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Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique is designed to establish heightened awareness of movements and body positioning. The Alexander Technique uses touch from the Alexander teacher to indicate how the body should be moved or held. This is an alternative to relying solely on feedback from your propriosensory system (which may be inaccurate).

 

The Alexander Technique uses feedback from three modes (visual, tactile and propriosensory) instead of just relying on the accuracy of the propriosensory system.  Furthermore, the tactile input in the Alexander Technique is reliable because it is delivered by an objective teacher. The teacher guides the student into an upright alignment of the head, neck and back, and also guides movements of the student whilst maintaining this same relationship of head, neck and back. When my teacher adjusts my body position, it usually feels “wrong” because she is putting me into a position that is not normal for me.  I might feel that I am leaning backwards a lot, or sticking my bum out. However, when I turn and look at myself in the mirror, I find that I am actually really straight and upright. This is a case of my propriosensory system giving the wrong answer, but the touch from my Alexander teacher providing the correct alignment.

 

I have now been taking Alexander classes for four years. During this time, I have experienced some amazing changes. Firstly, my posture is much improved. My parents and dance teacher were always telling me not to slouch, but because of my unreliable proprioceptive sense, lax joints, and uncoordinated body, I was unable to do this. When I tried to sit/stand up straight, I would over-tense many muscles to achieve this, which rapidly resulted in a great deal of pain, so I stopped trying. I also gripped my flute, pens and pencils too tightly. My experience of my body is that it is like a too-floppy wooden Pinocchio puppet, where the bits of string connecting the wooden limbs are too loose. I compensate for this by tensing too many muscles, too tightly, effectively grabbing hold of my body parts to make them go where I need them to.

 

Now after many lessons, my spine is much straighter, which means my internal organs are no longer so cramped up inside my body. I can now breathe more easily, which gives my brain more oxygen, and so I feel more alert, more comfortable and happier. Also, my speech is now slower and more comprehensible than it used to be, which was an unexpected result of me making an effort to move my head less when I speak.

 

To contact, e-mail: debi@aspiedebi.com

“The Alexander Technique is the study of thinking in relation to movement.”

 

Connie Amundson