WHAT IS THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE?
This technique deals with the recognition and change of habits that we have in everyday life e.g. tension, stress, stage fright, hoarseness, back pain or even slipped discs.
It’s about being self-responsible and getting new choices. Because every tense muscle, every stress reaction comes from our brain and is therefore controllable, even if that may be difficult for us to imagine.
That is why Alexander Technique is not a therapy, but a study to become self-conscious and to be able to help oneself.
This school of conscious control of body and mind is especially popular with musicians or stage actors, so artists such as Madonna, Hugh Jackman, John Cleese, Hilary Swank, Paul McCartney and Ben Kingsley are well-known disciples of the Alexander Technique.
But some big companies like Google Inc. are also providing their employees with Alexander Technique teachers to develop concepts for the challenges in the workplace.
But the technique does not only make sense for people with pain or unusual challenges. Simply curiosity about their own functioning, psycho-physical connections, or the interest in making one’s own life a little bit easier and more free, is enough reason to peak into the Alexander Technique.
This work was developed by F.M. Alexander an actor and reciter at the beginning of the 20th century, whom, after repeated heavy hoarseness, no doctor could tell what led to this problem when speaking on stage. So he started a years long process of self-observation and research. He found out how the way he used himself had an impact on all of his functions. He realized that he himself was able to take decisive influence on his own.
“I used to be able to do that.”
“Slight back pain is normal.”
“I’m always far too nervous about something like that.”
“When I think about it, my head is already hurting.”
“Why do I always react so impulsively?”
“I’m practicing and practicing and still not getting any better!”
… have heard that before…?
Here is a film from the Alexander Technik Institut Düsseldorf, which gives a brief insight into the way of working (GERMAN):
And here’s a clip from the United States, which explains very simply, using the example of physical movement, what it’s all about (ENGLISH):