What is the Alexander Technique?
The Alexander Technique is a special form of a health educational method; a process that involves both physical and mental re-education, whose ultimate aim is the practice of a practical technique of self-help.
Alexander Technique takes its name from a Tasmanian actor, F.M.Alexander (1869 - 1955), who, by solving his own vocal and breathing problems, made radical discoveries about human postural reflexes.
These discoveries led Alexander to formulate a learning process, which would allow people, whatever their circumstances, to understand, clarify and integrate their balance, movement and thought. This holistic approach leads to clearer thinking and less physical effort.
Most people are unaware of the tensions that build up from their daily round of activities. Even in an ergonomically satisfactory environment, poor posture and set ways of working, (i.e. slumping over a computer etc), can bring about added strain and unwanted stress.
Alexander teachers can give help to change the associated habitual reactions and show that if you can change use, you can change its influence; and thereby you can improve functioning.
The right thing does itself. - F.M. Alexander -
What does the Technique involve?
The Technique requires, first of all, a practical demonstration, then improves awareness of the quality of poise and movement, in relation both to tasks and to interaction with other people. This developed awareness then leads to the unforced prevention of poor posture and reactions, enabling work without strain or injury. A better use of your body improves the functioning of your internal organs by relieving them of pressure form unnecessary muscle tension. This awareness can be a powerful tool for personal development and learning new skill.
How can the Technique help me?
Anyone can benefit! Alexander Technique can help the prevention and treatment of all sorts of musculo-skeletal problems, such as back, neck and joint pain, RSI, migraine, asthma, and other stress related problems, a support pregnancy and childbirth.
It can also improve confidence and resilience, showing how poise and composure can be maintained during times of duress, such as when performing in public or doing sports. Anyone of any age can benefit.
The following paper, published in the the British Medical Journal is about efficacy of Alexander Technique lessons to help relieve back pain, compared to excercise and massage. http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/337/aug19_2/a884
What happens in a lesson?
The lessons are taught one-to-one, they normally last 40 minutes.
During a lesson, gentle manual and verbal guidance is given for simple acts, such as standing, sitting, breathing, lying down, walking and speaking, which are the basic activities that form the very basis of everyday existence.
The teacher's hands subtly interact with your neuromuscular system and allows you to change at your own pace.
The more you develop your awareness, the easier it becomes to unravel and avoid unnecessary tensions.
In this elevated state, it then becomes possible for you to maintain poise and composure, balance and perspective in more complex situations and activities.
Finding out More
Why not have a look at the articles that have been published in praise of the Alexander Technique?
To find out more or to book a £15 introductory lession please contact: Hidemi Hatada
Hidemi Hatada practices Alexander Technique at the Haelan Clinic on Tuesdays 4pm - 8pm and Saturdays 9:30am - 1:30pm.
To book an appointment please contact Hidemi directly on 07905 301 645 or ring the Haelan Clinic during shop hours on 020 8340 1518. Please note that 24 hours notice is required for cancellations or a fee may be charged.