What is the Alexander Technique?
120 years ago in Australia, F M Alexander, an aspiring actor, was experiencing this familiar scenario. In his case
he was developing problems with hoarseness during performances. When medical help failed he chose to treat this as a learning opportunity and stumbled on some truths that he later realised were helpful to others. He discovered that if we stop, reflect, notice and look at ourselves open-mindedly we may see that we are consciously or unconsciously doing things which contribute to our own problems.
Alexander was rediscovering our original capacity to function with psycho-physical unity. Unfortunately
this natural relationship between head, neck and back is frequently undermined by our hasty reactions, uncoordinated movements and negative thought patterns and we often fail to notice this. Alexander lessons develop psycho-physical skills that address this. We learn to gently give ourselves time to rediscover an easier balance in each present moment whatever we are doing.
What are the benefits?
In short: an improved quality of life and performance. Many people seek out Alexander lessons when they are in pain and, whilst it is not a medical treatment, recently there have been some large randomised controlled trials of the Alexander Technique which are very interesting.
Firstly one for lower back pain in 2008 and then more recently one for neck pain. Both concluded that a course of lessons was likely to produce sustained benefits indicating that lasting skills are being learnt therefore a good investment for future health.
To find out more:
The Technique can also help to prevent and alleviate conditions associated with undue tension, breathing disorders and stress related conditions. It can also enhance rehabilitation after surgery, provide support during pregnancy and childbirth, and be a useful tool in coping with chronic medical conditions.
People are also drawn to explore The Technique in order to excel at a practical skill. Performers and athletes around the world use the Alexander Technique. Stamina, clarity of perception, spontaneity and stage fright can all be addressed through the Technique and in many drama, dance and music colleges Alexander lessons are a required part of training.
What happens in a lesson?
Learning takes place in an Alexander lesson through both touch and words. The touch is very gentle, an invitation rather than a manipulation. It's about discovering a change in balance by the subtraction of unnecessary tensions more than it is about striving to make improvements. Alexander used to say 'the right thing does itself'! It is not necessary to remove any clothing during an Alexander lesson.
For more information about the Alexander Technique: www.stat.org.uk
All STAT members have undertaken a 3 year training and are bound by a code of professional conduct.
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgplXmILzoQ
£50 per 45 minute session