The Alexander Technique is a simple but gentle method of re-educating the body to move the way nature intended – with grace, efficiency – and without pain. Originally developed to help actors and speakers, it has since been found to have all kinds of uses from overcoming back pain to increasing energy and confidence.
It is very different from treatments like physiotherapy, osteopathy or chiropractic which offer a quick fix – and endless exercises to do when you get home! The Alexander Technique by contrast is not really a treatment at all but a means to get you, the pupil, to understand how to use your body correctly and intuitively. And nor it is an exercise like yoga or pilates, although it will strengthen your back. Instead, think of it as offering a chance to re-learn how to move, stand and sit with the natural poise we all had as children, before all those bad habits got in the way. It requires a level of perseverance and patience, but it has the power to revolutionise your life.
Think of your body as a finely tuned machine. We are all designed to move with freedom and grace, but unfortunately our postural habits – the way we sit at a desk, stand up or pick something off the floor – are picked up over many years and become ingrained.
This causes aches and pains or even worse problems, like losing your voice because the stiffness in your neck obstructs your vocal chords. Lessons in the Alexander Technique will allow you to re-tune the machine that is you. They will give you an awareness of the way you ‘use’ yourself and show you how to prevent bad habits such as slouching. And it’s no good telling yourself to ‘sit up straight’ because all that does is cause tension, which only adds to the problem.
The good news is that it’s never too late to learn and permanently change ingrained habits.
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