Alexander Technique

It sounds like the sort of mumbo-jumbo quazi alternative medical scam designed to take in the gullible and relieve them of their money. And, it's biggest problem is in overcoming this misconception. Put quite simply, the Alexander Technique works.

F.M. Alexander (1869-1955) was an actor who began his career as a Shakespearean orator. Unfortunately he developed chronic laryngitis while performing - a bit of a disadvantage in that job. Determined to restore the full use of his voice, he carefully watched himself while speaking, and observed that undue muscular tension seemed to account for his vocal problem. He looked for a way to eliminate the tension and over time, he discovered and articulated a principle - quite simply, he found that when neck tension is reduced, the head no longer compresses the spine and the spine is free to lengthen. Alexander restored his own natural capacity for ease by changing the way he thought while initiating an action. From this work he evolved a hands-on teaching method that encourages all the body's processes to work more efficiently - as an integrated, dynamic whole.

What does this mean in practise? Well, let's say you have a good Alexander teacher. You are standing in a relaxed way. They will put their hands on you and will gently talk you through changing your posture. As you follow this, you will find your spine extending and you will increase your height! It sounds remarkable and it is. As your height increases, your posture corrects itself and the pressure on your spine decreases. You'll also learn how to lie on the floor with your head supported on a couple of books - perfectly still for half an hour at a time. As you do this, your spine resets itself to it's correct position. If you suffer from back problems, you'll find they disappear - and unlike chiropractice or physitherapy, the problem isn't just relieved, it can really go away.

But Who Uses It?

The Alexander Technique is taught at the Julliard School of Performing Arts in New York, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the New England Conservatory of Music, the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, the American Dance Festival, the Stratford Shakespearean Festival and at a great many colleges and universities. Why? Because it works.

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