Without the need of manipulation but with guidance of words and hands, with the Alexander Technique your muscles can learn to do what is needed to allow your body to go into balance on its own.
Lately it has been the plasticity of the brain that has been in the news. This plasticity has been known about for a long time but ignored and laughed at by ‘the people who know better’. The link of mind and body has also recently been hailed as ‘news’. In fact, the famous Australian, F. M. Alexander of the Alexander Technique fame, knew and worked with this link over a hundred years ago.
As an Alexander Technique teacher, I have become an observer of human behaviour. I can’t help it. It fascinates me how much you can read people’s moods as they walk down the street and how, by just changing posture, moods can be changed. I also feel sad looking at media photos – many showing sportspeople using their bodies badly – and knowing this is not helping their game or their life. Bad posture stops us performing to the best of our ability in all areas of our lives and can cause debilitating pain leading to medication and even operations.
Many of us growing up have been told; ‘Stand up straight. Pull your shoulders back’. Unfortunately this is one of the worst things that you can be told because you immediately ‘do’ what you are told and, in doing so, stand stiffly and more than likely back on your heels causing the body to hold on even more tightly to stop you falling backwards.Without the need of manipulation but with guidance of words and hands, your muscles can learn to do what is needed to allow your body to go into balance on its own. Your learnt bad habits can be things of the past.
How can you possibly stop what you are doing if you don’t even know you are using yourself badly? Taking lessons with an Alexander Technique teacher gives you the insight and power to fix your chronic back pain, neck, shoulder, wrist, leg, and feet pain. At the same time you become more efficient in whatever you do, without the pain – a great advantage for musicians and sportspeople.
An example is an 80-year-old marathon runner still running marathons after taking Alexander lessons. Other examples are of music students worried about playing their final exams because of pain but with Alexander lessons they are able to pass easily. Also there are many people who have been able to say goodbye to crippling pain and have been able to confidently do jobs, interviews and speeches that they thought they could never do.
Taking responsibility for what is causing you your pain, along with looking more confident and feeling lighter and happier, is a very freeing feeling. Unlike a therapy, Alexander lessons teach you to look after your body for the rest of your life, helping you to keep your mobility and therefore keeping you independent for longer.
What a way to go!
Margaret Burdan is a fully qualified Alexander Technique teacher (STAT, AUSTAT). She has been teaching AT for over 23years in the Ringwood/Croydon areas of Melbourne and loving every minute of it.
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