Alexander Technique

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A physiotherapist treating a female patient's neck using Alexander Technique

According to another principle of the Alexander technique, the head-neck-torso relationship (termed primary control) is fundamental to the ability to function optimally.

Key Principles Of The Alexander Technique

The Alexander technique was designed by Shakespearean orator Frederick Matthias Alexander.

The purpose of the system is to promote well-being by retraining a person’s awareness and habits of posture to ensure minimum effort and strain while daily tasks are performed.

By avoiding unnecessary muscular and mental tension, there is maintenance of a balanced state of rest and poise resulting in a body which is well-aligned. The Alexander technique is not a relaxation technique or form of exercise. It is best described as an educational process seeking to help people unlearn maladaptive physical habits.

Principles of The Alexander Technique

The Alexander technique is developed around the basic principle that mind and body are one inseparable unit. Every aspect of one constantly influences every aspect of the other. Becoming more mindful of how you move, sit and stand during daily activities, is vital to making changes and in gaining benefits from those changes.

Another underlying principle is sending directions. The technique teaches how to become more aware of the mind-body connection and how to direct movement of the body as a whole or its various parts. Learnt as well, is how to release excess tension throughout the body and acquire overall balance and wellness. Thus, the technique is aimed at helping its practitioner to develop a better overall coordination with the added skill of constructive conscious control of the body

According to another principle of the Alexander technique, the head-neck-torso relationship (termed primary control) is fundamental to the ability to function optimally. Freedom of movement along this continuum leads to greater freedom of movement throughout the body. This results in graceful poise and well-coordinated motions due to efficient working of the mechanisms for posture and reflex.

Other principles of the technique surround reconditioning of the force of habit so that instinctual and unreasoned use of the mind-body unit is replaced with actions that are at once conscious and reasoned. Changing old habits of posture and movement involves a re-education on sensory awareness and accelerating of the conscious mind to respond to environmental stimuli. The practitioner learns ‘inhibition and non-doing’ – stopping the usual mind-body reactions to stimuli and taking the time to think about how a goal may be best achieved.

Does The Technique Work?

Evidence suggests the Alexander technique can help with:

  • long-term back pain, neck ache, sore shoulders and other musculoskeletal
  • Parkinson’s disease – as you learn how to carry out everyday tasks more easily causing a better outlook on the condition.
  • a more naturally aligned body.

The Alexander technique sets you on your way to moving the way your body was meant to move – in a more relaxed and comfortable way.

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