Reduce pain. Prevent injury. Improve performance.
What is the Alexander Technique?
The Alexander Technique is an educational method which has been used for over 100 years worldwide. It is a process which teaches us how to become conscious of the way we use ourselves in our daily lives. When we can learn to change faulty postural and movement habits, we can function better in everything we do. Most people learn the Alexander Technique in order to alleviate pain, stiffness, chronic stress, and excess tension. Another reason people learn the Alexander Technique is to enhance performance. Musicians, singers, dancers, actors and athletes benefit from improved breathing, vocal production, and speed and accuracy of movement. The technique also improves balance and increases attention capacity, endurance, confidence, and awareness of surroundings, aiding in all aspects of our daily lives. Anyone can learn the Alexander Technique, whether they are trying to avoid surgery, prevent chronic pain, recover from injury, or improve performance.
People typically learn the Alexander Technique through individual private lessons. A teacher instructs you, using manual and verbal guidance, how to discover unproductive habit patterns and help you learn how to change them. Everyday movements are addressed as well as specialized/specific activities, including a challenging household task, work-related issue, or playing a sport or musical instrument.
There are commonly two parts to an Alexander Technique lesson: table work and guidance during activity. In table work, a student lays on a massage table (fully-clothed on their back with their knees bent), as a teacher helps the student discover and release areas of holding and excess tension. This quiets the nervous system, helps the body's muscles return to a more neutral state, and increases sensory awareness. In table work, the student is also learning the basic self-help procedure of Constructive Rest, commonly called the "Lie-Down", which they can continue to use in their daily lives. When receiving guidance during activity, the teacher addresses various everyday movements, increasing ease and proficiency and teaching the student how to maintain this improvement on their own. During this part of the lesson, students are also welcome to choose to work on a particular area of interest or a task in which they would like to achieve greater ease, efficiency or improved performance.
Another way Alexander Technique is taught is through group instruction. This is a fun, and often more cost-effective way to learn along with others who are experiencing similar challenges in their activities and daily lives. In a small group setting, questions are discussed and students gain valuable insights together in a non-judgmental and positive environment. The principles of the Alexander Technique are taught, as well as guidance in everyday movements and tools for self-care, including the "Lie-Down."