What is the Alexander Technique For?
Many people discover the Alexander Technique as a consequence of suffering chronic back pain or neck pain. This covers a multitude of specific complaints, all of which can cause much misery.
The Alexander Technique offers significant, long-term benefits to the problem of back pain.
Back pain is a national problem. It is one of the most common causes of long-term sickness among workers in the UK.
Approximately 75% of adults in the UK suffer one or more bouts of lower back pain during their lives.
Learning the Alexander Technique can help to prevent or alleviate conditions associated with tension, poor body use and bad posture, often the causes of back pain.
A randomised controlled trial for patients with chronic low back pain was published in the British Medical Journal in 2008. It showed that 24 Alexander Technique lessons led to a significant reduction in pain from 21 days to 3 days per month, and an improvement in functioning and quality of life by "limiting muscle spasm, strengthening postural muscles, improving co-ordination and flexibility and decompressing the spine".
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
RSI is not new but has increased with the widespread use of computers. It can be distressing physically, mentally and emotionally. Sufferers endure pain, burning sensations and loss of muscle strength and face reduced capacity to work or perform simple daily activities.
Excessive tension is often the root of the problem.
A typical response to symptoms is to tense up even more, which can lead to a vicious circle.
With the Alexander Technique you gradually improve your fundamental co-ordination and ‘self-management’ in all activities, thus minimising the possibility of RSI occurring in the first place or getting worse.
Performing at your full potential
Performers of all kinds have long recognised the value of learning the Alexander Technique as part of developing and improving their skills.
From actors and storytellers to politicians and barristers, the ability to use their voice and their whole presence to express themselves is of paramount importance. The Alexander Technique offers a practical and demonstrable tool in training and honing performance skills.
The same applies to singers. The Alexander Technique can help classical, jazz and popular singers, whether you’re a soloist or a member of a choir or large classical chorus.
Musicians of all genres recognise the need for a top quality instrument and know how important it is to look after it. Similarly, they benefit from using the Alexander Technique to learn to use themselves with the greatest skill as they are the instrument that plays that instrument.
Repetitive Strain Injury
Repetitive strain injury is caused by bad habits, and therefore can be resolved once and for all by replacing those bad habits with good ones. You can do it with the right kind of guidance, and that's what the Alexander Technique is about. More
The Alexander Technique can also help you if you:
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Stiff neck and shoulders
Undue tension / poor posture
Stress and anxiety related conditions
Migraines and recurring headaches
Breathing and digestive problems
Become uncomfortable when sitting at your computer for long periods of time
Are a singer, musician, actor, dancer or sports person, and feel you are not performing at your full potential
It's a great way to deal with:
Alexander himself (the founder of the Alexander Technique), was an actor. He kept losing his voice before important performances, and that's what started his process of observation which led to the development of the technique. More
If you've been suffering from a bad back for a while, you know the kind of difficulties this can cause in your daily life. But are you the kind of person that takes responsibiity for their own health and well being? More
Learn the Alexander Technique to:
Reduce stress and tension
Improve posture and poise
Obtain more energy
Find relief from back pain and/or neck pain
Improve general awareness
Improve vocal control
... or just to feel better
The technique teaches you to:
Become aware of and prevent habits of tension.
Change your reactions to the RSI symptoms.
Reduce pressure on joints.
The Alexander Technique is a practical, constructive approach that can be applied in your daily life and not a set of exercises to be done over and above your normal commitments. It teaches you that in any moment you have a choice to react with your old level of tension or in a new way.
With a growing awareness of real choice, positive change becomes a possibility.
All performers have to be free in their bodies to move with balance and good co-ordination. Perhaps this is most true for dancers. The Alexander Technique can provide another dimension to the dancer's sense of guiding the movements from within themselves.
Performing of any kind means being out there in front of an audience. The Alexander Technique can help you overcome ‘stage nerves’.
High energy and coordination are essential to a good performance. These can be enhanced by developing the Alexander Technique skills of directed body use and refined attention. The Technique helps in this by developing in the performer a high level of awareness while at the same time helping to discard unwanted postural and emotional habits, to prevent pain and reduce stress and performance anxiety.
Well-known performers who advocate the Alexander Technique include Yehudi Menuhin, John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Paul McCartney, Hilary Swank, Patrick Strewart, Sting, Joanna Lumley and the athlete Linford Christie.
The Technique is taught in all the major performing arts colleges in the United Kingdom, and has also been introduced in a number of primary and secondary schools.