What is the Alexander Technique?

What is the Alexander Technique?

          In order to function well, we need a certain amount of muscle tone. Unfortunately, though, most of us have more tension than we need, because of the stress of daily living. This tension interferes with the natural alignment of our head, neck and spine, and puts extra pressure on our nerves and joints. That’s one reason why so many of us are in pain or have difficulty with activities.

          Through private lessons in the Alexander Technique, you can become aware of your unnecessary muscle tension and reduce it.  At the same time, you can rediscover the natural alignment that we all had as children.  This alignment will give you better balance, coordination, and ease of movement.

 

Where does the Alexander Technique come from?

          The Alexander Technique was developed by Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955), an Australian actor.  Alexander began to have problems with hoarseness when he was onstage – and at times, he lost his voice completely. To find out why that was happening, he set up mirrors and began to observe himself.  He also experimented with his reciting.

          Through these observations and experiments, he made a number of discoveries that helped him get his voice back.  As a result, he was able to continue acting.  At the same time, he began to teach his discoveries to his fellow actors, and to the general public.

          Alexander spent the rest of his life in England and the United States teaching people how to make use of the process he had discovered.  In the 1930’s, he began training others to teach the technique.  Today there are several thousand Alexander Technique teachers world-wide.

 

Who can benefit from the Alexander Technique?

You can benefit from the Alexander Technique if:

 

  • you have excess muscle tension.
  • you have a lot of stress in your life.
  • you work at a computer, or you sit for long periods.
  • you’re an athlete.
  • you’re a performing artist.
  • you’ve suffered physical trauma, such as a car accident, a fall, etc.
  • you have repetitive motion injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, sciatica, tension headaches, or other aches and pains.
  • you’re a pregnant woman preparing for childbirth, or you’re raising children.
  • you meditate.
  • you do martial arts or tai chi.
  • you’re a psychotherapy client, and you want to add a body component to the process.
  • you’ve suffered emotional trauma.
  • you have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

 

How long will it take to learn the Alexander Technique?

          The Alexander Technique involves a learning process.  If you decide to take lessons, you’ll learn a set of skills that you can practice at home, and then apply in all aspects of your life.  It’s difficult to say how long it will take you to learn those skills.

          Think of it this way: taking Alexander lessons is like learning to play a musical instrument.  Both processes take time and require practice.  But once you’ve absorbed the skills and made them your own, the benefits will last long after you stop taking lessons.

          If you’re someone who enjoys a challenge of this kind, and finds self-examination valuable, then the Alexander Technique is for you.

 

What happens during a lesson?

          I teach the Alexander Technique through private lessons that last one hour.  I use both words and a gentle, non-intrusive hands-on approach to teach you a special set of skills.  First, you’ll lie on my massage table fully clothed.  Then, once you’ve begun to learn the skills there, you’ll also learn to apply them to simple activities like sitting, standing and walking.  Finally, you can apply the skills to more complex activities, like playing a sport or a musical instrument, delivering a monologue, or sitting at the computer.

          I recommend that you start with private lessons either once a week or twice a week.  Eventually, as you make the skills your own, weekly lessons become less necessary.

          Please do contact me if you’d like to try a lesson.  You can reach me by phone at (978)461-0946; or you can email me at adambailey4@yahoo.com; or you can go here to fill out a contact form.  I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

 

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