“I would not be living an independent life now as my back would have prevented this. I wish I had discovered the Alexander Technique sooner. I was told that my back was not bad enough to operate on yet. That was at least 15 years ago!”
Alexander pupil, 65 years of age.

A GP's view:
From a discal neck injury in 1990 I developed progressive spinal problems. By 2002 I had suffered mechanical neck and back pain, several episodes of nerve root pain at different levels with loss of power and reflexes in my arms. I saw 4 neurosurgeons who all recommended (different) neck operations.

I then developed complex regional pain syndrome and could barely use my right arm. I was in unbearable pain and virtually unable to move my neck. I started taking Alexander Technique lessons and began to experience improvement and lessening of pain after some 12-15 lessons. I did regular Alexander Technique for about 4 years.

Progressive improvement since 2003 is such that I now have no neck or arm pain. Alexander Technique lessons from a good teacher are an effective technique and were instrumental in my
recovery. Based on simple applied principles it can afford sustained relief from pain of spinal origin. It teaches the body to undo neuromuscular tensions and reduce strain in normal motor function; probably cost effective were it taught in primary health care.

Dr. Nick Mann, GP, 45, London





Benefits of the Technique

A means for change

Sitting, standing, walking - activities that we do every day. But do we ever think about how we do them? We learn our movement habits when we are young; as adults we no longer pay much attention to them. But those unconscious habits continue to affect our health and well-being in the present. They determine the ease or difficulty with which we accomplish everything we do. Through engaging our conscious awareness and innate physical intelligence, the Alexander Technique offers a means to enhance our coordination, overall fitness, and potential for learning. It offers a means for change.

We often respond to the demands of our life-style and environment by increasing the amount of tension we hold in our bodies. The Alexander work provides a simple but powerful way of rejuvenating our natural postural spring so that we can let go of these tensions without collapsing, thus maintaining the natural integrity and co-ordination of our structure. In the process we learn to recognise and change those habits of movement and positioning which sabotage our natural, graceful posture - allowing us to be poised and relaxed in all our activity.

Lessons also serve as preventative treatment to ensure continued health.

What can the Alexander Technique be used for?

This work can be particularly helpful for:

  • a variety of medical conditions, and for alleviating the pain and discomfort caused by postural, movement or breathing-related difficulties
  • situations of undue or extended physical or emotional stress
  • improving skills in any sphere (performance: music/drama, creative, sporting)
  • personal growth and development, raising consciousness
  • improving poise and 'posture' although not in a rigid, overtensed way
  • stiff necks and shoulders
  • nervous tension/ tension headaches/ anxiety states
  • prevention of backache in pregnancy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • high blood pressure
  • asthma

Identity and sense of self

Our kinaesthetic sense is not only the basis of balance, posture and movement, it is the basis of our sense of self. Although our "self" encompasses our minds, feelings and some sense of spiritual identity, we do not exist without our bodies. Because of this, the way we use ourselves is very closely bound up with who we are or who we think we are. We say, "I am round-shouldered" when it is more accurate to say, "I am rounding my shoulders".

Many people find that as their kinaesthetic sense increases, they have a stronger sense of their own identity, almost as if they are coming home into their own bodies.