F.M. Alexander (1869-1955) developed the Alexander Technique more than a century ago. An Australian actor who lost his voice while reciting, he observed misuse of the body as a fundamental cause of maladaptive functioning. The approach he created to solve his own physical problem focuses on correcting misuse of the interrelationship and neuromuscular activity of the head, neck and spine.
The Alexander Technique has been beneficial to people with a wide variety of neurological and musculoskeletal problems. The Technique provides an index for observing and improving human movement and a means to gain proficiency in basic movement skills such as walking, bending, squatting, lunging, moving in bed or transferring to and from seated surfaces. The Technique also addresses habits of muscular response by offering a unique approach to neuromuscular re-education. The result is a more upright posture and less muscular tension in the neck, back and shoulders. In the case of repetitive stress or traumatic injury, a primary benefit is that students learn proper use of the peripheral joints involved in the injury. Most importantly, they learn a unique self-management process which directly affects the function of those joints: an understanding of balance and dynamic postural control.
The Technique has been found to significantly reduce pain, improve overall functional strength and mobility, modify stress reponses and enhance breathing coordination. In a process of psycho-physical reeducation, the teacher uses specific clinical skills, including manual guidance and verbal cues, to improve each student’s postural and movement patterns.
Copyright 2007 Raquel Lazar-Paley