The Alexander Technique teaches us how to use our body's natural structure in order to move with efficiency and natural buoyancy. It can help prevent injuries, alleviate pain, facilitate learning and stimulate the creative process.
Our bodies are designed to move with ease. Yet all too frequently we feel we are being pulled down by, or have to hold ourselves up against, gravity. Over time, even the tiniest habits can result in discomfort and injury. Common modern afflictions such as back pain, neck tension and headaches can be attributed in many cases to poor use of the body. The Alexander Technique offers a concrete way to reconnect to our inherent knowledge of our body's dynamic balance. It teaches us how to curb our habitual reactions, and replaces them with mindful, fluid responses. This is a skill that can be applied in any context, and is especially helpful in stressful situations such as office-work, performing or auditioning, or taking care of small children.
F.M. Alexander (1869-1955) was an actor who began his career as a Shakespearean orator and developed chronic laryngitis while performing. Determined to restore the full use of his voice, he carefully observed himself while speaking, and noticed that undue muscular tension accounted for his vocal problem. He sought a way to eliminate that restriction.
Over time, he discovered and articulated a principle that profoundly influences health and well-being: when neck tension is reduced, the head no longer compresses the spine and the spine is free to lengthen. Alexander restored his own natural capacity for ease by changing the way he thought while initiating an action.
From this work on himself and others, he evolved a hands-on teaching method that encourages all the body's processes to work more efficiently - as an integrated, dynamic whole.
(From the 1996 North American Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique Directory)
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