Alexander Technique

By: Sharon Hopkins

It is a simple and practical method for improving ease and freedom of movement, balance, support and coordination. The technique teaches the use of the appropriate amount of effort for a particular activity, giving more energy for all activities. The Alexander Technique is a method, which helps a person to discover a new balance in the body by releasing unnecessary tension. Alexander Technique is the art and science of 'using' oneself better.

The Alexander Technique provides a concrete means for overcoming impeding habits, and for helping people learn better and do things more freely -- from learning to play a musical instrument better to moving with more comfort and ease through daily life. From back pain to learning blocks, whether for a musician or an office worker, Alexander lessons remain fundamentally the same.

The Alexander Technique, however, is not a therapy that treats a passive patient. It is for the person interested in working towards his or her goals with increased awareness and practical intelligence. Although the Alexander Technique does not treat specific symptoms, you can encourage a marked improvement in overall health, alertness, and performance by consciously eliminating harmful habits that cause physical and emotional stress, and by becoming more aware of how you engage in activities.

The technique has many applications in the office. Some of these are simple and straightforward: how to sit at your desk for long periods without backache, how to use a computer without suffering from stiff shoulders or wrist pain, and of course general stress relief and improved self-confidence. Even simple advice on posture will help with some of these things.

Alexander Technique in its advanced stages has some interesting applications in areas like communication, negotiation and leadership. Even dancing provides many interesting opportunities for applying the Alexander Technique. Here, again, it has an important function in injury prevention, but there are also other benefits: in the more creative forms of dance it can prevent mannerisms and open the way out of habitual movement patterns and aid in the exploration of new ways of moving. In the dance forms where predetermined patterns are repeated the technique may help to enhance the quality of movement and coordination.

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