WHY STUDY?

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SPORTS

Whether you are a runner, cyclist, swimmer or golfer the AT can help you with your performance.

Central to the Technique is recognising that how you use yourself -mind and body- affects the way you function. Improved body use means minimum effort for maximum efficiency.

Greater kinaesthetic awareness will help improve your ability monitor the effectiveness of your efforts beyond increased aerobic capacity and the amount of weight resistance you use.

Going to the gym is also a common activity for health and fitness, but many people hurt themselves working out. You don’t have to be doing a high intensity training regime to risk injury. Preventing injury is a key component of any fitness plan and helping you develop an awareness of how you use your body with the Alexander Technique makes a valuable contribution in this area.

The pressure of performance and the repetitive nature of sports and exercise make it all the more important that you are thinking clearly and using yourself well, so that you perform at your best and avoid injury.

Thinking in activity will boost your performance by

  • improving balance and coordination

  • improving breathing

  • reducing strain

  • promoting freedom of movement

  • facilitating recovery

  • reducing the risk of injury

The benefits of the Alexander Technique apply to everyone, from the complete beginner to the professional athlete, making your sport and fitness training more enjoyable and safe.

'My times became faster while training using the Alexander Technique. It was a real boost to my mental training. I can definitely say that I wouldn't have had the rowing success I have had without finding the Alexander Technique and the great teachers that I have had.'

Valerie Thompson Williams, Rowing masters gold medallist

STRESS RELIEF

Too much pressure can make you ill; work, relationships, money troubles, commuting, health problems, exams, job interviews, can all have a combined effect on the body and mind.

To effectively combat stress, we need to address the physical, mental and emotional causes. The Alexander Technique helps us to control the way we respond to life and to return to a balanced state of body and mind.

Feeling grounded, mindful and calm will help you manage any stressful event, such as an interview, audition or exam, with more confidence and control.

Learning to manage stress with the Alexander Technique will also:

  • improve breathing

  • promote general relaxation

  • enhance mental clarity

  • help you avoid feeling overwhelmed

  • improve sleep

  • help you manage anger

  • reduce nervousness

  • prevent unduly excited fear responses.

  • “I find the Alexander Technique very helpful in my work. Things happen without you trying. They get to be light and relaxed. You must get an Alexander teacher to show it to you.” - John Cleese, comedian and actor

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PAIN RELIEF

Applying the Technique may help you:

  • during rehabilitation after surgery or injury by teaching you better postural habits

  • improve your management of pain

  • provide coping skills for disability or chronic illness

A large clinical trial has shown that lessons in the Alexander Technique have led to significant long-term benefits for people with chronic or recurrent back pain.

A second large clinical trial, funded by Arthritis Research UK, has shown significant long-term benefits for people with chronic neck pain following Alexander lessons.

Both studies demonstrated significant reductions in pain and associated disability for at least 1 year. Lessons in these studies were one-to-one with STAT-registered Alexander Teachers.

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PERFORMANCE

Whether you are a Singer, Musician or Actor The specific Alexander Technique leads to a deeper awareness and ability to find balance, support, and efficiency for your performance.
“I find the Alexander Technique very helpful in my work. Things happen without you trying. They get to be light and relaxed. You must get an Alexander teacher to show it to you.” - John Cleese, comedian and actor

BREATHING AND VOICE

The way we breathe is affected by everything we do, feel and think, and vice versa.

For example, we tend to hold our breath when making a physical effort or when concentrating. Negative feelings and experiences can also result in inefficient breathing.

If you do this often enough, it then becomes a habit; and you may not know it’s there.

Alexander found that poor breathing was often accompanied by a general stiffness and tension throughout the body.

The Alexander Technique can help you:

  • understand how you interfere with your breathing

  • restore your natural breathing rhythm

  • allow efficient and easy movement of the whole ribcage

  • manage a range of breathing

  • difficulties like asthma

  • improve breathing in exercise.

  • speaking, singing and playing wind instruments.

FAQS

WHAT IS THE ALEXANDER TECHNQIUE?

The Alexander Technique improves posture and movement, which is believed to help reduce and prevent problems caused by unhelpful habits. During a number of lessons you are taught to be more aware of your body, how to improve posture and move more efficiently.

Evidence suggests the technique has the potential to improve certain health conditions as back pain, neck ache, sore shoulders, etc.

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For more info: www.nhs.uk/conditions/alexander -technique/

WHAT TYPES OF HEALTH INSURANCE DO YOU ACCEPT?

You should contact your health insurance and see if they cover it. In the UK Alexander Technique lessons are covered by NHS.

DO I NEED A DOCTOR’S REFERRAL?

My personal gp refers people to me however you can have lessons on your own decision. Usually, after the age of 11 you are welcome to have lessons.

IS IT EXERCISE?

Most lessons include table work, where the student will be laying down. However, The Alexander Technique is as much as mind-work as body-work. There is no such thing as physical movement without a stimulus from the brain and no mental thought without a sensory response.
You start by working with any challenges you have in simple movements and positions—such as sitting, standing, walking, reaching or bending—which are basic to all activity. Through experience and observation, you learn how to prevent tension and contraction. As you learn to release excess tension and activate your natural postural reflexes you experience a lightness and poise in both stillness and movement. Internally, a lesson in the Alexander Technique will usually produce an immediate feeling of well-being. The goal of lessons is to integrate the main principles of the technique into your daily life and activities.

WHAT HAPPENS IN A LESSON?

Your first lesson may be slightly longer than usual, could take 1h and 15min whereas subsequent lessons will last 60 minutes.You will be asked about any medical problems and your general state of health. You do not have to have anything wrong with you to benefit from the Technique, but if you do it would be helpful at this point to mention any accident or trauma that you feel may have contributed to any pain or condition from which you may be suffering. You will not need to remove any clothes apart from perhaps your shoes.
The technique is a 'hands-on' education and I will gently move your limbs or head while asking you not to help. As I do this I will be checking your body for excessive or inappropriate muscle tension. This may be done while you are sitting, standing or lying on a treatment table. I remember my first lesson were I had wonderful feeling of lightness and ease that allowed all parts of the body to work in unison with each other. It gives many people a sense of peace and oneness that they had forgotten was possible. Some people describe the feeling as 'walking on air', or 'having all the joints well oiled'. I felt all my worries have been suddenly lifted off my shoulders and that's how I see my students after a lesson they leave smiling. However,  this feeling may only last for a short time after the lesson finishes, but with subsequent lessons this wonderful feeling will last for longer and longer periods.
The number of lessons needed can vary dramatically from person to person, depending on how ingrained your physical or emotional habits are, as well as on what you are hoping to achieve from the lessons.
A basic course will consist of about six lessons, but people may have up to thirty lessons to learn the subject thoroughly. For the first two or three weeks it can be advantageous to have two lessons a week, but later on when you are more familiar with the principles of the Technique you will be able to apply them on your own, and you may only need a lesson once every two to three weeks.
What takes place during an Alexander lesson will vary depending on your own requirements

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