If you are in pain or stressed it is natural to want to ‘do’ something about it. The question is what should you ‘do’? The answer may be to first of all stop doing the things that are causing you harm. This is the focus of the Alexander Technique – to teach you to recognise when your habits are contributing to your pain and stress and then to replace those habits with more conscious and helpful choices.
You may be, for example, creating a little tension in your neck as you peer at your computer screen or be twisting your back slightly as you sit on the settee to watch television. These soon become habits and whilst the tension created is barely noticeable at first, over time it can lead to significant pain. Seeking treatment for the pain is the obvious next step. But, becoming aware of your habits and choosing to replace them with something more in keeping with your body’s natural design is likely to provide much longer-term relief.
Reacting to stressful situations with anger is another habit that can develop over time. The problem is that the habit kicks in before you even realise what you are doing. If this sounds like you it may be that difficulties at work and in relationships are what motivates you to seek a solution. Again, developing an awareness of your habit and then creating the space to choose a different response offers the potential for lasting change
A sense of curiosity about how you move and react is our starting point. From there we begin to explore:
- The simple act of stopping before acting – this is your best defence against unhelpful habits
- What to do in that moment between stopping and acting to maximise your chance of moving or responding in the most helpful way
- How using your thinking to influence your muscles can be more effective than using effort and strain
- Why ‘trying hard’ is not your best option
- Basic living anatomy to provide clarity on how you are designed to move
- Different ways of moving and responding that can help you reduce strain, pain and stress