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 it takes for it will depend entirely on the student's own motivation to shed old habits.
What Are the Benefits of the Alexander Technique?
The Alexander Technique is designed to increase stamina, mental clarity and improve quality of movement. Practising it regularly will improve your overall health and help address any condition you may have, including:
- Parkinson's disease
- Repetitive strain injury
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Stiff neck and shoulders
- High blood pressure
- Pain and falls associated with geriatric conditions
- Respiratory problems
- Emotional imbalances
- Hoarseness and sore throat
- Lack of motor coordination
- Poor posture
- Persistent pain from prolonged sitting
It can also help help you reach your full potential as an actor, singer, musician, dancer or athlete.
What Can You Expect From the Alexander Technique?
The lessons included in the Alexander Technique class are light and easy, focusing on typical daily activities like walking, standing, sitting and lying down. The teacher ensures that you carry out these movements mindfully and with the proper posture, as moving carelessly is almost always the culprit of back pain, tense muscles and stiff neck, among other common structural issues.
The class can last for 45 minutes to an hour and does not require any special equipment. However, see to it that you wear comfortable clothes which don't restrict your movement. You may book a one-on-one class if you have a chronic condition that you want to work on. The number of classes you need to attend depends on how fast your body learns to move in a more integrated manner. Most individuals reported seeing massive improvements in their overall health after 10 to 15 sessions.
Is the Alexander Technique Safe?
Yes, the Alexander Technique is completely safe for everyone as it doesn't involve manipulation of the body. Following the lessons taught in class diligently will eliminate chronic back pain and increase your range of motion in a short period of time. An evidence-based research also shows that this modality can improve the posture and balance of older people and reduce their risk of falling.