What is the Alexander Technique?
Its a series of thoughts to put you back in charge of your coordination and movement patterns. One fundamental truth which FM Alexander discovered is a psychophysical unity – so our thoughts and our muscles are the same, indivisible matter. By consciously changing our thinking, we can affect our emotions, our posture and our movement patterns.
The work is taught through words, movement, coaching and a unique guiding touch.
Its a way of helping you move more fluidly in everyday movements. Here is a video of me (less than one minute), moving in and out of semi-supine or constructive rest, the position of maximum rest for your spine. (You’ll hear Miriam asking “Should it be red?” at the beginning.) I’m humming to demonstrate that my breathing continues to flow whilst I move. Try it!
What the Alexander Technique is not.
A specific form of exercise.
A movement routine.
A meditation practice.
Physio, yoga, pilates, massage, a treatment.
What are the benefits?
These can be many and varied, depending on how you are out of balance or mis-using yourself. Many people have found benefit from stress using this Technique. Your thoughts affect your movement, and emotions so the beneficial effects of improving your quality of thinking can touch any part of your human experience – spiritual, emotional, physical, mental – the whole of You, your whole self is available for change.
See the STAT Society’s list of benefits for your health and well-being and improvement in your chosen activity.
Medical research papers and trials about the Alexander Technique. A variety of papers have been published, randomised control trials and a growing raft of evidence in support of this work.
PUBLISHED ABSTRACT, ATLAS TRIAL
I participated as a teacher during the ATLAS controlled trial recruiting patients with chronic neck pain and evaluating one-to-one Alexander Technique lessons, or acupuncture, each plus usual care, compared with usual GP care alone. The primary outcome (at 12-months) demonstrated significant and clinically meaningful reductions in neck pain and associated disability for both interventions compared with usual care alone. Here we describe pre-specified, self-efficacy and other self-care-related outcomes for the Alexander group compared with usual care.
Results: The Alexander group reported significantly greater improvements, compared with usual care alone, in most of the self-efficacy/self-care measures (9/11 measures at 6 months, and 8/11 at 12 months), including the ability to reduce pain in daily life. At 6 months, 81% (106/131) of Alexander participants reported significant improvement in the way they lived and cared for themselves (versus 23% for usual care), increasing to 87% (117/135) at 12 months (usual care: 25%). NPQ scores at both 6 and 12 months were related to improvement in self-efficacy and ability to reduce pain during daily life.
Conclusions: Alexander Technique lessons led to long-term improvements in the way participants lived their daily lives and managed their neck pain. Alexander lessons promote self-efficacy and self-care, with consequent reductions in chronic neck pain.
Self-efficacy is confidence in one’s ability to carry out behaviour required to produce a desired outcome. In this instance it means confidence in ability to engage in behaviour that leads to less neck pain.
More on the ATLAS trial here
The best way for most people to learn is with individual one to one Lessons.
Contact Lucy Ascham on 07949 522 655 to discuss how you can make a start and learn how your body is designed so you can operate it accordingly and improve your life experience.