I have taught the Alexander Technique for 23 years and during that time have built up an extensive teaching practice in the Wadhurst/Tunbridge Wells area.
I first learnt of the Alexander Technique in 1980 and was caught by its combination of insight, wisdom and practical commonsense. Alexander's insistence that we must "quicken the conscious mind" in order to make real change in ourselves greatly appealed to me and I felt that the Technique embodied a truth that took it far beyond the hype of fad or fashion. I trained to become a teacher at the New Alexander School in Hampstead, London where we were fortunate to have regular visits from Walter Carrington, one of the few original teachers trained by Alexander and who had worked closely with him until Alexander's death in 1955.
I grew up in the South Island of New Zealand with the wild tussock land and snow peaks of the Southern Alps on our doorstep. I came to England in 1975 having graduated from the University of Otago with a degree in English. I now live in the quiet of the beautiful East Sussex countryside with my husband and three daughters.
The Alexander Technique is a method of making lasting changes to the way we use ourselves in daily life. Good use is a natural attribute - it can easily be seen in the effortless balance of small children - but we tend to lose this ability as we grow older, and instead settle into patterns of misuse which determine the way we set about our everyday activities. These patterns can be responsible for much strain and misalignment but, being deep-seated, they go largely unrecognised and untouched by exercise or therapy. Undoing them requires a re-learning of how we move and react. The Alexander Technique provides this. By using the principles of the Technique, old fixed habits of posture and movement can be unravelled, and a new, more conscious way of moving is learnt.
This process is taught through gentle hands-on guidance and verbal instruction. Lessons are given on a one-to-one basis. The number of lessons needed is a matter of individual choice. For some, just a few gives them what they need to know, others prefer to have regular lessons for several months.
The Alexander Technique excels as a practical method for change and self-help. It is uniquely beneficial and the skills learnt last a lifetime.
What can the Alexander Technique help with?
Although the Alexander Technique is primarily a method of re-education rather than a therapy, there are far-reaching benefits to health from learning to put its principles into practice.
People usually seek out the Technique because they are suffering pain or discomfort, for example: bad backs, neck strain, headaches or joint problems, as these conditions are often being caused by or exacerbated by a habitual misuse pattern. Here it can be a remarkably effective and long term solution. This has been borne out by a major study published in the British Medical Journal last year.
Dizziness, migraine, sciatica, tennis elbow, rheumatism, arthritis, tinnitus, sinusitis, dental pain, headaches, constipation, haemorrhoids, IBS, cystitis, depression, anxiety disorders, hypertension, back pain, insomnia, trigeminal neuralgia, Bells palsy, bronchitis, shingles, cough, influenza.
It is also helpful where there is difficulty with balance, co-ordination or mobility. It is a means for easing stress, fatigue, depression and anxiety. It is widely used by people in the performing arts and in the world of sport to refine their skills, and for those interested in personal development and self-understanding, it is a valuable tool.
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