About the Alexander Technique
About Alexander Technique Back Pain
The Alexander Technique is something you learn rather than something that someone does to you. The benefits are well proven, especially for back and neck pain; they are also long-lasting because once you have learned to apply the principles, you can use them whenever you need them in any area of your life.
Three key things we work on in lessons
About Alexander Technique Back Pain
Calming your nervous system so you can recognise what triggers your habits of tension and strain and allow time for new patterns of thinking and movement to emerge
Building the right amount of tone and strength appropriate to your activities allowing you to use the least amount of effort needed
Natural, effortless breathing that livens up your whole self
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Invite change to happen. We never force it
Let go of ‘trying’ to get anything right as that is likely to cause tension and strain
Explore basic living anatomy to discover the connections between parts of your body and how it is designed to work
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What happens in an Alexander Technique Lesson
It is hard to explain what happens in Alexander Technique lessons other than to say that you stay fully clothed, and we explore the way you move and think.
A while ago, I wrote a blog post with some examples of strange things my clients say that make me smile. I hoped that it would offer some insight, so I have reproduced parts of it here. If you want to read the full post, you can find it here.
‘I’m sure you can read my mind‘
This is the comment that makes me smile the most. Working closely with clients over the years has given me the ability to pick up on subtle changes in their thinking.
Here’s an example – a client starts to stand up from sitting, as requested, they are looking out to prevent trying too hard, but as soon as they begin to move, everything feels wrong because the movement feels different to what it usually does. In early lessons, clients often feel unable to trust something that feels different, so they pull their attention inwards to try and ‘fix’ the movement in some way.
At that point, I will usually ask them to keep looking out. Once they realise that I am picking up on a change in their thinking, clients often think that I read their mind. I can’t, but I can usually detect when something has changed in their thinking.
‘How did that happen?‘
Familiar movements come with a familiar level of effort. Once my clients let go of their habits related to a movement, the level of effort required is reduced sometimes to the extent that they no longer recognise the movement.
Alexander Technique teachers use everyday activities such as moving from sitting to standing and back again to demonstrate principles.
When moving from sitting to standing works well, clients will often find themselves standing up feeling puzzled and saying things like,
‘How did that happen?’ or ‘Wow, that was easy.’
Imagine feeling this way about all your activities?
‘I love your tree‘
When I hear my clients say this, I know they have understood another vital aspect of the Alexander Technique – looking out.
Looking out helps with the sometimes tricky balance between having a clear intention for an activity and not trying too hard, as this creates tension.
The tree is this beautiful silver birch in my garden.
‘My brain hurts’
This is probably the thing I most love to hear my clients say. Why?
Because it means they have understood the emphasis the Alexander Technique puts on thinking:
They are learning to ask their body to do something instead of trying to force something to happen.