The Alexander Technique is a holistic, mind-body approach to well-being that was developed by F.M. Alexander (1869-1955) and has been in continuous use for over 100 years.
It is an educational method that addresses the space between a stimulus, which can be mental or physical, and response.
Most of the time when we get a stimulus, we react automatically and respond too quickly. We have lost the ability to stop and think about how we'd like to respond. As a result, first we take action, then we think, and we try to make it better, afterwards. The Alexander Technique is an educational method that helps us learn how to create a place of stillness in the mind and body, that allows us the freedom to consciously choose our own response. It can bring about improvement in predominantly physical activities, such as how we move when we hear the phone ring and jump to answer it. It is also applicable to predominantly mental and emotional responses, such as how we respond to something our spouse or our child may say to us. It can help us learn to stop and respond from a place of centeredness and poise.
Learn to work with less stress and tension
The Alexander Technique is a method of self-care that teaches us how to create the conditions wherein healing may occur. It is subtle and gentle, and does not focus directly on trying to work on the parts, but rather, on improving the whole mind-body continuum or as Alexander put it, the psycho-physical being. Experience shows that people using it can achieve their best ability to function within a given set of circumstances. As a result of the overall improvement to the whole, people often find that specific problems clear up. This ranges from a wide range of musculo-skeletal disorders (ie, back pain, neck pain, carpal tunnel) to stress-related disorders, and it can help restore quietude of the mind.
It is based on the premise that mind and body cannot be separated and that the way we use ourselves in all our daily activities influences how well or poorly we function. It is a proven method that has been used to prevent injury, relieve pain, and solve many problems that are often caused by poor postural habits and repetitive stress and/or usage patterns.
It is a very gentle method of retraining our habitual ways of carrying out everyday activities, from working at a computer to dancing or playing golf. It is quieting to the system and improves how we may react to stresses on many levels. In the process, it helps restore the natural balance and poise that are the cornerstone of good health.
How We Do Things Affects How We Feel: Learn How to Start Feeling Better:
We all know that the way we sit at a computer, the way we align ourselves when we exercise, or even the way we lie down to sleep at night, can affect how we feel and how we can function. So why don’t we just change what we do to improve how we feel?
We are stuck in our patterns and often unaware of the way we are do things. That’s why we are so surprised to see ourselves in a mirror, and notice that the way it looks, doesn’t correlate with how it feels. People see themselves slumping, and then force themselves to “sit up straight” however within minutes if not seconds, we’re tired and fall right back into our stereotypical habit patterns.
Therein lies the difficulty in making changes. We need a way to undo these harmful habits without creating new tension patterns in their stead. We need a way to get from here to there and this “way” can be found in a series of lessons in the Alexander Technique.
This gentle method of retraining can restore the natural
ease and grace that we had as children, but lost along the way. This
is a way of undoing our tension patterns can allow us to open to
our full, natural height with less effort than we are currently expending
to stay slumped. It is not about pulling ourselves up. It is about
stopping to be pulled down.
This is the what the educator, John Dewey, called, “thinking in activity.”
Professor Nicolas Tinbergen, in his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize, chose to speak about the Alexander Technique:
" I recommend the Alexander Technique
as an extremely sophisticated form of rehabilitation... From personal
experience we can already confirm some of the seemingly fantastic
claims made by Alexander and his followers - namely, that many types
of underperformance and even ailments, both mental and physical,
can be alleviated, sometimes to a surprising degree, by teaching
the body musculature to function differently. We already notice,
with growing amazement, very striking improvements in such diverse
things as high blood pressure, breathing, depth of sleep, overall
cheerfulness and mental alertness, resilience against outside pressures,
and in such a refined skill as playing a musical instrument."
Audio Interviews Online
Click here to hear an Interview with Dana about the background of the Alexander Technique. This interview originally appeared on AHPulse.com.
Click here to hear a teacher describe what kinds of people benefit from lessons in the Alexander Technique and how it helps. This interview originally appeared on AHPulse.com.
Click here to hear what one student learned through lessons with another teacher. This interview originally appeared on AHPulse.com.
©2012 all rights reserved
by Dana Ben-Yehuda