Alexander Technique

\"alexender\"Changing the way we work can be used to describe the Alexander Technique. It is a systematic guide to improving our posture, breathing and well being. We often tend attribute our problems to the activities that we are involved in. Say the carpal tunnel syndrome to computer related activities, a tennis elbow to tennis. Nevertheless, often it is not the activity but the way we do the activity itself.

The technique is a simple and practical method of re-educating the mind and body. Did you know that that there may be 4-5 times more tension in our body than there should be! The demands of modern life have fostered a virtual spate of neck back and other problems. Excess tension accumulation gives rise to arthritis, neck pain, back pain, migraines, hypertension perpetual exhaustion and even depression. The core of the Alexander technique is based upon the relationship between the Head and the Spine.

This relationship has ramifications on the entire body. Our neuromuscular system is designed to work in concert with gravity. Delicate poise of the head sparks the body\’s antigravity response, a natural oppositional force in the torso that easily guides us upward and invites the spine to lengthen. If only we could learn to mobilize this support system. If we look at a toddler, we will realize the ease with which they handle their body and manage to balance their heads on their little necks. As we grow older we tend to lose this spontaneity and ease. In a way it is not so much learning but unlearning.

As we grow older, our minds become more concerned with our past and the future and our awareness of the present diminishes.

Then we take powerful painkillers that block out the bodies warning system, whose function is to tell us that there is something wrong. This technique teaches us to release unnecessary muscle tension, which is built up so gradually over the years, that we aren\’t even aware of it. This could be because of the way we sit, the way we pick up something dropped on the ground, the way we exercise, our posture, the list is endless.

The worst part being that these are things that come to us like breathing and are the ones that we may not be doing right. It is inconceivable to know how adaptable the human body really is. By creating new balance in the body, we can release uncalled for tension. These balancing actions can be applied to sitting, lying down, standing, walking, sitting and other daily activities. It teaches us to move in a liberated and more integrated way. It enables us to tap more of our internal resources, and begin on a path of enhancing our comfort and pleasure in all our activities. Done correctly it is actually capable of giving a feeling of walking on air, a general feeling of lightness. This physical state affects both our mental and physical well-being and thus people often feel happier and calmer.

The father of the Alexander technique is Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955). His chosen vocation was that of a Shakespearian orator and later on in life he started to suffer from chronic laryngitis. Determined to regain full use of his voice he began to concentrate on his muscle movements and realized that these habits were so ingrained in him that they had become a second nature. He managed to develop an eponymous technique to improve the way we function. You generally need a trainer to teach you how to apply this technique. These trainers have to undergo training for a period of three years at the North American Society of teachers of the Alexander technique. They are taught to be supportive and non-judgmental and observe the way your body functions. Then they tell what to do and in about 6 lessons you can learn to use your body more efficiently. The books Man\’s Supreme Inheritance – F. M. Alexander Up From Down Under – Rosyln McLeod Growing Older with grace The Alexander Technique Manual



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