Alexander Technique

alexander technique Alexander Technique

Photo: courtesy of Bruce Fertman

The Alexander technique was invented by Frederick Matthias Alexander and is used to avoid unnecessary muscular tension during daily activities.

The Alexander Technique is a method that works to change movement habits in our everyday activities. It is a simple and practical method for improving ease and freedom of movement, balance, support, and coordination. The Alexander process shines a light on inefficient habits of movement and patterns of accumulated tension, which interferes with our innate ability to move easily and according to how we are designed. It’s a simple yet powerful approach that offers the opportunity to take charge of one’s own learning and healing process because it’s not a series of passive treatments but an active exploration that changes the way one thinks and responds in activity. It produces a skill set that can be applied in every situation. Learning the Alexander Technique can leave one feeling lighter, freer, and more grounded.

One common reason people take lessons in the Alexander Technique is to improve posture. The Alexander Technique can enable individuals of all ages to regain good posture for the long-term — free of stiffness and tension.

Another reason people seek out Alexander Technique is a musculoskeletal pain. A leading contributing factor of musculoskeletal pain is unrecognized patterns of excess tension. A common response to pain is further tension, which usually exacerbates discomfort. Because it teaches how to recognize and unlearn these habitual patterns, the Alexander Technique has long been known for its effectiveness in relieving neck, back and joint pain for the long-term.

Since the technique teaches the use of the appropriate amount of effort and the optimal movement pattern for a particular activity, patients learn how to respond to any stimulus with less tension and more overall ease. For example, repetitive strain injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic back pain, headaches, and stress-related disorders are common to many computer users. While changes to the workstation — chair design, monitor and keyboard placement — can improve the ergonomics, the Alexander Technique teaches the computer user how to use her or his body comfortably, even when the workstation is not ideal. With the Alexander Technique, you can learn how to avoid injury and relieve the tension and pain often associated with many of our daily activities.

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