Alexander Technique is accepted as a series of lifestyle modification techniques affecting the bodymind through a series of lessons.
It also enables one to progressively undo one’s lifelong accumulation of habits of body misuse. It begins by assisting you to identify the tenacity of habit and how it triggers faulty sensory awareness. One also learns how to inhibit one's automatic response to stimuli, so one can respond consciously and freely choose the direction one wants to take with awareness.
It uses a set of principles whereby one learns to use themselves in a more easeful way. Over a time of lessons, you learn how to do what you do, better. It is a psychophysical system that re-educates one's kinesthetic sense to more effectively coordinate the mind to body connection, thereby improving balance and posture. A means of multiplying movement choices and mental choices that effect your whole life!
In our modern world, we compress ourselves daily and we're not aware of it. Maybe you don't know what to do about it?! We pull ourselves down and in, shorten our stature, thus creating tension in the musculature, which over time creates a whole body-mind pattern of mis-use. This results in neck and back pain, hip, knee pain, shoulder pain....you name it!
Over time we accumulate habits that distort our sensory feedback from our body to our brain. This leads to a habituated sense that the way one feels they are sitting, for example, is not the way one actually looks like they are sitting. One may feel they are sitting on top of their sitz bones, but in fact they are tilting behind them and the neck is being pulled back and down. That is a distorted sense of feeling, to put in Alexander terms, 'debauched kinesthesia'. That sense is re-educated through thinking and allowing the teacher to take one through movement, in and out of a chair.
We re-educate the whole person's thinking with movement, re-mapping your anatomy to your brain. The student allows the teacher to take them through sitting in a chair, while instructing them what to be thinking and what body part they need to stop engaging, so that a new movement experience can emerge.
When you allow your movement and mind to be changed together, both are whole-ly affected permanently. The moment is new, fresh, and your awareness expands. You feel lighter!
WHAT DOES A LESSON LOOK LIKE?
There is what we call "chair work" and "table work". I usually do the table work first. Both chair and table is hands-on work; one is through movement and the other is lying down being placed and moved by the teacher, without the student's habitual wanting to raise their head or leg, for example, to help the teacher.
The table work is a time to passively experience the new information the teacher is giving them through hands-on and directional thinking. The student is asked to 'inhibit' the habit to assist or resist being moved and noticing the volume of tension they wanted to exert. The student then builds a catalogue of increased awareness of their habits, as they take that increased lengthened and widened state into guided movement.
The result is a feeling of a lightness of being in the body without having to hold oneself how they believed they had to before! As one gets familiar and friendly with how they use themselves, sit and walk habitually, a relationship with one's self and use of themselves is developed. An open mental attitude to becoming aware of one's habits is essential in the changing of them.
CONDITIONS I HAVE WORKED WITH:
*Hip and Knee pain
*Neck and Back pain
*Post Knee replacement
*Thoracic Outlet syndrome
*Post back surgery
*Post hip surgery
*Rotator cuff pain
*Tension and anxiety
WHO WAS F.M. ALEXANDER?
Frederick Matthias Alexander was an actor, born January 20,1869 in Tasmania, who had recurring voice problems during his performances. He realized after doctors could find nothing physically wrong with his vocal cords, that he had developed a habit of creating tension in his neck. He spent the following 9 years observing what he was doing when speaking. His habit of pulling his neck 'back and down’ was creating the stress on his voice. The ill use of himself was dis-integrating his voice. Thereafter, he began working with other people's breathing habits and general use of themselves.
He moved to London, UK and developed his technique, helping many notable celebrities at the time, Aldous Huxley and Bernard Shaw to name a few. He established a training program to develop and perpetuate his work and founded "the little school" for children. He wrote four books about his work, the easiest to read being, "The Use of The Self".
He passed away in 1955 having influenced many intellectuals of his day, trained a core number of teachers of his technique in London, and two of them came to America to establish The American Center for the Alexander Technique (ACAT) in 1964.
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