What is the Alexander technique?
Alexander Technique is an educational method that was developed to help retrain the body and mind to improve movement, posture, balance, and coordination. Created by actor and teacher Frederick Matthias Alexander, it seeks to recognize and overcome reactive, habitual limitations related to movement and thinking.
Alexander Technique is primarily taught by observing an individual’s own mannerisms while in motion, by training the body’s own sense of location and effort, called the kinaesthetic sense. It is taught most commonly in performance schools for dance, acting, and music. It can also be used remedially to improve ergonomics, to stop stuttering, and to obtain full recovery. Its principles are useful in various fields such as psychology, learning theory, creative thinking, and philosophy of coaching.
How does the Alexander technique work?
The Alexander Technique can be practiced during any activity, to make any sort of body motion more efficient. Through practise, freedom of movement will always improve but will depend on the causes of limitation of structural posture. The teacher uses hands-on modelling to guide motion while giving subtle indications of direction, timing, and coaching.
Learning the frequency of lessons and the speed will depend entirely in student’s own motivation to shed old habits.
Health benefits of Alexander technique
Alexander Technique is deemed helpful in addressing the following:
- repetitive strain injury
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- stiff neck and shoulders
- lowering blood pressure
- clearing throat
- improving body coordination
- standing taller
- creating better balance
- becoming uncomfortable when sitting for long periods of time
- reaching the full potential of being an actor, singer, musician, dancer, or athlete
It also suggests that Alexander Technique may help people with Parkinson's disease because the lessons can be used to carry out daily tasks more easily and improve how the person’s feelings about their condition. Additionally, Alexander technique can be helpful for the elderly to improve their general long-term pain, stammering, and balance skills to help avoid falls.