THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE a technique for improving the way we do things, both in our daily life and in our work situation, with the main focus being on how we use our body.

Small children´s bodies develope mostly in a natural way. The different parts relate to each other well and there is little unnecessary tension. They like moving about, and it´s inspiring and pleasureable to see them. But things change. Small children grow up and begin to influence their own natural developement. To be acceptable to our imperfect society, they have to adapt. They may have to hide their feelings, or try to change their personality or even their shape - especially teenagers. This creates tension both in the body and the mind. We begin to hold the body wrongly, though we are not aware of it. We have largely forgotten how it was. This misuse of the body leads us into a reduction of energy and later even to pain. Some parts of the body collapse while other parts have to increase tension to compensate. In small children it´s the less energy consuming, deeper, red muscle fibers (the non-fatigueable ones) that do the holding job. And do it very well. Nobody holds themselves as well as little children... not even soldiers. But later as adults we compensate and use the big strong surface “doing” muscles (the white muscle fiber) more and more. They begin begin to dominate over the red as they are stronger, and, although they are not designed for it, we even use them to hold us up. They get tired,strained and even painful, and they don´t hold the body up very well either. To improve our physique we often resort to physical training, which makes the white muscle fibers even more active. The red muscle fibers atrophy with disuse, and lose their special qualities. They resemble more and more the white fibers, and we collapse gradually towards the grave.

Is it possible to turn the clock back? Can we re-discover the physical and mental attitudes of the little child? Frederik Matthias Alexander (1869-1956) thought so. (see webpage on Alexander). During his long research he found modern man had numbers of subtle and unconscious behaviour patterns that had a harmful effect on our uprightness. Mankind had been dramatically affected by first the Industrial Revolution, and now today by the communications and data technology - causing us to use our bodies in ways they were not designed for. We sit a lot and stare at screens. We sit in cars. We sit and talk to each other. We sit and lounge in overcomfortable chairs that almost resemble beds. We easily lose focus on our bodies and begin to misuse ourselves. Little children sit very upright in their first years. Most adults today cannot manage that for more than a minute! We use the wrong muscle fibers for that.The consequences are easy for us to see. More and more body problems related to poor body use. Back troubles for example are widespread and have become an epidemic.

The good thing however is that there is a way out of this dilemma. The Alexander Technique teaches us how to use our body in a better way and can be learned by anyone.

Alexander found out that the disturbances to what he called `good use´ of the body began at the top of the body. That there was a sequence. We always begin by tightening neck muscles and pulling the head out of position. After that comes the shoulders... and arms..rib cage and so on. Modern science has confirmed Alexander´s findings.The head which is a heavy part of the body, weighs from 4 to 6 kilos and is curiously arranged. 2/3 of its weight being in front of the spine. This arrangement makes it easier for us to move forward. Unfortunately in the modern world, we have a tendency to hold the head tightly and to pull it out of position. Modern research has shown that if the head is even only one “inch” out of line, it´s weight is doubled, causing much strain on the neck muscles and on the back.

Alexander taught himself a way of focusing on on these wrongly placed body parts, and on the tensions they created, - he called it “directing “ - and he found the body posture improved. Later he worked out how to teach others his discoveries, both with explanations - and by using his hands, whereby he could give his pupils a direct experience of a body in better alignment with gravitly. Results and improvements were impressive. People learnt to move more freely and experience a lighter and more comfortable body. Often the physical complaints improved and pain was reduced or disappeared.

This is the technique that we Alexander teachers teach today all over the world, and is a part of the National Health scheme in England.

The Alexander teachers receive a 3 year training, but they are only accepted if they have already been with a teacher for some time.

You are very welcome to try for yourself. See if it works for you....