Alexander Technique was developed in the late
19th century by and Australian actor called Frederick
Matthias Alexander, and is based on the principle
that our holistic health is influenced by habitually
poor posture. This could relate to basic functions
such as sitting, standing, or lifting incorrectly,
or perhaps the physical tension that can build
up as a result of stress, anxiety, or low self-esteem.
By becoming aware of bad postural habits, and
re-learning basic movements, over time we can
rectify the situation.
Years of sitting and standing incorrectly, lifting
without paying attention to our bodies, and the
tension that can result from stress, low self-esteem,
or anxiety can take it’s toll on our bodies. To
see this you only have to look at the grace and
flexibility of a young child versus that of his/her
parents. We can pick up some very bad habits over
the years if we’re not careful. Alexander believed
that habitually poor posture affects the way our
body and mind function, and that in order to rectify
this we have to re-learn even the most fundamental
movements such as sitting and standing. Alexander
technique teachers will teach students to become
aware of how they abuse their bodies, and thence
to pay close attention to how they hold their
heads, and align their bodies such that they are
balanced and can move is a more relaxed and fluid
Musicians and actors often benefit
from Alexander training to prevent muscle strain,
as it teaches students to become more aware and
break bad habits. Initially the technique must
be taught by a qualified practitioner, however
once learnt it can be easily practised throughout
daily life if the motivation is there.
The Alexander Technique is useful
- Musculo-skeletal problems.
- Back pain.
- Stress, anxiety, depression.
- Gastro-intestinal disorders.
- Repetitive strain injuries.
- Postural pain during pregnancy.
Please note that a good Alexander technique practitioner
will always do a thorough consultation before
commencing a treatment, and will also provide
advice about aftercare and homecare.
The following books were referenced for this
section and are all available (via the links)
in association with Amazon.co.uk:
of Natural Healing by Anne Woodham and Dr David
Holistic Therapy – A Practical Approach by Francesca
See our full range of Holistic
Therapy books in the Further Exploration