The Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique deals with the problem of excessive muscle tension which effects so many systems in the body. F.M Alexander found a way to reduce the tension in his body and in doing so he rid himself of the vocal trouble that was the impetus behind his enquiry. His method was structured, logical and meticulously researched. He found a way to teach it to other people so that they could help themselves with their difficulties.

Alexander realised that the creation of muscle tension was part of how we respond to the world around us and this was crucial to the way that he developed his understanding of how to alleviate it. He observed that he experienced a constant flow of input or stimulus, his thoughts, observations, desires and needs, and that they came from both internal and external sources. He found that his reactions to these were invariably habitual and often inappropriate and that part of that unreasoned response involved the creation of unnecessary levels of tension.

He experimented with the idea that we actually have choice as to how to respond so that we are not governed by habit and found that by not responding immediately but stopping and thinking how we’d like to proceed we could bring about a non-habitual response without the usual attendant levels of tension.

Through using these ideas he rid himself of his vocal trouble and when he began to work with other people found that they too were helped with all manner of conditions.

He recognised that our bodies have a design principle, not only structurally in terms of the skeleton and joints, but also functionally in terms of how the brain operates the body via the nervous system. If we allow these mechanisms to work naturally our bodies will serve us well.

So in learning the Alexander Technique we are learning the skill of “good use of ourselves,” mind and body. We achieve this by learning to meet a stimulus in a different way, by inhibiting our habitual response, pausing and releasing the tension that has been created, and choosing the next step.

Click here to read about How the Technique is taught.

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