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Alexander Technique

Alexander technique, named after Frederick Matthias Alexander, teaches people how to avoid unnecessary muscular and mental tension during their everyday activities. It is an educational process rather than a relaxation technique or form of exercise.

Alexander Technique is an educational process which aims at teaching people of how to stand, hold themselves and move differently in order to eliminate unnecessary tension in their bodies.

What is the theory behind Alexander Technique?

According to Alexander Technique certain health problems are often caused by people repeatedly misusing their bodies over a long period of time.
Example: By standing or sitting with their weight unevenly distributed, holding their heads incorrectly, or walking or running inefficiently.

Most other methods take it for granted that 'one's awareness of oneself' is accurate, whereas Alexander realized that a person who had been using himself wrongly for a long time could not trust his feelings (sensory appreciation) in carrying out any activity.

The purpose of the Alexander Technique is to help people unlearn maladaptive physical habits and return to a balanced state of rest and poise in which the body is well-aligned.

Principles of the Alexander Technique: The Only Introduction You'll Ever Need (Thorsons Principles) explains the principles of the Alexander Technique, What it is, how it works, and what it can do for you.

What was the common problem observed by Alexander?

Alexander observed that many individuals hold harmful postural and movement habits that aggravate, or may be the cause of, stress, pain and under-performance.

What is the process followed in Alexander Technique?

Alexander's approach emphasizes mindful action. The technique is applied dynamically to everyday movements, as well as actions selected by students.

Actions such as sitting, squatting, walking are often selected by the teacher. Other actions may be selected by the student, tailored to their interests or work activities such as hobbies, computer use, lifting, driving or performance in acting, sports, speech or music.

How does Alexander teachers demonstrate the Alexander Technique?

Alexander teachers often use themselves as examples. They demonstrate, explain, and analyze a student's moment to moment responses as well as using mirrors, video feedback or classmate observations.

Guided modelling with light hand contact is the primary tool for detecting and guiding the way past unnecessary effort. Suggestions for improvements are often student-specific.

The Alexander teacher provides verbal coaching while monitoring, guiding and preventing unnecessary habits at their source with a specialized hands-on assistance. This specialized hands-on requires Alexander teachers to demonstrate on themselves the improved physical co-ordination they are communicating to the student.

Which exercises are practiced in Alexander Technique?

There are only two specific exercises practiced separately; the first is lying semi-supine; resting in this way uses "mechanical advantage" as a means of releasing cumulative muscular tension. This position is sometimes referred to as "constructive rest", or "the balanced resting state". It's also a specific time to practice Alexander's principle of conscious "directing" without "doing."

The second exercise is the "Whispered Ah," which is used to co-ordinate and free breathing & vocal production.

What are the benefits of learning Alexander Technique?

Alexander technique is one of the most effective, proven and cost-effective technique for the management of chronic pain.

By learning Alexander technique we can learn something that, deep down, your body already knows. With the Alexander Technique, you come to understand much more about how your body works, and how to make it work for you. You can tap more of your internal resources, and begin on a path to enhancing your comfort and pleasure in all your activities.

Alexandar technique can help achieve optimal health for both body and mind. Benefits of the Alexander Technique are heightening self-awareness, using our thought process to restore our original poise.

Who are benefited by Alexander Technique?

Alexander Technique is helpful for people suffering from tension headaches, frozen shoulders, housemaid's knee, flat feet, tennis elbow, minor digestive problems, asthma,difficulties sleeping, clumsiness, irritability, lethargy, Nervous disorders, osteoarthritis, Panic attacks, Postnatal depression, Respiratory disorders, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sciatica, snoring, Sports injuries, Stress, Tension, Ulcers, Anxiety attacks, Asthma, Back pain, Neck pain, Exhaustion, irritable bowl syndrome, Pre-menstral syndrome, Pre-menstral tension, Mood swings and muscular tension.

The Alexander Technique may help relieve joint pain and stiffness, breathing difficulties, performance anxiety and more. It promotes improved posture, mobility, balance, agility, confidence, poise and vocal performance.

How to learn Alexander Technique?

We can learn alexander technique through the following ways:

* A certified therapist

* Through self study by reading books designed to teach alexander technique

* By following an online alexander technique course / DVD.

How is an Alexander Technique session carried out by a therapist?

The Alexander Technique is most commonly taught privately in a series of 10 to 40 private lessons which may last from 30 minutes to an hour.

Students are often performers, such as actors, dancers, musicians, athletes and public speakers, or people who work on computers, or who are in frequent pain for other reasons.

Instructors observe their students, then show them how to hold themselves and move with better poise and less strain. Sessions include chair work and table work, often in front of a mirror, during which the instructor and the student will stand, sit and lie down, moving efficiently while maintaining a correct relationship between the head, neck and spine.

How is Alexander Technique thought by a therapist?

Alexander technique therapist employs the use of mirrors and hands-on adjustments to instruct their students on how to achieve balance and release tension in everyday movements from sitting and walking to lifting objects and engaging in athletics.

These techniques increase fluidity and efficiency of movement, ease of breath, and a greater connection between the mind and the body.

Why are people inclined to study Alexander Technique?

According to Alexander Technique instructors, people tend to study the Alexander Technique either to rid themselves of pain, to increase their performance abilities, or for reasons of personal development and transformation.

How to self-learn Alexander Technique?

Alexander technique can be learnt through self learn resources available online. How to Learn the Alexander Technique: A Manual for Students/G6517 is a primer for students of the Alexander Technique for improving freedom and ease of movement and physical coordination.

The Alexander Technique DVD combo includes an introduction to The Alexander Technique introduction and The solutions of Alexander Technique for Back Troubles.

Do we have any workbooks for practising Alexander Technique?

The Alexander Technique Workbook: The Complete Guide to Health, Poise and Fitness workbook helps you choose special techniques to fit your own personal lifestyle, and select movements and exercises to regain youthful grace and energy.

How can Alexander Technique help actors and artists?

The technique has been used by actors to reduce stage fright and to increase spontaneity.

Among performance-art applications, the Alexander technique is used and taught by classically trained vocal coaches and musicians. Its advocates claim that it allows for the free alignment of all aspects of the vocal tract by consciously increasing air-flow, allowing improved vocal technique and tone.

How can Alexander Technique be used as psychotherapy?

By improving stress-management, the technique can be an adjunct to psychotherapy for people with disabilities, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, panic attacks, stuttering, and chronic pain.

Can we use Alexander Technique for relieving Respiratory issues?

As the technique has allegedly been used to improve breathing and stamina in general, advocates also claim that athletes, people with asthma, tuberculosis, and panic attacks have also found improvements.

Do we have any workbooks for practising Alexander Technique?

The Alexander Technique Workbook helps you choose special techniques to fit your own personal lifestyle, and select movements and exercises to regain youthful grace and energy.

The Posture Workbook identifies 5 key exercises to improve posture, awareness, flexibility and mobility.

These ‘5-A-Day’ exercises teach how to move more freely and easily and show how to live life free from postural pain. The Posture Workbook explains exactly how problems arise - whether through holding tension in certain parts of the body or relying on unhelpful, habitual patterns of movement.

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