What is the Alexander Technique?
The Alexander Technique is a method of mental and physical re-education taught individually, which has the effect of reducing unnecessary tension in all human activity. It teaches those who practise it how to use the body to best advantage and is widely recognized as an effective means of alleviating and preventing back disorders. Because it is concerned with poise and ease of movement, the value of the Technique has long been appreciated by performing artists and those taking part in sport, but there are many other areas where the relevance of the Technique in improving health and reducing stress needs to be carefully assessed. Children have poise as they grow and develop. Alexander felt working with children so they could use their natural poise as they grow would mean they would continue their knowledge as they become adults.
Who benefits from the Technique?
In the course of their lives many people find themselves obliged to give up essential or enjoyable activities because of the strain involved. Lessons in the Alexander Technique often reveal that the source of strain is not found in the activity itself but in the way it is performed. All human activity related to the body requires muscular tension, whether we are threading a needle or lifting a sack of cement, and every action may be done with the right amount of tension (ease) or with too much (stress).
It is our misfortune through unconsciously acquired habits to become accustomed to unnecessary tension while carrying out the activities of our daily life. Over the years the effect of these harmful habits is to reduce mobility while at the same time the areas under constant tension become vulnerable to attack by disease.
The degeneration caused by stress can be prevented by the Alexander Technique because it works on the body as a whole with resulting benefit to its individual parts.
Because it is concerned with the quality of movement the Technique can benefit anybody with the interest to pursue it. The sportsman who has had to give up because of back-ache will be able to resume playing, while the keen competitor who has no physical problems may find their performance improves. Children benefit greatly from this work.
Children Learn Better, Regulate Better so Better Social and Emotional Learning.
Children greatly benefit from this work. It allows them to continue the natural good use.
Children have a normal process of development of coordination as they learn to move. Through this normal process of development, the coordination develops in their movement and thinking as the brain develops along side the movement. They can benefit from the Alexander Technique from an early age to continue this “good use.” If they can learn how to stop and look after themselves in this way they will have more resilience and calm clarity in thinking for learning, and also for social emotional development of relationships with other students and with the teachers.
In school they often are asked to “try hard” which creates a tightening of their muscles and their thinking. Alexander Technique helps them to calm and clear their minds so they are free to take direction from their teacher, and their parents. It also gives them a tool to respect themselves and each other in the school environment.
Alice has a special certification to work in the school environment as well as her certification to teach Alexander Technique which she has been doing for 30 years.
She delivered a 10 week program in an elementary school, worked with teachers and students in primary school in the UK, and has worked in middle school in the U. S . In the middle school, a solution based school using Positive Discipline, Alice helped the children and teachers self-regulate and be ready to form agreements and find solutions.
Alexander Technique helps deal with the adversities that age can bring.
As we age there is adversity and compromise to balance and coordination which can lead to falling. This happens for many reasons. The Technique, however, can help to redress balance and teach the person to take time and allow the body to be engaged before moving. This freedom allows the person to carry on their activities and have more peace of mind. Falling is a huge fear, especially as we age. This fear of falling is due to the compromise that can happen in our system, for example due to arthritis, osteoporosis, hunched posture, or slower thinking, and can become a vicious circle as the anxiety tends to cause hurry and indecision which can easily set up the situation where the person could fall.
The Technique helps to us to take time, be mindful, wait and pause until all the muscles are freely connected and engaged. The person can then be in the present, see and hear what is around them, see where they want to go, and from this calm place they can be confident they are ready to move.
Personally it was so lovely to help my father to feel more secure when getting out of bed. We took time for him to pause after he sat on the side of the bed and through the lessons I gave him , I taught him to wait and connect with himself and the ground in a way that helped him be in balance before he stood up. Through these Alexander Technique lessons, he was able to feel more confident with his balance throughout the day.