Very pleasant! It is generally a pleasant and touching experience when the pupil will find he/she is gradually releasing long held tensions - tensions they may not even have been aware of, - as his/her body learns an improved alignment. We could say therefore that the Alexander Technique is therapeutic. But we call the sessions lessons, rather than therapy, because people come to learn something. Something they can use in their every day. However they don't learn so much through the intellect. In the Alexander Technique we make an approach to the perception part of the the senses. The pupil learns through experiencing and sensing with the body - without having to specifically think about it. (though pupils have do that as well!)

How does a typical lesson proceed? Well, every lesson is different of course. But in the Alexander Technique this unique releasing process we work for is not achieved only by lying down on a massage bench. For much of the lesson we are upright. For example, I will ask the pupil to make some simple, everyday movements. Usually in the first lessons we will use a chair, and my pupil will stand and sit a few times…or explore walking or other movements...generally guided by my hands. The 3 year training has a lot to do with learning how to use our hands...for example to help the tight muscles to release a bit, increase the pupil`s awareness, make adjustments, manipulate the body gently, and assist in investigating alternative ways of moving. We teach with verbal instruction too…explaining and instructing. The aim is more to teach a better way of using ourselves than “treat” the uncomfortable symptoms of our habitual and often unconscious ways. It’s not our job for example to massage a sore shoulder, but to teach how it is possible to hold it with less tension.

Later as we progress we will work on more complex daily activities - depending on the pupil´s interests - such as we might encounter at work or at home; bending, lifting, using equipment or heavy tools, doing housework, etc.. or more static activities, such as with a data machine. Other interests might be sport - golf strokes or tennis shots etc…; martial arts movements; playing a musical instrument; yoga positions; how to train or lift weights; how to use the voice, or sing, or maybe practice some dance steps…etc. (the Alexander Technique has become popular in England amongst actors, singers, musicians, dancers and sportsmen, but it is really for anyone who wishes to benefit from an improvement in the way they use themselves. ).


Some of us may have experienced “perfect” movements, where everything is in the right place at the right moment and things just flow. While playing a musical instrument, or a sport, for example, or out in nature. In our normal everyday life this does not often happen. During Alexander lessons we gradually begin to have such experiences, and even more important, to understand why. There are universal principles about movement, concerning balance and the centre of gravity...etc. If they are not followed at all, then of course we will fall over! As we sometimes do. For example if the head is not in the right place! It weighs 5 or 6 kilos, so it had better be! In fact the freedom of the neck and head are of primary concern to us in the Alexander Technique, as it has such an influence on the rest of the body. According to modern research, if the head is as much as one inch out of alignment with the spine, its weight increase doubles.

We can often be aware that our neck is tense, strained or stiff. This can become a chronic problem. And often is today. What we are not so aware of is that is also a habit, and can be changed. These are old habits that we have unconsciouly imposed on ourselves – or perhaps, more correctly, have been imposed on us, by the demands of a modern civilised society - when we were too young to realize. Many of us blame the discomforts of the body on the things we do with it - the life style of today; the bad sitting; the pc.; the car...and so on. And there is some truth in this. When we left childhood and joined the civilised `man-made’ world, we started to change, and adapt. Adapting is a necessary and positive attitude to the changing world around us. But things have changed so dramatically in recent times, that we haven´t managed to know how to adapt. The adaptation hasn’t always been good for us, and we have began to tense more and more, without realizing.

The world around us is relatively stressful, and we have to respond to it quickly. When we are stressed we are less physically aware....and it becomes habitual.

But blaming the environment, - or the life style doesn’t help us so much.

We can change the life style to a certain extent, but it is also useful if we can learn to adapt to the world around us without damaging ourselves so much. It is entirely possible to be more aware of our unconscious habits and patterns, and to learn to change them. This is what I teach every day.