What is the Alexander Technique?
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If you watch a young child pick up a toy, they will bend at the hip, knee and ankle joints. The movement is effortless – balanced, well coordinated and without compression of the spine. This is how nature designed us to move.
If you contrast this with how many adults bend, you see a tendency to fix the leg joints and to bend at the waist instead. This is not how nature designed us to move. This is just one example of what Alexander described a ‘misuse’ of the body. Because this way of moving is imbalanced and poorly coordinated it puts strain on our muscles and joints and compresses our internal organs.
Over time, this can lead to health and also performance problems.
The toll on our health from this mechanical misuse of the body is often muscle tension and stiffness leading to back, neck or joint pain. In others. health problems such as breathing, vocal or stress-related conditions may result.
The toll on on our work or recreational activities is often restricted movement and under performance. For those involved in skilled activities such as sports and the performing arts eg music, dance, singing and acting this may sometimes be the difference between success and failure.
So the Alexander Technique is a method to help us overcome the aches, pains and performance problems that are so common in adult life by consciously regaining the freedom of movement and vitality we had as young children.
In the UK, it is mainly used in private practice on a one to one basis to help deal with the causes of health and performance problems.
It is also used at most of the main Schools of Performing Arts in the UK, Europe and USA such as Guildhall School of Music and RADA, London and The Juillard School, New York.