The Alexander Technique is a practical method developed by FM Alexander (1869-1955) for changing the way we 'use' ourselves in the activities of everyday life, be they in the home, at school or at work, or during sporting activities etc.
It is based on the principle that each of us functions as a whole and first, to effect change, one must learn to consciously prevent unwanted, unnecessary and harmful habits (such as unnecessary muscular tension and effort). Because these things happen repeatedly through our everyday life and hence become unconscious habits, part of the learning process is to become aware of what it is that we are actually doing.
Many people come to the Technique because of physical problems: back, neck or shoulder pain, RSI , stress, vocal or breathing disorders to name but a few, but others learn the Technique because of a curiosity about themselves and a desire for personal development.
It is taught in music and drama colleges worldwide and is seen as an essential element in a performer's training. Sports people learn it to give them the awareness in activity they require and pregnant women use it to help them cope with the rapid changes that this time brings.
The effectiveness of the Alexander Technique is well documented and has been the subject of several scientific studies. It is increasingly recommended by doctors and most medical insurance companies will pay for lessons if these are prescribed by a consultant.
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