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What is the Alexander Technique?

21st March 2012 Print
An Alexander Technique teacher delivering a lesson

The Alexander Technique is a practical way of improving posture by aligning the head, neck and back muscles. It can reduce pain and undo tension and stress. It’s a great leveller: creating self-awareness and development and improving overall wellbeing.

The Technique was developed in the 1890s by Frederick Alexander, an Australian actor who was worried his hoarse voice would end his career. He worked out that he was straining his vocal organs through tension not only in his head and neck but in his entire neuromuscular system.

How does it work?

The Technique helps you to move with better poise and balance by teaching you to undo bad habits and re-discover how to use your muscles in a coordinated way to avoid poor posture.

Problems stem from overusing some muscles and neglecting others in various parts of the body. As the imbalance is corrected, you adopt a more effortless upright posture, whether you’re seated, standing or moving. Sitting becomes more comfortable, and you stop slouching.

The Alexander Technique addresses problems by examining the cause and affecting a change, thereby improving function and preventing problems recurring.

What can it help?

Lots of things, particularly back pain and other ailments and disabilities. People who suffer with chronic back pain and have tried other therapies often wish they had come to the Alexander Technique earlier as it offered them the best long-term solution.

The Alexander Technique can be used in everyday life, improving performance in many professions including sport, music and acting. It is useful during pregnancy where it helps relieve complaints such as back ache and tiredness.

It can also be very effective in reducing the symptoms of computer-related work, including RSI, and has helped people who are living with MS (multiple sclerosis) and ME (myalgic encephalopathy).

Overall, the Alexander Technique boosts confidence, builds strength and stamina and stimulates self-discovery.

How can I find out more?

The Society of Teachers of The Alexander Technique is the place to find out more:

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An Alexander Technique teacher delivering a lesson