what to expect in your first
Why a light bulb? Well, that was my experience in my first Alexander Technique lesson!
alexander technique lesson
To say it was a revelation is no exaggeration.
After several years of treatment (sometimes very uncomfortable treatment) for my neck, back and shoulder pain, I was surprised how something so subtle and simple could make such a difference.
The teacher made small adjustments as I stood, sat and walked and I instantly noticed a change. I felt taller, lighter and my muscles didn't ache.
However, I won't try to pretend it's an instant miracle cure - it isn't. But if you apply the techniques learnt in a lesson, it will start to make a difference.
The main advantage of taking Alexander lessons is you're learning a skill that you take with you when you leave the room and, once proficient,
will stay with you for the rest of your life!
it ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it!
It's important to remember that it is a lesson and not a treatment. This means that you're a pupil and not a patient and take an active role in the session.
A typical lesson involves performing simple, day-to-day activities whilst focusing on what you do to prepare to carry out the movement.
A good example is the chair. Most adults unknowingly use too much effort when rising from a chair - see my chair experiement to test how you do it. Using light touch, I will show you how to do this with less effort, thus reducing stress on your joints and muscles.
However, the objective is not to learn how to get out of a chair (although it's something most of us do fifty times a day!), the objective is to learn how to stop habitual actions that could be the cause of your discomfort. It's common to build unnecessary tension before moving and making it harder than it needs to be - it's the same as applying the hand brake before driving your car.
When you brush your toothbrush tonight, see how much tension is in your arm and shoulder - is it necessary when it's just a few grams of plastic you're holding to clean your teeth?
The same process used in this chair example can be used for climbing stairs, lifting an object, preparing to take your golf swing, kicking a football and ... well anything that you do.
no one stands taller than one who stands corrected
Many of us spend time on our feet, and many suffer if it's for pro-longed periods due to using the wrong muscles. In a lesson I will look at your standing posture and show you how to take out undue tension to allow your body to stand with ease.
In the photos on the right you can see how a typical slump can place the weight of the head in the wrong position and lead to neck, shoulder or lower back problems.
But rather than tighten your lower back to 'stand up straight', I can show you how to release tension to get an effortless, upright standing posture.
The emphasis in a lesson is to 'do less' and let your postural reflexes tell your muscles what to do. When you can learn how to do this, all activites will feel easier and lighter.
Other techniques I use in a lesson involve lying down (semi-supine). I make small adjustments to your alignment and guide you through a series of movements. The objective is for you to experience movement without your usual habitual muscle activity. All pupils really enjoy semi-supine as it's a great way to remove tension, open up the shoulders, lengthen the spine and free up breathing. I found it was a life-saver when I first started.
I'll also look at how you walk and show you simple techniques to free up your movement.
You can ask for any activity you do a lot of to be assessed. For example, squatting for gardening or any sporting activity - although if you're a skydiver this would present a few difficulties!
If you'd like to book a lesson, please see the venues I teach, or contact me for further information.
If you don't try it, you may never know how much it could help you!