The Alexander Technique

woman lying down on back, head on books, knees bent, feet on floor, hands on stomach

If you have aches, pains, stiffness, poor posture, shallow breathing, or if you’re struggling with anxiety, you could benefit by learning to use the Alexander Technique in your day to day life. It’s a holistic approach and is gentle, yet powerful. There’s more to it than meets the eye.

Head, Neck, Back

The Alexander Technique involves thinking about activity in an intelligent way. It shows how we ‘wear our head’. We look at the relationship between the head, neck and back. It is this relationship that organises balance. This helps reduce tension and gives us more control.

Causes, not just symptoms

We will work to discover the cause of your issues rather than just the symptoms. You will learn to build up new muscle memory to consistently overcome the old habits that are causing your issues. And you will find out how to make yourself more comfortable, balanced and strong, both physically and mentally. It’s both strengthening and relaxing, using thought and self awareness.

Good Posture

If you want to improve your posture, studies show that the Alexander Technique leads to better posture, movement coordination and balance. The added benefit is that better posture may also help with pain.

Breathing

Breathing freely and deeply doesn’t come easily to everyone. Often, people breathe quite shallowly, taking in very little breath and then take a big occasional sigh. Holding physical and mental tension and/or collapsing affects how we breath. By changing the state of our selves, we alter our breathing. 

Voice

How we speak, recite or sing is a key part of Alexander work. Our voice involves the whole of us, from head to toe and not just the throat and mouth area. Many singers have had Alexander Technique lessons and it’s interesting to look at the spoken voice as well as the singing voice. A lack of confidence or nervousness can show up in the voice – it may be a bit ‘thin’ and unembodied. 

Anxiety and Stress

Tuning into our body, we are also tuning into our mind. For example, scrunching up the hands, shoulders up by the ears, arms crossed defensively, looking down when we walk can all be emotional responses.  And vice versa. Tuning into what is going on emotionally, we can see where it manifests in the body and try to release that.

Back Pain Research

Research shows that the Alexander Technique improves chronic low back pain. And that the improvement after a course of lessons has long lasting effects.

Useful links

The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique

The Complete Guide to the Alexander Technique

Alexander Technique in Education

Alexander Technique – back pain research

Constructive Teaching Centre – Teacher Training

Alexander Technique for Parkinson’s