique offers significant long-term benefits.

It is not a treatment or a therapy although it can be very therapeutic. It’s called a lesson because you are learning how to look after yourself, to recognise the warning signs and become adept at lessening or avoiding pain altogether.

A big part of the problem is that while our pace of life seems to have accelerated at breakneck speed, our lifestyle has become more sedentary.

The amazing ability to remain in constant touch with the whole world doesn’t help. It’s quite rare to spot someone walking down the street who isn’t checking their texts or tweets. But the tilt of their head at an unnatural angle as they squint at the screen has given rise to a new affliction – ‘text neck’. On Saturday June 13 Annemount Pre-Prep and Nursery, on Holne Chase, hosted another vibrant and successful Summer Fete. The Annemount families once again banded together to plan and run every aspect of this fun-filled afternoon, which raised funds for the PTA’s chosen charity, Spread A Smile. Head, Geraldine Maidment, welcomed the pupils, their families and friends to one of

The Alexander Technique is not trying to stop anyone living life to the full – far from it. In fact it enables you to do anything you want – go to the gym, work at a computer, prepare for a presentation, or play the trombone. You just learn to do it without injuring yourself.

Most of us don’t realise how much of our life is spent on autopilot as we rush through the day leaving us feeling drained, uncomfortable or worse, in pain.

People often start to see changes after half a dozen lessons. Even after their first lesson many say they feel lighter, more comfortable, more energetic, as well as calmer.

What they are discovering is how not to squander their energy on too much effort and tension.

As Malcolm Balk, a Canadian Alexander teacher and running coach, says, “there’s really no need to grip a pencil with the force needed to swing an axe.”

ELIZABETH ABRAHAMS

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