The Alexander Technique is a skill for life. People learn it for many reasons but mainly because they experience ongoing discomfort or pain in the body such as backache or headaches, or physical irritation such tight shoulders, sleeplessness, repetitive strain injuries, and symptoms of stress they find difficult to deal with. Many people like to reduce or discontinue taking pain killers.
Others attend lessons of the Alexander Technique because they wish to tackle psychological issues such as loss of self-confidence. Some people attend classes who are discontent with how their body feels and looks. People who have chronic conditions such as Dystonia or Spina Bifida, Multiple Sclerosis, etc., after accidents and surgery can learn to live with themselves in the best way there can be. And finally, there is the group of people who wish to enhance their performance in everyday life at work and also in fields such as horse riding, performance, music, dance, etc.
The Alexander Technique is a practical way of learning to enhance health and wellbeing by looking at the unhelpful patterns people use in their lives. These patterns are strong habits that often cause limited functioning, pain and distress. With the Alexander Technique people get to know where they stop themselves from being their best selves. The Alexander Technique is a perfect late rehabilitation for injuries that are life changing and for which a person is required to learn the best way to live as is at all possible. The method is not a magical tool. Instead, it is a re-educational process that invites people to engage intellectually and physically.
The Alexander Technique works with gentle contact work and gentle procedures (movements) that allow for the complete engagement of a person. A teacher of the Alexander Technique facilitates the connection of body and mind. It is known for re-educating the proprioceptive (the internal physical sense of the relationship between muscles and bony structures) sense. It works with the human ability to activate new patterns of thinking and understanding.
The Technique is unique in its focus on individual functioning i.e. we look at how does a person move? What are the patterns that cause unsatisfactory functioning and even physical, emotional, psychological conditions? Are there cognitive patterns that interfere with best use? A teacher of the Alexander Technique helps her/his clients to discover better ways of doing things. As Neuroscience confirms, there is an enormous plasticity of the brain. Learning is always possible. The Alexander Technique has worked with this assumption for 100 years and facilitates new and more effective ways of functioning in each person. Thinking, feeling, and physical sensations become more connected. A person usually feels lighter due to the stopping of unnecessary and habitual patterns.
The Alexander Technique is not a quick fix. It is not something that is done to individuals. Instead, people engage in the course of sessions in which they engage in a process of getting to know themselves and what they do unnecessarily to themselves which causes them trouble. Every session is tailored to a person’s individual needs.
Simple tools help to facilitate this process - a chair and a couch. A teacher of the Alexander Technique has had three years of full time training of their own haptic (touch) sense. The practitioners do not manipulate the client with any physical contact work, as physiotherapy or massage do. Instead the practitioner is able to sense unhelpful patterns in their clients and redirect the client’s thinking and physical actions.
Clients learn to integrate the new of thinking and moving and gradually become independent of the teacher. They apply their new thinking and moving in their everyday life which brings astonishing results.
Who was F.M. Alexander?
F.M. Alexander (1869 – 1955) was a pioneer of his time who developed the underlying philosophy and the practical procedures for what became the Alexander Technique. The focus in his work is to develop a process of most optimal functioning for each person on all levels.
What clients have said:
"I [...] now understand why I was told to embark upon this journey - I have accepted that I can let go of certain defences that I have used to this point in my life. [...] I hunch my shoulders. Though I have not yet managed to completely rid myself of this physical habit, the understanding of its probable course has allowed me to be far more aware of it and my friends and family have all commented on not only the physical, but also the emotional change that I have experienced. [...] I am sure that all that I have learnt from the Alexander Technique will be invaluable in my development not only as an actor, but as a person.”
“I have become more confident and positive. My memory has improved. My walking has improved - I am walking properly.”
The Holistic Life Coach
Holistic & Natural Solutions for Health and Wellbeing