What is the Alexander Technique?
The most common reason people start learning the Alexander Technique is to relieve pain. Many of them come to a lesson with an aching back or neck, or some kind of Repetitive Strain Injury and are surprised to discover how much influence they can have over their own pain.
Many of us subject our bodies to unnecessary tension, or spend a lot of our day sitting or moving around with a slumped posture or over-arched back. Perhaps surprisingly we can actually manage to do all of the above at the same time! But it’s become so habitual that we are not even aware of what we’re doing. It drains our energy and ultimately leads to pain which is often when we actually take any notice and try to do something about it.
Seemingly innocuous repetitive actions can tip us over the edge into developing injuries. Everyday movements we don’t give a second thought to can wreak havoc over time leading to debilitating long term damage.
The Alexander Technique can help you confidently cope with the daily demands and challenges which threaten to throw you out of kilter.
We admire the way animals succeed in being quietly alert and at the same time ready for action. Many of us would be happy to regain something of the natural poise we see in children.
There’s a lot of emphasis nowadays on searching for a quick fix to patch you up, or trying to get fit and overcome any aches and pains by working out with vigorous exercises or gym equipment. The Alexander Technique is different because it’s not so much about learning something new. We already know the right way to move but over the years we have managed to unlearn what is deeply hardwired into our systems. So it’s more about learning to undo what doesn’t work and is causing us harm.
The process of learning the Alexander Technique shines a light on how you operate in your world. You can still do all the things you want to do – cycle to work, go to the gym, answer all your emails and texts, play the violin – but you can do it without injuring yourself.
Can it help with stress?
Stress comes in many different guises. We can’t always control the amount of stress in our lives but we can learn to respond to it differently.
You can learn new ways of coping with stress with the Alexander Technique so that you can become more resilient and effective with dealing with the pressures and hectic demands you face.
How is it different from other therapies, treatments and remedies?
As soon as you mention that you’re suffering from pretty much any ailment, advice and suggestions swarm in from all directions, probably none more so than for a bad back!
People often arrive for their first Alexander Technique lesson having tried a whole gamut of other treatments first with only limited success.
Osteopathy, acupuncture, a massage, or visit to a chiropractor can help but may only offer temporary relief. Exercises and stretches in the gym or a Pilates class risk exacerbating the problem.
The Alexander Technique can have dramatic results by focusing on the underlying causes to prevent a problem flaring up again. The aim is to stop deeply ingrained excess tension infiltrating the way you move and react throughout the day. And you learn to recognise the warning signals so you become adept at lessening or avoiding pain altogether.