1. Pain
2. Pregnancy, Birth and Parenthood
3. Musicians/Performing Artists
4. Computer Users
5. Business Professionals
6. Sports
7. Personal Development

Chronic pain can detract from your quality of life to such an extent that it leaves you unable to think about anything else. Because I have dealt with chronic pain myself since my early twenties I feel like I can relate to people in chronic pain. The Alexander Technique is not a therapy and is not a treatment for medical conditions. If, however, the pain you are suffering is at all caused by or exacerbated by misuse of your body, then you could experience improvement through lessons in the Technique. Chronic back pain, neck pain, and headaches can be related to bad posture, and if so can therefore be improved by an improvement in the way you use your body. Arthritis may cause pain in your knees when you walk or get in and out of a chair, but lessons in the Alexander Technique can teach you how to take pressure off of your joints and to move more freely, possibly reducing your pain. You may be in pain because you are on your feet all day at work, or sitting in front of a computer all day at work. Lessons in the Alexander Technique can teach you how to stand or sit in the most efficient, balanced way possible, easing your discomfort, and can teach you how to give yourself some relief while you work.

Lessons in the Alexander Technique teach people how to observe and eliminate their own unique habits of misuse. Learning instead how to use your body in the most efficient and coordinated way possible is necessary and can be a valuable tool for you in dealing with your chronic pain.
back to top

Pregnancy, Birth and Parenthood
Pregnancy and childbirth place demands like no other on a woman. The way she uses her body becomes increasingly important as her body and balance change throughout the pregnancy and then again after the birth. Habits of misuse that can normally cause a person to experience pain, discomfort, tension, and fatigue tend to become exaggerated as a woman progresses through her pregnancy. What is stereotypically a time of increasing discomfort and pain, however, can actually be a comfortable and energizing, though slower-moving, time of personal growth and uplifting self-awareness.

We have all seen a pregnant woman put a hand on her lower back, lean back, and grimace in pain. As the baby grows, a woman’s balance changes as more weight is added in front of her center of gravity. A woman’s usual reaction to this is to lean backwards at the waist, but this puts unnecessary and unhealthy pressure on her lower back and can cause excruciating pain. Through Alexander Technique lessons, a woman can learn instead how to adjust to the changes in her body easily, therefore protecting her back and joints, allowing her to be more comfortable and free from pain.

In addition, as the baby grows, a woman’s internal organs are more and more compressed as the baby takes up more space inside her body. This can lead to shortness of breath and digestive problems. Alexander lessons will teach a woman to allow her torso to expand, which reduces the compression, gives her more room to breathe, and can minimize digestive problems.

A woman finds during pregnancy that formerly easy activities become difficult. As hormones work in her body to loosen her connective tissues, it is very important for a pregnant woman to learn how to bend and move efficiently. During Alexander lessons she will learn how to move more fluidly and efficiently, and how to use her body well as she attempts, for example, the now more complicated tasks of getting up from a chair or getting out of bed.

Alexander lessons can help a woman to prepare for labor and childbirth in many ways. A woman can learn how to sit, squat, and lie down comfortably. She can learn how to work with and enhance her body’s natural ability to give birth: to help the cervix to open, to release the pelvic floor, and to work with gravity to aid the baby’s descent through the birth canal. She can learn how to focus, breathe, and calm herself during labor and childbirth to counter the natural tendency to tense the whole body during sometimes painful contractions. She can also learn how to push efficiently, not wasting energy on ineffective pushing or unnecessary tension.

The efficient movement that a woman learns before the birth will also help her to recover from the birth and to deal with the new tasks of lifting, carrying, and nursing her precious baby comfortably.
back to top

Musicians/Performing Artists
Playing one’s instrument or singing can place a great deal of repetitive stress on small muscle groups – fingers, facial muscles, throat muscles – leading to problems. Furthermore, the need to perform perfectly in a highly competitive environment causes stress that frequently manifests itself in excessive tension and tension in inappropriate places. Being in this state for hours per day, day after day, can cause symptoms ranging from pain and discomfort, compromised performances, performance anxiety, to feeling burned out and not enjoying music-making anymore.

