The majority of people who seek out the Alexander Technique do so to find relief from physical symptoms such as back and neck pains, migraines, breathing difficulties, stress related problems, repetitive strain injuries, or because they are unable to find their previous physical form after having an accident or surgery. The chronically ill can also be helped by the Alexander Technique but very often it is difficult for them to realize how learning a new way to move can help them get better.
However the Alexander Technique is first and foremost a pre-technique primarily concerned with the maintenance and the improvement of movement in every field of activity, therefore it is a useful tool in preventing problems from developing in the first place, rather than being used to solve them once they arise.
Many musicians, actors, dancers and sports enthusiasts find the Alexander Technique an indispensable part of their improvement program, and there is a full-time Alexander teacher present in many schools for the arts. Alexander himself devoted a chapter in one of his books “The Use of the Self” to the golfer’s need to keep his eye on the ball, and there can be no greater testimony to the benefits of the Alexander Technique than in the all round athlete Daley Thompson and his consistent gold medal winning performances. Behind many successful performances in the artistic and sporting fields there lies an Alexander teacher and his willing pupil.
And finally to this list I would like to add my first Alexander teacher to whom I am greatly indebted. A gymnastics teacher, she caught sight of herself one day in the mirror and found that she did not like the effects that the exercises she had learned and was teaching to others had on the overall shape of her body. There must be something I can do about this she said to herself, and indeed through a series of Alexander lessons she learnt to eliminate unnecessary tension in certain muscles and allow others to work more efficiently, to consider the body as a whole rather than concentrating on certain parts at any given time so as to be more in balance whilst carrying out her gymnastic activity, all of which radically changed the shape of the person she saw in the mirror.
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