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The best way to start the Alexander Technique is to call me and book an introductory lesson.
This will give you the experience of one-to-one attention from me and — more importantly — practical experience of the Alexander Technique.
It will also give us a chance to meet and talk about your problems… so that you can make a more informed decision about what you want to do.
To make an appointment for an introductory lesson, call me on 07946 176 003 or click here to email me.
When you learn the Alexander Technique you will develop the self-awareness that will prevent habitual muscular tension from causing pain and other problems… back strain, stiff neck, frozen shoulder, repetitive strain injury, for example.
In other words, the Alexander Technique is a preventative technique… a life skill… that restores your natural sense of poise and balance.
It was developed by Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955).
It is not a form of treatment, therapy or exercise, but an effortless technique you learn over time by taking private lessons.
You will be glad to know that it does not conflict with conventional medicine or medical opinion.
And you will find it very practical… like learning to drive a car, for example, and you can learn it in individual lessons from a qualified teacher like me.
You will benefit regardless of age, disability or other physical limitations.
And once learnt, it will stay with you throughout your life… as long as you keep applying the principles.
As you will soon discover… the most enjoyable thing about learning the Alexander Technique is that it is not only preventative… but also effortless.
If you have persistent, recurring problems which keep returning despite treatment or therapy, you will definitely benefit
During your lessons with me you will discover how your muscles carry excess tension and… more importantly… you will learn how to let go of this tension and prevent it from causing more harm.
As a result, you will reverse your symptoms and be glad that your persistent aches and pains slowly fade away.
Even if you don’t have specific problems, the Alexander Technique will give you an overall sense of well-being, poise and balance. By applying it you will also reduce the risk of injury, making you less prone to the problems caused by tension and strain.
You will also benefit if you want to improve your performance in sports or the performing arts, because the Alexander Technique will make you more balanced and co-ordinated … and less tense. This will increase your potential and help you perform better in all your activities.
On average, it will take you about eleven hours to learn the basics and apply it for yourself.
You learn the Alexander Technique in a series of lessons, each lasting half an hour or more. And it takes around twenty-two lessons (sometimes more, sometimes less) to be able to apply it.
Of course, your progress depends on how motivated your feel to take control of your situation and put an end to your problems.
The more motivated you are… the quicker you will learn… and the sooner you will enjoy your pain-free and stress-free life.
If you want to get lasting benefit from the Technique you must spread a course of lessons over several weeks.
This is because you need time to develop the insight and understanding needed to apply the Technique every day. You also need time for your postural muscles to adapt to the new way of moving.
Once you start, it won’t be long before you feel the difference. You will soon notice a reduction in pain and tension … but your main aim should be to apply the Alexander Technique throughout your life in order to enjoy the permanent benefits of this committment.
And after you start, you will find yourself constantly improving… and it continues throughout your life… as long as you keep applying what you have learnt.
In lessons, I will use my hands to guide you through everyday movements and bring about an overall improvement in your balance and co-ordination.
In other words, you will experience what it is like to move with much less muscular effort than before.
Initially, any improvement may seem to be entirely due to my work, but as you gradually learn to remain upright using less effort and tension, you begin to notice how your everyday habits pull you out of shape (Alexander called this “misuse”).
With each lesson, you will gradually learn how to keep these harmful habits from dominating your movements.
Before long, your self-awareness will improve … you will stop “misusing” yourself … your problems will fade away … you will become more balanced … less tense … more poised … more mobile … and soon you will be applying the Alexander Technique without much need of my help.
Ideally, you should expect to have lessons at frequent intervals, gradually reducing the frequency as you progress.
This is the best way to retain the benefits of what you learn.
Your rate of progress will be very slow if you only have occasional lessons, because you won’t retain the benefits of each lesson and move forward.
If you were learning to drive a car or play the piano, for example, you would make better progress if you took frequent, regular lessons — one or more a week — than if you had only one lesson a month … wouldn’t you agree?
The number and frequency of lessons you require depends on your circumstances and your ability to apply what you learn. You can discuss this with me during your first few lessons.
No, you can’t
You will get a lot of useful information about the Alexander Technique in books… some may give the impression that you can learn the Technique simply by reading them… but they often contain a ‘discaimer’ informing you that you can only learn it from a teacher.
The truth is that the Alexander Technique deals mainly with how to change muscle tone and tension… changes that cannot be conveyed in words or pictures.
You can only develop the skill to make these changes through practical experience, in the same way that you would learn to drive a car, fly a plane, ride a horse or play an instrument… the practice is more important than the theory.
You must bear in mind that Alexander Technique lessons must address your individual needs. You can only do this with the guidance of a qualified teacher, like me.
Books about the Alexander Technique are useful, but they are aimed at a wide audience and can never be a substitute for individual lessons and practical experience.
People learn the Alexander Technique to alleviate their problems… or learn to cope with them better.
Some may be suffering from specific symptoms:
- back pain
- high blood pressure
- loss of voice
- slipped disc
- repetetive strain injuries (RSI)
- sports injuries
- injuries sustained in accidents or at work. etc.
Others have less specific symptoms such as…
- bad posture
- unnecessary fatigue
- inability to progress in a skill
- general tension and immobility
- lack of a sense of well-being
The Alexander Technique is not a therapy… although it does have significant therapeutic side-effects. It is not a treatment or cure-all, but often the side-effect of learning it is that your symptoms will fade away… and often disappear altogether.
In your lessons, my aim is to improve your co-ordination by encouraging you to release tension while staying still or when moving.
You will be guided by my hands… usually placed very lightly on your head and neck… while you go through everyday movements that reveal your habits.
This is done very gently, and you soon become aware of how you restrict your movement by habitually pulling yourself out of shape… and you also discover how to stop doing this.
I will also talk you through the movements, explaining and demonstrating how you can release tension and move with more freedom, balance and poise.
It won’t be long before you can do this for yourself.
The Alexander Technique is often described as “posture training”, but this is not accurate.
The word “posture” is often associated with stiffness or rigidity, whereas the Alexander Technique is really about increased mobility… freedom of movement… poise and balance.
Practising the Alexander Technique will make you feel less rigid or stiff. You will sense an improvement in your postural balance and feel lighter and more upright
During lessons, you will discover how you habitually and unknowingly pull yourself out of shape … you will also learn how to prevent these habits and maintain poise and balance in all your activities… even when you are under stress.
With each lesson, you will also gain insight into how you create problems for yourself by relying on your habits. And you will gradually learn to change your dependence on these habits in favour of a conscious, reasoned and positive approach to life.
There are some things that you can only learn in one-to-one sessions with a teacher.
The Alexander Technique is one of them.
During a lesson, I have to work with you continuously … encouraging, demonstrating and teaching you how to let go of tension. This involves explaining the principles of the Technique and relating them to your individual needs.
This can only be done effectively during private lessons with me, where you can discuss problems that you might not wish to discuss in a group.
Bear in mind that to learn these skills… and gain lasting benefit from them… lessons must address your specific needs and not the more general needs of a group.
However, I regularly introduce the Alexander Technique to groups of people who need more information before deciding on a course of lessons. I often do this in evening classes or introductory workshops.
The teaching in introductory groups is designed to meet the needs of the group, and the emphasis of what is taught is different. In group sessions, you will not get the individual attention you need in order to learn the Alexander Technique for yourself.