Running, walking, playing a musical instrument, solving a mathematical problem — you're "using yourself" in everything you do, and the Alexander Technique is a way of learning to use yourself better. This transformative process combines conceptual education with gentle, hands-on retraining of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems.
Why study the Alexander Technique?
Historically, many students of the Technique have been performing artists who use it to improve their professional skills. However students come from all occupations, and the Technique helps them to achieve a wide variety of goals, including:
- Relief from musculoskeletal pain, including chronic low back, neck, and shoulder pain
- Good posture without strain
- Easy, graceful, well coordinated movement
- Improved voice and breathing
- Calm, confidence and resistance to stress
- Better performance in music, theater, sports and dance
Who invented it?
The Technique was developed by F. Matthias Alexander, an Australian Shakespearean reciter, in the late nineteenth century. While seeking a cure for his chronic laryngitis, he discovered a method of psycho-physical re-education that solved his vocal problems and dramatically improved his mental and physical condition. He arrived in London in 1904 and taught and trained teachers there until his death in 1955.
How is it taught?
The Technique is usually taught one-to-one and combines table work with work in movement. The student is fully clothed, and the gentle guidance of the teacher’s hands helps students experience new ways of using themselves in movement and at rest. Some of the new experiences are incorporated automatically, while others require more instruction from the teacher. However, the ultimate objective is to make the student independent of the teacher. The work is gentle and does not rely on exercises. For more information, please see www.amsatonline.org and www.alexandertechnique.com