Lessons in the Alexander Technique teach you how to observe and eliminate your own unique habits of misuse. The result is that you learn how to use yourself in the most efficient way possible, taking stress off of inappropriate muscle groups and eliminating excessive tension. Particular demands that are made on you while performing cause you to react in a habitual pattern of misuse. You will learn how to meet this stimulus instead with ease.

Performing from a state of coordinated ease of movement will help you to avoid, reduce, or eliminate pain, discomfort, and performance anxiety, maximizing comfort and your enjoyment of your career or hobby.
back to top

Computer Users
The human body was designed for movement, and sitting at a desk doing the repetitive motions required to use a computer for hours, day after day, is not easy. Most of us have habits of misuse of our bodies that even with the best ergonomically designed work station can cause pain and discomfort. The effects range from RSI (repetitive strain injury) such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis, to chronic neck and back pain, to persistent headaches. The need to meet deadlines often causes further misuse which compounds the problem. This is hardly an enjoyable situation.

Lessons in the Alexander Technique teach people how to observe and eliminate their own unique habits of misuse. Particular demands that are made on you cause you to react in a habitual pattern of misuse. You will learn how to meet this stimulus with ease. Learning how to sit, move, and work in a free, released, coordinated way is necessary in order to maximize your efficiency and be comfortable while working long hours at a desk and avoiding the associated injuries and burn out.
back to top

Business Professionals
Most people react to stress by misusing their bodies. One common pattern of misuse is actually similar to our reaction to an unexpected loud noise. This reaction is called the startle reflex and manifests itself in the body with scrunched up shoulders, a tight neck, a tight jaw, throat tension, locked knees, a tight belly, and gasping for a breath. When under the constant stress of making presentations, managing employees, pitching your unique product, and/or meeting deadline after deadline, many people actually exhibit varying degrees of the startle reflex pattern in their bodies throughout the day. When the pattern persists like this and becomes the way a person holds his or her body all the time, this misuse can cause a variety of symptoms such as tension, neck and back pain, fatigue, headaches, voice problems, and breathing problems. This reaction to stress can interfere with your ability to present yourself and/or your product in the best way possible, and leave you feeling a loss of control and more tired than you should be. This begins to undermine your confidence which has repercussions on your ability to be successful.

Lessons in the Alexander Technique teach people how to observe and eliminate their own unique habits of misuse. You will begin to sit, stand, and move in a free, released, coordinated way, the opposite of the manifestations of a 24-hour startle reflex. This is key to learning to be comfortable and in control while working long hours under constant stress, avoiding injury and allowing you to maximize your skill and enjoyment of what you do.
back to top

Participating in a sport when you have habits of misuse of your body is like driving a car with the emergency brake on all the time. Each of these habits holds you back in some way, preventing you from reaching your full potential. These habits manifest themselves in excessive tension in inappropriate places, and can lead to pain and discomfort or even injury.

Lessons in the Alexander Technique teach people how to observe and eliminate their own unique habits of misuse. Learning instead how to use your body in the most efficient and coordinated way possible is necessary in order to be the best athlete you can be, reaching your full potential and getting the most out of your exercise while avoiding injury.
back to top

Personal Development
There are as many unique paths to personal growth as there are people in this world. Some common examples would be parenting, meditation, Tai chi, volunteering, yoga, Pilates, reading, athletics, spiritual studies, teaching. In addressing habits of misuse, lessons in the Alexander Technique not only teach you to move in the most efficient and coordinated way possible, but also teach you a special way of thinking referred to as “thinking in action”. This way of thinking allows you to observe your habitual reactions to stimuli, whether the stimuli be a particular yoga pose, your desire to run a marathon, or the latest antics of your two-year old. Observing your reactions to stimuli keeps you present in a way that is helpful to you no matter what you are doing in that moment. You learn that you have a choice in how you react to a stimulus, and can make the best choice possible.
back to top