Muscle tension is a natural state – without it, our bodies would collapse. But F. M. Alexander found that the stress of modern life can impair our natural sensory perceptions and cause us to lose the ability to discriminate between what is a constructive amount of tension and what is not. Many of us go about the daily activities of our lives with unnecessary and disproportionate effort and expenditure of energy.
The Alexander Technique provides a way to increase our sensory awareness so we can learn to recognize unwanted patterns of movement and behavior. Once we become aware of our patterns, we can choose whether we wish to continue to reinforce them.
The Alexander Technique can be applied to any and all everyday activities such as walking, running, working at a computer, speaking, singing, thinking, solving a problem, recovering from injury, or pre-diagnosed health conditions, including chronic back pain as well as to skilled activities such as all performing arts and sports. As clients (referred to as students) learn to apply the teaching to their daily lives and specialized activities, they typically report enhanced general levels of awareness, mental and emotional clarity. They report feeling greater poise, balance, neuromuscular integrity, and are more satisfied with who they are in life. Many clients find that they move with more ease, breathe more deeply, sleep better, are more fulfilled in their relationships with others and themselves and in general are able to respond to the demands of their lives with more ease in the absence of pain and discomfort.
About F.M. Alexander
Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955) was an Australian actor. He suffered from a severe, recurring vocal problem that interfered with his performances. After seeking help from the medical profession but failing to find a cure, he reasoned that his problem was likely caused by the way he used himself in performing. This insight led him to a lengthy process of experimentation and self-observation. Not only was he able to solve his own problem, he found that his discoveries could be helpful to others in a wide variety of ways. He turned the solution to his personal problem into a unique teaching. Although there is often immediate therapeutic value in one-on-one sessions and group workshops, generally Alexander Technique clients are referred to as “students” because, on a very basic level, the work is a teaching.
Today, medical researchers continue to carry out studies on the Alexander work (for more information on current research, see http://www.alexandertechnique.com/research.htm), and the Technique is taught at major American and European colleges, conservatories and universities. Well known students of the Technique include Yehudi Menuhin, Paul McCartney, Sting, Julian Bream, James Galway, Hilary Swank, and Jeremy Irons, to name but a few.
To read more about F.M. Alexander, visit Light in Being, a website developed by Alexander Teacher Corinne Cassini. Corinne did two years of post-graduate work with Tommy at the Alexander Technique Center at Cambridge training program.
|The Complete Guide to the Alexander Technique||A general resource for Alexander Technique information, including information about the history of the Alexander Technique, scientific studies, and links to books, articles, podcasts, and video clips.|
|Learning Methods||David Gorman’s website. David’s book The Body Moveable is a terrific resource for anyone interested in human anatomy. His current work is exploring exciting new directions.|
|Anatomy Trains||Tom Myer’s work on fascia and the “anatomy of connection”.|
|Faculty in the ATCC Teacher Training Program|
|Debi Adams||Senior Faculty|
|Bob Lada||Senior Faculty|
|Jamee Culbertson||Senior Faculty|
|Andrea Matthews||Adjunct Faculty|
|Cecile Raynor||Adjunct Faculty|
|Graduates of the ATCC Teacher Training Program|
|Sara Goldstein Gall|