How can the Alexander Technique nourish you?
The Alexander Technique retrains habitual patterns by bringing awareness, and conscious control to postural habits, redistributing muscle effort throughout the body, allowing for more even, balanced distribution. The aim of the technique is to teach you, so you can keep going with self-work throughout your life.
The technique (named after its Australian creator Frederick Matthias Alexander) focuses on correcting and bringing about good neuromuscular organisation, allowing the body to expand and move freely. It assists in bringing you awareness of how you move and think, with an emphasis on movement being economical, and involving the minimum amount of effort and energy, helping you rediscover natural balance.
Many of us put a lot of force into our movement, putting undue pressure on nerves, muscles and joints. The way we move affects our posture, breathing patterns and the way we go about our daily lives. For a comfortable, easy posture, we need a strong and coordinated body – this is where the Alexander Technique comes in.
Much of our current lifestyles e.g. sitting (often incorrectly) for long periods, ergonomics of desk set ups in offices and at home, slouching on the sofa, even how we walk whilst carrying shopping or children, all contribute to muscle tension. And long-term muscle tension and bad posture can lead to a myriad of musculoskeletal problems including:
- head, neck and back pain
- muscle aches and spasms
- bursitis (inflammation of joints)
- repetitive strain injuries
The Alexander Technique focuses on key areas (or foundations) throughout treatment, setting up the body to realign, refocus, and flow with greater movement and energy.
These foundations are referred to as ‘primary control’:
- lengthening of the spine, by freeing up the neck
- freeing head movement in relation to the top of the spine
- relaxing back muscles
- having arms and legs moving as extensions of the back
Benefits of the Alexander Technique
The Alexander Technique is suitable for all ages and across many health conditions. It may reduce current symptoms of pain and discomfort as well as prevent possible future injury.
The Alexander Technique can assist with symptoms related to:
- Repetitive strain, ergonomics and endurance in jobs, skilled activities and hobbies e.g.
- Sporting performance
- Pain management – acute and chronic
- Improved balance and motor function in older adults
- Parkinson’s disease
- Posture and balance at home and work
- Stress management
- Increased confidence and self-esteem
The Alexander Technique can assist in relieving symptoms related to:
What to expect from an Alexander Technique session
The Alexander Technique is a hands-on experience, taught by a qualified teacher. After an initial assessment of about an hour, each session is approximately 40 minutes. All sessions are very tailored to you and your individual needs and how many sessions you need will be a decision made by you and your teacher.
In a session, the teacher will assess your muscle usage and highlight to you where muscles are being over or underused as you stand, walk, sit and even lay down. They will then suggest different and easier ways for you to move.
The lessons with your teacher then begin, as they demonstrate new ways of thinking about movement, and showing you how it feels though guided, experiential activities.
The Alexander Technique empowers you for a lifetime – you may need top-up lessons, but the activities you are taught and the reprogramming this technique brings to your neuromuscular system will last you a lifetime.