Fact: Named after its creator and Australian Shakespearean actor Frederick M Alexander between 1890-1900.
Therapy Type: Movement
WHAT EXACTLY IS ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE?
The Alexander Technique primarily retrains the body to move in a more coordinated and efficient way. The therapy is commonly referred to as a Movement Reeducation Technique (MRT) since it focuses on improving total body function by increasing the client’s bodily awareness throughout everyday movement, including walking, sitting, standing and lying down. In this way, the Alexander Technique aims to correct habitual patterns such as slouching and muscle tensing which can cause pain and other health issues.
Over time, the body develops poor habitual patterns of movement due to modern occupations, lifestyles and increased stress. These unhealthy patterns result in postural misalignment and have a detrimental effect on the bones, joints and organs. As the client develops an awareness of these damaging habitual patterns, proper alignment can be restored resulting in improved posture, balance and ease of everyday movement. Moreover, the technique replaces the old unfavorable habits with a new set of optimal movements or positions which reduce physical stress on the body.
The Alexander Technique is a gentle therapy and is considered safe for individuals regardless of their age or health condition. In addition, many dancers and singers use the technique to help them prefect their artistic skills. In this respect, any condition that can be improved by correcting poor posture will benefit from the technique.
Alexander Technique may benefit the following physical and mental conditions:
Sessions generally last between 45 minutes and 1 hour. During the initial session your Alexander Technique teacher will ask you some question you about your current health, lifestyle and medical history.
The session will be tailored to your needs and may include lying on a table, standing in certain positions, sitting on a stool/chair, lifting objects, walking, or even carrying out chores such as ironing. During the activity, the teacher will observe your habitual patterns and may ask you to make other specific movements. They will help your body avoid its old “unhealthy” movement pattern and, instead, guide your body into a new improved pattern. At this stage, a wide range of new movement pattern sets may be repeated, under the verbal and manual guidance of your teacher.
After a few sessions you will become more and more aware of patterns that prohibits your body from moving with ease. You will learn to recognize the difference between muscle tension, relaxation, postures which are restrictive as well as more fluid and free flowing. Your teacher will retrain and reorganize the way in which you move by enhancing your sensory awareness. As a result of this re educational process, clients create an entirely new and healthy body image effectively reducing tension, pain and other ‘dis-ease’ within the body.
Many clients begin to experience benefits and positive change after the first few sessions. However, dramatic changes tend to be more gradually as the client is altering lifetime habits. Alexander Technique teachers generally recommend an average of 25 to 30 lessons at a minimum frequency of once per week.
Most people find Alexander Technique deeply relaxing and enjoy the tension it releases throughout the body. It is also extremely safe when carried out by a qualified therapist. It is wise to carry out some research and select a therapist who is either a member of, or accredited by, the organisational website www.alexandertechnique.org.nz.
Alexander Technique teachers are obligated to a code of ethics and procedure that determines the therapy is carried out in a suitable and safe environment. These regulations also guarantee a specialist who has undergone certifiable training and receives professional upskilling.
The Wellness Directory provides a ready-made referral list of certified A-Technique teachers within your region. We fully encourage you to do some independent research by checking out individual credentials, i.e. experience, training, qualifications, relevant client feedback and so forth.
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