The Alexander Technique is a scientifically studied method of
- enhancing awareness of one’s movement and coordination, and
- consciously directing that coordination
With this new awareness, one can learn to suspend habits of excess tension, even those that may be subtle or that may seem permanent.
Some of the demonstrated benefits of Alexander Technique lessons include:
- a decrease in stress
- improved coordination
- better balance
- easier breathing
- improved posture
The Alexander technique is an alternative medicine and educational discipline focusing on bodily coordination, including psychological principles of awareness. It is applied for purposes of recovering freedom of movement, in the mastery of performing arts, and for general self-improvement affecting poise, impulse control and attention.
After years of training, a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique has learned to suspend her own habits of excess tension while she interacts with you, the student. Through gentle, directive touch and verbal instruction, the teacher conveys an improved quality of movement and coordination to the student.
Alexander Technique will teach you to replace your habits of tension with coordination and poise. Professional performers and athletes take Alexander lessons to reach their maximum performance level. Many adults take Alexander lessons to speed healing from injuries and to resolve chronic ailments.
Who created the Alexander Technique?
F.M. Alexander (1869-1955), the technique’s originator, suffered residual respiratory issues from his premature birth. While attempting to solve his problem of severe hoarseness and gasping when reciting as an actor, he discovered universal principles governing our coordination. Once he mastered these principles, he wrote, “I also became free from the throat and vocal trouble and from the respiratory and nasal difficulties issues with which I had been beset from birth.” (F.M. Alexander, The Use of the Self, 1932).
More information on the Alexander Technique:
The Wikipedia entry on Alexander Technique is a good start for newcomers.
A recent study, published in the British Medical Journal, concluded that Alexander Technique has “long term benefits for patients with chronic back pain.”
Alexander Technique International is a professional organization.
Use with Preterm Infants
Jennifer Kellow has pioneered the use of Alexander Technique with preterm infants.
Read more about Jennifer’s work with these babies and their parents.